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Crunchy BBQ Chickpea Salad Sandwich

from 8 reader reviews

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This BBQ Chickpea Salad Sandwich is so easy to make with only a few ingredients! Made with canned chickpeas, your favorite mayo and BBQ sauce, red onion, packaged coleslaw, and panko bread crumbs. In just a few minutes you’ll have a crunchy, tasty, high-protein sandwich on the table that the whole family will enjoy!

bbq chickpea salad on white bun

So what makes a good sandwich a really awesome sandwich? Is it the bread you hold in your hands while bringing the delicious sandwich filling to your mouth? Or is it the filling itself – the stuff it’s made of? 

bbq chickpea salad sandwich in pita bread held in hand

While I do love a nice crusty soft hunk of bread, I’d say what’s in the sandwich is the winner with this recipe! It’s a little crunchy, and little sweet and savory, and a whole lotta yum! Add a homemade vegan burger bun and you’ve got an amazing plant-based sandwich!

This Crunchy BBQ chickpea salad sandwich was inspired by an egg salad sandwich made with chickpeas and a curried chickpea salad sandwich. If you love this one, you’re going to want to try my others!

bbq chickpea salad sandwich on bun on white plate with pinterest text overlay

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Ingredients you’ll need to make this chickpea salad sandwich:

(There is a handy printable recipe card below if you continue scrolling. On this recipe card, you will find exact measurements and directions. Please read through the following tips section to learn more about making this BBQ Chickpea Salad Sandwich.)

  • canned chickpeas
  • your favorite mayo – I used Best Foods Vegan Mayo
  • your favorite BBQ sauce – I like a sweet sauce 
  • red onion or shallot – diced
  • coleslaw – make your life easy and buy the already prepared and bagged coleslaw!
  • panko bread crumbs
  • You’ll also need to use an immersion blender or potato masher.

Steps to make this recipe:

Chopped shallots on wooden cutting board

Start by chopping the red onion or shallot quite small. I really like using a shallot because half a shallot piece yields just about the right amount. With a red onion, you will have a lot leftover. Just wrap and refrigerate for another use.

Set your chopped onion aside. You will use it after combining the chickpeas, BBQ sauce, and mayo.

This recipe uses canned chickpeas. Just open, drain, and put into a bowl.

chickpeas mayo and bbq sauce in a bowl

Add in your favorite BBQ sauce and mayo of choice. I prefer Best Foods Vegan Mayo. You will want to choose a BBQ sauce that tastes best to you. Keep in mind that the flavor of the sauce will strongly influence the flavor of the chickpea salad whether it be hickory flavored, spicy, or sweet. I prefer a sweeter sauce for this recipe.

Take an immersion blender or potato masher and smoosh the chickpeas and sauces together. Don’t mash it entirely. You will want to leave a few whole/half chickpeas for texture.

potato masher mashing chickpeas together with mayo and bbq sauce

Next, add in your chopped onions and coleslaw. I use prepackaged tri-color coleslaw. If you would like to cut your own coleslaw, that works too! If you choose to make your own, slice the green cabbage very thin, and incorporate some shredded carrots and purple cabbage as well for a total of one and a half cups of slaw.

stirring coleslaw and onions into mashed chickpea mixture
I purchase the prepackaged tri-color coleslaw. It’s just so pretty and really adds interest to the mixture!

The last and final step is the panko breadcrumbs. I add these for texture – otherwise, your chickpea salad will be too mushy. 

If you don’t want to eat breadcrumbs, you may choose to incorporate cornflake crumbs, almond meal, or just leave it out. It will be quite mushy and soft though if you don’t use something to absorb the liquid. 


What Vitamins and minerals do chickpeas have?

Click here to read about the health benefits of chickpeas from Healthline.com. But yes, chickpeas provide some decent protein and fiber. They are rich in folate and magnesium and are fairly low in calories.

Are chickpeas high in protein?

Chickpeas are considered a good quality protein for plant-based eaters. One can has about 21 grams. I honestly don’t worry overly much about my protein anymore. I eat a variety of plants, nuts, seeds, and legumes and just let nature take of it. But this is a personal choice. For more information about protein and the plant-based diet, watch this video by Dr. Neal Bernard.

Are you supposed to peel chickpeas?

