Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Pita with Sauteed Kale

by Amy Renee
Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Pita with Sauteed Kale

I know, I know…another pita sandwich??? But this is a good one. I mean SUPERB! DIVINE! It might be my new favorite. This is a warm, vegan, cheesy panini with lots of flavor and tons of nutrition. Perfect!And I know what you’re expecting. Hummus. Right? Because I’m addicted to hummus. Guess what – NO HUMMUS!!! But close….

So I had some chickpeas in the fridge and a partially eaten avocado so why not smash two of my favorite things together and make a sandwich out of it? Excellent! Oh my, and then I saw the half eaten bag of kale. Perfect! I can saute the kale while I get the rest of my ingredients together. Yummy.

Question: Does anyone else get this excited about food?

Smashed chickpeas & avocado: So in a bowl I smashed together the chickpeas, avocado, a little bit of salsa verde, and I spiced it with a dash each of cumin, cayenne, and granulated garlic. And of course I mixed in some nutritional yeast which put this already delicious concoction over the edge. Then I smooshed it all over the inside of my pita half. (You all know by now how I cut my pita in half right? Around the circumference – so I can fold it over like a tortilla…).

The kale: I preheated my saute pan over medium-high heat and sprayed a little olive oil in it. Then I added the kale and sprayed it with a tiny bit more olive oil. Note: when you use a sprayer you use a heck of a lot less oil than when you just pour it in. I seasoned it with a tiny bit of Himalayan pink salt, crushed black pepper, cumin, cayenne, and garlic and turned the heat down to medium. I kept stirring it until all of the kale was wilted down and then placed it on my pita on top of the smashed avocado and beans. WAIT – before folding the other half of the pita over I added more nutritional yeast. Yep – LOVE this stuff. So yummy! Okay, now I folded it over and pressed it in my panini grill. It warms it up and the nutritional yeast mixed with the smashed chickpeas and avocado – it’s almost like a vegan grilled cheese with kale. But then again that might not sound appetizing to some of you. But WOW, this is SUCH AN AMAZING SANDWICH! You’ve just got to try it!


Prep Time: 5 minutes     Cook Time: 10 minutes     Total Time: 15 minutes

  • 1/2 whole wheat pita bread (or a gluten-free tortilla for GF)
  • 3/4 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 small avocado (about 60g)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons salsa verde
  • Dash of ground cumin
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups baby kale, chopped
  • Dash sea salt
  1. Cut the pita in half around the circumference carefully using a serrated knife (it will resemble a tortilla) and lay with the inside half up on a plate.
  2. Preheat your panini grill to medium heat and a skillet over medium-high heat. Spray the skillet with some olive oil.
  3. In a bowl combine the chickpeas, avocado, salsa verde, just a dash of cumin and cayenne, some fresh ground black pepper, ⅛ teaspoon of the garlic and 1 tablespoon of the nutritional yeast. Mash with a fork. I like to have somewhat of a chunky texture, but still mashed together quite well. Be careful not to add too much cumin. A little goes a long way! Spread over the surface of the pita.
  4. Add the kale to the skillet and spray with a little more olive oil. Season lightly with a dash of cumin (again, easy does it), some fresh ground black pepper, ⅛ teaspoon garlic and a dash of salt (or sea salt). Saute until the kale has completely wilted. Place the kale on half the pita circle and top with the remaining tablespoon of nutritional yeast.
  5. Carefully fold the other half of the pita over the sauteed kale and place into the panini grill. Grill until browned. Enjoy!
I calculated the nutritional value using Trader Joe’s whole wheat pita (half of one) and Herdez brand salsa verde.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: one pita panini Calories: 294 Fat: 10.2 Saturated fat: 1.3 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 35.1 Sugar: 0.6 Sodium: 606 Fiber: 12.9 Protein: 9.4

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