January 28, 2014

Buffalo Chickpea Pitas With Ranch

by IsaChandra

Makes 16
Total time: 20 minutes || Active time: 20 minutes

Buffalo Chickpea

Why is the Super Bowl my favorite time of the year? I totally don’t follow football the rest of the season. I’m more of a baseball girl (86 Mets!) but honestly, haven’t really paid attention since the Subway Series. Yet when this time of year rolls around I’ve suddenly got team spirit, even if I don’t even know which teams are even in it. I have taken existential inventory of my actions and I think I have the answer. It’s…well, it’s the wings.

It’s all the food, really (here’s a few of my Superbowl recipes.) But wings in particular give you carte blanche to eat all of the Frank’s that your heart desires. And my heart desires a lot.

This is such an easy way to capture the essence of buffalo wings. A spicy, tangy chickpea salad, a cooling dollop of ranch and fresh crunchy celery. All in one little bite that won’t leave your fingers greasy! Oh, and everything takes like 20 minutes to put together.

So go on, whip this up and invite over some other friends who have no idea what’s going on. But make sure that you switch back and forth from the Puppy Bowl. This year there is the Kitten Bowl, too!

Buffalo Chickpea
(Oops, forgot to add the celery to the above shot. But you get the idea.)

Recipe Notes

~Vegannaise in the purple jar is a good choice! Just try not to use too thin a mayo or the dressing will be runny.

~Chop the herbs as finely as possible for best results. Really, you want them closer to minced.

~If you don’t have tahini, that’s fine. I love the nuttiness it brings to the table but you can also just add some extra mayo.

~If you are a total spice wimp, start with 3 tablespoons of hot sauce. But really, I’d almost be inclined to say, if you’re a spice wimp, skip this recipe entirely since it’s pretty much about the spice.

For the chickpeas:
1.5 cups cooked chickpeas (15 oz can, rinsed and drained)
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons vegan mayo, storebought or homemade
1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot, plus more to taste

For the ranch:
3/4 cup vegan mayo, storebought or homemade
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper

For garnish and assembly:
Additional Frank’s
16 mini-pitas
1 rib thinly sliced celery
Fresh chives (optional)

Make the chickpeas:
In a mixing bowl, use an avocado masher or a strong fork to mash the chickpeas well. They should retain some of their texture and not appear pureed. A few whole ones left are ok.

Mix in the mayo and tahini and give a few more mashes. Salt to taste, if needed. It should be salty enough with the Franks and mayo.

Make the ranch:
Just mix all of the ingredients together in a little bowl!

Place a tablespoon or so of chickpea salad on a pita. Add a dash more Frank’s if desired. Top with a dollop of ranch. Garnish with a few slices of celery and a piece of chive.

  • January 28, 2014 at 8:29 pm: Jenn

    Is Frank’s Red Hot imperitive, or can we sub Cholula? Never used Frank’s so don’t know if it has a special magical quality…

  • January 28, 2014 at 8:54 pm: Kristin

    I will be making this tonight! Yum!! (had the buffalo tempeh salad the other night and am on a kick now)

    @ Jenn – In my experience Texas Pete is a good substitute for Franks. Crystal Louisiana Hot Sauce is okay too. I wouldn’t go with Cholula, myself – but that might be the upstate NYer in me :) It’s not the right kind of spice for “wings” and things.

  • January 28, 2014 at 9:52 pm: Karen

    i would say frank’s is magical. … i never am without a big bottle in the fridge. my hubby likes texas pete.

  • January 28, 2014 at 10:13 pm: Tracy

    Looks awesome! Trying this recipe this weekend. :)

  • January 28, 2014 at 10:19 pm: Christine (The Raw Project)

    Wow, these look delicious! Not sure I’d want to share them! :-)

  • January 28, 2014 at 10:40 pm: Jenni

    If I made these I would probably hog the whole batch and not let anyone else have any. They look so good!

  • January 28, 2014 at 11:41 pm: Jackie of Vegan Yack Attack

    Great minds think alike! I made a nacho recipe with buffalo chickpeas and ranch sauce as a riff on my Buffalo Chickpea Mac, last week! Loving your take!

  • January 28, 2014 at 11:54 pm: Cathy

    making this for lunch but stuffing a regular pita with the filling and ranch :) Maybe I will chop the celery and add to the mix Love your recipes, Isa!

  • January 29, 2014 at 1:32 am: Lisa @thebeatrixkiddo

    So making this on Sunday,have no idea about Super Bowl but yeah making it!! @jenn I carry a small bottle of Franks with me in my purse so i have it for my lunches at work!

    • January 29, 2014 at 5:52 am: IsaChandra

      Wow, hard core!

