As we head into Independence Day weekend, we are also likely going to small, socially distanced get-togethers, and bringing food. In Virginia, we have officially moved into phase 3 of reopening with regard to the pandemic. If you are wisely choosing to stay at home this weekend, you can at least pretend you’re at a party!
I covered guacamole last week. But sometimes I get bored with hummus vs. guacamole as my party contribution. Buffalo chickpea salad has been another go-to of mine to bring to parties over the past couple of years. You can spread it on pre-made, vegan party buns (Sara Lee artisan party buns are my favorite!) and top with sliced tomatoes and vegan ranch! (double the recipe if you do this!) You can customize your add-in veggies for added crunch and nutrients or keep it simple. It’s up to you!
People who try this can’t believe that it’s chickpeas. It’s simple and quick to throw together, and is best when it’s had some time for the flavors to settle a couple of hours. I typically make this a couple of times a month to have on hand for lunches.
The key to this recipe is finding a good, vegan buffalo wing sauce. My favorite brand is by Noble Made, but it’s not always easy to find, and it’s expensive compared to other brands. However, it does have cleaner ingredients that most. I’ve found the medium and mild versions at Kroger and Publix. My second choice is either Frank’s Red Hot or Texas Pete wing sauce, both of which are commonly available and very affordable. They are also accidentally vegan. Many wing sauces have mayo, so read the labels.
The other feature needed is the vegan ranch! I have a hard time finding any commercially made that I love, so I’ve given up and started making my own. I included the recipe after the salad recipe.
Now that you know that, here’s the recipe!
Buffalo Chickpea Salad:
- One can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup diced onion (red, Vidalia, or green onion all work well)
- ¼ cup diced celery (about 1 stalk) (optional)
- ¼ cup diced or shredded carrot (optional)
- ¼ cup wing sauce
- 2 T vegan ranch
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas. You can do this with a fork, but if you’ve got one, a pastry blender works really well for this task.
- Add in your chopped veggies.
- Add in remaining ingredients and mix together. If the mixture seems dry, add a bit more buffalo sauce. It’s never an exact science with salads!
Vegan Ranch Dressing:
- 1 cup vegan mayo
- 2 T apple cider vinegar
- 1 T dried dill
- 1 T dried parsley
- 1 tsp. onion salt or garlic salt or powder (I use Trader Joe’s onion salt)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Your favorite plain, plant based milk (I start with a healthy splash and add more if needed to create desired consistency)
- Mix all ingredients together; I typically do this in a lidded jar and shake! Check dressing for consistency, adding more plant milk as desired.
Recently for my buffalo chickpea sandwiches, I’ve added a spread of Kite Hill vegan ricotta cheese and some extra vegan ranch on my bread with this salad. It’s a great addition to the flavors! If you want to up the heat, add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce to the mix. Enjoy!
I hope this gives you some ideas for vegan cookout food as we progress through the summer months. If you try this salad, let me know! As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.