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A creamy, spicy gochujang chickpea salad sandwich with spicy-sweet gochujang caramelized onions is a Korean-style twist on this lunchtime favorite! It’s hearty, satisfying, and packed with FLAVOR! Options for gluten-free , Nutfree , Soyfree

hand holding a gochujang chickpea salad sandwich
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I love cooking with gochujang, like in my gochujang bowl, peanut gochujang rice, gochujang cauliflower wings, gochujang lentils, and gochujang tofu sandwich. This gochujang chickpea salad is my most recent gochujang recipe.

I’ve got a bunch of chickpea salad sandwiches on the blog, because there isn’t just one way to make a chickpea salad sandwich. You can add a lot of different spices, herbs, flavors, sauces, and crunchy additions to make super quick lunches that are unique every single time! In this salad, we have creamy dressing with spicy gochujang, paired with caramelized onions that have been cooked with gochujang! Making them sweeter and spiced and gorgeous. You can use these onions in so many ways, on burgers, wraps, bowls and more.

close-up of the gochujang chickpea salad sandwich

For this chickpea salad sandwich, we add gochujang into the creamy dressing for the chickpea salad. We also caramelize the onions. Once the onions are halfway cooked, we add some gochujang to them, as well, so you get these sweet-and-spicy, delicious onions to top the chickpea salad sandwich. Serve it in a bread or pita sandwich or in a wrap or lettuce wrap or as a dip with tortilla chips or pita chips!

Why You’ll Love Gochujang Chickpea Salad

  • quick, easy make-ahead lunch
  • packed with FLAVOR!
  • topped with sweet-and-spicy gochujang caramelized onions
  • easy to make gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free
gochujang chickpea salad sandwich on the cutting board before slicing

Gochujang Chickpea Salad Sandwich

5 from 5 votes
By: Vegan Richa
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 3
Course: lunch, One Pot meal, Sandwich
Cuisine: Korean
A creamy, spicy gochujang chickpea salad sandwich with spicy-sweet gochujang caramelized onions is a Korean-style twist on this lunchtime favorite! It’s hearty, satisfying, and packed with FLAVOR! Options for gluten-free Soyfree and nutfree.
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Ingredients 
 

For the Caramelized Onion

  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup, or sugar
  • 2 teaspoons gochujang paste

For the Chickpea Salad Sandwich

  • 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained, or 1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas (or use other beans of choice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy yogurt, or vegan mayo
  • 2 teaspoons gochujang paste
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, or other herbs of choice

For assembly

  • bread, , wraps, lettuce leaves, and/or salad greens
  • vegan mayo

Instructions 

Caramelize the onions.

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and a good pinch of the salt, and mix and cook until the onions start to turn translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir occasionally and add splash of water if the pan is drying out.
  • Mix in the garlic, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then mix in the rest of the salt along with the maple syrup and gochujang. Add a splash of water to help the gochujang mix into the onion, then reduce the heat to medium, and continue cooking for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onions are starting to turn golden and the garlic has cooked. Switch off the heat and set aside while you make the salad.

Make the gochujang chickpea salad.

  • Add the chickpeas, spices, salt, yogurt, gochujang, and lime juice to a bowl. Mix well, press and mash about half of the chickpeas using a fork or masher. Mix in the onion, bell pepper, and cilantro. Now, taste and adjust flavor, adding more non-dairy yogurt or vegan mayo, if needed, for more creaminess. (You can also fold some of the caramelized onion into the chickpea mixture.)
  • Then, assemble the sandwich. Add a layer of vegan mayo onto one slice of the bread, and top it with salad greens, lettuce, or fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley. Generously pile on the gochujang chickpea salad and then the caramelized onions, and close the sandwich with another slice of bread. Wrap it up in parchment paper, slice, and either a pack for your lunch or serve now.
  • Serve it in a bread as above or pita sandwich or in a wrap or lettuce wrap or as a dip with tortilla chips or pita chips!

