Avocado Pesto Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Today is a very special day.

Not only are we making avocado pesto chickpea salad sandwiches, a few of us bloggers are (more importantly) celebrating our good friend Erin who is about to become a first time mama. I couldn't be more excited to be apart of this surprise for Erin.

Avocado Pesto Chickpea Salad Sandwiches | edibleperspective.com

Erin and I have gotten to know each other pretty well over the years, and we've had the chance to hang out a few times together, too. Most recently, we spent a couple days together at Expo West (the largest natural foods trade show in the country) in California. The trip was awesome but exhausting. Each night, we both ended up back at the hotel, in bed, dinner in hand, in our pajamas. And then we pretty much rolled over and immediately passed out. Erin was such a trooper at 30+ weeks pregnant!

Avocado Pesto Chickpea Salad Sandwiches | edibleperspective.com

While we were together, Erin seemed so calm and excited about their soon to be baby boy. She is going to be a complete natural as a mom. You can just tell. And I know this little babe will grow up loving and appreciating food, as he watches his mom grow their food and prepare it in the kitchen. He'll see how simple ingredients can be combined together without hassle to create something wonderful. Just like Erin has showed the world with her new cookbook. And soon enough, I'm sure he'll be standing right next to his mama, helping stir and chop, and asking for tastes.

Avocado Pesto Chickpea Salad Sandwiches | edibleperspective.com

Staying true to Erin's style of cooking, Melissa, Alex, Sonja and I thought it would be fun to throw her a shower and ask everyone to contribute a simple vegetarian meal. We wanted to create a catalog of recipes that Erin and her husband could quickly whip up as their lives become a little more full.

Avocado Pesto Chickpea Salad Sandwiches | edibleperspective.com

I've seen chickpea salad sandwiches floating around for awhile now but somehow never got around to trying them out. I really have no idea why it took me so long because they're incredibly simple to make and totally delicious.

I was inspired by the avocado lime sauce I made the other day for the corn fritters, thinking that would be been a good base to hold the chickpeas together. However, I was also craving pesto. But traditional pesto probably couldn't hold the chickpeas together and you'd need to make a gigantic batch to even try.

And that's when this avocado pesto was born.

It's like a summery guacamole, filled with basil and lemon and thick enough to act as the perfect binder for the mashed chickpeas.

Avocado Pesto Chickpea Salad Sandwiches | edibleperspective.com

Toppings are optional but I always like to add a little crunch in my sandwich. 

Avocado Pesto Chickpea Salad Sandwiches | edibleperspective.com
Avocado Pesto Chickpea Salad Sandwiches | edibleperspective.com

This takes about 15 minutes to throw together and will keep you full for hours on end.

Avocado Pesto Chickpea Salad Sandwiches | edibleperspective.com

Print Recipe!

inspired by: Corn Fritter Cakes with Avocado Lime Spinach Sauce and Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Salad Sandwich

Avocado Pesto Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

gluten-free, vegan // yields appx. 4 sandwiches

  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup roasted shelled pistachios
  • 2 medium avocados
  • 1 1/2 cups lightly packed fresh basil
  • 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper
  • 1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed + drained

Place the garlic clove in your large food processor and turn on until minced. Scrape the sides. Add the pistachios and pulse until evenly chopped (refer photo 3). Add in the avocado, basil, and 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Pulse a few times until the basil is roughly chopped. Scrape the sides. Add salt + pepper. Stream in the olive oil slowly while pulsing the avocado mixture until it reaches a thick consistency but not fully pureed. Scrapes the sides and bottom as needed. You want to leave it with some texture. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, roughly mash the chickpeas. You want them about half-mashed. Add in as much of the pesto mixture as desired (I used about 3/4 of it) and mix together. Add remaining lemon juice (I added an extra 1-2 tablespoons) and salt + pepper to taste. 

Build your sandwich with any other toppings you choose.


  • This can be stored for 1 day but will slightly brown. For best results, place in an airtight container. Spread out evenly then drizzle lemon juice over top. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and secure the lid. Refrigerate. Stir before eating.

The pesto avocado also works well as a summer guacamole with or without the chickpeas!

Avocado Pesto Chickpea Salad Sandwiches | edibleperspective.com

To see the full lineup of recipes created for Erin be sure and check out the posts below. Trust me, they're not to be missed!

The Fauxmartha | A Pasta Dish for Busy Hands
A Couple Cooks | Breakfast Parfait with Roasted Strawberries
Eat This Poem | Penne with Cherry Tomatoes and Arugula
Cookie and Kate | Brussels Sprouts Pizza
FoodieCrush | Beet, Avocado and Fried Goat Cheese Salad
The Bojon Gourmet | Tempeh BLTs with Avocado + Chipotle Mayonnaise
Girl Versus Dough | Spiced Lentils with Poached Eggs
Dolly and Oatmeal | Chickpea Bean Bowl with Toasted Bread Crumbs and Dill Tahini
Food Loves Writing | Erin’s Veggie Burgers
With Food + Love | Creamy Polenta with Crispy Beets
London Bakes | Ricotta Gnocchi with Wild Garlic and Pistachio Pesto
Flourishing Foodie | Glazed Tofu with Ramen
This Homemade Life | Chickpea Greek Salad
My Name is Yeh | Creamed Spinach
Brooklyn Supper | One-Pot Pasta Primavera

Wishing all the best to Erin and her growing family.



(Very Green) Vegan Pesto Pizza

Friday = pizza night

Am I right?

