Cold sandwiches for the summer! Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Sandwiches takes under 10 minutes to throw together for a simple, fresh lunch that's incredibly filling! The smashed chickpea and avocado salad is most notably spiced with a bit of cumin, topped with crunchy cucumbers and zesty microgreens. Serve with a side of soup or chips!
Any of my West Coaster / Midwesterners remember Paradise Bakery? It was this glorious sandwich and soup chain, similar to Panera, that had the best (you guessed it) sandwiches and soups that were fresh, simple, and flavorful! All of us would hang out there or grab a quick meal during high school.
I swear this sandwich is something I could 100% see being at Paradise Bakery.
This Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Sandwich is one of my favorite vegan cold sandwiches with minimal effort required and no cooking necessary! There's so much space for customization when it comes to the toppings. It's a great way to dig through your refrigerator and use any condiments or vegetables you have sitting around.
No joke, when I was traveling to Raleigh as a technology consultant on Mondays - Thursdays, I'd stop by Harris Teeter every Monday after work and prep this sandwich for lunch everyday. It was quick, affordable, nutritious, and filling! I genuinely never got tired of it.
As a side note - I accredit this sandwich to helping me lose close to 20lbs. I remember one of my coworkers asking me how I kept eating the same thing over and over for lunch. It feels dramatic reflecting on it, but I went from about 155lbs because of a bad diet while traveling to 137lbs existing off this sandwich every other week in my bi-weekly meal rotations.
I also had an equally healthy dinner, exercised 4-5 times a week, and had "cheat" meals over the weekend. But it's one of those meals that kept me consistent and staved off cravings.
The Ingredients - Notes and Substitutions
- Bread - I recommend multi-grain bread that's thick cut but any of your favorite loaves will truly work for this
- Chickpeas - Used canned chickpeas with no added sodium. You can drain and save the aquafaba for another purpose! You can also use dried chickpeas, soak them, and boil them until they're soft.
- Avocado - I use 1.5 small avocados, or one whole avocado for 3-4 servings. Avocados are a healthy fat so they add on a lot of fat calories but it's ultimately going to keep you full.
- Spices - My secret is a little ground cumin in addition to garlic powder and chili powder to add a little extra flavor and warmth to an otherwise cold sandwich.
- Persian cucumber - I prefer these over English cucumbers. They add a better crunch in contrast to the smashed chickpea and avocado, are less watery, and just a touch sweet.
- Microgreens - Preferably baby arugula or a zesty mix.
How to make the Smashed Chickpea Avocado Salad
I can't stress how easy it is to make this sandwich! It doesn't require a stove or oven, just a microwave if anything!!
- Prep the chickpeas. I highly recommend using canned chickpeas with no added sodium! You can also use dried chickpeas, soak them, and boil them until soft but that's an hours long process. Drain the canned chickpeas. Save the aquafaba! This is thick goopy liquid you get from canned chickpeas which is used for a lot of vegan baking as an egg replacement. Rinse the chickpeas and put them in the microwave for a minute to "cook" them. Pat the chickpeas dry.
- Smash the chickpeas and avocado. In a bowl, smash the chickpeas first with a potato masher or fork. I recommend smashing the chickpeas first to see if they're soft enough in case you need another 30 seconds in the microwave. Then, smash the avocado in the same bowl.
- Pour in wet ingredients. Add the oil and lemon juice into the same bowl. It makes it easier to mix the chickpeas and avocado before adding the spices because it's quite thick. The oil and lemon juice loosen up the mixture.
- Mix with spices. Mix in all the seasonings and taste the salad. It should not be bland. We don't do bland food over here. I find that adding more salt and lemon juice brings out the flavors.
Building the Sandwich
Whether you toast the bread or not is ultimately up to you, but I prefer not to. Scoop about half of the chickpea and avocado salad into a mound on the first slice and spread it out to the edges. It should be around 1"-1.5" thick. If I'm feeling it, this is where I'll add some hot sauce before adding the cucumbers. Then add the slices of cucumber - about 5 to 6 thin cut slices. And lastly, a pile of zesty microgreens.
How to Serve and Additional Toppings
This sandwich is super easy to make fresh if you have a work from home situation or even take to work for in-person days.
I prefer storing the smashed chickpea and avocado separately from the bread and then combining when I'm ready to eat! Slice it in half and enjoy it with soup or chips! This sandwich is a big boy and deceivingly very filling, so you can even split it in half and share along with the soup.
Other toppings I'd recommend are - pickles, pickled red onions, radishes, lettuce, tomato, garlic and herb couscous, chipotle mayo, chives, dill, cilantro, hot sauce, or mango chutney.
More Sandwich Recipes to try
If you love chickpeas, try out this Chole (chickpeas curry) recipe!
Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Sandwich
- 4 slices multi-grain bread, thick cut
- 16 oz canned chickpeas
- 1.5 small avocado, ripened
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1.5 teaspoon olive oil, extra virgin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- ½ persian cucumber
- 1 cup microgreens
- radishes, pickled red onions, lettuce, tomato, couscous, for additional sandwich toppings
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas in a microwave safe bowl. Pop the bowl into the microwave for one minute. Pat the chickpeas dry.
- With a fork or potato masher, mash the chickpeas. Then, add the avocado into the same bowl and mash. Pour in the olive oil and lemon juice, and then add the seasonings - the chili powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, salt, and pepper. Mix everything together really well.
- Split the smashed chickpea and avocado mixture in two and pile it high on two slices of thick cut sandwich bread. Layer it with 4-5 slices of cucumber and about a ½ cup of microgreens on each sandwich.
- Close the sandwiches with the other 2 slices of bread. Cut the sandwiches in half diagonally and enjoy with soup!
- Store any extra smashed chickpea and avocado salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The avocado may brown - this is completely okay and still edible. Spruce it up with a bit of lemon juice.