Growing up I used to love chicken salad sandwiches, probably one of my favorite childhood lunch memories. Chicken salad is a cinch to make, so a simple vegan version is a no-brainer recipe for me. I use crushed chickpeas instead of chicken and my all-purpose vegan cream sauce instead of mayo. Of course you can use whatever you want to bind the salad, whether yogurt, mayo or their vegan equivalents. I always have some of my homemade cashew or sunflower seed cream on hand and this salad is a great use for it.
In terms of mix-ins, I’m using toasted walnuts, celery and fresh tarragon for this one, but the options are literally endless (maybe halved grapes, raining, pecans, dried cranberries, diced cucumber or fresh parsley). I love tarragon in my chickpea salad because it reminds me of my favorite chicken salad from childhood. Their chicken salad club sandwich was a staple of my youth.
Creamy Chickpea Salad Sandwiches
2 14-oz cans chickpeas, drained/rinsed (garbanzo beans)
3/4 cup savory cashew cream (recipe here, nut-free option available)
3/4 teaspoons salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
2-4 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
1 to 1.5 cups mix-ins of choice (see below for pictured combo)
2/3 cup diced celery
1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves, chopped (2 tbs chopped)
bread of choice
fresh romaine lettuce
In a mixing bowl, crush chickpeas until they just begin to turn to a paste holds together slightly (see photos). I use a pastry cutter or a potato masher for this task, but you can also use a fork or meat mallet.
Add mix-ins of choice and stir to combine. Add cashew or sunflower seed cream plus salt, pepper and lemon juice. Need it creamier? Add a small splash or water to loosen the dressing consistency.
Divide fresh romaine lettuce and chickpea salad onto sandwiches.
Use any binder you want instead of the homemade cashew/sunflower seed cream. Mayo and yogurt are good options, both also come in vegan versions. You’ll need less mayo/yogurt than my “cream” so add a little at a time to achieve desired consistency.
I added 4 tablespoons lemon juice (1/4 cup, 1 lemon). For a subtler lemon flavor reduce to 2 tablespoons.