Alison Miksch

The secret ingredient is chickpeas and, when combined with a few other ingredients, make an irresistible sandwich filling.

Whether you take your chicken or tuna salad in a wrap or sandwich, there's no denying it's a classic lunchtime staple for many. But if you're looking to change things up a bit, or you're upping your plant-based ingredients, this Chickpea Salad Sandwich is giving the classics a run for its money. The fact that it's an easy and healthy lunch idea is already a major win, but wait until you taste it.

Chickpeas (garbanzo beans), the legume with a firm texture and creamy when bitten into, get mashed and mixed with a medley of celery, shallots, and parsley. Celery is the non-negotiable crunchy vegetable this salad needs to replicate the classics. The creaminess is in favor of mayonnaise, but to keep it lean, yogurt works just as deliciously, and dijon mustard comes forth with a little kick. Pile this flavorful, lemony salad on your toasted bread of choice and layer with sprouts, red leaf lettuce, or even thinly shredded cabbage.

This convenient lunch option doesn't stop there. Skip the bread and bring it along to summer picnics for a side salad that won't wilt. While we're on the chickpeas love boat, this is the easy hummus recipe you need to make at home. Keep your refrigerator stocked with this simple hummus for when you crave a snack, or as a simple creamy base to grilled chicken or steak. We also love chickpeas in this fresh take on chicken soup with an effortless use of pesto. All are wonderful reasons why you should always keep a can of chickpeas in your pantry. They're a workhorse ingredient for healthy meals, and so are these other ingredients.

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Can't get enough of this mighty legume? Chickpeas step in to make another classic dish vegetarian in this Nicoise salad.