Chickpea Salad Sandwich-A Plant-Based Version of a Classic!

By Kelsie White

Chickpea Salad Sandwich-A Plant-Based Version of a Classic!

Nutrition Bites | Week 3 

Welcome to our third session of Nutrition Bites! Last time, we focused on a breakfast recipe, Strawberries & Cream Overnight Oats, and this week we will talk about a delicious lunch recipe. Our recipe for the week is Chickpea Salad Sandwiches, so we will discuss some of the health benefits of the ingredients, as well as how to choose healthy bread options while at the grocery store. Let’s dig in!

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches are a plant-based twist to a classic sandwich: tuna salad. This popular sandwich has been filling lunch boxes for decades, so I want to present a plant-based alternative that is easy to make and tastes amazing. This is a great lunch option for working professionals, caregivers, you name it. Making a large batch ahead of time and using it throughout the week can help streamline your mornings while also providing you with nutritious fuel to power you through the day.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

(Serves 2-4)


  • 1 can chickpeas (can also be made with canned white beans)
  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons celery, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Sandwich toppings (some of my favorites are Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and sprouts)
  • Whole grain bread


  1. Simmer chickpeas in their juice from the can for 5-10 minutes. (This step can be skipped, but the mixture will be slightly chunkier)
  2. Drain the chickpeas and mash with potato masher or fork. Allow the mixture to cool slightly.
  3. Mix in remaining ingredients and assemble sandwich with bread, lettuce, sprouts, tomato, and cucumbers.
  4. Enjoy!


Benefits of Legumes

Chickpeas belong to the legume family, which includes beans, peas, peanuts, lentils, and soybeans. Legumes are packed with nutrients including protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. One cup of canned chickpeas contains about 12 grams of protein, making them a great plant protein source. They also contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, and because of all this fiber content, they are good for gut health, may help to reduce LDL cholesterol and may help to stabilize blood sugar.

As you can see, legumes have many health benefits. But many people struggle to consume them, as they often experience uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms such as gas and bloating. In a few weeks, I will have an entire Nutrition Bites session dedicated to Cooking with Beans, but in the meantime, here is a quick list of some tips to try to help make beans easier to digest:

  • Rinse canned beans and simmer in clean water for 10-15 minutes.
  • If making your own beans, soak them overnight and discard the soaking water before cooking.
  • Try sprouting your beans. Check out this article for instructions on how to do this.
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar at the end of cooking.
  • Try eating a smaller portion of beans, such as ¼ to ⅓ cup.

Even if beans still aren’t for you, it is important to find good sources of plant protein, as protein is an essential macronutrient. Check out this list from the Cleveland Clinic for some more ideas on sources of plant protein.

Benefits of Whole Grains 

This recipe for Chickpea Salad tastes great on whole grain bread. If chosen correctly, bread can be a good source of whole grains. I will highlight some key tips on how to choose a loaf of bread next, but first, let’s look at some of the health benefits of whole grains. Just like legumes, whole grains are a great source of complex carbohydrates and fiber, which can help aid in digestion and may help to lower LDL cholesterol. Whole grains can also add a little protein to a meal, as well as provide B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, selenium, and iron.

There are many options to choose from when it comes to whole grains, including barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgar, millet, oats, quinoa, popcorn and whole wheat products like bread, pasta, or crackers. Here are some of my top tips for choosing a healthy loaf of bread:

  • Aim for “Sprouted” whole grains. Grains that have been sprouted will have higher amounts of certain nutrients like fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals because of the germinating process. For more information on this topic, check out this article.
  • Look for the phrase “100% whole wheat” instead of just “whole wheat” or “wheat bread.”
  • Look for “Flourless” bread options, as these will be slightly less processed and retain more of their nutrients.
  • Try a sourdough bread, as there may be some benefits for gut health.
  • Select breads with added seeds or nuts. This will help give a nutrient boost including protein, fat, and fiber.
  • Lastly, it is important to read the label. If possible, choose breads with fewer ingredients, organic ingredients and little to no fillers or additives.
  • Alternatively, you can also make your own bread, as you can control the type and quality of ingredients.
Weekly Challenge

And there you have it! Hopefully these tips will make your time in the bread isle a little less intimidating. This week, I have two Weekly Challenges for you: First is to try out one new loaf of bread using the tips mentioned above. Next, I want to challenge you to add at least one serving of legumes to your meals 3 times this week. Whether it is part of the main course or a side dish, there are lots of ways to add legumes to your meals.

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