This Vegan Chickpea Salad recipe is quick and easy and makes the perfect lunch or snack. Load it up between 2 slices of bread, on a cracker, or over lettuce as a salad. It comes together in just 10 minutes and is always a huge hit!
Before I embraced a plant based diet, I made an awesome chicken salad. I made it for several parties and it was always a huge hit. It never failed that at least a few people would ask me for the recipe each time.
I have missed the flavors of this delicious salad and I wanted to recreate it with healthier meatless ingredients. This Vegan Chickpea Salad is just as delicious as the traditional and now everyone asks me for this recipe, too!
I pack it in the kids’ lunchboxes often with a side of crackers and I enjoy it between two slices of bread for a quick and easy lunch. It only takes 10 minutes to make, so another batch can be ready in a flash.
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Chickpeas ~ I used canned chickpeas for convenience, but if you have chickpeas cooked from scratch that works, too. The nutrient difference in canned chickpeas versus cooked from scratch is minimal.
Be sure to drain the canned beans and rinse them very well with cold water which will remove most excess salt and starch and any metallic flavor they may pick up from the can.
For more super easy chickpea recipes, try my Vegan Chickpea Tacos and BBQ Chickpea Sandwiches!
Celery ~ Celery adds a nice crunch in an otherwise creamy dish.
Green onions ~ I like the delicate onion-y flavor these provide. If you prefer a sharper bite, try some diced red onion instead.
Grapes ~ I have always used red grapes, but that’s just personal preference. Green grapes would work just as well. They provide a burst of fresh juicy flavor.
If you don’t have grapes or don’t like them, diced apple or pineapple would be delicious.
Mayo ~ Traditional mayo is made from eggs, but there are several brands making vegan versions today. Follow Your Heart Vegenasie is our favorite, but Hellman’s and Sir Kensington both make vegan mayo as well. Homemade vegan mayonnaise will also work.
For a lighter take, try using unsweetened plain vegan yogurt instead of mayo.
Poultry seasoning ~ Poultry seasoning is made up of spices traditional used to season chicken or turkey. It’s convenient to have it all in one container.
If you don’t have poultry seasoning, try a bit of sage, rosemary, thyme and marjoram or some combination of any of those.
How to make the recipe
Please scroll down to the recipe card for exact ingredient measurements and instructions.
Drain the canned chickpeas and rinse them well under cold water. Transfer them to a mixing bowl (1). Using a potato masher or a fork, slightly smash the chickpeas (2) so the mixture will hold together. You don’t have to mash them all, a few left whole or partially whole is great for texture.
Add the remaining ingredients (3) and mix well to combine (4).
Ways to serve this vegan chickpea salad:
- piled high on toasted bread as a sandwich
- mounded on top of leafy greens as a salad
- in a bowl with a fork
- use it to top off crackers and garnish with pickled red onions
Storage and freezing
Make ahead: You can easily double or triple this recipe and make it ahead of time.
Fridge: It will keep in the fridge in an air-tight container for several days.
Freezer: This chickpea salad recipe is definitely best eaten fresh, but if you must you can freeze it. Transfer it to a freezer safe container or plastic bag and freeze up to 4 months. Please note: the texture of the celery and grapes will change upon thawing and may be slightly mushy.
Pro tips for success
*Drain and rinse the canned chickpeas well.
*Smash most, but not all of the chickpeas. Leave some whole or partially whole for texture. Don’t leave them all whole, however, or the salad won’t stay together well.
*Dice the celery and green onions fairly small, again to help the salad stay together. Too many big chunks and it will fall apart.
*Halve the grapes or even quarter them if they are large.
*Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Add more salt or dill or even more mayo or mustard.
*This salad is perfect for taking on picnics or to potlucks – since it’s dairy free you don’t have to worry about it going bad while it sits out.
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are high in protein and fiber. They also boast significant amounts of iron, folate, potassium, calcium, and selenium.
You can learn All about Chickpeas here.
This vegan chickpea salad is the perfect make ahead meal! The flavors only get better as they mingle while it sits. It will keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
If you’re making this chickpea salad as a sandwich, serve it with your favorite chips as a side.
If you’re serving it over leafy greens as a salad, add some diced tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, and thinly sliced radishes.
It’s also great as a snack served with your favorite crackers.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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For even more easy family recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook!
Vegan Chickpea Salad Recipe
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas drained and rinsed (or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas)
- 1 stalk celery diced
- 2 green onions sliced
- ½ cup halved grapes or quartered if they are large
- 2 tablespoons homemade vegan mayonaise or your favorite store-bought vegan mayo
- 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
- dash of salt/pepper to taste to taste
- In a medium bowl, slightly mash the chickpeas with a potato masher or fork.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.
Simple and delicious. I loved how quick and easy it was to prepare. Lots of grapes (and celery) made it more flavorful.
Jenn Sebestyen says
Thank you, Carla! So happy you enjoyed it!
Martha Crow says
This is the absolute best! I make a big batch on the weekend and then take it to work for lunch. I like that it doesn’t have mayo, so I don’t worry about it spoiling between the start of work and lunch. I’ve taken it to BBQs and everyone raves about it. LOVE LOVE LOVE!
Jenn Sebestyen says
Thanks, Martha! So glad you love!
HOLY VEGAN COW this is good!! I’ll admit, I was hesitant. I just found this recipe after a Google search for vegan chicken salad, and I’m more of a sweet, anti-mustard type personality. And this combination freaked me out a bit, but I’m making it for a guest tomorrow, so I decided to stick to the recipe since the reviews were all glowing. Only thing I changed was I traded the grapes for apples because I didn’t have grapes, and I’m blown away. Thanks so much for sharing! I’m celebrating almost 7 months vegan, and I’m slowly replacing all my old recipes. This one is officially my new “chicken” salad. Thanks so much!
Jenn Sebestyen says
This makes me so happy. Thank you for your feedback, Jessie! I’m so excited you love it!
Diane Cameron says
I liked this but I think it needs more mayo plus more grapes to give it more creaminess and sweetness.
Jenn Sebestyen says
Thanks for your feedback, Diane! Glad you enjoyed it.