Saturday, September 8, 2012

Healthy Protein Lunch: Chickpea Sandwich Spread (Vegetarian/Vegan)

I have been sending my better half to work with sandwiches lately. He left the land of scrubs, a fully stocked doctor's lounge, and the comfort of driving a truck to the world of 'Midwestern Ivy' academia--wear crisp shirts and khakis, pay $1.79 for a bad cup of coffee, and take the bus to work. And though he insists he's totally happy with peanut butter and jelly, I'm not happy with that idea.

So....the trick has been finding protein-filled sandwiches that would be safe at room temperature for a few hours (since he hadn't found the department fridge yet). Which usually means, something vegetarian--and to be exact, something vegan for a while. Can't risk anything spoiling and then having him get sick at work.

I read the helpful reviews for this chickpea sandwich spread online and was motivated to try it. After a few adjustments to the recipe (based mainly on what I had), we absolutely love it! It's right up there with this tofu sandwich spread. Both these sandwich spreads are just delicious! And would make creative pita pocket fillings.

This chickpea sandwich spread is also another great replacement for tuna fish. One reviewer said that a member of their family didn't know they weren't eating a tuna fish sandwich while enjoying this sandwich--it was just that good. A couple people used it as dip or stuffed tomatoes with it. I made a double recipe of this sandwich spread and was very glad because it was good as a thick dip with crackers dipped into it (ha). Even my in-laws enjoyed these sandwiches after a long travel day.

Give this spread a try. It's really very, VERY good! Imagine the possibilities you could do with the base of chickpea, vegan mayo and lemon juice!

Adapted from

Below is almost a double recipe--it makes about 6-8 sandwiches.

  • 2 (15 oz.) cans chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 3 stalks celery, diced (mine were on the smaller side)
  • 4 green onions, chopped (you can use 1 small onion instead as the original recipe calls for)
  • 1/4 cup, or less, vegan mayonnaise (such as Vegenaise--grapeseed variety is the best)
  • Juice of about one lemon
  • 2 tsp. dried dill
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

1) Put the rinsed and drained beans in the bowl of a food processor and process a few times until the texture of the beans is a chunky paste. Because there is very little liquid, the beans won't process to a paste. In fact, you can add a little lemon juice or water to help the processing go smoother. Place the mixture in a medium-large sized bowl.


In a medium to large sized bowl, just mash the (garbanzo) beans with the back of a fork until you get the texture you wish--a chunky paste.

2) Then, mix in the celery, onions, mayonnaise, lemon juice, and spices. Add a little water if more liquid is needed.

Store the filling in refrigerator. DELICIOUS!!!! And almost better the next day.

If anyone has any other great vegan/vegetarian sandwich filling ideas, please let me know!


  1. Chick pea sandwich spread alternative recipe:

    Blitz drained chick peas with lemon or lime juice, add 1 tbsp pumpkin seed oil, a few grinds of Himalayan crystal salt, lots of chopped parsley & spring onions or chives and process in the food processor.

  2. Oh She Glows has a similar recipe with adds freshly toasted sunflower seeds (1/4 cup raw, toasted for about 11 minutes at 325). Adds a nice flavor and texture to the spread.