Sonoma Chickpea Salad (aka Vegan Chicken Salad) features protein rich chickpeas, juicy grapes, celery, and pecans tossed with a healthy maple-tahini poppyseed dressing – it’s customizable, easy to make and delicious!
A new chickpea salad flavor-sensation is coming your way!
You may already be familiar with the Mashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich, Curried Chickpea Salad, Cranberry, Walnut Chickpea Salad, and ‘Chickpea of the Sea’ Tuna Salad Sandwich. All of which are satisfyingly delicious!
Now we can add another variation to the list to keep it interesting and your tummy happy. You can never have too many of these chickpea salads in the recipe collection!
Vegan Sonoma Chickpea ‘Chicken’ Salad
Sonoma Chickpea Salad is a vegan version of the classic Sonoma Chicken Salad I saw at Trader Joe’s. Chickpeas work great as a replacement here and you won’t miss a thing. I promise!
This vegan ‘chicken’ salad is a tasty mix of hearty chickpeas, juicy grapes, crunchy celery, and pecans all tossed together with a creamy vegan poppy-seed dressing, and makes for a great sandwich or wrap filling, or if you prefer, simply serve over top a bed of leafy greens. It’s flavorful, filling, and highly addicting!
How To Make Vegan ‘Chicken’ Salad
Prep the chickpeas. Usually when making these types of chickpea salads I roughly mash half of the chickpeas. Here I will try to inspire you with two versions, un-mashed and mashed (last photo). You can choose which one you prefer.
- If making this as a sandwich filler, I would suggest roughly mashing the chickpeas before combining. This will help the mixture bind together, making it ideal to use between bread slices. Nothing worse than your sandwich filling falling all over.
- Alternately, use this as a filling for a wrap or served with leafy greens, in which case you wouldn’t need to mash the chickpeas, unless that’s your preference.
Both ways are delicious!
Slice the celery and grapes.
Make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine the tahini or vegan mayo, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon, garlic & onion powder and poppy seeds (above left).
Assemble the salad. Once your ingredients are prepped and the to the chickpeas, the grapes, celery, and pecans. Pour the dressing overtop (shown above right) and mix to combine (shown below).
Tips & Suggestions
The salad itself is very simple with only 4 ingredients and the dressing is just as simple. Feel free to use more or less of any ingredients to suit your taste.
- Add more grapes for extra juiciness. They are delicious here!
- If you prefer a very creamy salad, make a little extra dressing.
- Because of their rich flavor profile I highly recommend using the pecans here, but if don’t care for them walnuts will be just fine.
- Feel free to cut this recipe in half, but I think you’ll be more than happy to have some leftovers (unless you’re like me and finish it within the day).
- For the dressing, if you don’t care for tahini, vegan mayo works great too!
How To Serve Vegan Chicken Salad
- Serve this un-mashed version with leafy greens (as shown above) or tucked in a wrap.
- It’s also perfect as a sandwich filler or served as an open-faced sandwich (shown below). I paired it with a pecan raisin loaf and it was simply delicious!
- Either way, mashed or un-mashed, can be eaten as is straight from the bowl!
If you try this healthy vegan salad recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
VEGAN SONOMA CHICKPEA ‘CHICKEN’ SALAD
This versatile vegan chickpea ‘chicken’ salad can be partially mashed for a sandwich/wrap filler or un-mashed and served alongside fresh leafy greens. Either way is delicious!
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Total Time: 15 min
- Yield: Serves 4 - 6
- Category: Salad
- Cuisine: Vegan
- 2 cans (14 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed or 3 cups cooked
- 1 1/2 cups of grapes (about 33), sliced in half
- 2 – 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1/2 – 2/3 cup pecans, roughly chopped
Creamy Poppy-Seed Dressing
- 4 tablespoons tahini (1/4 cup) or vegan mayo
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- dash or two of garlic & onion powder
- pinch of salt & fresh cracked pepper
to serve, optional
- salad greens of choice
- slices of your favorite bread
- chopped chives, to garnish (not shown)
Dressing: Place ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine. Add a tablespoon or two of water as needed to thin (keep in mind the dressing should be on the thicker side so it may not be needed). Set aside.
Salad: Add chickpeas, grapes, pecans, and celery to a medium-sized mixing/serving bowl. Top with dressing and mix to coat. Season with mineral salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
Mashed Salad (perfect for sandwiches): Add chickpeas to a medium-sized mixing bowl, roughly mash 2/3 – 3/4 of the chickpeas using the back of a fork or spoon. Add in the grapes, pecans, and celery, top with dressing and mix to combine. Season with mineral salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Make sandwiches, wraps, or simply serve with leafy greens.
Serves 4 – 6
Store leftovers, if any, in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Add more grapes for extra juiciness.
If you prefer a very creamy salad, make a little extra dressing.
Because of their rich flavor profile I highly recommend using the pecans here, but if don’t care for them walnuts will be just fine.
Feel free to cut this recipe in half, but I think you’ll be more than happy to have some leftovers!
Keywords: vegan chicken salad