And this Friday we’re having this vegan pesto pizza. It’s the bees knees, yo. Actually, we ate this on Tuesday. And Wednesday. But you can eat it today!

Chris could straight up live off pizza. He will eat pizza for any meal, any day of the week, multiple days in a row. He eats a million other things besides pizza but would most likely prefer pizza all-of-the-time.

Typically I’ll make tortilla pizzas that I crisp to a browned perfection under the broiler on both sides before adding any toppings. He loves them and it keeps me from hassling with making dough. Tortilla pizzas are a quick weeknight meal on heavy rotation around here.

But on this pizza night, I busted out the real thing.

I wanted to try my hand at an all-vegan pizza filled with veggies. But veg-heavy pizzas can sometimes be soggy or too heavy and when using red sauce I always seem to feel like it needs cheese.

Enter vegan pesto! Vegan pesto without nutritional yeast that tastes completely amazing, if I do say so myself.

It’s adapted from a pesto recipe I made in the summer that swirled between a bowl of zucchini noodles and cherries. I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually made pesto with pine nuts. Anyone else? Both the summer pesto and this pesto are made with pistachios. I might deem pistachios the best pesto nuts ever.

Now for the roasted veggies.

I very rarely buy broccolini because of it’s high price tag for what you get (typically a small bunch). I got to thinking that it would probably be a better fit on pizza in comparison to regular broccoli because of it’s long and slender stems and less tightly packed florets. Definitely the right decision and it was on sale. Win!

I roasted thinly sliced brussels sprouts and onion alongside the broccolini.

I don’t know much about bread baking and yeast but I have figured a few things out. In this pizza dough recipe you’ll want to proof the yeast before mixing it in with the other dough ingredients.

The process of proofing yeast is really just to make sure your yeast is still alive.

You want your yeast mixture to puff up just like you see below. If it doesn’t, here are a few reasons you may be having trouble.

  • Your mixing liquid is too hot or cold. The milk (or more commonly, water) should feel warm, not hot to the touch. To control this I heat the milk on the stovetop until just warm. I’ve people specify a range of temperatures between 75° – 105° but have never actually used a thermometer to test my temp.
  • Make sure the bowl you’re adding the yeast to is not cold. Rinse the bowl with hot water to take the chill off. (Our cupboards are cold because they’re on the exterior wall of our house. #oldhouseproblems)
  • If it doesn’t puff up, make it again with a fresh packet of yeast.

I could have screamed after taking these photos. I forgot the kalamata olives, which are basically my new favorite topping on ev-er-y-thing.

They’re the perfect salty, juicy bite. And I forgot them.

Just picture the pizza below dotted with sliced kalamata olives. Yep, great job.

And if you really want some cheezy flavor but still want to keep things vegan, sprinkle on some of my very favorite vegan parmesan cheeze. I keep this stocked in the fridge at all times.

Print Recipe!

Very Green Vegan Pesto Pizza

gluten-free, vegan // yields 2-3 servings for 1, ~18x9-inch pizza

  • 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup roasted, salted pistachios
  • 4 loosely packed cups zesty baby greens (baby arugula + kale work great)
  • 2-4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch broccolini, ends trimmed + stalks sliced in half
  • 6-8 brussels sprouts, stems removed +thinly sliced
  • thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • sliced kalamata olives
  • gluten-free pizza crust (yields 3 crusts)

While your pizza dough is rising preheat your oven to 375° F.

Place garlic in a food processor and turn on until minced. Add the pistachios and turn on until well chopped. Add in the baby greens, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.  Pulse to combine until greens are incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Turn the processor on (or pulse) while slowly streaming 1/3 cup olive oil into the top of your processor. I like mine left with a bit of texture but process to your desired consistency.

Taste and adjust flavors if necessary. If your pistachios weren’t heavily salted you will probably need to add more. I like to add more lemon juice and a bit more olive oil for easier spreading on the pizza.

Place veggies on a baking sheet and toss with the 2 teaspoons of oil. Sprinkle with salt + pepper. Roast until lightly golden brown and tender, about 18 – 24 minutes. Toss 1-2 times while they roast. Set aside.

Roll out pizza dough and bake per these instructions (or use any other thin-crust pizza dough recipe).

Spread a thick coat of pesto on your pizza and top with roasted veggies (you'll probably only use 1/2 of the broccolini for one pizza) and the olives. Bake at 425° F (oven should already be hot from baking the crust, preheat if not) for 2-3 minutes until the veggies and pesto are hot. Do not over-bake or pesto will dry out.

Top with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper if desired.


  • Pesto should cover about 1 large pizza. You want a thick coat of the pesto if you’re not also topping with cheese. If using cheese (I recommend goat or parmesan) you can go a little lighter on the pesto.
  • If your pesto was previously refrigerated, bring it to room temperature for easier spreading and add a bit more olive oil and lemon if needed.
  • The pesto will taste very garlicky on its own but works well on top of this crust and with veggie toppings.

Pizza Dough Tips:

  • Step by step instructions can be found here.
  • Roll the dough very thin for best results with this combination, 1/8-inch is ideal.
  • This dough does not store well in the fridge after rising. It dries out. It’s best rolled and baked after rising. If you do want to make ahead, I had success rolling mine out and baking then letting them cool on the counter. I heated them at 425° for a few minutes longer then topped and baked to heat the toppings. I haven’t tried refrigerating the baked crust to be used the next day, but it might be another option.
  • Make sure your flours are very finely ground.
  • Make sure your dough rises. If not, it will be very dense and not nearly as tasty.

Yeah. I think I could handle this every night of the week.