Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwiches | A Sweet SpoonfulLate the other night we arrived home from a week-long stay on the big island of Hawaii. Oliver promptly fell asleep in the car ride home (of course, after not sleeping through the duration of our 12 hour travel day), and Sam and I were starving so we stopped at the store for a frozen pizza, got O into bed and brought the luggage upstairs, and sat quietly at the dining room table listening to the spring rain sharing a few slices. It wasn’t great pizza, and it followed not great airport sandwiches, and all I could think about was how excited I was to get in the kitchen and make something great. Something with protein that felt nourishing and tasty — that all of us would eat and love. So instead of tackling the piles of vacation laundry today (so. much. ketchup), I headed to the store to pick up a few things to make a springtime chickpea salad — great as a sandwich filling or dip, and the perfect antidote to too much starchy food on the road.

Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwiches | A Sweet SpoonfulWhile spending time in Hawaii, sandwiches were our lunchtime savior: we were on the East side for the first half of our trip, staying at a farmhouse situated near the Hawaiian Vanilla Company. There’s a great natural grocery store in nearby Honokaa where we often stocked up for dinner provisions, and a good spot for acai bowls in the morning, but lunch often found us out and about so we relied on peanut butter and jelly or turkey and cream cheese sandwiches. Both felt bland and dull but simple to execute, and on long sightseeing days, that’s really the best you can hope for.

Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwiches | A Sweet SpoonfulBack home, it was time to add some color, crunch and a little acid to the mix. Our sandwich game needed some help. This morning Oliver went to his Aunt Christa’s for the day so we could catch up on work and settle back in, and I mashed up a can of chickpeas, cut up some herbs, grated carrots, chopped celery and pickles, and squeezed a fresh lemon into a bowl. Good things were happening.

Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwiches | A Sweet SpoonfulBecause I’m hanging onto vacation mode just a bit longer, I decided to put a few Tim’s potato chips in my sandwich for extra crunch. Sam thought I’d lost my mind until he tried it: elevated sandwich game accomplished. Now, onto the next great thing. See you back here soon.

Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

  • Yield: 2 sandwiches
  • Prep time: 15 mins
  • Total time: 15 mins

While this isn’t the sandwich I’d choose to pack for a long trip (it’s a little messy — in the best possible way), it’s a great vegetarian go-to and is sure to elevate your sandwich game at home. I love serving these with a few potato chips inside the sandwich for extra crunch, but if you’re not much of a sandwich person, you could always forego the bread and fold in some leftover cooked grains or even pasta to make this a filling salad on its own.


1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup diced celery
3 tablespoons diced dill pickles
1 medium carrot, grated (about 1/3 cup)
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot (from 1 small shallot)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (or vegan mayonnaise substitue)
1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablesoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric (for color; optional)
1/8 teaspoon groung black pepper
Arugula or baby spinach, for serving
Tim’s Salt and Vinegar potato chips, for serving


In a medium bowl use a fork or potato masher to mash the chickpeas. You’re looking for a chunky texture – it’s ok if you have some whole chickpeas remaining but you want to avoid an extremely overmashed texture (like hummus).

Add the celery, pickles, carrot, shallot, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, chives, parsley, dill, salt, turmeric and pepper. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired, adding additional salt or pepper as needed.

Lay two slices of bread on a flat surface and arrange a flat layer of spinach on one slice. Spread chickpea mixture on top of spinach. Pile a handful of potato chips on top, and place remaining slice of bread on top of chips. Press firmly to marry all the sandwich fillings.


  1. Lori

    I LOVE potato chips in peanut butter and apricot jam sandwiches. Was so happy to see this post so I can expand my chip-which repertoire! Hope you are well. Lori

  2. Abby

    This looks delicious and perfect for work lunches! Does it keep well in the fridge?

    1. megang

      Hi, Abby! Totally. Keeps great for a good 4 days. Sandwiches themselves can get a little messy BUT it's awesome as is as a salad, and would make a great work lunch. Enjoy!

  3. Beth

    Looks awesome! Not into mayo though, what would sub well and still last in the fridge 4 days?

    1. Cathy

      Plain yogurt?

      1. megang

        Plain yogurt's a good call.

    2. megang

      Plain yogurt will be just fine! Enjoy, Beth!

  4. Cathy

    I love chickpeas! This looks mouthwatering. Thanks.

    1. megang

      Thanks, Cathy!

  5. Rachel

    Lunch is my least favorite meal of the day but this recipe is exactly what I need to bring some zing to my lunch game. Thank you!

  6. JenniferMM

    Love chickpeas - they are my "go-too" snack for sure. Such a creative way to use them! I guess you could make these as wraps too? Perfect for a picnic - thanks Megan. Going to try these this weekend.

    1. megang

      Thanks, Jennifer! I hope you like them :)

  7. Rosie

    This looks wonderful-I love chickpea salads, whether its in between two slices of bread, stuffed in a pita or piled in a bowl. I smiled when I saw you were on the BI, its our favorite island and we will be back there ourselves in August. Honokaa is a wonderful little town and no visit to the BI is complete w/out a stop at the Vanilla farm. Did you get a chance to go to Merrimans? Such a wonderful restaurant that adheres to its Hawaiian roots. Thank you again for the wonderful recipe and post.

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