Make Ahead

Gena Hamshaw's (Vegan) Deli Bowls With Smashed Chickpea Salad

October  4, 2022
14 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Whether you have rosy associations with potato, macaroni, and other salads lovingly glommed together with mayo, or you’ve always been a bit uneasy about the whole genre—there is something for you to love in this recipe. Adapted slightly from Power Plates (Ten Speed Press, 2018). —Genius Recipes

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: 10 Quick & Easy Dinners the Whole Family Will Love. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Gena Hamshaw's (Vegan) Deli Bowls With Smashed Chickpea Salad
  • Deli Bowls with Smashed Chickpea Salad
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas, or 2 (15-ounce, or 425g) cans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, green parts only, chopped
  • 1 large dill pickle, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, or 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 tablespoon capers (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons (90g) tahini or vegan mayonnaise, plus more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups (150g) firmly packed baby spinach, baby arugula, or chopped lettuce
  • 2 cups (300g) cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup (175ml) Everyday Lemon Tahini Dressing (see below)
  • 4 whole wheat pita breads, cut into quarters, or 4 slices rye, pumpernickel, or sourdough toast, cut into quarters
  • Optional toppings: Chopped dill pickles, sauerkraut, pickled beets, chopped scallions
  • Everyday Lemon Tahini Dressing
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) warm water, plus more if desired
  • 1/4 cup (60g) tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Deli Bowls with Smashed Chickpea Salad
  2. To make the chickpea salad, put the chickpeas into a large bowl and use a potato masher or a fork to mash them partially, leaving about half of the chickpeas whole. Add the celery, scallions, pickle, dill, capers, tahini, vinegar, mustard, and salt and mix well. Add a little bit more tahini if needed to hold the mixture together. Season with pepper, then taste and adjust the seasonings. Toast the pita, if desired.
  3. To serve, divide the lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber among four bowls. Drizzle with the dressing and top with the pita wedges and one-quarter of the chickpea salad. Serve right away, offering any other desired toppings at the table.
  1. Everyday Lemon Tahini Dressing
  2. To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup and whisk until evenly blended. If the dressing is thicker than you’d like, whisk in water by the tablespoonful to achieve the desired consistency. (Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the dressing will keep for 1 week.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • kim
  • Cheryl
  • Kate Rutkowski
    Kate Rutkowski
  • Chrissy Dee
    Chrissy Dee
  • Emily
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

20 Reviews

kim February 6, 2020
I see when you made this that on the plate there is chopped up beets that you added but in the recipe there is none listed?
Maria I. February 6, 2020
The toppings are really to your discretion. In the video they say you can add or omit according to what you prefer. I personally always add diced beets when I make it. It's a really delicious addition you the bowl.
Maria I. March 26, 2019
This was so good! I omitted the capers because I don't like them & the celery because I always have so much leftover from the bunch & then don't know what to do with it. I added extra dill pickles to compensate for the capers. I used arugula for the bowls and added beets instead of the tomatoes. Yummy and filling and made a ton. Will definitely make again.
I made the mistake of adding some of the lemon juice to the tahini prior to the warm water and the tahini immediately seized up on me. It took a great deal of coaxing and adding the warm water little by little to finally get it to the right consistency.
I will definitely make again and incorporate other veggies.
Cheryl February 2, 2019
Instead of mayo, I used this great vegan Caesar dressing I had frozen
Added roasted beets, blanched green beans, radish, thinly sliced red pepper. Omitted sweetner from the dressing. My guest and I enjoyed. Thank you!
charity December 2, 2018
Fantastic. But I have a crazy question. Is this freezable?

I'd like to make a whole lot and freeze it in single servings to be thrown over greens or tossed onto salads for lunches later.
zeldie December 2, 2018
Definitely not for freezing
Ttrockwood October 2, 2018
Loved this!! i added some sunflower seeds, maybe 1/4c, to the chickpea mix because I didn’t have pita and was eating this as a salad. Also used half tahini and half vegan mayo for the chickpeas which worked out well.
Will absolutely make again!
Kate R. September 24, 2018
Delish! I scaled back the portion size by half and left out the agave from the dressing as I am on a sugar detox, used kale instead of spinach. Easy and quick to assemble, will be making again!
Chrissy D. September 18, 2018
This is fantastic! I love the tahini dressing - it's perfect.
Emily September 16, 2018
Delicious. Like a sophisticated, vegan tuna salad.
zeldie September 14, 2018
great idea...tahini does get thick .....
Hilary September 14, 2018
I thought I drained them well, and my tahini is very thick.
Maybe I'll add more tahini in the hope it will both pull it together and tone down the acidity
Kristen M. September 14, 2018
Hilary, did you drain the capers and pickle when you added them? I'm wondering if maybe some extra brine snuck in there. Hopefully you can doctor until you like the taste and consistency, and it will firm up a bit more after it chills.
zeldie September 14, 2018
It also depends on the Tahini you use...some are very liquidy so use less water for the dressing. start with a tablespoon and add slowly more water to your desired consistency.
zeldie September 14, 2018
did you drain the chickpeas well? Mine was thick and creamy almost chunky. I used a honey vinegar. I always use less ingredients then suggested then slowly add to my taste. some people love vinegary taste, others don't.
Hilary September 14, 2018
I just put this together, and it’s very loose and also very acidic. Suggestions? Will it firm up in the fridge?
zeldie September 13, 2018
Super delicious. I used Goya organic chickpeas and left out capers as I didn’t have any and I browned up white parts of scallions in skillet w oil and added. Also put cucumbers in as I just served this in big bowl withou the salad greens
Kristen M. September 14, 2018
Glad you liked it, and love the browned scallion variation!
Rorita September 12, 2018
It really would be nice to have nutritional info with the recipes. As a diabetic, I count macronutrients, and it sure would be a help.
Kristen M. September 14, 2018
Rorita, we don't currently offer nutritional information, but sites like Edamam are easy to copy and paste into and recommended by community members on our Hotline.