This 5-minute curried chickpea salad is my go-to plant-based alternative to chicken or tuna salad. (No cooking required!)
As far as ways to jazz up a can of beans go, this curried chickpea salad is one of my all-time favorites. With just a handful of pantry staples and literally zero cooking, you go from boring canned chickpeas to a delicious snack/lunch/dinner in no time.
This Indian-inspired chickpea salad was born out of my desire for a vegan alternative to chicken and tuna salads. The best part: you can make it in advance and stuff it into sandwiches or wraps – or scoop it onto salads or grain bowls, or eat alongside roasted veggies – throughout the week.
In fact, it gets even better with time, since the flavors get a chance to meld together. This salad is creamy, fragrant thanks to curry powder, and has little pops of sweetness from the raisins.
How to Make This Curried Chickpea Salad
First, drain and rinse 2 cans of chickpeas. (You should always rinse canned chickpeas and other beans, no matter what you’re cooking. The canning liquid is typically really salty and has a funky viscous texture that I doubt you want in your food [unless you’re cooking with aquafaba – a trend I’ll personally never understand]. To rinse, empty the can into a mesh strainer and thoroughly rinse under running water.)
Next, mash the chickpeas with either a potato masher or fork. (This is easiest to do in a large shallow bowl.) After mashing, most of the chickpeas should be broken down; we’re going for a chunky texture here, not a puree, so don’t stress about this part.
Then, finely dice a shallot (you can also use red onion) and add to the chickpeas. Finally, add all the remaining ingredients (mayo, raisins, mustard, lemon juice, and curry powder), stir to combine, and season to taste.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Chickpeas: You’ll need two 15-ounce cans or 3 cups cooked-from-scratch chickpeas.
- Shallot: This is basically a small, mild onion. If you don’t have one, use a red onion instead.
- Raisins: If you’re not a fan, try dried cranberries instead.
- Mayo: There are lots of vegan mayo options in stores these days. Sir Kensington’s is my favorite.
- Curry powder: If you’re out of yellow curry powder, you can use garam masala in its place.
- Bread: If you plan to use this recipe to make a curried chickpea salad sandwich, opt for a soft, fluffy bread – it’ll be best at containing the hearty salad.
Home-Cooked Chickpeas vs. Canned
I always recommend cooking chickpeas from scratch, since they have a better flavor, sturdier texture, and you can control the amount of salt you use. (Canned beans usually have a ton of sodium, as I’m sure you know). But, I also realize canned beans are more practical for most people, so no judgment here: do what works best for you.
More ways with chickpeas…
- Easy Chana Masala
- Cauliflower-Chickpea Quinoa Bowls
- Chickpea Spinach Curry
- Spicy Tomato Chickpea Soup
This 5-minute curried chickpea salad is my go-to plant-based alternative to chicken or tuna salad.
- Two 15-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 3 cups cooked chickpeas)
- 1 small shallot, finely diced (about 3 tablespoons) (See note below)
- 1/4 cup white raisins
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon or brown mustard
- 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Optional (if making sandwiches): Sandwich bread of your choice + sprouts or baby arugula
- Place the chickpeas in a large shallow bowl and mash with a potato masher or large fork until most of the chickpeas are broken down.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir to coat throughly. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. (The salad will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.)
You can substitute the shallot with red onion.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
- Calories: 240