  • January 29, 2014 at 3:59 am: dorp

    This ranch recipe is different than the one that goes with the Buffalo Tempeh, which I find a little too runny. Going to sub this one instead!

    • January 29, 2014 at 5:52 am: IsaChandra

      This one turns out super thick. Why do I have so many ranch recipes? I always forget.

  • January 29, 2014 at 7:54 am: Danielle

    These look delicious! Unfortunately I’ve never come across mini-pitas where I live. For those who’ve tried this, do you think the topping would work well on top of crackers?

  • January 29, 2014 at 1:07 pm: Grace @ FoodFitnessFreshAir

    Yesss. I’m always looking for veggie versions of buffalo snacks. Seitan wings are my favorite. Love the idea of hummus.

  • January 29, 2014 at 1:55 pm: courtney

    1. brilliant idea. i’ve never had hot wings. now i’ll have a clue.
    2. Kitten Bowl? i’m gonna hafta find a TV on Sunday.
    3. with all due respect, Mets are pond scum (go Cards!)

  • January 29, 2014 at 5:41 pm: Tami@Nutmegnotebook

    Those are beautiful! I can’t wait to try them.

  • January 29, 2014 at 6:01 pm: Joanna

    I’m in England and I don’t think we have hot sauce as such. Could you please read the ingredients off the bottle so that I can see what I could use instead? Thanks.

  • January 29, 2014 at 6:38 pm: Allie

    @Joanna Looks like you can recreate Frank’s RedHot sauce using this recipe:

  • January 29, 2014 at 7:25 pm: luminousvegans

    These need to get into my mouth right now. I’m so glad that the boy does not like ranch so I can keep these all to myself!

  • January 30, 2014 at 1:17 am: Patricia

    New idea: buffalo deviled mini-potatoes. Isa has an amazing recipe for deviled mini-potatoes on PPK. Maybe it could be morphed into a buffalo recipe…. hmmm….

    • January 30, 2014 at 4:28 am: IsaChandra


  • January 30, 2014 at 2:15 am: Lisa

    I made this yesterday, it’s so good. Today I having it on a wholemeal bun with iceberg lettuce – yum.

  • February 2, 2014 at 6:57 am: Crystal

    Easy and delicious. Made these for a party we are going to and i can’t stop eating them. Thanks.

  • February 2, 2014 at 3:54 pm: Kimberly

    This is ridiculously good! Just made it. It’s my new fave app! Thanks, Isa!

  • February 3, 2014 at 5:54 pm: Catie

    Do you take the skins off of the chickpeas before mashing or leave the skins on?


  • February 3, 2014 at 8:16 pm: Mary Beth

    I am kind of a spice wimp, but I went for the whole 1/4 cup of hot sauce and it was fabulous. It had good heat but was pleasant, not too spicy. I served it for the Super Bowl and didn’t have time to dress up individual pitas, so I layered the hummus, ranch and celery on a platter and served the pitas on the side- it got devoured. YUM! Thanks, Isa!

  • February 3, 2014 at 11:54 pm: Robin

    These are fantastic!!!!! You are a genius!!!

  • February 4, 2014 at 2:13 pm: Hannah

    Being vegan and addicted to the spicy nostalgic memories of crusty wings? My downfall! If you say these Pitas can chase the cravings of my meaty past away, I am definitely making them! And I won’t be waiting for the next Super Bowl. I might go easy on the dill though, since it’s not one of my favourite ingredients. I will probably try to substitute it for something different or just go on without it.
    There is a good vegan restaurant in TO that makes the best vegan comfort food. If only they were willing to share their recipe for wings! If you are in Canada some time soon, you might want to give it a shot. Do you also have a recipe for homemade pita bread? I imagine it is somewhat similar to making pizza dough?
    The presentation of your Pitas is lovely, love the pictures!


  • February 4, 2014 at 11:37 pm: JJJ

    Wow this looks incredible! I’ll be home in 2.5 weeks and I’m making this THEN!!! Mmmm! Thank you Isa!

  • February 13, 2014 at 4:57 am: cin

    oh. my. and here i just boiled up a big batch of chickpeas…

  • February 15, 2014 at 2:48 am: Susan

    These are delicious.

  • March 10, 2014 at 6:33 pm: Sarah

    I just made this and I’m pretty sure this recipe is my life now. It is so so good! I just made mine for lunch as sandwiches on a whole wheat bun with a little lettuce and the ranch slathered on the bun. I’m thinking that tomorrow for lunch I will use whole wheat crackers to scoop it up and serve the ranch on the side with some carrots and celery sticks for an extra dunkage factor. This is super simple and quick to make and works great as a snack or as a meal! Thanks!!!

