Home » All Recipes » Appetizers & Snacks » Chickpea Bruschetta with Basil Pesto

Chickpea Bruschetta with Basil Pesto

This chickpea bruschetta recipe with basil pesto on toasty sourdough bread is a refreshing summer appetizer. A squeeze of lemon juice and salty olives add loads of tangy brightness!

Close-up of chickpea bruschetta with lemon zest and fresh thyme on top.

Why You’ll Love This Vegetarian Bruschetta

This vegetarian chickpea bruschetta recipe with homemade herby lemon dressing will be your go-to appetizer for the summer.

  • Mediterranean vibes. A light lemon dressing, creamy chickpeas, basil pesto, and toasty sourdough come together in every bite for some Mediterranean flair.
  • Great for gatherings. Double this recipe as needed and even serve the bread on the side so everyone can make their own bruschetta.
  • Quick. Everything comes together in only 20 minutes!
  • Prep-friendly. Make the chickpea mixture and toast the bread in advance so all you have to do is assemble the bruschettas before your guests arrive.
Ingredients for the chickpea bruschetta recipe.

Ingredient Notes

Lemon juice, zest, thyme, and spicy red pepper flakes create a light Mediterranean-style dressing for the chickpea mixture. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.

  • Sourdough bread Leave the crust or remove it. It’s perfect either way.
  • Olive oil You can also use avocado oil.
  • Lemon – You’ll need the juice and zest.
  • Canned chickpeas Homemade chickpeas are a great swap.
  • Kalamata olives Use your favorite kind of olives as long as they’re pitted.
  • Thyme – Fresh thyme is best but dried works too.
  • Red pepper flakes Feel free to use cayenne pepper or chili oil.
  • Salt – I prefer kosher salt.
  • Pesto – Try my Fresh Basil Pesto or add your favorite.

How To Make Chickpea Bruschetta with Basil Pesto

Using canned chickpeas for the tangy olive-packed mixture is what makes this recipe so quick and convenient. Scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe card.

  • Toast the bread. Slice the bread into even slices. Brush each slice with olive oil. Place them on a hot grill. Heat them until golden and toasty on both sides. You can also toast them in the oven at 400F for 10 minutes.
  • Prep the chickpeas. Toss the chickpeas and the rest of the ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Set it aside.
  • Assemble them. Spread each slice of bread with 1-2 tablespoons pesto. Add 1- 1 1/2 tablespoons of the chickpea mixture on top. Garnish with fresh thyme and more lemon juice. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Tips & Variations

Add tender lentils, sweet roasted peppers, or drizzle with creamy aioli if you want to take this chickpea bruschetta to the next level.

  • Use store-bought bread. Pre-sliced, toasted bread is an easy way to reduce prep time for these bruschettas.
  • Add more legumes. Add 1/4 cup cooked (and drained) lentils or cannellini beans to the mixture for more plant-based protein.
  • More veggies. Mixing 1/2 cup diced roasted peppers, sautéed mushrooms, or spinach into the mixture are great ways to pack more flavor into each bite.
  • Change the bread. Toasted baguettes, sliced ciabattas, and focaccia can be used instead of sourdough bread. Crispy pita bread works too.
  • Serve separately. To prevent the bread from softening during your gatherings, serve the chickpea mixture in a bowl with the bread and pesto on the side. This way everyone can assemble their own bruschetta.
  • Swap the spread. Sun-dried tomato pesto, ricotta, and tapenade are great swaps for basil pesto in this recipe.
  • Add drizzles. Balsamic reduction, truffle oil, and aioli are perfect for adding a finishing touch to these appetizers.
Grabbing a bruschetta with tangy olive-chickpea mixture on top.

Serving Suggestions

This herby chickpea bruschetta is a crowd-pleasing appetizer that’s perfect with a glass of red wine. Pair it with my Pepper Mushroom Onion Crostini or Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan for other easy appetizer options. For main dishes, try Mediterranean-inspired recipes like my Monte Cristo Skillet Chicken or Pistachio Crusted Salmon. If you prefer red meat, go for my Bison Steak or Grilled Tri-Tip with Sicilian Herb Sauce.

Proper Storage

Don’t store the assembled bruschettas because the bread will soften too much.

  • Counter: Toast the bread up to 2 days in advance and store it in an airtight container. Keep it away from direct heat and sunlight.
  • Fridge: Store the chickpea mixture in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

More Easy Appetizers

Landscape photo for chickpea bruschetta.

Chickpea Bruschetta with Basil Pesto

This zesty chickpea bruschetta recipe with herby pesto and salty olives on toasty bread is a 20-minute summer appetizer.
Prep Time8 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Servings: 12 Servings


  • 1 baguette sourdough bread
  • olive oil for brushing
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice to finish (or aged balsamic vinegar)
  • Fresh thyme to finish
  • Chickpeas:
  • 1 15- oz can chickpeas strained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt to taste
  • Pesto for spreading


  • Slice the bread into even slices, may be cut in half for portion.
  • Brush each slice with olive oil and place on a hot grill to achieve great char marks.
  • Drain your beans and then roll them in paper towels to dry, some skins may come off, this is okay. Combine all beans and rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to combine. Taste for seasoning and add salt, if needed.
  • Spread 1-2 tbsp. of pesto on each slice of bread and top with a spoonful of chickpeas. Garnish with fresh thyme and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean


Let Us Know What You Think!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top