Vegan Pita Sandwich with Pesto and Roasted Chickpeas

These vegan BBQ roasted chickpea sandwiches feature a delicious luxe creamy and quick homemade walnut pesto, garlic flavors, and crunchy salad. Pile all the deliciousness inside fluffy warm pita bread and you’re ready to dig into a super tasty vegan sandwich that doubles as lunch and dinner.

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Say hello to this vegan pita sandwich with pesto and roasted chickpeas is a saucy, protein-rich, crunchy, meat-like satisfying lunch or dinner. Pile it into a fluffy warm pita or envelope it in a couple of toasted sandwich slices for a flavorful and healthy meal. It’s filling, it’s satisfying, and it’s so easy to make…and it’s totally meat-free.

This quick and easy chickpea sandwich features my super easy air fryer chickpeas…but you can just as easily make your roasted chickpeas in the oven or fry them on a pan. 

What you’ll need to make the best easy vegan sandwiches 

  • Pita bread or sandwich bread 
  • Vegan walnut pesto
  • chickpeas, rinsed and drained 
  • olive oil 
  • garlic powder 
  • onion powder
  • smoked paprika 
  • salt
  • Plus or minus some Lettuce of your choice and any other ingredients you might want such as tomatoes or cucumbers

Let’s talk about this protein-rich meaty but not made of meat filling and the star of this dish. 

Whether you make these BBQ chickpeas in an air fryer (which takes only 15-minutes and is super low maintenance) or you fry them in a pan this recipe has EASY written all over it…and delicious. It’s a simple, pantry-friendly recipe that’s loaded with bold barbecue flavors and lots of plant-based protein. 

There’s just something about chickpeas. The way they soak up the spices and become crispy on the outside while still being tender and fluffy on the inside is a texture combo that’s out of this world. 

It’s a vegan sandwich loaded with oomph factor and bold flavors. Add whatever vegetables you like such as fresh cucumber slices, crunchy lettuce, or even coleslaw, and serve with a generous slather of pesto. Yum!

Ideas for what to serve with pitas 

How to make chickpeas in an air fryer 

  • Heat your air fryer to 390F (200 Celsius).
  • Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas to a bowl and season with olive oil and spices. Toss to coat the chickpeas in the seasoning.
  • Next, pour all the chickpeas into the air fryer basket. Cook for 12-15 minutes (shake the basket a couple of times throughout cooking for best results).
  • Once the chickpeas are golden and crispy on the outside, remove them from the air fryer. Let them cool a little before eating.
  • Season with extra salt if needed and enjoy.

Note:

Store in an open container to keep the chickpeas crunchy.

Can be served hot or cold as you please.

How to make chickpeas in a frying pan 

  • Heat olive oil in a frying pan and transfer the drained chickpeas to the hot pan. Season with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika. 
  • Mix everything so the chickpeas are completely coated in spices and let them cook at medium-high heat while stirring occasionally for 7-10 minutes or until the chickpeas are golden and lightly crispy on the outside in places. 
  • Remove from the heat and set aside.

How to make the best vegan red walnut pesto

This simple delicious homemade red pesto is a luxe creamy and rich pesto that’s so good you’re going to want to make it on repeat (Hint: you get this delicious pesto recipe and many more when you sign up to receive our newsletter)

First, let’s look at the easy simple ingredient list you need to make homemade vegan red pesto.

The secret to the deep flavors and luxe tomato richness in this pesto is all down to the oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. Sun-dried tomatoes are so much sweeter and richer than regular tomatoes as if all of the summer sunshine has been soaked up and condensed into each dried tomato. It makes this easy 8-minutes pesto a decadent spread, dip, or sauce that’s out of this world.

Ingredients

  • Walnuts
  • Pine Nuts
  • oil-packed Sun-dried Tomatoes
  • Garlic Minced
  • Fresh Basil
  • Olive Oil
  • Juice from 1⁄2 Lemon, or juice from 2 limes
  • Sea salt or Kosher Salt, More if needed
  • Black Pepper

How to make homemade walnut pesto step-by-step

  • Heat a small non-stick frying pan and add the walnuts and pine nuts. Toast the nuts for a few minutes while stirring occasionally. When the nuts are golden brown, remove them from the heat.
  • Pour the toasted nuts into a blender along with the sun-dried tomatoes, basil, parsley, olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, and seasoning. Blend until everything is combined into a pesto. You may need to scrape the sides down a few times to make sure everything is blended.
  • Pour the pesto into a clean jar with a lid and store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Frequently asked questions about homemade pesto

What can I use instead of pine nuts in pesto?

You can use walnuts, almonds, pistachios, or even seeds such as sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.

