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Smoky Chickpea and Watercress Salad with Mango and Avocado

Roasted chickpeas were a favorite snack of my Italian grandmother who first introduced me to the savory protein-rich treat many years ago. To make Italian-style roasted chickpeas, simply toss cooked chickpeas with a little olive oil and roast them on a baking pan in a single layer for about 30 minutes, then season lightly with salt.

These days you can find numerous spin-offs of classic roasted chickpeas that cloak the chickpeas with various spice blends and sauces from curry to tamari.

I especially love these Smoky Chickpeas, a recipe I developed by tossing the chickpeas in a seasoning mixture that I generally use to make vegan bacon. Once roasted, the chickpeas take on a lovely mahogany color and a deep smoky flavor that, like their more scantily-clad Italian counterpart, make a terrific snack on their own. They can also be used to add interest to soups or cooked grains or other recipes where a smoky flavor is welcome. My favorite way to serve them is in this Smoky Chickpea and Watercress Salad with Mango and Avocado.

Smoky Chickpea and Watercress Salad with Mango and Avocado

This Recipe is :






  • 1/2 cup chopped ripe mango
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard or 1/2 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • Water, as needed
  • Salt and pepper


  • 2 bunches watercress, well washed and spun dry, tough stems removed
  • 1 ripe mango
  • 1 ripe Hass avocado

Smoky Chickpeas

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked or one 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained



  1. Combine the chopped mango, lime juice, agave, mustard (or sriracha), and liquid smoke in a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth, adding 1 to 3 tablespoons of water as needed to achieve desired consistency.
  3. Season lightly with salt and pepper and blend again, then taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. Set aside.


  1. Place the watercress in a large salad bowl or mound onto individual plates.
  2. Top with the chickpeas.
  3. Peel, pit, and dice the mango and avocado, or use a small melon baller to scoop them into balls, then add them to the watercress and chickpeas.
  4. Drizzle the dressing onto the salad or serve the dressing on the side.

Smoky Chickpeas

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Line a shallow baking dish with parchment paper or spray it with cooking spray.
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine and coat the chickpeas.
  4. Transfer the chickpeas to the prepared baking dish and spread them in a single layer.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring once about halfway through.






Firstly, how dare you? But if I must, as a yogini, I find myself often pondering life and the cycle it follows for all of us. We're all interconnected. For example, when I see a squirrel happily scampering up a tree, a chain reaction begins in me that causes me to lose my ever loving mind. But then, you throw me a ball, and I'm like OMG! You see? Connections. Bottom line, I hold degrees in cuddling and belly rubs from UC BARKley and HOWLvard respectively, which makes me an expert in being the happiest being ever. I run a tight ship here and only offer kisses and snuggles to those that help my fellow furry-bottomed soldiers out on the field. Namaste.



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2 comments on “Smoky Chickpea and Watercress Salad with Mango and Avocado”

Click to add comment
Molly Woodsum
3 Years Ago

I made a half-size recipe of the chickpeas at first to try it out. Well, within 15 minutes [not even joking- it was that short amount of time], my husband & I ate ALL the chickpeas I roasted. We went back to the store an hour later to get enough chickpeas to double the recipe. Needless to say, this recipe is an absolute keeper. Thanks for sharing!!

Corrin Radd
3 Years Ago

I make a lot of salads, and this one, wow, is probably the best I've ever made. My wife agrees. Thanks for the idea.


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