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Smashed Vegan Chickpea Salad with Caesar Dressing

This Smashed Vegan Chickpea Salad with Caesar Dressing is creamy, satisfying and full of plant-based protein for sandwiches, to top salads, or to eat all on its own. 

I first made this recipe years ago to offer an alternative to potato salad. This is the kind of creamy, cold and refreshing salad you can bring to a cookout, potluck or party any time of year. Yes, it happens to be vegan and gluten-free, but no one will miss the classic mayo-filled potato or pasta salad it's replacing!

And when you're just cooking for one, let me tell you, this high-protein salad is a must-have to stash in the fridge. I'll happily eat it by the spoonful, spread it on crackers, and use it on sandwiches.

Now, I've updated this post with new tips and photos to help you eat more Smashed Vegan Chickpea Salad with Caesar Dressing. Enjoy!

overhead of the steps to mix smashed chickpea salad with caesar dressing

Making Vegan Caesar Dressing

This light plant-based version of Caesar dressing skips the added oils, fats, and sugars that you'll find in most store-bought (and even homemade) dressings.

And yet, it has all of the flavor and creamy texture you expect. This dressing is made with:

  • Cashews for the base of luscious, silky-smooth texture + protein
  • Fresh garlic because, why not?
  • Mustard for a bit of nuttiness and tang
  • White miso paste for umami
  • Vegan mayo for creaminiess
  • Briny capers for pops of saltiness without any anchovies
  • Lemon juice for brightness

Make-Ahead Dressing

And while you're blending all of that up, go ahead and make a double batch. You can store the dressing in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to four days.

Try it on:

overhead of glass bowl with vegan smashed chickpea salad

Serving Suggestions

I love sandwiches. Always have and always will. They’re not only a great lunch option, but they’re also perfect for dinner because you can throw them together in minutes, can balance them out nutritionally without much headache and they taste great.

Especially when you load your sandwiches or wraps up with veggies.

I think the perfect sandwich is basically just a salad between two slices of bread. I like to have greens, a blend of other veggies, some lean protein, and good fats on there. The carbs come from the bread, so it really does become a balanced meal!

If you're not as into sandwiches as I am, you can also add scoops of smashed vegan chickpea salad to a fresh green salad too.

two slices of bread with smashed chickpea caesar salad and avocado

Share this recipe for Smashed Chickpea Caesar Salad!

Smashed Chickpea Caesar Salad

4.9 from 8 votes
This healthier vegan smashed chickpea salad with Caesar dressing is creamy, savory, and full of plant-based protein.
author: Alyssa
yield: 4 servings
side view of two chickpea caesar salad sandwiches on toast
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes


for the salad:

  • 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Garbanzo Beans/Chickpeas soaked for at least 8 hours (with optional 1/2" piece of kombu)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup red onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly dill finely chopped
  • 1 batch of dressing
  • Toppings: sprouts smashed avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, etc.

for the dressing

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup water + more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon miso
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayo
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Add your soaked chickpeas into a large pot with water. Bring to a boil, turn down to simmer and let cook until beans are tender about 70 - 90 minutes. Once tender, strain and run under cold water for a few minutes until they're cool enough to touch.
  • Transfer the chickpeas to a large bowl and prepare the dressing.
  • Add all ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. If the blender gets stuck, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the dressing is the desired consistency (that of a classic caesar dressing).
  • Smash the chickpeas with a fork or potato masher. Add onions and dill and fold in the dressing.
  • Serve on top of crackers, a salad or on some toasted gluten-free bread!


Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 497mg | Potassium: 255mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 4.2mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1.8mg
cuisine: American
course: Salad, sandwich

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This post was sponsored by the awesome folks over at Bob’s Red Mill. Thanks for supporting the companies and brands that promote the healthy, sustainable lifestyle that I believe in and share on SQ!

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26 comments on “Smashed Vegan Chickpea Salad with Caesar Dressing”

  1. Love your recipes, tried most of them, thankyou for giving me variety and changing my life, you are awesome.

  2. This sounds awesome! I will definately make it sometime soon. but i never know what kind of miso to buy. i have seen many different kinds in stores before. what kind of miso should be used with this?

    1. I think you can use any type of miso really! I usually buy either red or white and I buy it in the refrigerated section. I also always make sure that it’s organic and non-GMO!

  3. Pingback: Weekend Healthy Recipes Roundup for February 14th

  4. Avatar photo
    Heather // girlichef.com

    I love the idea of a chickpea salad as a meatless option. The flavors in this one are so tempting, too – and I agree, perfect sandwich stuffing!

  5. I’m wondering about the gluten free bread used for the smashed chick pea salad sandwich. Looks great and like “real” bread !

    1. In full transparency, the photos aren’t of gluten-free bread. I made this sandwich for my boyfriend, but I do know that Schar makes a bread that is similar, deli-style to this one 🙂

  6. I am totally intrigued by the idea of substituting chickpeas for potatoes. I have a couple of bags of dried chickpeas that need using and this might be a fun change.

  7. i need more sandwiches in my life….. especially a salad mash up like this! i’ve made a smashed chickpea and avocado spread that i love, and this caesar idea also sounds great.

    1. I love the smashed chickpea and avocado idea. I’ve seen that on two peas + their pod, but have yet to try it. That will be my next one 🙂