The BEST Smashed Chickpea Salad is healthy, easy to make, and ready in 10 minutes. It can be made ahead, which is perfect for weekday meal prep. This chickpea smash is the perfect healthy lunch or dinner - serve it on toasted bread or scoop it over greens.
Let's face it, we all enjoy an easy but delicious weekday lunch that can be made ahead. This smashed chickpea salad is just that. This delicious meatless lunch is quick to throw together, so it can easily be prepped the night before a busy day.
Chickpeas are packed with protein and fiber, which makes them a great chicken or tuna alternative for a sandwich. This salad hits all textural and flavorful notes: fresh, sharp, crunchy, and creamy.
The chickpeas provide a subtle amount of creaminess when mashed. The chopped celery adds much-needed crunch and the scallions offer a flavorful bite. Like the crunch from the celery, the acid and flavor from the lemon juice are essential to this salad.
Slather some of this mashed chickpeas salad between two slices of toasted bread with lettuce and tomato, and you are set for the afternoon! If you love this recipe, you will love my Easy Egg Salad with Pickles and Mediterranean Chickpea Salad.
Why You Will Love This Chickpea Salad
- Healthy lunch or dinner packed with nutrients and flavor
- Ready in 10 minutes with minimal effort
- A customizable recipe that can be made ahead
- Gluten-free, meatless, and easy to customize for any diet restrictions
- Bright, fresh flavors and simple ingredients
- Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
- Lemon Juice
- Celery (diced)
- Scallions (sliced)
- Garlic Powder
- Salt and Pepper
See the recipe card for ingredient quantities.
Step 1 - Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans (chickpeas). Place in a medium-sized bowl and mash with a fork until smooth but with some remaining texture.
PRO TIP - After draining and rinsing, rub the chickpeas with a clean towel to remove the loose skins.
Step 2 - Add mayonnaise, lemon juice, celery, green onion, and spices. Mix until everything is well incorporated.
Substitutions and Additions
- Mayonnaise - Greek Yogurt, Aioli
- Lemon Juice - Lime Juice, Pickle Juice, Apple Cider Vinegar
- Scallions - Red Onion, White Onion, Chives, Shallot
- Mix-Ins - Avocado, Cucumber, Red Bell Pepper, Dill, Crumbled Feta Cheese
- No Mayo - Swap mayo for Greek yogurt or extra-virgin olive oil.
- Vegan - Use a vegan mayonnaise alternative or swap the mayo for mashed avocado.
- Extra Lemon - For extra zing, double the quantity of lemon juice.
- Spicy - Add one to two tablespoons of hot sauce.
Try my spicy Buffalo variation of this recipe.
Other Favorite Healthy Salad Recipes
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Greek Orzo Salad with Feta and Chickpeas
- Egg Salad with Pickles
- Quick and Easy Tuna Salad
- Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas
Transfer the completed salad to an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Like most salads, the flavors of this chickpea smash only get better as it sits.
Can you freeze smashed chickpea salad? I advise against it. The fresh celery in this salad will not thaw to a desirable texture.
Best Ways to Serve Smashed Chickpea Salad
This delicious mashed chickpea salad is customizable in ingredients and how you serve it. Some of my favorite toppings to serve with this chickpea smash include fresh tomato slices, avocado, onion slices, and lettuce or greens. Here is how you serve it:
- As a Sandwich - Serve between two slices of toasted bread with tomato and lettuce.
- As a Wrap - Scoop chickpea smash into a spinach or whole wheat tortilla with lettuce and fresh tomato slices.
- Over Greens - If you are not in the mood for the carbs, this salad is great by the spoonful or scooped atop a spinach salad.
- As a Dip - Serve with crackers or fresh veggie sticks.
- By the Spoonful - Just pull out a spoon and dig into this flavorful salad.
- Use a fork for mashing. I've tried a variety of tools to smash the chickpeas, but none have quite matched the effectiveness of the simple fork.
- Double the recipe. Easily multiply this chickpea salad for more servings.
- When mashing, leave some of the chickpeas whole for added texture.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, canned legumes are already cooked, making them a fantastic vegetarian protein option for quick cooking. After draining and rinsing chickpeas, they are ready to eat.
Yes, chickpea salad is healthy. Vitamin and nutrient-dense chickpeas are full of protein and fiber. These healthy traits mean this salad will keep you full longer.
Smashed Chickpea Salad
- Place the chickpeas in a medium-sized bowl and mash until smooth but with some remaining texture.
- Add mayonnaise, lemon juice, celery, green onion, black pepper, and garlic powder. Mix until everything is well combined. Add salt to taste.
- Serve at room temperature or cold.