All aboard the fresh express! It’s time for Mediterranean Chickpea Salad. This simple chickpea salad is uplifting, filling.
Made with bell peppers of all colors, fresh herbs, crisp cucumber, and creamy feta, every bite tastes of warm, sunny moments. Eating it never fails to brighten my mood.
Protein- and fiber-rich chickpeas make it a hearty vegetarian main, or you can serve it as an easy side with chicken, fish, or shrimp.
Today’s Mediterranean chickpea salad has oodles of texture, healthy ingredients, and energizing flavors—but is made with ingredients that:
- I’m much more likely to have around, and
- Taste excellent in any season.
You don’t need to wait until the height of summer to make this recipe (bell peppers, for example, taste great at nearly any time of year.
It tastes fab at room temperature and will perk up your afternoon, especially if you are looking for something lighter on the lunch front as I often am.
Chickpea salad lasts 3 to 4 days in your refrigerator, meaning you can make it today, then enjoy having the leftovers tucked in your refrigerator for fast, healthy meals whenever you need them.
How to Make Chickpea Salad
This easy chickpea salad is one of those glorious no-cook meals that hardly needs a recipe.
Chickpea Salad Ingredients
Salad Ingredient #1: Cooked Chickpeas
The true star ingredient here is canned chickpeas. A few fun facts and qualities I adore about this pantry powerhouse.
- Chickpeas inexpensive and incredibly versatile. You can use chickpeas for burgers (like these Mediterranean Quinoa Burgers), in a chickpea salad like today’s recipe, or even a stir fry like this recipe for General Tso’s Chickpeas.
- Chickpeas are good for weight loss because they’re high in fiber and protein, so they help keep you fuller for longer.
- Chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same thing. The two names are used interchangeably especially in the U.S., and you may see either one written on a can or bag.
- This recipe calls for one 15-ounce can of chickpeas. You can also substitute 1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas if you prefer to make them yourself from dried beans.
- Chickpeas cannot be eaten raw (they’d be crunchy and hard; if they are in a can, they are actually cooked first), though you can certainly munch them right out of the can or toss them onto a salad (ahem, this one!).
- Rinse your canned chickpeas first to avoid excess sodium.
- Bell Peppers. Oodles of bell peppers add sweet, colorful crunch to every bite. Plus, bell peppers are packed with Vitamin-C, folate, and potassium.
- Cucumber. Every time I eat cucumber, I wonder why I don’t have it more often. It makes this recipe taste extra light and fresh.
- Red Onion. Red onions are perfect for salads because of their mild flavor and color. TIP: soak your red onion in water first to remove some of the less pleasant, lingering, harsh flavor.
- Feta Cheese. One of the best things in life. You’ll love this chickpea salad with feta crumbles added. If you want to make this chickpea salad vegan, you can omit the feta and you are good to go.
- Parsley. Fresh herbs like parsley are a little addition that make a big difference. It gives this chickpea salad a complete, polished taste you’d miss without it.
- Dressing. The chickpea salad dressing is a 30-second red wine vinaigrette that you can shake together right in a mason jar. Theatrical overhead pour optional but encouraged.
- Soak the red onion in water.
- Add the remaining salad ingredients to a large bowl.
- Prepare the dressing (I like to make extra for the leftovers).
- Drain the onions, add them to the bowl with the salad ingredients. Pour the dressing over the top, and toss. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. ENJOY!