Video

Notes

Nutritional information doesn’t include the bread or mayo, since type and amounts will vary.
To make a lettuce wrap or regular wrap, add the chickpea salad and caramelized onion to your wrap of choice, and drizzle some vegan mayo. Wrap and pack for lunch or eat.
To make it gluten-free, use gochujang that is gluten-free and use gluten-free bread or make lettuce wraps.
It’s nut-free if you use nut-free vegan yogurt and mayo.
For soy-free choose soy-free gochujang, non-dairy yogurt, and mayo. For soy-free, you can also replace the gochujang with soy-free chili garlic sauce or chili crisp.
Make soy-free gluten-free gochujang by mixing together 2 teaspoons each of: gochugaru pepper flakes, chickpea miso, coconut aminos and 1 teaspoon maple syrup.
Storage:Make the chickpea salad and the caramelized onion and store refrigerated in closed containers for upto 2 days. Use to make sandwiches or wraps as needed. You can store the premade sandwich in the refrigerator for a few hours. The salad will make the bread soggy if stored for too long.  
Variations: You can also add other crunchy veggies to your gochujang chickpea salad, like celery. For the herbs, try adding dill or thyme to the chickpea salad to mix things up, if you like.

Nutrition

Calories: 219kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 630mg, Potassium: 420mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 518IU, Vitamin C: 28mg, Calcium: 106mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this recipe? Rate and comment below!

How to Serve It

You can serve gochujang chickpea salad on your bread of choice, like white sandwich bread, whole wheat, sourdough or pita, wraps, etc. Or, spoon it over salad greens for a more veggie-forward lunch. No matter how you serve it, gochujang chickpea salad is a great meal prep recipe to have in the fridge for quick lunches!

It’s delicious on its own, or serve with a salad, garlic fries, chips, etc.

gochujang chickpea salad ingredients

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • oil – To caramelize the onions. Use stock for oilfree
  • onion – You’ll make caramelized onions and use some fresh onion in the gochujang chickpea salad too.
  • garlic – To flavor the onions.
  • salt – To help the onions caramelize and bring out the flavors in the chickpea salad.
  • maple syrup – Adds a little sweet to offset the heat of the gochujang in the salad.
  • gochujang paste – Choose gluten-free and/or soy-free, if needed. You can also substitute chili garlic sauce or chili crisp for a similar flavor if you can’t find gochujang.
  • chickpeas – The base for the salad. Use canned or homemade. Or use white beans of choice
  • spices – Garlic powder and black pepper also season the chickpea salad.
  • non-dairy yogurt – Makes the chickpea salad creamy.
  • lime juice – For tang.
  • bell pepper – For crunch! Feel free to add other chopped, crunchy veggies like celery.
  • cilantro – Or use your herbs of choice. Dill, parsley, and/or thyme are delicious in this recipe.
  • bread – Use bread, pita, wraps, our lettuce wraps to make this gochujang chickpea salad sandwich.
  • vegan mayo or non dairy yogurt – For creaminess in the sandwich.

💡 Tips

  • You only need to mash about half of the chickpeas. Feel free to leave it chunky, if you prefer that texture or mash it more, for a smoother mixture.
  • This sandwich like most chickpea salad sandwiches is a bit messy, so wrapping it in parchment helps keep it contained as you eat it or when you pack it in your lunchbox.

How to Make Gochujang Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and a good pinch of the salt, and mix and cook until the onions start to turn translucent, 4-5 minutes. Stir occasionally and add splashes of water if needed.

onions in the pan before cooking
adding the garlic to the partially cooked onions

Mix in the garlic, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then mix in the rest of the salt along with the maple syrup and gochujang. Add a splash of water to help the gochujang mix into the onion, then reduce the heat to medium, and continue cooking for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onions are starting to turn golden and the garlic has cooked. Switch off the heat and set aside while you make the salad.

adding gochujang to the partially cooked onions
gochujang onions in the pan after cooking

Add the chickpeas, spices, salt, yogurt, gochujang, and lime juice to a bowl. Mix well, mashing about half of the chickpeas.

