Readymade Marinara sauce is such a blessing!! It is such a delightful shortcut. Make this easy Italian chickpea marinara sandwich and trust me, you are going to be hailed as a hero and it will be ready in a jiffy. Win-win!!
Step by Step
Get some nice Italian bread and slice it into individual serving parts…
Place them in an air fryer or oven to toast until nice and toasty… Toasting store bought bread ALWAYS elevates its flavor and aroma.
Time to add the marinara sauce to the pan…I love these sauces. They are healthy and packed with flavors like garlic, herbs, etc. A huge time saver to moms everywhere. It is like the Italian version of our Indian ginger-garlic-onion-tomato base sauce all cooked for you and ready to use.
My sauce was super garlicky and tasty on its own. Depending on the brand you get, you can add italian herb mix (parsley, basil, oregano, etc) to liven it up. I didn’t have to…
To the pan with the marinara sauce, add 2 cans of drained chickpeas and bring to boil.
If you want to thicken the sauce, here’s a tip. Leave 1/4 of the can behind with the liquid and just blend it with a hand blender.
This is an optional step depending on the final desired thickness of the sauce. I felt that if the sauce was too thin, it will make the bread soggy. Also, because my husband and daughters eat at different times, and I make their lunch ahead and set it aside, I did not want their sandwich falling apart with too thin of a sauce.
However, I will note that my younger daughter kept asking for the saucy part of the filling when eating, so I will leave the decision to you….Especially if you are eating right away, you can get away with a relatively flowing sauce.
I also added some extra chopped greens (baby spinach, baby kale) for extra nutrition boost.
Time for cheese – I found this lovely ripened cheese at my grocery store. But, you can use cream cheese instead.
The creaminess of the cheese takes the marinara sauce to the next level. I added some chopped parsley for some fresh herb hit.
Sauce is ready. Time to fill our bread with the saucy goodness…
Finally, to add some crunch, finely chop some bell peppers, olives, cucumbers, and parsley. Top off your sandwich with the chopped veggies.
Have Marinara Sauce? Make this easy Italian chickpea sandwich!!Course: Recipes
This is an easy vegetarian chickpea marinara sandwich. If you have store bought marinara sauce, you can pull this sloppy, delicious, sandwich together in a few minutes.
Rustic Italian Bread (or Ciabatta) – 1 loaf
Canned chickpeas – 2
Marinara Sauce – 2 cups
Cream Cheese – 3-4 cubes
Chopped Veggies for crunchy topping (Cucumber, Bell Pepper, Olives)
Chopped greens for added nutrition (optional)
- Cut your Italian loaf into individual serving sizes. Toast your bread in a 350F air fryer or oven for about 8 minutes or so.
- In a pan, heat 2 cups of store bought marinara sauce and about 1.75 cans of drained chickpeas.
- Blend about 1/4 can of chickpeas with its liquid as a thickening agent if you want a thicker sauce.
- Add pureed chickpeas and chopped greens to the boiling sauce.
- Add 3-4 blocks of cream cheese or any soft ripened cheese to the sauce.
- Prepare finely chopped veggies on the side – bell peppers, cucumber, olives.
- Stuff the sandwich with the chickpea marinara sauce and top with chopped veggies. Serve!!
- If you want even extra oomph from the chopped veggies (cucumber, bell pepper, etc) on top, toss them with olive oil, salt, lemon juice, and pepper. They taste like a salad on its own and layer beautifully into the sandwich. The only problem is that the moment you add salt, it will release water. So, do it right before serving the sandwich.
I hope you all try this easy vegetarian Italian chickpea marinara sandwich.
The crusty Italian bread with the saucy filing is just a wonderful textural contrast. The chickpeas keep you full and the crunch of the raw veggies enhances the texture contrasts.
Dare I say it…this even beats Naan and chana!! (Gasp!!) I am sorry, but it was delightful!!
Do you use marinara sauce in your kitchen? Post your ideas on how you use them below…I look forward to hearing from you.
Click here to access my video pin for this recipe…