Kimchi Smashed Chickpea Salad
4.75 from 4 votes

This kimchi smashed chickpea salad is a simple and flavor-forward topping for toast, wraps, crackers, or veggies. Kimchi lends bold flavor, fiber, and healthful probiotics to the recipe!

A smashed chickpea salad has been prepared with kimchi. A small amount of this salad is pictured on a torn piece of bread.

Once upon a time, I knew chickpea salad as a wholesome vegan alternative to chicken salad, a plant-based mainstay for sandwiches and wraps.

Nowadays chickpea salad is so popular that I’ve seen it on many restaurant menus. The other day my own mom announced to me that she had seen a recipe and wanted to try it.

My standard recipe for chickpea salad is pretty traditional; it’s indeed reminiscent of the chicken salad I grew up with (vegan mayo, mustard, sometimes dill or parsley).

Lately, though, I’ve been getting more creative and taking more liberties with how I prepare it. Just as with hummus, avocado toast, or oatmeal, there are tons of ways to approach this everyday staple.

My latest favorite is a smashed kimchi chickpea salad that’s a little salty, a little spicy, and all things tasty.

An overhead image of smashed chickpea salad, seasoned with plant-based mayonnaise and kimchi. It rests on a round white plate.

The recipe was inspired by Julia Turshen’s kimchi avocado toast from Small Victories, which takes advantage of kimchi as a topping and also uses some of the brine for drizzling.

What that recipe showed me is that the bold flavor of kimchi can go such a long way in flavoring a dish; once you add it, you don’t really need to fuss around with much additional seasoning or flavor.

So, in this very simple recipe, you fold together smashed chickpeas, my vegan mayo with cashews (or store-bought vegan mayo, or tahini), a squeeze of sriracha, and a dash of crushed red pepper.

You can certainly get a little more elaborate with the addition of dulse, gomasio, sesame seeds, or something else for crunch; you could add herbs or grated carrot.

But the kimchi does most of the work here. I found that I didn’t even need to add additional salt to the dish once I’d incorporated it.

A torn slice of toast, topped with legumes, is resting on the rim of a small white plate.

As far as serving goes, the salad is perfect with toast, crackers, or on a wrap, but it’s also a nice topping for lunch bowls.

The other day I mixed a big scoop of it together with a heaping cup of cooked rice and some steamed greens, then topped it all with a squeeze of sriracha and lime juice. It was random and messy, for sure, but it was so, so good.

Chickpeas that have been smashed and mixed with a creamy sauce are resting on a round, white, rimmed plate.
A white, round plate is topped with a smashed bean dip, seasoned with mayonnaise and kimchi. A bit of the dip has been piled onto a small piece of toast.
4.75 from 4 votes

Kimchi Smashed Chickpea Salad

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 4 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (240g cooked chickpeas or one 15-ounce / 425g can, rinsed and drained)
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegan mayo (45-60g; substitute store-bought vegan mayonnaise)
  • 1/2 cup chopped kimchi (120g)
  • 1 tablespoon kimchi brine
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Sriracha or chili oil to taste
  • Optional: A few dashes of dulse or kelp flakes, 1-2 tablespoons gomasio or toasted sesame seeds, finely chopped scallions, or grated carrot


  • Place the chickpeas in a mixing bowl and add the mayonnaise. Use a potato masher or the back of a fork to mash the chickpeas up; they should be mostly mashed, but it's nice when a few of them remain whole. Start with 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise, then add a little more as needed for a creamy texture.
  • Fold in the kimchi, vinegar, and sriracha. Add any additional mix-ins you like, then taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve.


Leftover salad will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
A creamy bean salad has been served on a round, white, rimmed plate. A small toast point is laying nearby, for scooping up the beans.

Another way to make the salad even more versatile is to vary your toppings. You can use additional chopped kimchi, thinly sliced cucumber or radish, grated carrot or beets, greens, or herbs.

Throughout the last week or two I’ve been diving into more intense work and academic routine than I’ve had in a while, so toast has been a very comforting, simple lunchtime mainstay for me.

No matter how many toast lunches I eat, I’m always happy to have a new favorite spread or topping to play with, and I have a feeling this one is destined to stick around.

I hope you enjoy it, too.


This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Visit my privacy policy to learn more.

Categories: Recipes, Side Dishes, Snacks
Ingredients: Chickpeas
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan
Recipe Features: 30 Minute or Less, Meal Prep, Quick & Easy

Leave a Comment

Star ratings help other readers to find my recipes online. If you loved this recipe, would you please consider giving it a star rating with your comment?

Thank you for your feedback. I'm grateful for your presence in this space!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    I’m trying to eat kimchi everyday. I just cooked some chickpeas in my pressure cooker this morning, so I had to try the recipe. My partner and I loved it. I will definitely be making this again. I think the recipe would also work well as an appetizer for friends too.

  2. 5 stars
    I made a big bowl of this to use for lunches at work all week. I added a finely chopped celery stalk and a pinch of dulse flakes. I had it on a sandwich with thinly sliced radish, cucumber, baby spinach and toasted sesame seeds. It was so filling and delicious and I’m excited to have it again for lunch today.

  3. I am forever amazed at how versatile chickpeas are. Their mild flavor, texture, protein and starch make them perfect for so many applications. No doubt, smashed chickpeas can take on many forms, but I’ve not see it paired with kimchi! Super tangy and flavorful, I gotta give this a go, Gena! 😀 Delicious!

  4. What a completely fabulous idea, Gena. I’ve been eating that avo kimchi toast over and over lately and I’m trying to understand how I got along without it. Besides kimchi being so full of flavor and punch, I love the idea of incorporating more ferments into my everyday. And btw, those fanned out radishes add such a pretty touch!

  5. I love this idea! Kimchi has so much flavor. I can see it adding a lot to the more muted chickpeas. Plus, I’m always looking for excuses to eat kimchi. This sounds like a great one.