Veggie-Loaded Smashed Chickpea Salad

A vegetarian-twist on a tuna salad and loaded with plant goodness, Veggie-Loaded Smashed Chickpea Salad is a protein-packed lunch staple that is easy-peasy to make and delicious to enjoy.

A vegetarian-twist on a tuna salad and loaded with plant goodness, Veggie-Loaded Smashed Chickpea Salad is a protein-packed lunch staple that is easy pease to make and delicious to enjoy. #healthylunchbox #healthykids #vegetarianlunch

It is back-to-school season, guys. We can love it. We can hate it. But it is time to set those alarm clocks, dust off those backpacks and lunch boxes and send our offspring back into the world.

Oh yes. Those dreaded school lunch boxes. The bane of so many a mama and papa's existence. What to pack? What is travel friendly? What will they eat? It seems simple enough in theory, but it makes so many of our heads explode with frustration (present company included).

Lunch box happenings is one of the top things you guys come to me for. Whether it is inspiration on what I'm packing Alice on Instagram , a lunch box round up, or even an exhausted email or DM asking for help for you guys....healthy lunch box fillings have kinda become one of my gifts to share with the world. 

A vegetarian-twist on a tuna salad and loaded with plant goodness, Veggie-Loaded Smashed Chickpea Salad is a protein-packed lunch staple that is easy pease to make and delicious to enjoy. #healthylunchbox #healthykids #vegetarianlunch

Like this little gem of a recipe....that I have been hoarding to myself for years, oddly enough (quite a silly thing for a food blogger to do). Veggie-Loaded Smashed Chickpea Salad is one of Alice's favorite sandwich fillings and I have been making different versions of this messy-but-glorious salad for a long time. It's actually the love child of Veggie-Loaded Avocado Tuna Salad and Chickpea & Avocado Salad Lettuce Boats and is a regular happening in our house...especially during the hotter months!

A vegetarian-twist on a tuna salad and loaded with plant goodness, Veggie-Loaded Smashed Chickpea Salad is a protein-packed lunch staple that is easy pease to make and delicious to enjoy. #healthylunchbox #healthykids #vegetarianlunch

You see, I have learned over the years that kids seem to really love chickpeas. Not only my own child (who, I admit, is asked to eat some pretty unique stuff as a result of being my daughter), but my friends' kids, my students, the kids I used to babysit for in college....the list of chickpea-lovin' kiddos goes on. Chickpeas are kid approved! You heard it here first. 

And this is all great news since chickpeas are kind of a magical bean. They can take on many tasty forms (Gluten Free Chickpea Blondies anyone?) and are loaded with protein. Protein seems to be something that so mamas and papas struggle with getting enough into their littles and something that is super important to have in a lunch box to fuel growing brains and bodies! So I started smashing them up and making them into a tuna-like-salad....and then I added veggies....and then Veggie-Loaded Smashed Chickpea Salad was born.

A vegetarian-twist on a tuna salad and loaded with plant goodness, Veggie-Loaded Smashed Chickpea Salad is a protein-packed lunch staple that is easy pease to make and delicious to enjoy. #healthylunchbox #healthykids #vegetarianlunch

Now, this tasty and easy peasy salad isn't just kiddo approved, it is most certainly for us adults too!  I personally like to eat it straight from the bowl. Directly after I have finished making it. With a spoon. Standing up in my kitchen. With all of the ingredients still scattered on the counter. But Alice definitely would recommend it in sandwich form...squished between two pieces of  Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Bread. (our favorite gf bread, hands-down). 

If you haven't tried Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free Bread yet, it's totally perfect for those back-to-school lunch boxes as well! It has a wonderfully soft texture, simple ingredients and is great for whipping up a quick sandwich...or avocado toast...or french toast....or nesting eggs...or whatever way you like to get down with your bread. We always have a loaf of Canyon Bakehouse bread hanging out in our fridge...especially their Heritage Style, which is my personal favorite.

Lovin' this recipe? Pin it now so you can whip it up for lunch later!

A vegetarian-twist on a tuna salad and loaded with plant goodness, Veggie-Loaded Smashed Chickpea Salad is a protein-packed lunch staple that is easy pease to make and delicious to enjoy. #vegetariansalad #healthykids #healthylunchbox #veggieloaded

Disclaimer: Thank you to Canyon Gluten Free Bakehouse for sponsoring this post! My promise to you, my readers, is to only promote content and products that I truly believe in and buy myself. All opinions stated in this post are my own.

vegetarian salad, plant based salad, veggie-loaded salad
vegan, veggie-loaded salad
Yield: about 4Pin it

Veggie-Loaded Smashed Chickpea Salad

A vegetarian-twist on a tuna salad and loaded with plant goodness, Veggie-Loaded Smashed Chickpea Salad is a protein-packed lunch staple that is easy pease to make and delicious to enjoy.

prep time: 7 minscook time: total time: 7 mins

ingredients:

2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/3 cup mayo (or vegan mayo for a plant based option), or to taste
3/4 cup grated carrots
3/4 cup finely chopped spinach
salt & pepper to taste

instructions

In a medium bowl, use a fork or potato masher to smash the chickpeas until they mushed to your desired texture.

Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix it all up! Taste, add more salt, pepper, or mayo if you feel like it needs it. Mix again.

Enjoy immediately Taesha-style (straight from the bowl) or Alice-style (smeared between two slices of gluten free bread).  Top with sprouts, more veggies or enjoy it as is!

Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days!
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