Home » Highly Adaptable Garden Veggie + Chickpea Salad

Highly Adaptable Garden Veggie + Chickpea Salad

Got a bunch of random vegetables in the fridge and not a clue what to do with them? This highly adaptable, meal-prep friendly Garden Veggie + Chickpea Salad is a good way to go.

Similar to my Vegan Chickpea “Tuna” Salad, this recipe is packed with plant-based protein and features one of my favorite pantry all-stars: the humble chickpea.

…Though if you ask me, the chickpea really shouldn’t be so humble.

This widely available, inexpensive legume is versatile – think creamy hummus, hearty stews, and crispy croutons; plus it’s chock-full of important nutrients like iron, fiber, and folate to name a few.

And not for nothing: chickpeas seem to be one of the few beans that everyone likes, omnivores and vegans alike.

For all of these reasons – and more – I always have a few cans in the cupboard. Which means that I can easily meal-prep some version of this chickpea salad using whatever veggies I have on hand to make sure that I have something healthy that’s ready and waiting for me when hunger strikes throughout the week.

In this version, I combined a can of chickpeas with crunchy carrots, salty pickles, and creamy tahini dressing. A sprinkle of fresh or dried herbs and a squeeze of lemon helps the bring the ingredients to life, but I often change up the sauces and spices too. This isn’t called HIGHLY ADAPTABLE for nothin’!

In addition to using your favorite salad dressing, this recipe can be altered by substituting my sweet and savory Vegan Honey Mustard sauce or you can quickly mix through some store-bought garlic hummus and call it a day.

The possibilities are endless which is especially good for the particular moment in time we’ve found ourselves in. Using what we have on hand and avoiding a trip to the store for fresh ingredients has never been more important, so now more than ever, culinary creativity is key.

Mix, match, and serve however you see fit. This recipe is more of a guideline…a game plan if you will. So give it a look and then create your own masterpiece!

…just make sure to tag me in a pic on Instagram before you devour it all! I can’t wait to see what you create.

Happy cooking!

See how I serve this Chickpea Salad in this video 👆
  • 1 15oz can of chickpeas
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 3 Baby Dill pickles
  • 1/2 of a cucumber (I like using an English cucumber for this)
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion (about 1/4 of a medium onion)
  • 4 – 5 radishes
  • 1 handful of Italian parsley

Creamy Tahini Sauce

  • 4 tbsp of runny tahini (like this one or this one)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon + 1.5 tsp of lemon zest
  • 4 tbsp of water

To make the sauce:

  • Zest the lemon and set aside.
  • Then juice the lemon and add 3/4 of the juice to a mixing bowl along with all of the remaining sauce ingredients except the lemon zest and water. Stir with a spoon. The sauce will separate and you will panic thinking something went wrong. Keep stirring. It will come together and thicken before your eyes! Deep breaths 🙂
  • Then add the water 1 tbsp at a time, and stir as you go. You’ll see that the mixture lightens in color, this is what you want.
  • Stir, and repeat until it looks right to you. You want this sauce to have the consistency of loose mayonnaise but it should be thicker than it is runny because the cucumbers and other veggies will thin it out later on.
  • Then add the lemon zest and taste. Add the remaining lemon juice if desired and additional salt and pepper as needed
  • Set aside and move on to prepping the salad.

To make the salad:

  1. Wash, dry, and slice the cucumber in half length-wise. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds (optional) I do this to prevent the leftovers from getting too runny since I’m usually making this for meal prep. Sometimes I remove the seeds, but sometimes skip the scooping and the world goes on. It’s really up to you 😊 Either way, you’ll want to chop the rest of the cucumber into small bite-sized pieces and transfer them to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Next, grate or finely chop the carrots and radishes. Chop the celery and pickles, also into small bite-sized pieces. Finely dice the onion and roughly chop the parsley. Note: none of this needs to be precise. Just make sure everything is relatively small because for some reason, that makes this a lot more delicious. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Just take my word for it!
  3. Add the veggies to the mixing bowl. Then rinse and drain the chickpeas. Pat very dry and add them to the bowl too.
  4. Add about 2 tsp of lemon zest and season the veggies with a big pinch of salt and pepper and toss to combine.
  5. Then add in half of the tahini sauce and toss to coat. Reserve the rest of the sauce for serving. It keeps well in the fridge but it may need to be mixed with a little splash of water or lemon juice after it sits for a few days.
  6. Taste the finished salad and add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper if desired.

Serve on top of mixed greens, smash with a fork and add to a sandwich with lettuce and tomato, or use this chunk veggie salad as a dip for crackers.

Either way, I hope you enjoy! Don’t forget to see the notes below for helpful tips 👇

🥕 You can roughly mash this salad with a fork to break the chickpeas into more of a flaked tuna consistency. It’s a nice way to change up the texture and it creates a creamier finished product. This is great if you’re using this salad to make sandwiches or hoagies.

🥕 Remember, you can mix and match your veggies but I think a base of carrots, celery, and pickles is a good place to start if possible. The combination is reminiscent of a classic tuna salad and it’s a good way to sneak in fiber since it’s pretty rare for me to snack on raw carrots or celery on their own. This makes those crunchy veggies a bit more fun to eat.

🥕 Other add-ins that work well: capers, olives, and other pickled ingredients like banana peppers, pepperonicinis, or sliced pickled beets are delicious as well. Or you can go another route by adding in chopped walnuts, or dried cranberries, chopped apples, cherry tomatoes, sliced grapes, scallions (in place of onion) The only requirement is that the add-ins are sturdy ingredients (sturdy like a carrot) vs something like baby spinach which will wilt as this salad sits in the fridge. Note: I do like to serve this on a bed of greens, but I don’t mix lettuce in until it’s time to serve. Soggy lettuce is no fun 🙃

🥕 Don’t have dried dill for the sauce? Use dried thyme or dried Italian herbs. Lemon Pepper Seasoning is good in this too, if you really like it bright and zingy!

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below! And if you’re not subscribed to my blog, what are you waiting for? It’s totally free and you’ll only receive an email when I post a new recipe here.

It’s a great way to keep up with my new recipes and it only takes a second. Just enter your email address in the subscription box to the right/center of this screen (or scroll down to see if it you’re on mobile).

I hope you enjoy this recipe! I can’t wait to hear what you think.

Happy cooking! Sending you lots of love and well wishes,


Nicole Vranjican

Hey! I’m Nicole and I make practical vegan recipes for REAL life. I cook with simple, easy to find ingredients and I’m passionate about creating delicious plant-based meals that everyone will love!

I hope you enjoy my recipes and videos :) Happy Cooking!

Find me on: Instagram


  1. Jenny H
    April 5, 2020 / 8:23 pm

    This was delicious! I added green olives to mine.

    • Nicole
      April 24, 2020 / 11:03 pm

      Yum! Green olives make everything better in my opinion! Great call 🙂

  2. Jillian Blogna
    April 12, 2020 / 3:13 am

    I made this chickpea salad last week after watching NikkiVegan’s “What I Eat in a Day” video, and wow. This salad was so good! I ate mine with a side kale salad and seed crackers. I will definitely be making this again!

    • Nicole
      April 24, 2020 / 11:01 pm

      Hey Jillian, I’m so glad that you liked this recipe! Thank you for taking the time to let me know. So happy 🙂

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