My curried chickpea salad is a wonderful plant based version of a classic curried chicken salad ~ this recipe is so fresh and delicious you won’t miss the meat at all.
curried chickpea salad makes me 🙂
Who wants an easy delicious salad for everyday lunches and healthy snacks? Everybody, that’s who! This is a great vegetarian option to add in to your sandwich rotation. It’s got all those warm curry spices in the dressing, with bursts of sweet dried fruit, juicy apple, and crunchy celery in every bite. It’s a winner.
thinking of eating more plant based? think chickpeas!
Chickpeas (a legume, like lentils and black beans) are pretty much the perfect superfood, full of fiber and protein. They can stand in for meat in lots of recipes, and are an environmentally sustainable crop (they are drought resistant and actually return nitrogen to the soil!)
Chickpeas don’t have a lot of flavor on their own, so they’re adaptable to lots of different recipes, not just hummus! If you’re looking to get into more plant based eating options, start here.
what goes in it
This is very similar to how I would make a curried chicken salad…without the chicken! I find the texture of the beans does a great job mimicking the texture of chicken.
- a can of chickpeas ~ make sure you drain and rinse, rinse, rinse! Rinsing well removes some of the sodium and also any lingering ‘canned’ flavor. I like to go with organic. Can you cook your own beans from dried? Absolutely, but the canned will work just fine.
- red onion ~ red onion is my onion of choice for cold salads, I love the color and the flavor.
- celery ~ every salad needs the epic crunch that only celery can bring.
- cuke ~ be sure to chop it finely.
- red apple ~ don’t leave this out, the burst of juicy apple is so nice with the curry.
- dried fruit like golden raisins and cranberries
- cilantro ~ or parsley
- mayonnaise ~ either vegan mayonnaise or regular mayonnaise, whichever way you roll. You can also use whole milk yogurt.
- curry powder and turmeric ~ turmeric is an ingredient in curry powder, but I use a little bit more to add that bright golden color.
- salt and pepper
- lemon, just a squeeze for a pop of acidity
make this vegan, or not
This salad works equally well with regular mayo, or vegan mayo. And really, they aren’t all that different. Working with plant based foods highlights the profound similarities between plant and animal based foods. The basic building blocks are the same, and when we get over our mental preconceptions, it opens up a wide range of delicious possibilities.
Vegan mayonnaise is made with soy milk in place of eggs, but tastes and acts basically the same as regular mayo. You can find it in supermarkets, but I like to make my own ~ check out my recipe for vegan mayonnaise here.
how to serve your curried chickpea salad
- scoop a big portion onto a leafy green salad.
- make a sandwich with bread, pita bread, or a bagel.
- Roll it up in a flour tortilla or sandwich wrap.
- make it the centerpiece of a fabulous fruit salad, like this.
- Use it to fill deviled eggs, or celery ribs!
- snack on it during the day for a healthy dose of protein.
more things to do with a can of chickpeas
- Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad (Balela)
- Chickpea Veggie Burgers
- Chickpea Salad with Pesto
- Instant Pot Hummus
- Basmati and Wild Rice with Chickpeas, Currants and Herbs
- The Best Falafel Recipe
Curried Chickpea Salad
curried mayonnaise dressing
- 1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise or regular mayonnasie
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- pinch of salt
- squeeze of lemon juice
- 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and well rinsed.
- 2 Tbsp finely minced red onion
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped cucumber
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped celery (I love the inner ribs and leaves)
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro or parsley
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped apple
- 2 Tbsp golden raisins (chop if very large)
- 1 Tbsp dried cranberries
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- Stir together the mayonnaise with the curry powder and turmeric, to combine thoroughly. Add a bit of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice, to taste. Set aside to let the flavors develop.
- Put about 3/4 of the drained and rinsed chickpeas into a small food processor and pulse just until broken up. Don't process too long, you want to retain lots of texture. Alternatively you can mash them with the back of a fork.
- Put the crushed chickpeas in a salad bowl, along with the reserved whole chickpeas.
- Add the rest of the salad ingredients and toss gently. Add a good dollop of the dressing (you may not need it all) and toss again to thoroughly coat everything. Taste and add salt and pepper if you like. You may want an additional squeeze of lemon.
- Refrigerate the salad until ready to serve. Plan to use within a week.
Questions and Reviews
Thank you for another great way to use Chickpeas. I have a favourite that transforms Chickpeas into ‘tuna salad’ and your recipe will definitely be added to my rotation!
I also used your recipe for Homemade Vegan Mayonnaise as I was quite intrigued by it. I used the apple cider vinegar this time but I will also try it again with lemon juice on my next go at it. Admittedly I am a big fan of ‘real’ mayonnaise and am not restricted by dietary requirements so it may take me a wee while to be convinced to use this on my tomato sandwich, but I have to say it worked beautifully with your Chickpea salad recipe! And never mind me, but to readers who need or desire a vegan alternative, it is very tasty, light, and fluffy. Not to mention one of the quickest recipes to prepare!
Although the amounts of the salad ingredients may seem small to some readers, they are perfect and compliment the curried flavour beautifully.
I did make one small change to your original recipe and that was to omit the turmeric only because of personal taste preferences. I also discarded my first batch of dressing because I used my homemade Jamaican curry blend and it did not fit in well with the vegan mayonnaise. I switched to a Madras curry blend and along with about 1/8 teaspoon of lemon juice it was perfect for our tastes!
Thank you again Sue for your innovative recipe offerings, guidance, and clear instructions. Your wealth of experience and quest to develop recipes is such a wonderful benefit to all of your readers!
“YUM” from a Canadian fan!
Sue, I tried this for lunch today and I came racing back to tell you how good it is! I love curried chicken salad and I trust your recipes and…wow! Thanks again for another winner.
Thanks so much Genna, you get the speedy reviewer award for the day!