These vegan chickpea-salad-stuffed avocados are just the thing to get you into the spirit of making light summer fare. Full of protein (~13 grams per serving), the avo halves are at once cooling yet seriously satisfying. You’ll want to pair them with a crisp glass of white wine on a scorching day, and even though they’re lunch-appropriate, they make for a savory vegan breakfast too. Once you learn the basic recipe below, try customizing the filling with your own favorite add-ins like spicy minced jalapeño or beachy Old Bay.

As an appetizer or light meal, the stuffed avocados are enough on their own. But if you’re cooking for those with heartier appetites, serve them alongside toasted bread or grilled pitas, and your guests can scoop and spread the salad and avocado to form a rustic open-faced sandwich. Hello, tasty.

FYI, these are best eaten right after they’re made. If you want to, assemble the chickpea salad mixture one day ahead of time — but minus the avocado, so it doesn’t oxidize and turn brown. Right before serving, cut and pit your avocados, adding the reserved flesh to the chickpea salad mixture. If you do have leftovers, cover them tightly with plastic wrap (it should be touching the surface of the salad/avocado), refrigerate, and try to eat within 24 hours.

Chickpea Salad Stuffed Avocados

(Serves 6 as an appetizer or side, serves 3 as an entrée)

Ingredients:

  • 3 avocados, halved and pitted*
  • juice of half a lime, plus more lime wedges for serving
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup carrots, small dice
  • 1/4 cup celery, small dice
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, small dice
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin, whites and greens separated
  • 1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • black pepper
  • cherry tomatoes, to garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. After halving and pitting the avocados, use a melon baller to remove just a bit of the avocado flesh so the hole where the pit was is bigger (and can hold more tasty chickpea salad!). Mash the avocado you remove, and set it aside to stir into the chickpea salad mixture later. Gently brush the cut halves of your avocados with the juice from half of a lime. It should be just enough to moisten the avocado, both seasoning it a little bit and helping to prevent oxidation.
  2. Add the chickpeas to a mixing bowl and use a potato masher to roughly smash them until you get a rustic texture (it shouldn’t be completely smooth). Stir in the carrots, celery, bell pepper, scallion whites, mayonnaise, mustard, sugar, salt, pepper, lime juice, and reserved mashed avocado. Season to taste with black pepper and additional salt as needed. Canned chickpeas can vary a bit in their moisture content — if the brand you use is firm and dry, you might need to add a little more mayo.
  3. Fill the avocado halves with the chickpea salad mixture. Garnish with the reserved green scallion tops and halved cherry tomatoes if desired. Serve with extra limes for spritzing!

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(Recipe and photos via Justina Huddleston / Brit + Co)