Vegetarian Chicken Salad

This recipe appears in my book The Wheat-Free Meat-Free Cookbook: 100 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes. Check out the book on Amazon if you’re looking for more tasty recipes.

Chickpea "Chicken" Salad Sandwich {Gluten-Free, Vegetarian} | Wheat-Free Meat-Free

Yes, vegetarian chicken salad is kind of a misnomer. No chickens were harmed in the making of this salad. Instead, this salad uses chickpeas! (Probably my favorite bean, at least for today.) ;)

Mike’s sister first told us about chickpea “chicken” salad. She made some for us. It was great. We even asked for the recipe. And then, we never got around to making it. Until yesterday, when Mike asked if we could make it for lunch. I’m very glad he asked.

Vegetarian Chicken Salad

  • 2 15-ounce cans of chickpeas (~3 cups), drained and rinsed
  • 1 large stalk of celery, ends trimmed, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced (~1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or Veganaise
  • 3 tablespoons dill relish
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper

  1. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl. Mash about half of them.
  2. Stir in the celery and onion. Add the mayonnaise or Veganaise, relish, mustard. Mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Eat plain or serve on your favorite gluten-free sandwich bread.

Serves 4-6

It’s probably best to think of the above proportions as general guidelines. Just keep adding a little of this and a little of that until it tastes right. Or if you had a chicken salad recipe you enjoyed, follow those proportions.

I’ll also note that Mike’s sister’s version adds curry powder and diced carrot. It’s another fun twist to try.

This recipe is being shared in Gluten-Free WednesdaysFull Plate Thursday, Seasonal Sunday and My Legume Love Affair hosted by Aqua at Served With Love.

Looking for More Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes?

Take a look at my book, The Wheat-Free Meat-Free Cookbook: 100 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes.

A sampling of the recipes included:
  • Breakfasts: Cinnamon Quinoa Muffins, Yeasted Waffles, Gooey Butter Cake,
  • Sides: Patatas Bravas, Pea and New Potato Salad, Braised Celery,
  • Mains: Corn Waffle Sandwiches, Enchiladas with Green Sauce, Pesto Asparagus Galette, and
  • Desserts: Blueberry Mango Crisp, Baklava Rolls, Amaretto Cake.

You can see the full recipe list on the Amazon page.


  1. Yay, chick(pea)en salad! I love that stuff. I make it every year as my birthday dinner–it’s so summery! I’ve been adding white wine or apple cider vinegar lately; but I’ve been adding vinegar to everything lately. ;-) I love the black backdrop in that first photo!

  2. Ha, just the same countertop that’s in the background of every picture. For whatever reason the lighting was such that you can’t see the pattern.

    I bet vinegar adds nice zing. I saw a lot of recipes that called for lemon juice.

    I love that this recipe is so adaptable. You can add in whatever fruits or nuts or berries that you like. :)

  3. I can see why you are one of the first adoptees for this month’s Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger. Johnna will have lots of recipes to pick from. This salad looks fab and I’m not even a vegetarian-just a chickpea lover. Can’t wait to see what she tries. Are you on Twitter?

  4. Hi Wendy,

    Thank you, and I do have an account but it’s been dormant for a long time. I keep telling myself I’ll start it up again. When I get around to it, I’ll make sure to look for you.

  5. Please do. There are lots of us GF types hanging out on Twitter.

  6. Hi Kalinda,
    I am going to love your Chicken Salad.The Chick Peas with that veggie combination is great. I can’t wait to make this. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you next week!
    Miz Helen

  7. This looks great. I’ve been trying to go meatfree at least one day a week. I’ve started a linky party to try and get some ideas if you would like to link up.

  8. YUMMM! Trying this tomorrow!!
    Sometimes I like to add a hint of apple cider vinegar.
    I love eating salads like this with veggies, too. I like celery, but will try cucumber, too.

  9. @Robin: I’ll have to check it out.

    @Carolyn: We need to do another cooking date soon. Everyone loves the guacamole.

  10. Yummy! It’s on my list for this week. I have a huge jar of mayo that is staring at me in my fridge, begging for me to do something with it.

  11. While I really can’t do chickpeas, this sounds SO good! Yum.

  12. I kind of want to make it every day for lunch. Can you do other beans? As long as they’re fairly firm I think it would work. Maybe pinto beans?

  13. Omg This is sooo yummy I just made it. It taste great. So easy to make. I used veganaise in mine. I omitted to onion for now will add it when my hubby comes home it eat it. Very good thank you

  14. I just made this! AMAZING. I added dried cherries and walnuts. SOOOOOO GOOD! Thank you!

  15. Ooh, those sound like awesome additions.

  16. I left out the relish and added carrots, capers, and dried cranberries. Very tasty.

  17. No relish? How could you? I suppose I’ll let it slide since you added capers.

  18. I am going to be uploading a video of me making this recipe and taste testing it! For anybody interested, checked out my blog :)

  19. I made this a few weeks ago and loved it, but I couldn’t handle the raw onions. I just made it again, but sauteed the onion first. It’s incredible! Love this!

  20. Great that you were able to make it work for you!

  21. Made Chickpea “No Chicken” salad a couple months ago and it was good. The hubby and I liked it though I couldn’t convince the kids to have seconds. Can’t wait to try your version. It sounds (and looks) so tasty. Will use our homemade egg-free-low-fat-tofu-mayo in it. Can’t wait. Thanks SO much for sharing. Love the photos.

  22. Hopefully they’ll give this one a try.

  23. Just found your blog and I’m already loving it!! Can I ask what kind of bread you used?

  24. I made this a few days ago and it is AH-MAZING! I am a 20+ year vegetarian that has decided to cut gluten from my life and am so happy that I found this recipe! Thank you, thank you!!

  25. We love this recipe. My 24 year old son loves this in sandwiches and I often eat it as a snack on crackers. There’s something really satisfying about it. I make my own vegan mayo so other than the relish, this is great for eating whole and clean.

  26. Just made this chickpea salad from your recipe and it is great! This is perfect for snacking with veggie chips. A little apple and walnuts added is good too. Thank you for sharing-can hardly wait to try some of the other recipes.

  27. This even tastes delicious with hummus instead of the mayo! Thanks for a fantastic recipe that I have made countless times since discovering your website a year ago! :)

  28. This looks delicious. I used to love a curried chicken salad before I stopped eating meat. I will have to see if I can modify this!

  29. Scott Masburn says

    After making it the first time I just started making the best chicken salad recipes I could find substituting chick peas for chicken. Dried apricots work well and I like to add a lot of celery finely minced. If you like a strong celery flavor then consider adding celery see or celery salt.

Speak Your Mind


Disclaimer 1: Many of the links on this site are affiliate links. That means that if you click through from my link and buy the linked-to product, or sign up for the linked-to service, I receive a commission.

Disclaimer 2: I am not a medical professional, and the information contained on this site is not medical advice. It is your responsibility to check the foods you eat to make sure that they are safe for you. If you're considering any dietary changes, it's probably a good idea to speak with your physician. By using this site, you explicitly agree not to hold Pickled Publishing LLC or any of its members liable in any way for damages arising from decisions you make based on the information made available on this site.

Copyright 2024 Pickled Publishing LLC - All rights reserved. To be clear: This means that, aside from small quotations, the material on this site may not be republished elsewhere without my express permission. Privacy Policy