Chickpea Love (aka Garbanzo GaGa-ness)–Cucumber Chickpea “Bruschetta”

Cucumber Chickpea Bruschetta Gluten Free Easily

Amy’s (author of Simply Sugar & Gluten Free and soon-to-be author of a gluten-free, sugar-free cookbook!) roundup for this week’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays is all about healthier snacks. Amy says she receives many requests for healthy snacks and is asking her readers for help. I suspect we all know how to serve up healthier snacks, but we get bored with the seemingly mundane apples, bananas, baby carrots, celery sticks, and the like. We want something more inventive. We want a snack that appeals to all our senses and excites us just a little bit. Wasn’t your interest piqued by “bruschetta” in the title? Consider the chickpea and cucumber factors and you may be even more intrigued.

Let’s talk more about what we’re looking for in our snacks. Often with healthier snacks, it’s the presentation alone that makes the snack appealing. Take an apple, cut it into slices, arrange the slices into a pinwheel design on a plate, leave it on the kitchen counter, and I guarantee that the apple slices will magically disappear. And, that’s without the benefit of any dips or special topping. However, if I didn’t cut the apple and place it out for public snacking, it would stay in the basket on our kitchen counter until it literally shriveled up. I’m usually the only one who eats apple in their natural state at our house, but even I enjoy apple slices more than eating a whole apple. Attractive and bite-sized, with no work involved–that’s what we consumers really want in our healthy snacks.

A recent mention in Better Homes and Gardens magazine shared some ideas for chickpeas. The first was a roasted version, which used olive oil, salt, and black pepper. As you know, I love roasted chickpeas, but I think I’ll stick with my version, which uses olive oil and cayenne pepper as shown here. (Of course, any seasoning of your choice can be used.) Two other chickpea ideas appealed to me though: cucumber bruschetta and spiced chickpea couscous (remember couscous is only safe if made from brown rice like this product, which I have not yet tried). I decided to pull some of the ideas presented from each suggestion to come up with a healthy, yet appealing snack for today’s Slightly Indulgent roundup.

This Cucumber Chickpea Bruschetta is perfect for simple family snacking or elegant enough to serve as an appetizer at a dinner party. I’d even go so far as to say that one could have this bruschetta as a meal. Plus, it’s gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, soy free, corn free, yeast free, and egg free.  For folks with intolerances and/or allergies, that puts tasty “bruschetta” on their table—with no baking. And, yes, this bruschetta is even vegan. No matter on our eating needs, for all of us, it’s a nice way to get in one’s veggies, fruit, and protein. I also like the fact that it’s a cold snack-—that’s very much appreciated with this heat wave we’ve been having. In fact, Mr. GFE gave this recipe two thumbs up and said that he liked the cucumber slice as the base better than traditional bread or even crackers. He explained that the cucumber slices are so juicy, one doesn’t have to keep sipping on a beverage every few seconds. He also suggested that shrimp would be perfect on these little bruschettas. As I’ve said before, we really do think adding shrimp makes just about any appetizer or entree better. No shrimp was needed though as we sampled this bruschetta before eating some steamed crabs. However, it’s amazingly filling. We had to stop after only a few. I’m taking the rest to work today, and I know they’ll be well received.

Cucumber Chickpea "Bruschetta"
Recipe type: Appetizer, Snack, Entree
This recipe is naturally gluten free and vegan and loved by all. Really. It will surprise you how folks love this refreshing combo of ingredients and surprising presentation. Makes a great appetizer or filling, but "light" meal.
  • cucumber slices
  • can of drained and rinsed chickpeas, mashed
  • juice of about one-fourth of a lemon
  • chopped tomatoes
  • chopped onions
  • chopped basil or other herbs and seasonings (e.g., dill, cumin, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes)
  • OR salsa in place of last four ingredients (i.e., ingredients listed after chickpeas; see notes)
  1. Slice cucumbers thick enough that they can hold some weight. (See photo.)
  2. In a large bowl, add chickpeas and lemon juice. Mix well. Mash chickpeas with a potato masher or back of a spoon. They do not have to be fully mashed, just spreadable (or "spoonable").
  3. Spread chickpea mixture onto cucumber slices using a spoon.
  4. Mix tomatoes, onions, herbs, and seasonings. Spoon onto chickpea-topped slices.
  5. OR
  6. Top chickpea-topped cucumber slices with a small spoonful of salsa. Serve.
I used a seedless cucumber as I think they are a bit sturdier and I like the lack of seeds. Chickpeas are much more difficult to mash by hand than black beans; I was surprised. Just mash enough to be able to place on the cucumber slice. With the remaining chunkiness and their coloring, the mashed chickpeas almost look like shredded cheddar cheese, which is not a bad thing when one is eating dairy free. We had some peach-mango salsa leftover from our weekend camping trip with Son and his friends, which I used as topping for half of these bruschetta. (Incidentally, I'm not sure on the plural of bruschetta. I just found out I was saying the word wrong after all these years. Apparently there's the correct pronunciation and then the Americanized pronunciation.) Just a dab of salsa from a spoon on top of the chickpea mixture was all that was needed. The resulting bruschetta was really lovely, with so many flavors and textures ... all working well together. These are very addictive for a healthy snack! Incidentally, this would be a great recipe to get the kids involved in, too.

