Vegan BBQ Chickpea Salad
This vegan BBQ chickpea salad is easy to make in under 20 minutes and packed with flavor and nutrition.
This salad is meal material. There’s no boring salad here! It’s satisfying, hearty, filling and so delicious. In addition to being so tasty, it’s also super easy to make. You’ll need less than 20 minutes and just a few simple ingredients.
The ingredients are easy to customize too so you can prepare it anytime even if you’re missing some of the salad add-ins.
You can use all sorts of different veggies to bulk up your salad and Romaine, iceberg lettuce, spinach or kale all work for the base.
The creamy ranch dressing is the perfect cooling pairing for the BBQ chickpeas and with all the fresh veggies, it’s a match made in heaven.
Family friendly and easy to make, what’s not to love? Give this fan-favourite salad a try today!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- It’s ready in under 20 minutes!
- This salad is vegan and can be gluten-free as long as the BBQ sauce is gluten-free.
- Lots of nutrition! You’ve got some protein from the chickpeas, lots of fibre and healthy fats if you add avocado.
- It’s super flavourful and delicious – you’ll love it!
- Easily customizable with different veggies and salad additions.
- The BBQ chickpeas can be used for other uses like these stuffed sweet potatoes or wraps.
A complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the printable recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.
- BBQ Sauce. I used a store-bought vegan BBQ sauce to make this recipe but if you prefer homemade, you can try my vegan BBQ sauce recipe.
- Chickpeas. I used canned chickpeas for this recipe but chickpeas cooked from scratch work too. You’ll need about 1/2 cup per bowl but you can use more or less depending on your nutritional needs.
- Corn. You can use canned, fresh or frozen corn for this recipe and will need about 1/2 cup per bowl.
- Other veggies. I used diced red onion, grated carrot, chopped green onion and a base of lettuce. You could also use spinach or kale for the greens. If you’re missing anything, that’s ok, just use what you have, it won’t make or break the recipe. For extra veggies try chopped tomato and cucumber.
- Avocado. You’ll need 1/4 to 1/2 of an avocado per bowl but feel free to use more or less to suit your needs.
- Cilantro. I used a big handful of fresh cilantro per salad but if you don’t like cilantro, just leave it off.
- Tahini Ranch Dressing. I found the salad to be a bit dry with just the BBQ chickpeas so I made a simple tahini ranch dressing from tahini, lemon, sea salt and dried herbs.
How to Make this Recipe
Step 1: Make the BBQ chickpeas.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas then add them to a pan with BBQ sauce of choice. Cook the chickpeas over medium heat until the BBQ sauce starts to get sticky and gooey. This should take around 8-10 minutes.
Step 2: Make the tahini ranch dressing.
To make the dressing, simply whisk or blend until smooth and creamy. If you’re blending the dressing, blend everything but the herbs, then stir them in after blender.
Step 3: Assemble the salad.
Prepare 4 bowls or plates, or containers if you’re prepping them for later. Add a big handful of chopped lettuce to each then top with the salad ingredients.
Alternatively you can just mix everything up in a large bowl but I like to prepare them individually so the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Top with the chickpeas and dressing and enjoy!
Quick Tip: If you’re making these in advance, store the dressing separately and add just before serving.
- If you are meal prepping this recipe, store the chickpeas and veggies separately until before serving. I’d also suggest leaving the avocado off until you’re ready to eat.
- Amazing as a salad but try everything wrapped up in a tortilla to make a BBQ chickpea wrap.
This recipe is easily customizable and there’s really no need to be exact with the measurements. You can use more or less than any of the ingredients to suit your nutritional needs and taste preference.
Try any of the following substitutions to switch things up:
- Try buffalo chickpeas instead of BBQ chickpeas.
- Try buffalo cauliflower instead of chickpeas.
- Try baked BBQ tofu instead of chickpeas.
- This bbq tempeh also works well in this salad.
- Try this cilantro mint hemp seed dressing as an alternative to the ranch sauce.
- Instead of plain red onion, try this easy pickled red onion.
- Try adding your own easy homemade roasted red pepper.
- Swap the lettuce for 4 cups cooked pasta like bowls, penne, fusilli or rotini to make a BBQ chickpea pasta salad! I’d add fresh spinach to this too.
- Mix and match the salad ingredients from lettuce, cherry, tomato, red onion, green onion, carrot, corn, avocado, cilantro, cucumber, green cabbage or purple cabbage.
- Black beans made a good addition.
- Try massaged kale or baby spinach for the greens or combine a variety of greens.
- Try adding pineapple tidbits.
- Fresh cherry or grape tomatoes make a good addition.
- Try adding toasted pepitas or sunflower seeds.
- Try adding croutons, toasted pita or crushed tortilla chips for crunch.
- Serve with a wedge of fresh lemon or lime.
- The chickpeas and tahini dressing can be made separately and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- If storing the dressing, it may thicken after sitting but can be thinned with a bit of water.
- Assembled salads, without the dressing and avocado added, can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. Add the dressing and avocado just before serving.
- This recipe is not suitable for freezing.
More Salads & Bowls
Check these out for some more quick, easy and healthy dinner options:
- Simple Lemon Chickpea Salad
- Brown Rice Burrito Bowl
- Vegan BBQ Tofu Bowls
- Lemon Tahini Chickpea Salad
- Teriyaki Chickpea Rice Bowl
For more simple chickpea recipes, you might like these spiced chickpeas, chickpea skillet, sweet potato chickpea skillet or curried chickpea salad.
Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.
Vegan BBQ Chickpea Salad
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
This delicious salad is full of BBQ favorites like avocado, red onion, carrot, corn and ranch sauce. It’s a super quick and easy recipe too making it just perfect for healthy weeknight meals.
For the BBQ Chickpeas
- 2 15 oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (3 cups, 495 g)
- 1/2 cup bbq sauce (120 mL)
For the Salad
- lettuce (2 big handfuls per salad)
- corn (approx. 1/4-1/2 cup per salad)
- grated carrot (approx. 1/2 a carrot per salad)
- diced red onion (a few tbsp per salad)
- chopped green onion (a few tbsp per salad)
- chopped fresh cilantro (approx. 1/2 cup very lightly packed per salad)
- avocado (approx. 1/4-1/2 a diced avocado per salad)
For the Tahini Ranch Dressing
- 5 tbsp (75 g) tahini
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp dried dill or parsley, or 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill or parsley
- 3–6 tbsp water, start with 3 tbsp then slowly add more to reach desired consistency
- To make the BBQ chickpeas, add the chickpeas and BBQ sauce to a medium-sized pan and cook over medium heat until the BBQ sauce is starting to get sticky and gooey, about 8-10 minutes. Stir every 1-2 minutes as they cook.
- To make the tahini ranch dressing, whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a container until smooth and creamy.
- To assemble the salad, prepare 4 bowls or plates, or containers if you’re prepping for later. Add a big handful of lettuce to each then top with the rest of the salad ingredients. Top each salad with equal portions of the BBQ chickpeas and tahini ranch dressing. If prepping for later, store the tahini ranch sauce separately until just before eating.
Any leftover tahini ranch dressing can be stored up to 5 days in the fridge, just give it a good shake before using. The salad can be stored up to 2 days in the fridge if assembled. Any extra BBQ chickpeas can be stored up to 5 days and added to other dishes.
The bbq chickpeas make enough for 3/4 cup portions for 4 salads. Feel free to make more or less depending on your needs. I use 2 tbsp bbq sauce for every 1/2 cup of chickpeas. You can use a little more if you want them a bit saucier. The tahini sauce makes enough for 4-6 salads.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
- Calories: 392
- Fat: 12 g
- Carbohydrates: 56 g
- Fiber: 15 g
- Protein: 18 g
Keywords: bbq chickpea salad, avocado chickpea salad
Yet another hit from this website! Pretty simple to make, very flavorful, and filling. Thank you for so many amazing recipes!
Thank you for trying them!
This recipe is amazing! So easy to make!
So good! This reminds me of the bbq chicken ranch salad I used to make before going plant based. Love this one even more! The tahini dressing is incredible.
Who needs a burger when you can have this salad?!
I have peeked through your site and really appreciate how many salads and bowls you have. I know for many it might seem obvious how to make a salad or bowl. However, for some it isn’t.
Thank you from happily stuffed,
also in Beautiful BC
This was so good! I am vegan but my sweet husband is not. He LOVED it.❤️Thank you for sharing with all of us! We truly appreciate you.
such yummy salad. Deryn, your recipes are the best!! it never fails, the instructions and portion sizes are awesome and easy to follow. Even my carnivore husband loved this salad 🙂
Awesome. So glad you guys enjoyed it.
Hi Deryn! I am starting a new job tomorrow and I will be teaching in a school that does not provide lunch (for the first time ever!) I am excited but I wanted to get a few days worth of lunches ready for this week and I started with your Bbq Chickpea Salad. I made a little on the side to try and I am so glad I did! Yum!!!! Filled with flavor and good healthy food! Thank you so much for the recipe! I am going to try one salad each week and make a list of favorites! Thanks!!!!
This was a great recipe for me! I’ve started a plant based diet for health reasons and this one is awesome! I didn’t have shredded lettuce so I substituted quinoa.. It was just as good!
So glad you loved it! Great idea to try quinoa!
This was fabulous! I wasn’t sure about the dressing with the barbecue chick peas, but it was soooo good. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks for the great (and super easy) recipe 🙂
I make this salad several times a month! It is so easy and delicious!
If you want to make the chickpeas like crunchy croutons, bake them after preparing them. Then toss on salad. I like to make bacon flavored ones and keep in fridge for salads or snacking on them . I have always loved bbq sauce with a salad with ranch so this sounds delicious.
I really love the idea of baking them after cooking. How long and at what heat would you suggest?
Thank you for this recipe! Since going vegetarian, we’ve really missed BBQ/southwest chicken salads. The chickpeas were delicious! We had ours with carrots, corn, tomatoes, avocado and tortilla strips. We aren’t a huge fan of tahini dressings, so we used ranch or extra BBQ sauce. Delicious!
Sounds awesome! So glad you enjoyed it!
This salad is delicious! I’m not a big fan of tahini dressings as I think they’re a little too powerful for my taste. But when you asked the dressing with the bbq chickpeas, it’s wonderful! So many layers of flavor happening here. I’ll definitely make this one again
Deryn, this is completely gorgeous! I made your BBQ sauce too, and that was so easy and so tasty! I added some cauliflower florets to the mix and a portion of quinoa. I think it would work well with rice or a sweet potato too. The great thing is that I still have a portion of both sauces left, so I’m all set for a re-run in a few days time.