Marinated Chickpea Sushi Roll

A vegan sushi roll featuring cumin-lime marinated chickpeas, cherry tomatoes and cilantro wrapped in quinoa-sushi rice.

Today’s post is #2 in my On A Roll” Series featuring a recipe for a vegan marinated chickpea sushi roll.

In last week’s post I talked about how this project came about. This week let’s take a closer look at homemade sushi making.

Round One

As with any experiment in the kitchen, the first attempt took a decent part of an afternoon but the results were way better than expected. I’m still absolutely PINK about how well my first roll came out – and it was delicious! (Click here for last week’s post)

The creative juices were flowing and I jotted down about 6 vegetarian/vegan sushi roll ideas. Not gonna be modest – they were all awesome and I’m super proud to share them in this ongoing series.

Enjoying the fruits of my labor

You Know You Want To

If you are thinking (like I used to) that sushi is best left to the guys behind the refrigerated fish in the restaurant, I’m challenging you to consider giving it a try.

Honestly, it was way easier than I expected. You can follow my tips since I’m a beginner too, or check out the multitude of YouTube videos.


If you don’t have a bamboo mat to roll with, the internet says you can roll with a decent kitchen towel. You will still need plastic wrap which I would say was my least favorite part of this project. Not only was that a little bit tricky, it used up a lot of plastic wrap over the course of making several rolls (I ended up having to rewrap my mat after 2 or 3 rolls but then tried to recycle those pieces to use when slicing).

I’ve decided to try looking for alternative ways to roll without the mat. It appears you can buy non-stick sushi mats on Amazon pretty cheap. Reviews are so-so. If I find a good substitute, you’ll be the first to know.

So if you are ready to get started, or if Tofu Garden Roll didn’t inspire you, maybe Marinated Chickpea Roll will tempt you.

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Marinated Chickpea Roll

A vegan sushi roll featuring cumin-lime marinated chickpeas, cherry tomatoes and cilantro wrapped in quinoa-sushi rice.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, vegan, vegetarian
Keyword: sprouts, sushi, tofu
Servings: 2 rolls
Calories: 470kcal


  • sushi mat wrapped in plastic wrap plus extra plastic wrap for cutting


Sushi Quinoa Rice

  • 3/4 cup sushi rice, rinsed several times
  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed (tri-color is prettiest!)
  • 1 cups water
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Marinated Chickpea Filling

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 serrano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 sheets nori
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • soy sauce for dipping
  • wasabi paste, optional


Prepare the Sushi Quinoa Rice

  • Place the rinsed sushi and quinoa in a small saucepan. Add 1 cup water and place over med-high heat. As soon as bubbles start to form on the edges, stir to release anything sticking and cover with a lid. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 15 minutes and then turn off heat (don't open the lid). Allow to steam for another 15 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with fork. Add rice vinegar, sugar, salt and sesame seeds and fluff again. Set aside.

Preparing the Roll

  • While rice is cooking, prepare the marinated chickpeas. In a small mixing bowl whisk together the olive oil and juice of one lime (save one squeeze to finish the roll). Season with salt, pepper and cumin. Add diced serrano pepper, cherry tomatoes and 1/2 can rinsed chickpeas. Mix well. Set aside to marinate.
  • Once rice is done, place one nori sheet (bumpy side up) on a sushi rolling mat that has been wrapped in plastic wrap. Using a fork or wet fingers, press cooked sushi quinoa rice onto the mat firmly leaving 1 inch of nori uncovered.
  • Arrange your chickpea filling on the rice closest to the nori edge that you left without rice. You are going to roll that uncovered nori around the filling to get it started. Add cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. **You are going to make 2 rolls so use about half your filling ingredients on each.
  • Pick up the edge of your rolling mat and start to flip the exposed piece of nori over the filling ingredients. You essentially want to tuck that piece around and under to get your roll sealed. Use the mat to pull it back towards you, and use your fingers to pinch the roll firmly as you go. You want to get things tight on that first turn and then continue rolling about a half turn at a time, pulling the mat free as you continue to roll forward and continuing to pinch along the length of the roll as you go. Unroll the mat and you should have a beautiful sushi roll!
  • The hardest part IMO is cutting. Move the roll to a cutting board. I use a separate piece of plastic wrap which I lay over the top, pull snug and tuck in slightly all around (some people fully wrap the roll before cutting but I found that left me with shreds of plastic wrap to pick off). Using a serrated knife, gently cut your sushi into pieces and then carefully remove the plastic wrap. Stand back to admire what you've created, then go ahead and make your second roll. Serve immediately or keep wrapped in plastic and refrigerated until ready to serve.
  • Serve 1 roll per person with soy sauce for dipping and wasabi paste on the side (optional).


If you don’t like having a half can of chickpeas leftover, go ahead and use the entire can and double the rest of the marinade ingredients.  Use the extra chickpeas to make Seared Halloumi Salad with Cumin-Lime Chickpeas, Mint and Pistachios.


Serving: 1roll | Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 331mg | Potassium: 273mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 322IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Published by Jenny G

I'm sipping coffee in the morning, reading a cookbook for fun. Always planning my next trip and what I'll eat when I get there. Hoping to inspire others who share my love of cooking and eating, and to celebrate the wonderous diversity of food. I love to explore the world so I'll share my best itineraries and travel tips. Of course, sometimes I'd rather be snuggled up with a glass of wine and a good book so let's discuss those here too. And don't forget to feed the birds!

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