A twist on a classic – Smashed Pimento Chickpea Sandwich (vegan pimento cheese) is hearty, flavor-packed and reminiscent of pimento cheese. Like my Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich, this smash comes together in ten minutes (with a little advance prep) then share it as a spread, or as a sandwich! This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and easily gluten free.
This recipe was first published September 2017. It’s was updated February 2022 with new photos and recipe notes.
Trying Something New with Chickpeas
Since making my first smash-up, the Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich, I knew I wanted to create a new favorite inspired by an old recipe. Oh what chickpeas can do!
Although I started making this recipe years ago, it was a visit from my pimento cheese lovin’ Ma that helped me taste test this one since she’s a big fan of the classic. I wanted her to give it a go before I shared it on the blog since, after-all, she is a pimento cheese expert.
With the help of nutritional yeast, paprika, red bell peppers and some good mayo, I’m completely smitten with this version of Vegan Pimento Cheese. I even impressed my pimento cheese expert Ma who lovingly hesitated and looked at me as if I’d lost it. Whaaa… no cheese?
Quick Guide: How to Make Vegan Pimento Cheese Chickpea Sandwiches
This spread is simple to pull together and is versatile enough to be enjoyed as a sammie, stuffed into pitas or with your favorite crackers. It’s delicious with celery and cucumber too. In summary, here’s how to make it (see recipe card for details):
- First, char red bell peppers under the broiler, gas grill or on a gas stove top range (see recipe notes). I like to use the gas stove top when roasting one or two peppers but if I have more, I turn on the broiler. It takes about and about 20 minutes under the broiler, 15-20 minutes on a grill or 10 minutes on a gas range.
- Second, place the peppers in a bowl and cover for about 10 minutes. This will help the charred skin release with ease.
- Third, mash up the chickpeas, and spices together.
- Next, peel the peppers and give em’ a good chop.
- Last, fold the peppers into the chickpea mixture.
PRO TIP: If you need a quick fix, whole roasted red bell peppers are available in a jar. They’re expensive, and not as flavorful as if you roast your own, but I use them in a pinch. Also, bell peppers can be roasted ahead of when needed, at least two days. They freeze beautifully too!
A Few Recipe Notes
- Enjoy this scrumptious spread for game day eats, picnics, on crackers, with celery, stuffed in pita bread, or simply on Multigrain Sourdough Bread.
- Spice it Up! Douse with a few shakes of Tabasco, and top with Pickled Banana Peppers for an added kick!
- Prep Ahead: Find whole roasted red bell peppers packed in water (not oil), in jars. Or, roast and peel the red peppers up to two days in advance.
More Vegetarian Sandwiches to Love
- Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich
- Smashed Chickpea Salad with Pecans and Grapes
- Greek Pita Stuffed Sandwiches
- Italian Pressed Sandwich
- Mushroom and Goat Cheese Veggie Paninis
Did you make this recipe? If so, please leave a comment and rating below as it helps others considering making this recipe. If you’re on Instagram, be sure to take a picture and tag me @VanillaAndBean so I can see and share in my stories!
Vegan Smashed Pimento Chickpea Sandwich Recipe
- 1 3/4 cups (280 grams) Chickpeas cooked, drained and rinsed (one can)
- 1 tablespoon Onion minced
- 1/2 Lemon juiced
- 2 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
- 1 teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Cane Sugar (optional or to taste as mayo brands vary in their sweetness)
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 3-4 tablespoons Mayonaise I use Just Mayo or Follow Your Heart
- 2 Roasted Red Bell Peppers patted dry and diced small* (about 1 cup / 200 grams diced)
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- Pickled Banana Peppers (optional) for an little kick!
- A few shakes of Tabasco
- After draining the chickpeas, put them on a kitchen towel and pat dry. In a large mixing bowl add the chickpeas, onions, lemon, yeast, salt, sugar (optional – but for that authentic flavor!), paprika, and mayo.
- Use a potato masher to rough-mash the mixture until most is smashed but there are still some whole chickpeas left. Stir in the diced roasted bell peppers, add a few grinds of fresh pepper and shakes of Tabasco. Taste for seasoning adjustment.
- Store in a lidded container, in the refrigerator, for up to three days.
- Serving Suggestions: Use this pimento chickpea as a spread on toast, crackers or sandwiches. Use it as a dip with sliced veggies – celery and cucumber are quite tasty.