Smokehouse Chickpeas 'N' Greens Salad From 'Salad Samurai'

chickpeas and greens salad
Vanessa K. Rees

I love chickpeas. I'll eat them every which way, and sometimes right out of the can. But I don't usually do much to them before adding them to a dish. In this salad from her new vegan cookbook, Salad Samurai, Terry Hope Romero inspires me to do more.

To make them the star of this show, Romero fries them until golden, pours on a BBQ-inspired marinade that coats the now crispy chickpeas with smoky-sweet flavor, and finishes with a sprinkling of savory nutritional yeast. The rest of the salad—greens, onions, tomatoes, carrots, avocado—is thrown together with a cider vinegar and smoked paprika dressing that, again, conjures Southern barbecue. Super easy and seriously good! Chickpeas deserve more than I've been giving them.

Why I picked this recipe: Barbecue chickpeas!

What worked: The chickpeas were awesome. They'd be great as a stand-alone snack, but the richness from the avocado and the smoky, bright dressing set them off.

What didn't: There wasn't nearly enough of the marinade to 'simmer for 4 minutes,' as instructed. It coated the chickpeas, and that was more or less that. I kicked them around the pan for a couple of minutes to caramelize a bit, but there was no simmering. Also, there was too much red onion in proportion to the other ingredients; use only as much as you like.

Suggested tweaks: This is definitely a salad you can play with. Corn or cucumbers would be terrific additions, or pile everything in a pita for a vegan BBQ sandwich.

From Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don't Have to Be Vegan to Love by Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.

Recipe Details

Smokehouse Chickpeas 'N' Greens Salad From 'Salad Samurai'

Active 45 mins
Total 45 mins
Serves 2 servings


For the Roasted BBQ Chickpeas:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 (14-ouncecan chickpeas drained and rinsed

  • 1 tablespoon tamari

  • 1 rounded tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (preferably hickory)

  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

For the Salad:

  • 6 cups baby spinach or mixed salad greens

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

  • 1 big, ripe avocado, diced

  • 1/2 cup julienned carrot

  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Smoked Paprika Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 shallot, minced

  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked sweet or hot paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked salt or regular salt


  1. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then pour in the olive oil and tilt the pan to coat the bottom with oil. Add chickpeas and fry for about 6 minutes, or until golden. Whisk together tamari, tomato paste, maple syrup, and liquid smoke. Pour over chickpeas, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and cover to keep warm.

  2. Meanwhile, tear greens into bite-size pieces, wash, and spin dry. Transfer to a large salad bowl and add onion, tomatoes, avocado, and carrot. Whisk together all of dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Toss vegetables to coat with dressing and divide salad among serving bowls.

  3. Sprinkle nutritional yeast over warm chickpeas and stir to coat. Top salad with hot chickpeas and a twist of freshly ground black pepper to taste, and serve it up!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
786 Calories
41g Fat
91g Carbs
25g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 786
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 41g 53%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2362mg 103%
Total Carbohydrate 91g 33%
Dietary Fiber 28g 99%
Total Sugars 32g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 58mg 292%
Calcium 273mg 21%
Iron 9mg 51%
Potassium 2322mg 49%
*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.)