Sonoma Chickpea ‘Chicken’ Salad features protein rich chickpeas, juicy grapes, celery, and pecans tossed with a healthy maple-tahini poppy seed 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 Vegan ‘Chicken’ Salad, and ‘Chickpea of the Sea’ Tuna Salad Sandwich. All of which are healthy and 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!
This Chickpea Chicken Salad is a vegan version of the classic Sonoma Chicken Salad I saw at Trader Joe’s. Chickpeas work great as a replacement for chicken in this recipe and you won’t miss a thing. I promise!
It makes for a great sandwich or wrap filling, or if you prefer, simply serve over top a bed of leafy greens. However you choose, it’s flavorful, filling, and highly addicting!
Ingredients You’ll Need
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.
Here is everything you will need, including ingredient variations:
- Chickpeas – use canned or fresh cooked
- Grapes – feel free to add more grapes for extra juiciness. They are delicious here!
- Pecans -because of their rich flavor profile I highly recommend using the pecans here, but walnuts are great too.
- Tahini or vegan mayo – use either or, they work great
- Apple cider vinegar – can sub with white wine vinegar or TJ’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar
- Pure maple syrup – sub with coconut nectar
- Dijon – can be optional, I’ve made this without and it’s still delish!
- Poppy seeds – can be optional
- Salt + pepper
How To Make Chickpea ‘Chicken’ Salad
(Note – The full printable recipe is at the bottom of this post)
- Make the creamy poppy seed 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).
- Slice the celery and grapes. Use as much, or little, as you like.
- Chop the pecans. Roughly chop the pecans.
- Mash the chickpeas. When making these types of chickpea salads I like to roughly mash 1/2 – 3/4 of the chickpeas using the back of a sturdy fork (shown above right), potato masher or pastry blender. This can be optional.
- Assemble the salad. Once your ingredients are prepped, add them to the chickpeas, the grapes, celery, and pecans. Pour the dressing overtop (shown above right) and mix to combine (shown above).
And now you’re ready to enjoy this amazing salad!
How To Store + Meal Prep
- Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, in a covered container.
- Meal prep: For meal prep, make the salad as directed and store in the refrigerator. Meal prep with leafy greens, or make sandwiches or wraps. See below for more serving suggestions.
How To Serve Sonoma Chickpea Chicken Salad
I love how versatile this faux no-chicken salad is! Here are a few of my favorite options:
- Salad: Serve this un-mashed version with leafy greens as a salad.
- Wraps: It’s great for making lettuce wraps, tortilla wraps, or tucking into pita bread.
- Sandwiches: Use it as a sandwich filler or serve as an open-faced sandwich. It’s great on this homemade Artisan Bread or fruit and nut bread.
- Mashed or unmashed: Either way, mashed or un-mashed, can be eaten as is straight from the bowl!
- Fruit: Pair with a side of fresh fruit (grapes, cantaloupe, watermelon, apple slices, etc.) for a healthy lunch or dinner.
More Easy Chickpea Recipes
- Mediterranean Smashed Chickpea Salad
- Smashed Chickpea Avocado Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Lemon Chickpea Orzo Soup
- Quick + Easy Chickpea Tacos
- Chickpea ‘Egg’ Salad
If you try this healthy chickpea 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
SONOMA CHICKPEA ‘CHICKEN’ SALAD
This quick and easy, vegan chickpea ‘chicken’ salad can be partially mashed for a sandwich/wrap filler or un-mashed and served alongside fresh leafy greens. Either way it’s healthy and delicious!
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Total Time: 15 min
- Yield: Serves 4 - 6 1x
- Category: Salad
- Cuisine: Vegan
- 2 cans (14 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed or 3 cups cooked
- 1 1/2 cups of seedless grapes, sliced in half
- 1/2 heaping cup celery ribs, 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 dijon
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- dash or two of garlic & onion powder
- pinch of salt & 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. Set aside.
Un-mashed 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 can be stored 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 you 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: chickpea chicken salad