This Vegan Caesar Smashed Chickpea Sandwich is made with a delicious dairy-free and oil-free Caesar dressing giving it a delicious Caesar salad flavor and intense flavor. Fresh red onion give it a nice kick and texture!
I believe I have finally nailed the perfect Vegan Caesar Dressing. I'm so serious. It's so delicious and tastes so authentic, I'm in love with it. And get this, it has NO nutritional yeast, no oil and is soy-free! So many versions contain added oils, mayo or soy.
Not just sharing a Caesar Dressing today, though. I'm sharing this Vegan Caesar Smashed Chickpea Sandwich recipe of course! The inspiration for these came from going out with my girlfriends a week ago. My best friend ordered Caesar salad at the restaurant and kept talking about how much she had been craving Caesar salad and went on about how delicious it was. Soooo, naturally, she then passed over the craving and grumble in my tummy.
Instead of just posting a Caesar salad, I thought I'd make a chickpea sandwich. I was flipping through Southern Living magazine and saw a Caesar inspired chicken recipe in there and that got the ideas rolling for this recipe I'm sharing today. Obviously, that recipe is nowhere near vegan, had chicken, anchovies, mayo and oil, so I really had to do some magic to create something just as yummy but with none of the same ingredients.
I started with my 1st Caesar Dressing recipe that I posted over 4 years ago and tweaked it from there. That recipe is good, is loved by readers with over 100 comments, but it's older and honestly, I knew I could amp it up and make it taste even more like a true Caesar. I believe I have finally done that.
THE SECRET TO THE BEST VEGAN CAESAR DRESSING
The artichoke brine is a game-changer here. The dressing is fabulous on it's own and chilled overnight, it becomes a dip like consistency. I wanted it this thick so it holds up well (not runny) in a sandwich.
HOW TO MAKE OIL-FREE VEGAN CAESAR DRESSING
First, gather the following ingredients (+salt/pepper/water):
- artichoke brine from a can (one soaked in water, not oil!)
- fresh lemon juice
- Dijon mustard
- garlic powder
- red onion
- bread of choice
Next, add all of the Caesar dressing ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend until completely smooth. It is a thick dressing, so you will have to scrape down the sides a couple of times to get it all to blend.
Add the chickpeas and ONLY 6 tablespoons of the dressing and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a large bowl. Reserve the rest to make more sandwiches or use in salads. Mash until the dressing is evenly incorporated and the chickpeas are mashed but still have texture. Add the red onion and stir until mixed.
Assemble your sandwiches with extra Oil-free Vegan Caesar Dressing on the bread!
Devour! This recipe is perfect for the summer too because it's HOT and no cooking required and takes just minutes to put together!
I hope you all love this Vegan Caesar Smashed Chickpea Sandwich! Be sure to leave feedback below after you make it!
Vegan Caesar Smashed Chickpea Sandwich
Vegan Caesar Dressing
- 4 tablespoons 60g artichoke brine from a can (one soaked in water, not oil!)
- 4 tablespoons 60g fresh lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons 60g water
- 2 tablespoons 30g Dijon mustard
- 1 cup 140g raw, unsalted cashews*
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt start with 1/4 and add more if desired
For the sandwich
- 1 15 oz can of low-sodium chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 6 tablespoons 90g of the above dressing
- 3 tablespoons 45g finely diced red onion
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon or more of salt
- bread of choice I used a wheat olive bread from Sprouts
- optional: any toppings you like I used cherry tomatoes, lettuce and hemp seeds/sesame seeds
- Add all of the Caesar dressing ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend until completely smooth. It is a thick dressing, so you will have to scrape down the sides a couple of times to get it all to blend. Keep going until completely smooth. If you do NOT have a Vitamix, then you will need to soak your cashews overnight to get them really soft and then process in a food processor, which I find makes things smoother than a weak blender. You don't want gritty dressing, so soak the nuts. Taste it and tell me that doesn't remind you of Caesar dressing?! It should be bold, rich in flavor and a salty bite...just like Caesar.
- The dressing should be nice, thick and creamy. I wanted it thick so it goes well and sticks to the chickpeas. The dressing is fabulous on it's own and chilled overnight, it becomes a thick dip-like consistency. Thin out with a bit of water if wanting to use on a salad or just use thick to dip veggies in or make more chickpea mixture. It's thickness is great to use as a spread on the sandwich.
- Add the chickpeas and ONLY 6 tablespoons (90g) of the dressing and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a large bowl. Reserve the rest to make more sandwiches or use in salads. Mash until the dressing is evenly incorporated and the chickpeas are mashed but still have texture. Add the red onion and stir until mixed. Taste and add any more salt if desired. Depending on how salty (or not) your chickpeas were, it will affect how much salt you'll need. I also liked a good turn of freshly ground black pepper. I did place the mixture in the fridge to chill and set the flavors for awhile before eating.
- When assembling the sandwiches, I like to spread extra Caesar dressing on the bread like a "mayo" and as an extra boost of Caesar flavor. Assemble sandwiches as desired!