Vegan (or not) Chickpea Salad Recipe – Easy Camping Side Dishes

Wait, what is this? Heather’s posting a recipe blog post? Yep, brace yourself friends, family, new and old readers alike: this is really happening. You see, this vegan chickpea salad recipe is one of our all time favorite side dishes to bring camping, so I thought it was worth sharing. But even more importantly – it’s a recipe that even I am capable of not messing up.

And that’s saying something.

This vegan chickpea salad recipe is easy to make, vegan optional, and adventure worthy, making it a perfect side dish for camping.

Yes, if ever you needed reassurance that a recipe is indeed as easy as it claims, look no further than this blog. You see, it’s taken me no short of 38 years to finally get around to learning how to cook (sorry I didn’t listen sooner, mom). I am unashamed to admit that I am on par with most 12 year-olds when it comes to my kitchen skills, but I’m learning to hold my own. And so, if I can pull off this vegan chickpea salad recipe – and people actually seem to enjoy it – then you know the difficulty rating of “easy” is accurate.

This vegan chickpea salad recipe is easy to make, vegan optional, and adventure worthy, making it a perfect side dish for camping.

Why I Love this Vegan (or not) Chickpea Salad Recipe

This chickpea salad recipe is an awesome substitution for the standard potato salad, which if you ask me, is practically required when dining (term used loosely) outdoors. Who doesn’t love a creamy, mayonaisey (is that a word?) side salad with their hot dogs, burgers, or other camping food?

But, chickpeas boast a whopping 39 grams of protein per cup, versus only 3 grams of protein per cup of potato. Therefore I personally prefer the chickpea version of this salad for our plant based, super active family. Plus, this recipe can be made vegan simply by substituting standard mayonnaise for a vegan option. So my non-vegan friends, don’t shy away just because of the title. You can load this sucker up with real mayo to your hearts content.

Ingredients required to make vegan chickpea salad
All of the magical ingredients.

You can eat the salad as a side dish, on a bun as a sandwich, in a wrap, or even scooped onto greens. Go nuts, your only limit is your imagination.

A few years back my great friend Felicia shared her version this recipe with me. Since then I’ve inadvertently modified the recipe to what it is today …mainly because I lost the original recipe and had to make it up I went along.

Mashed chickpeas ready for chickpea side salad
Mashed chickpeas on their way to become an awesome camping / adventure worthy side dish.

Now keep in mind, there are no short of one-gazillion vegan chickpea salad recipes out there on the internet. Believe me, I confirmed with Google. But: this one is mine. It’s somewhat rough and open to interpretation, which is par for the course for our adventerous family.

(That’s code for: adapt this recipe however you see fit. I like it the way it is, but feel free to add your own taste-bud flair. I’m a professional outdoor enthusiast, but not a professional chef.)

Salt, pepper, and turmeric in a bowl

Never the less, it’s become one of our favorites to bring on camping trips. And I hope you enjoy it too:

Vegan Chickpea Salad Camping Side Dish

Vegan Chickpea Salad Camping Side Dish

An easy to make, versatile, vegan (optional) chickpea salad perfect for camping or other adventures.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 2 cans of chickpeas
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup bread & butter pickles, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup green onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 3-4 tbsp mayonnaise (regular or vegan)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  1. Rinse and drain chickpeas. Place in large bowl and roughly mash. Or, use a blender or food processor to chop them up into a mashed consistency. I like to leave maybe 1/4 of the total amount of the chickpeas whole.
  2. Chop celery, red and green onions, and pickles. Add to the bowl.
  3. Add turmeric, salt, pepper, and yellow mustard to the bowl.
  4. Stir your ingredients in the bowl until everything is well mixed.
  5. Now: add the mayonnaise. I've listed 3-4 tablespoons as an approximation. In reality, I add a spoonful, stir, and repeat until it's the consistency I like, Depending on your affinity for mayonnaise, your preferred number of spoonfuls may vary. Don't let me limit you!


This is one of those side dishes that tastes better over time*, as the flavors sit and meld together. So don't be afraid to make this one the night before your camping trip and let it sit in the fridge overnight. (*A little bit of time, don't go crazy, and make sure you eat it within a few days. )

Liked this vegan chickpea salad recipe? Hated it? Have some suggestions for this “I’d rather be adventuring than cooking” chef (that’s me)? Please leave them in the comments section below.

This vegan chickpea salad recipe is easy to make, vegan optional, and adventure worthy, making it a perfect side dish for camping.

About Heather

Hi. I'm Heather. Exercise physiologist by day, adventure seeker...also by day, and sometimes night. I like: mountains, running long distances, rabbits, sleeping in tents, poking at campfires with a stick, and Gordon Lightfoot. I dislike: peanut butter, bent tent poles, sitting still for too long, and writing "about me" sections.