This Cajun Split Pea Po Boys post is sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada. As a proud pulse partner, I’m sharing a series of healthy recipes featuring chickpeas, dry peas, lentils, and beans this year.
New Orleans is one of my favorite food cities so I couldn’t let this trip pass without sharing at least one cajun-inspired recipe with you. From beignets to gumbo and the frozen cocktails sold on the street, there’s a whole lot to love about the NOLA food and drink scene. The best part of all of this deliciousness though, has to be the humble po’ boy—just waiting to be devoured inside sandwich shops all over the city.
I usually opt for shrimp or oyster po’ boys while I’m here in-person but back at home, I like to cook with as many plants as possible. One of the most common food-related myths out there (right behind‘ plants don’t have protein’ and ‘soy causes breast cancer’) is that you can’t make a delicious vegetarian sandwich. My secret to delicious plant-based sandwiches (that actually fill you up) is simple: PULSES.
Pulses are the delicious, fiber- and protein-packed, sustainable foods we know more commonly as dry/split peas, chickpeas, lentils, and beans. Split peas are an ideal sandwich filler because they’re rich in so many of the important nutrients we need to refuel with on-the-go.
I like to include pulses (about a half cup at meals) to get energizing carbohydrates and satiating fiber and protein. Plus, taste-wise, you just can’t beat the combination of these satisfying cajun fritters topped with a dollop of spicy avocado ‘mayo’ sauce. There’s no better way to fill up on New Orleans flavors in less than 30 minutes!
Cajun Split Pea Po' Boys with Spicy Avocado Sauce
- Cajun Split Pea Fritters:
- 1 cup cooked split peas
- ½ cup roughly chopped mushrooms
- ¼ cup roughly chopped green onions
- 2 peeled and roughly chopped cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce substitute with gluten-free tamari/liquid aminos if needed
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons cooking oil of choice I used grapeseed oil or enough to grease pan
- Spicy Avocado Sauce:
- ½ ripe avocado
- ½ lemon zest and juice
- Louisiana-style hot sauce to taste
- For Serving:
- 2 hoagie sandwich rolls whole grain preferred, choose gluten-free bread if needed
- Optional sandwich toppings: lettuce sliced tomato, sliced onion
- In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine cooked split peas, mushrooms, green onions, garlic, flax, soy sauce, lemon, paprika, and pepper. Pulse the mixture 6-8 times or until it sticks together when pressed. Divide into 6 equal parts and roll each into a small fritter the size of a meatball. Use your hands to compress each ball so that they stick together without being held. (Don’t be afraid to put a little force into pressing! This will keep them from falling apart during cooking.)
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add fritters to the pan once hot. Leave enough space to easily flip halfway through cooking (cook in batches if you can’t comfortably fit all of the fritters into the same pan at once.) Cook about 4-5 minutes on one side (or until outside is browned and crispy) before carefully flipping and cooking an additional 4-5 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare the avocado sauce. Whisk together avocado, lemon, and hot sauce in a small bowl with a fork until smooth. (You can also use a small blender/food processor for this step if desired.) Set aside.
- Prepare the sandwiches: Slice rolls in half if needed, lay on a flat surface and top with lettuce, tomato, and onion (if using). Once fritters are cooked, divide them between the sandwich rolls and top with spicy avocado sauce to taste. Sandwiches can be prepared in advance and enjoyed hot or at room temperature.
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What's your favorite New Orleans-inspired meal?
Did you enjoy this pulse recipe?
Head over to Pulses.org/NAP for more healthy and delicious recipes featuring dry peas, chickpeas, lentils, and beans!