Smashed Chickpea Salad

This vegan chickpea salad is an easy, healthy lunch idea that will be your new favorite! Smashed for maximum flavor and meal-prep friendly this one is lunchbox ready.

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Vegan Chickpea Salad

I shared this recipe during my recent cooking demo. The theme was “Plant-Based Tastes Great.” That’s a big promise to fill but I was up for the challenge. Thankfully, this vegan chickpea salad was a hit with the crowd so I couldn’t wait to share it with you!

In this healthy eating game, flavor is a major player. No matter how nutritious a dish might be, if it doesn’t taste good, it’s not getting any play. Point. Blank. Period. Well, this vegan chickpea salad is a winner.

How to make smashed chickpea salad

Why Smashed? Smashing the chickpeas not only keeps them from rolling all over the place but crushing them with the onion, garlic, and peppers help distribute the flavors throughout the salad. Plus it’s a fun way to do meal prep in one bowl!

Smashed Chickpea Salad

This easy chickpea salad holds up well for the week. So it’s a good choice for meal prep much like my gluten-free pasta salad where the beans are blended into the pasta.

Smashed Chickpea Salad on Crispy Brown Rice Cakes is the lunch you want to make this week! #mealprepClick to Tweet

Vegan Chickpea Salad

So you might be thinking… rice cakes? Really? As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I’ve spent years helping people realize that a healthy diet doesn’t have to mean rice cakes and celery every day. In fact, I’d written them off. However, when I ran across brown rice cakes recently, I started thinking of the many new ways rice cakes could be part of a healthy diet. They make a fun and crunchy base for this chickpea salad and keep the meal gluten-free. So yeah, I guess I’m reinventing rice cakes with this one.

Vegan Chickpea Salad

Try this recipe and let me know what you think. You can play around with the ingredients based on what you have in the kitchen. If you don’t have fresh lemon, try red wine vinegar. No parsley, sub in any fresh herbs you have on hand.

It’s clear that I’m a bit of a chickpea fanatic. I’m not ashamed. I could eat chickpeas almost any kind of way but this one is now on my list of all-time favorites. I hope you enjoy it too!

Looking for more chickpea recipes?

Smoky Chickpeas and Spinach

Vegan Chickpea Pesto Pasta

Chipotle Chickpea Taco Salad with Avocado Cucumber Dressing

Smashed Chickpea Salad on Crunchy Rice Cakes

This vegan chickpea salad is an easy, healthy lunch idea that will be your new favorite! Smashed for maximum flavor and meal-prep friendly this one is lunchbox ready.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Keyword: chickpea salad
Servings: 4 (2 rice cakes with 1/2 cup salad)
Calories: 220kcal
Author: Marisa Moore, RDN


  • 8 brown rice cakes
  • 1- 15 oz. can low sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 1 3/4 cup cooked)
  • ½ small red bell pepper, diced small
  • ½ small red onion, diced small
  • 2 tbsp pitted Kalamata olives, diced small
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a medium bowl, toss the garbanzo beans, bell pepper, olives, garlic, and onion. 
  • Using a potato masher or back of a fork, mash the mixture leaving it chunky. Stir in the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley.
  • Portion the chickpea salad evenly onto the rice cakes (about ¼ cup each). Serve. 


Recipe by Marisa Moore, RDN. All rights reserved.


Calories: 220kcal

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Smashed Chickpea Salad on a big rice cake

5 Comments on Smashed Chickpea Salad

  1. Jessica @ Nutritioulicious
    March 2, 2017 at 1:59 PM (3 years ago)
    I am totally with you that if something doesn't taste good, it doesn't matter how good for you it is! This sure does look tasty though! I can't pack meat for my girls' lunches so I'm always coming up with new vegetarian options. I've made a few chickpea salads before, but definitely going to give this one a try. The one issue I always have is that when I mash the canned chickpeas, the skin comes off, and isn't the most appetizing. What do you do to prevent that? Reply
    • Marisa
      March 2, 2017 at 3:30 PM (3 years ago)
      Yes. The skins do come off. It doesn't bother me but I can see it being an issue for kids. When I made this for a crowd, I took an extra step to remove most of the skins. I put the rinsed and drained chickpeas between two clean cloth napkins and rolled them around. The skins slipped right off. I find that this step also helps make a smoother, more creamy hummus too. Reply
      • Jessica @ Nutritioulicious
        March 6, 2017 at 1:00 PM (3 years ago)
        I've done the same in the past, it's just sort of a pain and takes more time, lol! Guess I'll see if the kids will eat it w/ the skins still on and if not we'll try again. Thanks Marisa! Reply
  2. Lise
    March 21, 2019 at 11:10 AM (6 months ago)
    I liked your chick pea salad recipe Reply

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