“Hold The Chicken” Chickpea Salad

Let’s be clear about one thing: I am not a vegetarian. There’s nothing wrong with the choice to be one, it’s just not something I can sustain. Even though I eat animal protein, it is important to me that my meats are sustainable and ethically sourced. It’s also important to me to occasionally get my protein from other sources, like plants! Chickpeas are a great source of protein with 14.5 grams per 1 cooked cup. This Chickpea Salad recipe is vegan as well as gluten and dairy free. If you want to keep the chicken in your salad, cut your chickpeas in half and add in some shredded or cubed cooked chicken.

Make a Rainbow Plate

When my kids were little, I always encouraged them to “make a rainbow plate” especially when I was trying to break the bad beige cycle (chicken, noodles, potatoes… you get it.) Instead of nagging reminders to “eat your vegetables” or “add some fruit” making a rainbow plate was a fun challenge. Penn and I have always enforced that the more color on your plate, the more healthy and strong you are. When I make this dish, it makes me smile as I am reminded of my mantra from when my kids were small. When it comes to checking the rainbow plate box, this Chickpea Salad recipe does the trick. 

Chickpea Salad Recipe 

Yields about 5½-6 cups 

Time: 30 minutes


  • 2 19oz cans of chickpeas 
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 cup grated carrots (5 average sized carrots)
  • 1 cup grated beets (2 medium beets)
  • ½ lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Rinse chickpeas in a strainer until water comes out clear.
  2. Place chickpeas on half of a dish towel. Fold over the other half of the towel on top of chickpeas, and with your hands, gently roll around the chickpeas for about 1 minute until the chickpea skins are removed/loosened. With hands, remove remaining skins and place skinless chickpeas in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Trim each end of the carrots, peel, then grate.
  4. Trim each end of the beets, peel, then grate. Place grated beets on a paper towel-lined plate then dab with another paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible. 
  5. In a food processor, add avocado and juice of ½ lemon and blend until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Then add salt and pepper to taste. Blend again.
  6. In the large mixing bowl with chickpeas, add carrots, beets, and avocado mixture. Fold gently until combined.

Quick Tips

Use gloves when working with beets to avoid dyeing your hands. I used 1 cup of chickpea salad to make the pictured ½ sandwich, so 2 cups could make a full sandwich. I also just like this on a big plate of greens.  Is this something you would try? Tell me how you like it in the comments!

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