Crispy Fried Chickpea Cake and Slaw Sandwiches Recipe

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Hearty and crispy vegan chickpea patties flavored with cumin and coriander, topped with a bright tahini-based slaw.

Note: not all sugars, bread crumbs, and hamburger buns are vegan. If this is a concern to you, check the labels. Standard sugar is refined using animal bone char. Organic sugars are made with no animal products.

Recipe Details

Crispy Fried Chickpea Cake and Slaw Sandwiches Recipe

Active 30 mins
Total 30 mins
Serves 4 servings


For the Slaw:

  • 3 cups finely shredded cabbage (about 1/2 a small head)

  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 small carrot, grated on the large holes of a box grater

  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped

  • 1 tablespoon sugar (see note)

  • 1/4 cup tahini

  • 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Chickpea Patties:

  • 1/2 cup bulgur wheat

  • 1 medium clove garlic, roughly chopped

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and dried on paper towels

  • 1/2 cup flour

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 1/2 cups panko-style breadcrumbs (see note)

  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil

  • 4 hamburger buns (see note)

  • Sliced pickles and pepperoncini for serving


  1. For the Slaw: Combine cabbage, onion, carrot, half of parsley, and sugar in a large bowl. Combine tahini and lemon juice in a small bowl and stir with a fork until homogenous. Add half of tahini mixture to cabbage. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Massage cabbage until tender then let rest at room temperature while you make the chickpea patties. Set aside remaining tahini mixture.

  2. For the Chickpea Patties: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add bulgur wheat and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain carefully.

  3. Meanwhile, combine remaining parsley, garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, and half of chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a rough puree is formed, scraping down sides as necessary, about 8 to 10 short pulses. Transfer to a large bowl.

  4. Add remaining chickpeas to food processor and pulse until roughly chopped, 4 to 6 pulses. Transfer to bowl with chickpea/herb mixture. When bulgur wheat has drained, add to bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then fold mixture together, starting with a rubber spatula, and finishing by hand when cool enough to handle. Form mixture into four patties about 4 inches wide and 1 inch thick.

  5. Combine flour and water in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Place breadcrumbs in second medium bowl.

  6. Working one patty at a time, dip in flour mixture to coat, then carefully transfer to breadcrumbs. Patties will be quite delicate. To move them without breaking, lift them from the batter mixture gently from underneath with your hands or with a slotted metal spatula. Cover with breadcrumbs on all sides, then carefully transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining patties.

  7. Heat half of oil in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the patties cook, swirling pan occasionally, until golden brown on bottoms, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip and cook second side, swirling pan occasionally as they cook, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer patties to a paper towel-lined plate and season well with salt.

  8. Toast hamburger buns under a broiler. Divide half of the slaw evenly between the bottom buns, top with a chickpea patty, divide the remaining slaw on top of the patties, drizzle with remaining tahini/lemon mixture, add pickles and sliced pepperoncini as desired, and close sandwiches. Serve immediately.

Special Equipment

Food processor

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
668 Calories
31g Fat
83g Carbs
19g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 668
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1101mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 83g 30%
Dietary Fiber 12g 44%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 19g
Vitamin C 70mg 352%
Calcium 269mg 21%
Iron 7mg 40%
Potassium 769mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)