  • March 22, 2014 at 4:10 pm: Lil me

    I am a new vegan! Since the beginning of the year I had made it a point to greatly reduce the amount of meat in my diet, but I was still eating eggs/milk (not a lot). In the last two weeks I have decided to give up milk/eggs also. I saw this recipe and decided to try it. I made your homemade mayo a few days ago (to let the flavors meld as you had suggested). Then last night I transformed some of it into the ranch dressing. Mashed up the chickpeas this morning to let it chill into lunch. I have to admit, I was dying to try a bit, so I did. Let me just say, it tastes so good. I am glad I doubled the recipe (BTW for other readers–a single batch of mayo is enough to double the chickpea recipe and still have enough left for the ranch dressing). I just want to say “thank you.” Being able to obtain some of these recipes online makes it so much easier to for a newly starting out vegan. I feel so encouraged right now. Definitely going to stick with this healthy and un-cruel way of life.

    @Danielle–I couldn’t find any mini-pitas either. I just picked up some full-sized pitas and sliced them into 6ths. Worked out great.

  • March 24, 2014 at 2:24 pm: Jenn V

    Wow! I am so in love with this recipe! The ranch is excellent and the chickpeas have the perfect spice. I will definitely be making this often!

  • May 27, 2014 at 12:25 pm: Emily

    I’m in the UK and have never heard of Franks red hot, what is it? A pepper or chilli sauce? Recipe looks delicious but need to know what this product is so I can substitute it. Thanks

  • June 6, 2014 at 2:53 pm: Karen

    Hello Isa, and others that have made this, do you think the recipe would suffer if using dried herbs?

  • June 7, 2014 at 9:14 pm: Deb

    Wow! This is delicious! I will definitely be making this for my next party…or just because…

  • June 12, 2014 at 1:19 am: Corrin Radd

    Made these tonight for dinner. We dialed the frank’s back a bit for the kid and we made our own pitas using Bryanna Clark Grogan’s recipe. fun1

  • June 26, 2014 at 11:15 pm: Tanya

    As if it wasn’t delicious enough with veggies and chips and in a wrap… today I cut a bunch of veggies and put it all together for a pasta salad! So yummy! Is there anything chickpeas can’t do?

  • August 12, 2014 at 12:33 am: Meghan

    I love these as tacos topped with the Cool Slaw from AFR. Yum!

  • September 7, 2014 at 4:31 am: Kathy

    Well, I am totally addicted. Didn’t get as far as making the ranch to go with this but put the chickpea mixture in celery stalks and ate nearly the whole thing in one sitting. Sooo good. Thank you Isa.

  • September 7, 2014 at 11:04 pm: Kerri

    I made this for a potluck today (on crackers rather than pita) and it was a huge hit, even with the omnivores. Really awesome. Thanks!!

  • September 28, 2014 at 12:15 am: Marcy V.

    I made this today and it is delicious. I don’t have tahini so I used some cashew butter instead. Thanks Isa, love your cuisine!

  • September 30, 2014 at 10:56 pm: Liz

    I can’t stop making this! I have started slathering it into a pita & adding veggies to make a DELISH sandwich. I thought my buffalo chicken days were over & little did I know, they only got better. Thanks so much for this amazingingly simple piece of heaven :)

  • November 12, 2014 at 3:43 pm: Caitlin

    I made these for a family get together and they were amazing and everyone (all non-veg) raved about them. I ended up buying the smallest pita’s I could find (palm size) and cutting them into quarters. Not sure if mini-pitas are still being made.

  • December 7, 2014 at 11:16 pm: jamie

    Its yummy taste wise but a little much in the sauce. 1 TBSP ea tahini and mayo would be plenty.

  • January 28, 2015 at 2:16 pm: Bethany

    Where did you find the mini pitas? Trader joes or whole foods possibly? I havent seen them before and I really want to use them rather than subbing. Superbowl here I come!! :)
    Ps thank you SOOOOO much for turning me on to Franks Red Hot, your recipes are the reason I tried it in the first place and now i cant imagine life without!

  • February 2, 2015 at 4:49 am: Robin

    Awesome again in 2015!

  • April 26, 2015 at 11:34 pm: Tzu

    Buffalo chick pea tacos. Use a cabbage slaw instead of lettuce. Maybe some pickled red onions, too.

  • October 27, 2015 at 12:12 pm: Marianne

    Isa, you are amazing!!! I’m from Buffalo and love, love, love Franks and this recipe completely satisfies this Buffalo girl when I need my fix.

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  • June 30, 2016 at 2:24 pm: Josy

    What is Frank’s red hot? What is substitute outside of US?