Sweet, tangy, with a bit of spice, this vegan chickpea salad is a crowd pleaser! BBQ sauce combines with chickpeas and is accented by the toasty croutons for an amazing flavor that can’t be beat.
Barbecue sauce. A little bit of sweet, a little bit of spicy, and a little bit of tangy. Slathered on a sandwich, drizzled onto a pizza, it’s a hard-working condiment for sure.
But since giving up meat I’ve been left wondering, what do I put barbecue sauce on?
I was about ready to jump out of my pants when I discovered how good barbecue sauce was on chickpeas. BBQ chickpeas are amazingly good! This vegan chickpea salad, topped with crispy croutons, has loads of delicious barbecue flavor.
Let’s be real, salads are just a vehicle for ingesting croutons. And these are awesome. The sweetness of the croutons pairs nicely with the spiciness of the homemade barbecue sauce. Bonus is that somewhere in there you realize you ate tons of veggies along the way. Win win win.
Of course it seems like a lot of work to actually make moist, fluffy, delicious cornbread and then turn it into crunchy little cubes. However, they are so worth it. You can just toast up the outer edges, or the whole pan, if you’d like.
My cornbread recipe isn’t vegan, but you can easily make it with vegan swaps or substitute your favorite vegan cornbread to keep this salad 100% vegan.
- Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- BBQ sauce
- Grape tomatoes
- Red onion
How to make bbq chickpea salad:
- Preheat oven and line baking pan with parchment paper
- Cut cornbread into 1 inch cubes, place on parchment paper, and brush lightly with olive oil
- Heat chickpeas in barbecue sauce, and simmer until sauce is thickened
- Assemble salads by layering arugula, tomatoes, onion, and chickpeas. Top with crispy croutons and drizzle additional bbq sauce over top
Tips to customize:
- Add cubes of cheddar cheese (not vegan)
- Swap the arugula for your other favorite greens such as spring mix, spinach, or kale
- Use the bbq chickpeas as a filling swap in my bbq tempeh stuffed baked potatoes
- Use store bought croutons to save time
- Use a vegan cornbread recipe and check your bbq sauce to keep it vegan
- Drizzle with a bit of vegan ranch dressing
Other chickpea recipes you’ll love:
If you make this recipe be sure to rate it, leave a comment, or tag #theliveinkitchen on Instagram!
BBQ Chickpea Salad with Cornbread Croutons
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut 1 inch off the edges of the cornbread, then cut the edges into 1 inch cubes. Repeat with as much of the inside of the cornbread as you desire for croutons, and arrange the cut pieces in an even layer on the baking sheet. Spray or brush lightly with olive oil and bake, tossing once, until lightly browned and beginning to crisp, 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chickpeas and 3/4 cup barbecue sauce and stir until coated. Allow to simmer 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened and the chickpeas are hot. Remove from the heat and add another spoonful or two of sauce if you desire.
- To assemble the salads, layer arugula, tomatoes, onions, chickpeas, croutons, and microgreens (if using) amongst 4-6 plates. Drizzle with additional barbecue sauce and enjoy.