Savory

Curried Chickpea Salad

Full of vibrant flavors, this gluten free salad makes a great "Meatless Monday" entrée or side dish any day of the week.

In recent months we have been trying to incorporate “Meatless Mondays” in our weekly meal plan. While I hold no ill will toward steaks and chicken (especially having been born into a multi-generational farm family), planning a few meals free of animal products helps to reduce our grocery bill and is a little bit better for the environment. Many studies have shown that a whole-foods plant-based diet can also lower cholesterol, reduce symptoms of arthritis, reduce your risk of developing many forms of vascular disease, and promote overall good health. While meat definitely still plays a role in our diet, it has been fun to explore the vegetarian and vegan world of recipes on a more regular basis.

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This curried chickpea salad is a favorite lunch for our Meatless Mondays. It’s only a “salad” in the Midwestern sense; like macaroni salad or chicken salad, it’s held together by a built-in sauce and has no intrinsic leafy green components. However, unlike its traditional Midwestern cousins, this salad utilizes tahini – a sesame seed paste often used in Eastern Mediterranean cooking – instead of mayonnaise.

This recipe only requires a few basic pantry staples (chickpeas, apple cider vinegar, onions, turmeric, cumin, and garlic powder); while it does also utilize the more exotic curry and tahini, those ingredients are worth the investment. Both are relatively easy to find if your grocery has a Middle Eastern or Indian section. Both are affordable, and both have a long shelf-life. If you decide you enjoy the flavors, these ingredients are very versatile and you’ll find yourself using them in far more recipes than you might expect.

You’re welcome to use whatever bread you have on hand as the base for this recipe. I used my favorite sourdough sandwich bread, but if you prefer whole wheat or gluten-free bread, those would also work perfectly well. The only recommendation I have is that you toast the bread before serving, and that you leave the sandwich open-faced. Because of this salad’s specific texture, eating it as a closed sandwich always ends up a bit…disappointing. If you need your salad to be portable, serving it as a wrap in a pita or lettuce leaf would also be awesome.

To start making this salad, use a blender or food processor to combine 1/2 cup of chickpeas with your apple cider vinegar and tahini. (I like to use my immersion blender for this step; it requires less cleaning after we’re finished.)

Once the ingredients are thoroughly combined and are starting to form a paste, remove from the food processor and use a fork to mix in your spices, the diced onion, and the remaining chickpeas.

Continue to mix and mash until the salad reaches your preferred consistency. I like it to have a lot of texture, so my mashing here is minimal. Serve on your favorite toasted bread, topped with broccoli sprouts, if you have them. Like many “Midwestern salads”, this dish keeps well in the refrigerator. If you give the spices a few hours to mesh with the chickpeas, you will have a more flavorful salad.

I hope you enjoyed this meatless recipe! If you tried it at home, please tag @WhiskAverseBaking on social media, or leave a message in the comment section below.

Curried Chickpea Salad

This quick, flavorful lunch recipe works great as a Meatless Monday entrée or as a side dish any day of the week.
Prep Time 10 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can chickpeas 15 oz.
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon curry
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ cup diced onions
  • ¼ cup broccoli sprouts for garnish
  • 2-4 slices toasted bread optional; can use gluten-free bread with equal results

Instructions
 

  • Combine ½ cup of chickpeas with apple cider vinegar and tahini using a blender or food processor.
  • Once it is thoroughly combined and starting to become a paste, use a fork to mix in spices, remaining chickpeas, and diced onions.
  • Mix and mash salad until it reaches your desired consistency. Serve open-faced on toast, topped with broccoli sprouts.

Notes

Feel free to substitute pita bread, tortillas, or Romaine lettuce for the bread, to turn this open-faced sandwich into a wrap.
This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if cooking for a larger group.

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