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens magazine


Carrie’s (Ginger Lemon Girl) 30 Days of Quick and Easy Meals continues on. My Tasty Meat Loaf … in Mere Minutes is the featured recipe today. Note that my  post is as much about a method as it is a recipe. If you have a favorite meat loaf recipe, you could certainly use that. Check out my guest post here. Be sure to check out all the other great recipes that have been shared to date and check back until the end of the event, and in the future. This one month of meals from so many great gluten-free folks could keep you in meal ideas for months to come. Maybe you’ll find—as I did with the Blackened Black Bean Burgers—that one great idea will just lead to another. That’s my favorite way to create in the kitchen!

Finally, there’s even more link love in the gluten-free blogosphere right now—all conveying some terrific, “must-have” info. My new, very sweet friend, Tia, of Glugle Gluten Free, dedicated her latest post to me because my suggestion on Elana’s Chocolate Chip Cookies worked. Woohoo for Tia’s success and Elana’s Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies! Check out Tia’s delectable version here. My other, super lovely friend, Heidi, who amazes me every day with her energy and all she’s doing to spread celiac/gluten intolerance/gluten sensitivity awareness, just shared a fabulous summary post of everything gluten free. Heidi’s roundup is so good that I may let myself off the hook for posting one this week (unless something else earth-shattering happens in our gluten-free world, of course). And, thanks, Heidi, for mentioning several posts from gfe! Be sure to check out Heidi’s post here. And, look for her upcoming article on her atypical symptoms of celiac in the next issue of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity, too.

All for now, folks … enjoy!

Not just gfe, but gfe!

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Real Food Wednesdays, Pennywise Platter ThursdaysFriday Foodie Fix–Chickpeas, Friday Foodie Fix–Cucumbers, and 5-Ingredient Mondays.

Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


58 Responses to “Chickpea Love (aka Garbanzo GaGa-ness)–Cucumber Chickpea “Bruschetta””

  1. Heidi Kelly on June 29th, 2010 9:15 am

    BRILLIANT appetizer/snack idea Shirley!! I never would have thought of this but it is perfect, especially since making GF baguettes are time consuming. I will be making these for my party this weekend!

    I agree with have prepared fruits and veggies available, it definitely increases the likelihood of them being eaten. I have a mini fridge in the boys playroom that I fill with pre-sliced apples, berries, grapes and veggie sticks and assorted healthy dips. They know that they never have to ask permission to get a snack from their fridge and they gobble it all up! ;-)

    I love tart apple slices with Havarti cheese or nut butters, it was a snack I ate often when I was pregnant with Luke and had gestational diabetes. It’s a good balance of carbs, fiber and protein to keep one’s blood sugar stable.

    Thanks for the link love and the mention of my article in the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity!


    • Shirley on June 29th, 2010 10:04 pm

      Awww, thanks, Heidi! I’m so excited that you think this bruschetta is party worthy. Can’t wait for the feedback. :-)

      Yes, fabulous idea on keeping the good stuff stocked and letting the kids eat their fruit and veggies at will. I think they are self regulating with such foods. ;-)

      Oooh, Havarti … you’re speaking my language. Too bad they don’t make that dairy free!

      I’m really looking forward to the article, Heidi! And, BTW, I fixed my post to read “atypical” symptoms … brain fog when I was hurrying this morning.


      • Heidi Kelly on June 29th, 2010 11:10 pm

        I am almost dairy-free but keep hitting a wall when it comes to cheese and Greek yogurt, I’m addicted! But, as with gluten, I know I can wean off and by doing more dairy-free cooking for Luke’s eczema, I am getting closer!

        I wonder if Udi’s would consider getting into the dairy-free cheese business? ;-)

        • Shirley on June 30th, 2010 10:14 pm

          Heidi–”Hitting a wall” re: certain dairy foods … I so get that comment! My 30 Days to My Food Revolution is turning out to be more than 30 days … it’s a progressio though … no milk, then no ice cream, then no cheese … and so on. So again, we’re alike in this regard and each definitely getting closer. :-)

          LOL on Udi’s. They’ve done so well with the friend, who knows? If anyone could convince them, you could! ;-)


  2. Sophie on June 29th, 2010 11:38 am

    What lovely, tasty & alternative more healthy appetizers,…very easy to make too!


