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.



Tofu Bahn Mi and The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook

This tofu bahn mi ranks up there with the best of the best veggie sandwiches of all time. 

Vegetarian Tofu Bahn Mi Sandwich

While there are a few different components to this recipe they're all extremely simple to execute and absolutely worth your time (which isn't too long!). 

This recipe came straight from the brand new release, The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook, from America's Test KitchenI was lucky enough to get an early edition of this cookbook and ATK is generously giving away a copy for one of you!

It has over SEVEN HUNDRED (shouting is necessary) vegetarian recipes, many of which are vegan (250) and gluten-free (500). This just may be the end all be all vegetarian cookbook. It has you covered from the very basics to more complex recipes and will keep you feeling confident in the kitchen as you learn new techniques and become a veggie cooking pro.

Vegetarian Tofu Bahn Mi Sandwich

This cookbook is an invaluable resource for anyone. Whether you're vegetarian, vegan, or just looking to learn how to incorporate more veggie-style meals into your diet. From simple sauces to all types of ethnic food, there is no category left behind.

Vegetarian Tofu Bahn Mi Sandwich

Now let's talk about this sandwich. 

This was quite possibly the best tofu I've ever eaten. I've seen the method of coating tofu in starch before but had yet to try it myself. 

Game. Changer.

Crispy on the outside. Tender on the inside. Absolutely perfect in a sandwich.

Vegetarian Tofu Bahn Mi Sandwich

Then there are the quick-pickled vegetables, sriracha mayo, and a giant fluffy bun. 

And basil instead of cilantro because I just can't do cilantro. 

Crunch, chew, sweet, spice. This Tofu Bahn Mi has got it goin' on.

sidenote: If you're looking for the BEST gluten-free rolls in the entire world you can order them from Kim and Jakes bakery in Boulder, CO. Even better news, they're also vegan, non-GMO, and have a stellar ingredient list. (I can't find the ingredient list on the site, but I'm sure you can email them for details.) You will not believe the texture! (This is not a paid plug!)

Vegetarian Tofu Bahn Mi Sandwich

I could eat this sandwich for all the days.

Vegetarian Tofu Bahn Mi Sandwich

Print Recipe!

Reprinted with permission from: Cook's Illustrated and directly from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook

Tofu Bahn Mi makes 4 sandwiches (GF + vegan subs specified below)

  • 14 ounces firm tofu, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slabs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest plus 1 tablespoon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce substitute (recipe to follow)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 (8-inch) Italian sub rolls, split lengthwise and toasted
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1. Spread tofu over paper towel-lined baking sheet, let drain for 20 minutes, then gently press dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Spread cornstarch in a shallow dish. Dredge tofu in cornstarch and transfer to a plate.

2. Meanwhile, combine carrots, cucumber, lime juice, and fish sauce in a bowl and let sit for 15 minutes. Whisk mayonnaise, Sriracha, and lime zest together in separate bowl.

3. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add tofu and cook until bottoms are crisp and browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

4. Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly over cut sides of each roll. Assemble 4 sandwiches by layering ingredients as follows between prepared rolls: tofu, pickled vegetables (leaving liquid in bowl), and cilantro. Press gently on sandwiches to set. Serve.

Ashley's notes: 

  • I used avocado oil instead of vegetable oil and used a cast iron pan for cooking the tofu.
  • I used arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch. Make sure the tofu is just lightly coated with starch. Tap to knock excess off.
  • To make vegan simply sub your favorite vegan mayonnaise and make sure your Sriracha is vegan.
  • I used basil instead of cilantro.

Vegetarian Fish Sauce Substitute

Makes about 1 1/4 cups - In order for this recipe to be gluten-free you must use gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.

  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 ounce dried sliced shiitake mushrooms

1. Simmer all ingredients in large saucepan over medium heat until mixture is reduced by half, about 20-30 minutes. Strain liquid and let cool completely. (Fish sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 months.)

Ashley notes:

  • I found the dried shiitake mushrooms in the bulk spice section. I kept them whole (missed the slicing step) and used 1/4oz, which equaled 5 dried mushrooms.
Vegetarian Tofu Bahn Mi Sandwich

GIVEAWAY! America's Test Kitchen was kind enough to offer a copy of The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook to 1 lucky Edible Perspective reader.

To enter: Leave a comment below telling me about a recent kitchen disaster and why you need this book in your life!

Ends: 4/5/15 12pm EST