You know that delicious chicken salad with the grapes and nuts? This chickpea “chicken” salad tastes just like it, only no mayo and hold the chicken. Lightly mashed chickpeas with juicy grapes, toasted almonds, crisp celery, and fresh tarragon come together perfectly in a creamy avocado yogurt dressing. Spooned onto whole-grain bread or crackers or in a lettuce wrap, this is your new lunchtime go-to.
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You’re Going to Love This Chickpea Salad
Fresh and bright flavors. As if juicy grapes, crisp celery, and floral tarragon weren’t springy enough. The tangy dressing with lemon, Dijon, avocado, and yogurt brightens it up for a springtime salad you’re going to love.
Crunchy and creamy textures. Mashing only some of the chickpeas builds the first layer of texture, then the toasted almonds and celery add even more crunch. Plump grapes and super smooth and creamy avocado dressing balance it out to create a chickpea salad that appeals to all your senses.
Easy. If you open your pantry and fridge right now, you just might have everything you need to make this chickpea “chicken” salad. Or at least enough close-enough substitutions to make your own version with your fave beans, fruit, nuts, and herbs.
No chickpeas? You can use black beans or white beans! Not into grapes? Use pineapple, mandarin oranges, or your favorite berries. Macadamia nuts, walnuts, or cashews would be so awesome in this salad! If your herb garden is begging you to thin your basil -- throw it in! Or whatever you love.
How to Make Chickpea “Chicken” Salad
In a food processor or blender, add ½ avocado, ⅓ cup Greek yogurt, juice of one lemon, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, pepper, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon. Process until smooth and creamy.
Drain and rinse one can of chickpeas and place it in a large bowl. Lightly mash some of the chickpeas with a fork, so there are some still left intact. This will add both creaminess and texture to your salad.
Add chopped celery, halved grapes, sliced green onions, and toasted almonds to the chickpeas. Add avocado dressing. Stir to combine.
Serve on bread, crackers, or lettuce wraps.
Chickpea “Chicken” Salad
Avocado Yogurt Dressing
- ½ avocado
- ⅓ cup Greek yogurt
- 1 lemon, juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
Chickpea "Chicken" Salad
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 1 cup green or red grapes, halved
- 2 green onions, sliced
- ¼ cup almonds, toasted
Avocado Yogurt Dressing
- In a food processor or blender, add ½ avocado, ⅓ cup Greek yogurt, juice of one lemon, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, pepper, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon. Process until smooth and creamy.
Chickpea "Chicken" Salad
- Drain and rinse one can of chickpeas and place it in a large bowl. Lightly mash some of the chickpeas with a fork, so there are some still left intact. This will add both creaminess and texture to your salad.
- Add chopped celery, halved grapes, sliced green onions, and toasted almonds to the chickpeas. Add avocado dressing. Stir to combine.
Beans. Chickpeas add a crunchy texture to this salad, but if you prefer a creamier texture, mash the chickpeas all the way or use different beans like white beans.
Grapes. Plump grapes add a bright burst of flavor, but really any juicy fruit would be so good in this -- like strawberries, blueberries, mandarin oranges, or peaches. You could also use dried cranberries or cherries.
Tarragon. Fresh tarragon is really something to behold. So if you can, please do use it. It’s so fragrant and lovely. But if dried tarragon is what you have, then of course use that.
Parsley. Sometimes a dish, especially a fresh salad like this, needs a little more -- something. Not more lemon. Not more onion. That’s what parsley does for me. Plus, it’s super easy to keep. I just stick it in a glass jar in the fridge, like a bouquet of flowers, then I can pick at it whenever.
Avocado. The avocado is subbing in for the mayo in the dressing. Because I wanted a chickpea chicken salad with no mayo. And it’s perfect -- and healthy. Mayo? Not so much. Not that I’m a mayo hater -- not at all! Nothing beats day-after-Thanksgiving turkey dipped in mayo by the light of the fridge.
Nuts. If you’re going to use nuts in a recipe, toast them first. Then you’ll get the crunch and extra flavor. The quickest way I’ve found to toast nuts and also not burn them is to do it in a cast iron skillet on the stovetop. Just heat it to medium, add your nuts, then watch carefully. As soon as they start to brown, take them off. They’ll keep browning even after they’re off the heat.
Hungry for More Satisfying Vegetarian Meals?
Cuisinart Mini Food Processor
Whipping together a cool and creamy dressing like this avocado yogurt dressing requires more than a whisk. With this mini food processor, you can just throw everything in and zhuzh it up in no time. It's the perfect size for small jobs like this as well as chopping nuts or making your own pesto or tapenade.
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
If I try to toast nuts in the oven, I will burn them. However, if I do them on the stovetop in a cast iron skillet, I will not. So, plan B it is. Obviously, a cast iron skillet is good for a heckuva lot more than toasting nuts. It's great for everything from searing steaks, baking cornbread, or cooking veggies on the grill. Buy one and it'll outlast you. And your great-great-grandchildren will probably end up using it.