    • Shirley on June 29th, 2010 10:05 pm

      Hi Sophie–Thank you! Yes, easy … that’s my style. ;-)


  3. Linda on June 29th, 2010 1:00 pm

    Great idea! They look attractive and tasty. I’ve been looking for cucumber recipes since I am getting a bunch of them from my garden.

    • Shirley on June 29th, 2010 10:07 pm

      Hey Linda–Thanks so much. :-) I hope you’ll love these when you make them. If you have homegrown tomatoes, basil, etc., that’s even more of a bonus. Make according to what you have grown. Incidentally, that is my basil in my mixture. The very basil that I disovered a very furry caterpillar on today … that guy has to go—peacefully and quietly, of course. I’m thinking I’ll take him to work tomorrow and let him out on the grass by the parking lot. ;-)


  4. Alta on June 29th, 2010 1:28 pm

    Great-looking appetizer! I bet those cucumbers are refreshing and delicious!

    • Shirley on June 29th, 2010 10:12 pm

      Thanks, Alta! We’re weak for cucumbers and it’s fun to top them with equally healthy toppings. :-)


  5. Diane-The WHOLE Gang on June 29th, 2010 2:38 pm

    You are so creative! What a great idea. I’m trying to eat more beans and I love to snack. Yeah!

    • Shirley on June 29th, 2010 10:13 pm

      Hey Diane–Thanks! I do love getting in my beans, too, and this is such a fun, flavorful snack. :-)


  6. Michelle Doyle on June 29th, 2010 2:55 pm

    Droooooooool!!! These look scrumptious!

    • Shirley on June 29th, 2010 10:15 pm

      Hi Michelle–Welcome to gfe! :-) And, many thanks! I do love it when real food looks so scrumptious. ;-)


  7. Kim on June 29th, 2010 5:25 pm

    Shirley, this is a perfect recipe for our little family b-day dinner we are having for my son! He is addicted to cucumbers, and I love chickpeas in anything! Plus, my mom is here visiting and is even a bigger health nut than I – she just saw these and said, “That’s it, that is our appetizer for tonight!” I will let you know how they turn out – perfect I’m sure, especially with my Mom in the kitchen with me ;) Great recipe!

    • Shirley on June 29th, 2010 10:23 pm

      Hey Kim–How wonderful—a BD dinner and your mom visiting! I really hope that everyone enjoys this bruschetta. They are so easy to make and toppings can be varied to taste. :-) Will eagerly await your review …


      • Kim on June 30th, 2010 11:55 pm

        Shirley, these turned out awesome! Carson, my bday boy and cucumber lover, was our helper for these. He helped mash up the chickpeas and do the assembling. We used some Mango salsa on some (from Trader Joe’s), some pico de gallo that my neighbor made on others, and some smoked salmon (lox) on a few too, per my oldest son’s request. My mom and I could not pick which combo we liked best – all tasted great. Carson’s fav was the one w/mango salsa and Conner’s was the one with the lox. All the rest of the fam loved them too. If I had not been in the midst of putting on the rest of the party, I would have taken pictures of our little masterpieces! Great recipe and will be a staple for us!

        • Shirley on July 1st, 2010 6:12 am

          Hi Kim–Oh, that’s such great news! I love all your combinations, and can certainly understand not being able to pick a favorite topping. I had the same issue with just two choices. I finished mine up as late afternoon snack yesterday and kept going back and forth on which I liked best. Not a bad position to be in, of course. ;-) I especially love that your birthday boy, and cucumber lover :-) , helped make them. Food always tastes so much better when we help prepare it. Anyway, all too cool. Thanks so very much for the feedback!



  8. Chaya on June 29th, 2010 6:14 pm

    This is a delightful recipe, smart use of veggies, and the bruchetta style. I am adding this to the list, I am making, for July 4th recipes on Comfy Cook. You always have what I am looking for. Thanks.

    • Shirley on June 29th, 2010 10:26 pm

      Hi Chaya–What a great compliment—thank you! I’m thrilled you are adding this one to your holiday roundup–thank you, dear! :-)


  9. Jenn on June 30th, 2010 8:48 am

    The bruschetta looks awesome!! You are SO creative!!

    • Shirley on June 30th, 2010 10:15 pm

      Hi Jenn–Wow, thanks so much! :-)


  10. Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free on June 30th, 2010 11:02 am

    Shirley – Thank you from the bottom of my heart for mentioning my upcoming book here. You are such a gem. Though our friendship has been totally on-line, I have the most special place in my heart for you.

    I love your healthier snack…this totally hits it right out of the park. I often use veggies as bruschetta but never thought of blogging it – you’re brilliant.

    • Shirley on June 30th, 2010 10:19 pm

      Hey Amy–It’s my pleasure to spread the good news. :-) Everyone will be adding your book to their wish list for sure! As I’ve said before, we have a mutual admiration club going on, and I so appreciate that and you.