machine the chickpeas
adding salty and spices to the chickpeas
adding lime juice to the chickpeas
adding vegan mayo and gochujang to the chickpeas

Mix in the onion, bell pepper, and cilantro. Now, taste and adjust flavor, adding more non-dairy yogurt or vegan mayo, if needed, for more creaminess. You can also fold some of the caramelized onion into the chickpea mixture.

mashing the chickpeas with the seasonings
adding cilantro to the gochujang chickpea salad

Then, assemble the sandwich. Add a layer of vegan mayo onto one slice of the bread, and top it with salad greens, lettuce, or fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley.

spreading mayo on the bread
adding cilantro to the bread

Generously pile on the gochujang chickpea salad and then the caramelized onions, and close the sandwich with another slice of bread.

topping the cilantro on the bread with gochujang chickpea salad
topping the gochujang chickpea salad with caramelized onion

Wrap it up in parchment paper, slice, and either a pack for your lunch or serve now.

hand holding a gochujang chickpea salad sandwich

Frequently Asked Questions

Is gochujang gluten-free?

It can be! Gochujang can be made with glutenous rice or with barley. The type made with rice is gluten-free, but if it’s made with barley, it will contain gluten.

Does gochujang contain soy?

Conventional gochujang is made with fermented soybeans, but you can find soy-free versions.

Is this recipe allergy friendly?

This recipe is gluten-free, as long as your gochujang is gluten-free and you use gluten-free bread or make lettuce wraps. 

It’s nut-free if you use nut-free vegan yogurt and mayo. 

It’s soy-free as long as you choose soy-free gochujang, non-dairy yogurt, and mayo. For soy-free, you can also replace the gochujang with soy-free chili garlic sauce or chili crisp.

Can I make gochujang sauce?

Need soy-free and/or gluten-free gochujang? Make your own! Mix together 2 teaspoons each of: gochugaru pepper flakes, chickpea miso, coconut aminos and 1 teaspoon maple syrup.

Can I make this ahead?

yes. Make the chickpea salad and the caramelized onion and store refrigerated in closed containers for upto 2 days. Use to make sandwiches and wrap etc as needed. You can store the premade sandwich in the refrigerator for a few hours. The salad will ultimately make the bread soggy.

About Richa

Hi, I'm Richa! I create flavorful plant based recipes that are inspired by my Indian upbringing, including many gluten-free, soy-free, and oil-free options.

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10 Comments

  1. Diane says:

    5 stars
    This was so delicious, I’m making it again today! Thank you.

    1. Richa says:

      Yay!!

  2. Catherine says:

    5 stars
    I was feeling bored with sandwiches, and this recipe popped up in my Facebook feed. I just happened to have all the ingredients in, so made it pretty much immediately. I was not disappointed. This is easily my favourite sandwich now. I had it for both lunch and dinner last night and plan to have it again for lunch today. (Addicted!) The amount of gochujang used is absolutely perfect and this is a well-balanced taste explosion. The addition of the caramelised gochujang onions is genius. Roll on lunchtime!
    Thank you so much Richa – I will definitely be making this for my vegan and omni friends x

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      Yay! So glad you liked it.

  3. Marie says:

    5 stars
    I made this sandwich with pita bread. It was super easy & quick to make.
    The gochuchang onions were delicious & add a good flavor to the blandness of chickpeas.
    A very tasty combination to elevate your sandwich experience. It was so good I ate it for lunch 2 days in a row.
    Highly recommended!

    1. Richa says:

      Thank you Marie!

  4. Maneesha says:

    5 stars
    Well daaaaang this was an amazing recipe! I love the combo of gochujang and chickpeas! I had this atop a bed of lettuce, and it was perfect! Thank you Richa!

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      So glad you liked it!

  5. Geri Garrett says:

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner last night. It was sooo delicious! We love the curried chickpea sandwich, so I knew this would be good, too. The only change I would make next time would be to double or even triple the onion recipe. They were so yummy we really wanted more. And they cooked down to a very small amount. FYI I used sweet onions. Thanks again for making our tummies so happy!

    1. Richa says:

      Yay!