I have heard of such things. But no, you aren’t supposed to peel your chickpeas. And I have to wonder why one would…

Someone once told me that when you peel your chickpeas it makes for a smoother hummus. And I suppose… I don’t peel chickpeas when I make my Oil-Free Hummus and it’s fine. Certainly, for this recipe, there is no need to peel your chickpeas because we are adding in coleslaw and chopped onions which both provide lots of texture. So no, unless you have way more time on your hands and just have nothing better to do; please don’t bother to peel your chickpeas!

Are canned chickpeas okay to use?

That’s what I use! Feel free to soak and cook your own though. They are less expensive that way I’ve been told do have a creamier texture – which is totally not necessary for a recipe such as this as they are blended with different textured ingredients anyway.

Are chickpeas already cooked?

Canned chickpeas have already been cooked. There is no need to cook them further. I have read recipes in which people cook the canned chickpeas. That is totally unnecessary. You can use the chickpeas right out of the can!

You can make this recipe whole food plant-based and super healthy!

bbq chickpea salad sandwich on whole wheat bun on white plate with salad

Start by replacing your bun with a whole-grain bun. Or better yet, serve on a bed of lettuce! 

Replace the commercial store-bought vegan mayo (which is full of oil) with this amazing Tofu Cashew Mayonnaise from A Plantiful Path.

Replace the bottled BBQ sauce which is full of processed sugar with my Healthy Homemade BBQ Sauce.

bbq sauce in a jar with a spoon
This healthy homemade BBQ sauce uses Medjool dates and a little maple syrup for sweetener. NO processed sugar!

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve on a bun, sandwich bread, pita, or rolled in a tortilla. But go ahead and add more BBQ sauce if you’d like. That would make it extra yummy!bbq chickpea salad sandwich on whole wheat bun with bbq sauce dipping out with salad
  • Take for your lunch in a small container along with some crackers or veggie chips.
  • Roll in a large piece of butter lettuce for a lettuce wrap,
  • Or serve as a salad on a bed of lettuce.bbq chickpea salad on bed of lettuce

And now for the recipe:

Did you love this recipe?

Want to share the love? It would be great if you could leave five ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ stars and even a comment. Did you know that this will help Google to find this recipe when others are looking for something similar? Thanks, Cindy

bbq chickpea salad sandwich with bun on white plate

Crunchy BBQ Chickpea Salad Sandwich

from 8 reader reviews
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chickpea salad, Vegan sandwich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 3
Calories: 337kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey


  • immersion blender or potato masher


  • 2 Tablespoons red onion or shallot minced
  • 15 ounces canned chickpeas drained
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise vegan
  • 1/3 cup barbeque sauce
  • cup coleslaw or shredded cabbage
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs


  • Chop red onion or shallot into very small pieces. Set aside.
    Chopped shallots on wooden cutting board
  • Drain the can of chickpeas and put chickpeas into a medium-sized bowl.
  • Add mayonnaise, barbeque sauce, to bowl.
  • With an immersion blender or potato masher blend/mash well combining as you go. You will want about 1/4 of the chickpeas left mostly whole so that it will be a little chunky.
    potato masher mashing chickpeas together with mayo and bbq sauce
  • Add onion and coleslaw and mix till combined.
  • Add in the bread crumbs and combine until breadcrumbs are well incorporated.
  • Serve on a bun, with bread, crackers or as a salad mixture over lettuce.


  1. Bread or bun of choice is not included in the nutrition facts.
  2. The calorie and nutrient section is only for reference. Your choice of commercial products is used and the actual calorie count might be different. 
  3. To make this recipe fully whole food plant-based:
    1. Substitute the commercial barbeque sauce for my Healthy Homemade BBQ Sauce. It’s processed sugar free!
    2. Substitute the commercial mayo for this Tofu Cashew Mayo from A Plantiful Path. It’s oil free!


Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 882mg | Potassium: 337mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 127IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 2mg

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By on June 28th, 2020

About Cindy Rainey

Veggie Fun Kitchen by Cindy Rainey
Welcome to Veggie Fun Kitchen where you will learn to recreate family favorites the plant-based/vegan way! Let me know if I can help. I'm here for you.

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5 thoughts on “Crunchy BBQ Chickpea Salad Sandwich”

  1. 5 stars
    Excellent! We love it. I added some chili lime seasoning to add a little tart. So easy, and I having a healthy side dish is always welcome.


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