One of my favorite dishes is potato salad. I like eating it, making it, thinking about how to tinker with what flavors to include. However, I’d rather have something a teensy bit healthier waiting in the fridge than mashed potatoes covered in the traditional creamy mayo/yogurt/sour cream based sauce. Enter the chickpea–a food I’m slowly developing an obsession with. It’s super yummy, versatile, and has lots of protein in it.

For this salad I bought dried chickpeas, soaked them over night, boiled them for a little more than an hour at a pretty rapid simmer, then mashed them. With mashed chickpeas in hand, I added chopped veggies that I had in the fridge; this time, it was celery, red bell peppers, cucumber, garlic, yellow onion and fresh parsley. Next time I’m going to see how I like chopped spinach in the mix, eliminate the mayo, and use an avocado instead in order to add a creamy texture.

Ingredients for the salad.
Ingredients for the salad: celery, red bell pepper, cucumber, garlic, yellow onion, and parsley.
Happy bowl of fresh veggies, chickpeas and mayo/mustard/lemon dressing. Yum!
Happy bowl of fresh veggies, chickpeas and mayo/mustard/lemon dressing. Yum!

I did end up using about a tablespoon of mayo in this recipe; I had that much left in a container of mayo, so I added a tablespoon of stone-ground mustard, the juice of one lemon, salt, and a generous bit of fresh ground black pepper (a staple in the kitchen IMHO), shaking it all up in the mayo jar. After mixing all of the ingredients, I spooned the glorious concoction onto a raw chard leaf, rolled it up, and ate. Dinner that night was pretty spot on. The recipe is below. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Chickpea “Chicken” Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Yield: 2.5 cups


The Vegetables

  • 1 cup chickpeas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/8 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/8 cup chopped cucumber
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Generous handful of chopped parsley

The Lemon Dressing

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (I prefer stone-ground for its texture and flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon mayo
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste (I used roughly 1/2 tablespoon for mine)
  • A couple pinches of cayenne pepper


  1. Cook pre-soaked chickpeas for about 1 hour at a rapid simmer.
  2. Mix chopped veggies, mashed chickpeas, and dressing in a bowl.
  3. Put on your favorite chickpea delivery mechanism and enjoy!