Spicy Chickpea Salad

March 21, 2019

Because Kevin has misophonia (he can’t stand eating sounds) we usually put on YouTube videos while we eat lunch or dinner. And that’s how we came to this Spicy Chickpea Salad.

We were watching Sarah’s Vegan Kitchen and she was making this salad that she, in turn, saw somewhere else. We thought the dressing looked amazing so I picked up ingredients to make it.

The original recipe used oil. Given the flavors here, I was pretty sure that substituting tahini for the oil would work and I was right. It didn’t just work, it was great!

close-up of spicy chickpea salad.

A couple of vegetable additions later and it’s a new recipe. Once you get more experienced with cooking you feel comfortable making these kinds of substitutions on the fly. You start to recognize easy substitutions. You figure out how to make dishes work for your dietary needs.

🌶A note about spiciness: If you are sensitive to heat, try your jalapeño before you put it in the dressing. If it’s a hot one, add in 1/4 pepper increments until you’re happy with the result. For mild, omit the seeds. For hot, keep the seeds. We used seeds from half our pepper and it was about a medium in hotness.

One place all of this comes in handy is in the RV. Back in the house, I had no problem buying all the specialized ingredients for recipes. But the pantry storage in an RV is limited.

For example, soy sauce, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, and tamari all serve pretty much the same purpose in recipes and can be used interchangeably. We only keep Bragg’s here in the RV. It’s also gluten-free so we can use it when cooking for our GF friends. And we like the flavor. So when a recipe calls for soy sauce or tamari, I just use the Bragg’s and all is good.

Anyway, back to this Spicy Chickpea Salad. The original recipe called for 1/4 cup of olive oil. I used 2 tablespoons of tahini and 2 tablespoons of water and it worked great. But if you’re not oil free and you have the olive oil and not tahini, feel free to substitute back!

Are you comfortable making recipe substitutions? Do you prefer that recipes give you the multiple options or are you okay with working that out for yourself?

Spicy Chickpea Salad

A hearty salad that will fill you up but still packs a nutritional punch.
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 294kcal



  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 jalapeño coarsely chopped, seeds removed for milder dressing
  • 1 bunch cilantro remove about an inch from bottom of stems, coarsely chop the rest
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or substitute agave or date paste
  • 2 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • salt to taste


  • 1 25 oz. can low-salt or no-salt chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 1 persian cucumber cut in half lengthwise and sliced into half moons
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds lightly toasted in a dry skillet
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian Parsley roughly chopped
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1 radish chopped into matchsticks, as garnish, optional



  • Add all dressing ingredients except salt to your blender container and blend until smooth. Add more water if you'd like it thinner. Taste for seasoning. Add salt if needed. (We didn't add any.)


  • Toss the chickpeas, cucumber, and tomatoes in a medium bowl with the dressing. Serve plated on top of greens. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and parsley. Top with radish if using.


Laura Nunemaker

About the Author

Laura Nunemaker

vegan. full-time traveler. rv dweller. food lover. cow petter.

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