Is it worth making your own pesto?

Yes! Homemade pesto is 100x better (but if you’re low on time, you can use store-bought pesto in this recipe). This quick vegan homemade red pesto is a low-effort, flavor-packed dip that’s great to make once or twice a week so you always have a backup waiting in the fridge.

What can I use instead of pine nuts in pesto?

You can use walnuts, almonds, pistachios, or even seeds such as sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.

How long does homemade pesto last?

Homemade pesto will keep for up to 7 days if kept in a sealed container or jar in the refrigerator.

FAQs about this chickpea sandwich recipe

What kind of pita bread is best?

Any kind of pita bread or even naan bread will work for this recipe. I like to use traditional pita bread (sometimes called Arabic pita) because it’s light, fluffy, and has a natural pocket made for stuffing with all the filling your heart desires.

Should I use homemade pita or store-bought?

That’s up to you. Homemade is always better, lighter, and more fluffy, but you can just as easily use store-bought pita as I did in the recipe photos.

Are air fryer chickpeas meal prep friendly?

Yes. They make a great healthy meal prep snack. Just store them in an open bowl or jar to keep them crispy and crunchy. Placing them in a closed container will make the skins soften as it locks in any moisture.

How many calories are in air fryer chickpeas?

One serving (1/4 of this batch size) comes in at just around 250 calories that are high in potassium, and calcium and contain around 11g of protein, making it a great healthy vegan snack.

Are air fryer chickpeas good on the Mediterranean diet?

Yes. Air fryer chickpeas are great if you’re on the Mediterranean diet because chickpeas are naturally stable in the Mediterranean diet.

Can I eat chickpeas on the Keto diet?

Chickpeas contain a lot of protein but they are also high in carbohydrates, meaning you can only eat a handful of chickpeas if you’re on the Keto Diet.

Vegan Pita Sandwich with pesto and roasted chickpeas

These vegan BBQ roasted chickpea sandwiches feature a delicious luxe creamy and quick homemade walnut pesto, garlic flavors, and crunchy salad. Pile all the deliciousness inside fluffy warm pita bread and you’re ready to dig into a super tasty vegan sandwich that doubles as lunch and dinner.
Course Lunch, Vegan Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword vegan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 sandwiches
Author Simone – Munchyesta.com

Ingredients

  • 4 Pitas or a pack of sandwich toast
  • 4-6 large tbsp Vegan Pesto
  • 1 19oz can Chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • ½ tsp Salt

Homemade walnut pesto

  • 1 cup Walnuts
  • cup Pine Nuts
  • 6-8 Oil packed Sundried Tomato halves
  • 1 clove Garlic minced
  • 1 bunch Fresh Basil equal to 1 cup packed basil or 60 basil sprigs
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • Juice from ½ Lemon or juice from 2 limes
  • ½ tsp Salt more if needed
  • Pinch of Pepper

Instructions

Making chickpeas in air fryer

  • Heat your air fryer to 390F (200 Celsius).
  • Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas to a bowl and season with olive oil and spices. Toss to coat the chickpeas in the seasoning.
  • Next, pour all the chickpeas into the air fryer basket. Cook for 12-15 minutes (shake the basket a couple of times throughout cooking for best results).
  • Once the chickpeas are golden and crispy on the outside, remove them from the air fryer. Let them cool a little before eating.
    Season with extra salt if needed and enjoy.

How to make chickpeas in a frying pan

  • Heat olive oil in a frying pan and transfer the drained chickpeas to the hot pan. Season with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika. 
  • Mix everything so the chickpeas are completely coated in spices and let them cook at medium-high heat while stirring occasionally for 7-10 minutes or until the chickpeas are golden and lightly crispy on the outside in places. 
    Remove from the heat and set aside.

How to make homemade vegan red pesto

  • Heat a small non-stick frying pan and add the walnuts and pine nuts. Toast the nuts for a few minutes while stirring occasionally. When the nuts are golden brown, remove them from the heat.
  • Pour the toasted nuts into a blender along with the sun-dried tomatoes, basil, parsley, olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, and seasoning. Blend until everything is combined into a pesto. You may need to scrape the sides down a few times to make sure everything is blended.
  • Pour the pesto into a clean jar with a lid and store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Making the pita sandwich

  • Cut open the fluffy warm pita and spread a generous spoonful of pesto inside it. Fill the pita with all your favorite sandwich fillings (crunchy salad, juicy tomato slices, fresh cucumber slices etc.)
  • Use a spoon to generously stuff your pita sandwich with roasted BBQ chickpeas and finish with a little extra pesto.
    Enjoy.

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