      Thanks for the very, very kind words on the bruschetta! Maybe you’ll blog yours in the near future … I’d love to see your combos. ;-)


  11. Heide m on July 1st, 2010 1:06 am

    Nice post, my mouth is watering!

    • Shirley on July 1st, 2010 6:16 am

      Hi Heide–Looks like you’re new to gfe-wecome! And, thanks for the kind words on my veggie bruschetta. :-)


  12. carrie @ on July 1st, 2010 8:07 am

    I made a Bruchetta pasta salad last night (check out the 30 Days recipe tomorrow! yum!!) and added some cooked chicken, but I HEART chickpeas… next time I will have to use those instead & I bet with the coolness of the cucumbers this is just a fabulously yummy dish! :-)

    • Shirley on July 2nd, 2010 6:19 pm

      Ooooh, Carrie, that sounds really good! Chicken or chickpeas … both are staples in our house. Why not chicken, chickpeas, and cucumbers? Now we’re talking! LOL Mr. GFE LOVES pasta salad, so I’ll be over in a minute to check out your wonderful pasta salad. :-)


  13. Chelsey on July 1st, 2010 4:51 pm

    What a perfect snack! I am looking to eat more whole nurishing foods, without sacrificing taste and texture. This totally fits the bill. I wonder what bubbie will think?!

    • Shirley on July 2nd, 2010 6:46 pm

      Hi Chelsey–Thank you! I think you do a great job of sharing whole, nourishing foods, but these would surely make a nice addition to your repertoire. ;-) I hope you all like them!


  14. Karina on July 2nd, 2010 2:57 pm

    Those look so lovely. Perfect for summer. I bet they’re delicious. Happy Fourth weekend! xox Karina

    • Shirley on July 2nd, 2010 7:15 pm

      Hi Karina–I’m so honored that you stopped by, and shared such nice words, too–thank you so much! These bruschetta appetizers are a lovely, healthy summer treat. :-) Happy 4th to you, too, my dear!


  15. Aubree Cherie on July 3rd, 2010 5:11 pm

    So adorable! I definitely agree on the presentation being what its all about. I also would agree with anyone who said thats an area where I need a little work :P I’ll have to play off your inspiration I guess :)

    ~Aubree Cherie

    • Shirley on July 5th, 2010 3:25 pm

      Hi Aubree–Adorable and tasty … a key combination. ;-) I haven’t seen anything lacking in your presentations at all, dear (and I’m always inspired by your creativity), but thanks very much for the compliment. :-)


  16. Erin Elberson on July 6th, 2010 6:48 pm

    How did I miss this?!!?
    Shirley my friend, yet another wonderful use of cucumber as a carrying vessel for something fabulous.
    I’ve made chickpea hummus and dipped cucumber, but this is such a great, healthy, tasty twist.
    Yum. That is all. :)

    • Shirley on July 7th, 2010 6:58 am

      Hi Erin–Exactly! When the cucumber isn’t sliced and on the counter for snacking or in a simple vinaigrette salad, it’s a perfect “carrying vessel.” These are great treats. Make for guests … otherwise a few will last for several days. They are surprisingly filling, and as you said yummy. :-)


  17. Lexie on July 7th, 2010 6:13 pm

    So FRESH, colorful and healthy. Love this “bruschetta” idea. Thanks, Shirley, for being so inspirational!

    • Shirley on July 8th, 2010 7:04 am

      Hi Lexie–So nice to see you, and thanks as always for your kind words! :-) I just love this bruschetta. My aunt gave me some cucumbers from her garden yesterday and I’ll be making more bruschetta for the two of us and for our support group picnic this weekend. :-)


  18. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) on July 15th, 2011 10:49 am

    I love chickpeas and this looks amazing especially with all the cucumbers I have to use up now! Love this idea! Have a great weekend!

    • Shirley on July 15th, 2011 4:39 pm

      Hi Sarena–Thanks, dear! This is so easy and a crowd pleaser. :-) Hope you have a great weekend, too!


  19. Jeanette on July 15th, 2011 7:56 pm

    Shirley, I love this healthy bruschetta idea that is served on cucumber rounds instead of bread. Now that cucumbers are in season, I’m looking forward to making some of your chickpea bruschetta!

    • Shirley on July 15th, 2011 8:31 pm

      Hey Jeanette–Thanks! Who needs bread , right? I do love this recipe and it’s very popular among my readers. :-) Hope you enjoy it, dear!


  20. Erin on May 12th, 2013 8:05 pm

    Thanks for linking-up to 5-Ingredient Mondays! I’m featuring your recipe this week :) Hope to see you back!

    • Shirley on May 12th, 2013 11:21 pm

      Hey Erin–Happy to link up! I do love 5-Ingredient Mondays. :-) Thanks so much for featuring my Cucumber Chickpea Bruschetta!


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