This bright and zesty Mediterranean chickpea salad comes together in 15 minutes, making it a perfect weekday lunch or dinner. Serve alone or in a warm pita!
I love a light, bright salad, and this chickpea salad is delicious. The meaty and subtle grittiness of the chickpeas gives the salad some bulk, while the juicy bites of tomato and fruity tang from the citrus are undeniably refreshing. And let’s not forget about the feta. The rich and salty cheese is an excellent addition that complements the other ingredients well.
Why You’ll Love Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Great use of canned food – Some turn their noses up at it, but canned foods can be great when you know what to do with them, and this chickpea salad is a shining example. Using canned food like legumes, which generally take a while to cook, and combining them with fresh produce gives everything a better flavor.
Several ways to serve – Serve this Mediterranean chickpea salad chilled or at room temperature, alone or with pita. You may even want to mash it to serve with pita chips as a chunky dip.
Nutritious – Chickpeas supply a generous amount of plant-based protein, have fiber to keep you feeling full, and provide various vitamins and minerals, including manganese and folate.
Quick and easy – By bypassing the process of cooking chickpeas, which requires a lengthy soak, you have a tasty salad ready in minutes.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad Ingredients Notes
- Chickpeas: This recipe uses canned chickpeas. Select your favorite. Those who have never eaten them may want to purchase a few cans from different brands and give them a taste right out of the can before proceeding with the recipe. Some are creamier than others; certain brands add more salt, which is helpful in case you need to scale back the salt in the dressing, and, like everything else, a select few shouldn’t be on the shelves because they’re pretty unpleasant.
- Tomato: Roma, beefsteak, globe, cherry, grape, or plum tomatoes will be fine, as will an heirloom. The recipe uses a medium-sized one, so adjust accordingly for a large or small tomato variety.
- Brussels sprouts: Raw Brussels sprouts are great in this Mediterranean chickpea salad. They add an earthy bitterness that stands out from other ingredients. I shredded them so they’re easy to eat and are evenly distributed throughout the salad.
- Mint: The cooling effect makes the salad all the more refreshing and plays up the chickpea salad’s Mediterranean flair.
- Lemon: Fresh lemon juice is an absolute must. When you’re working with such a simple ingredients list, quality is vital, and despite there being some tasty bottled lemon juices available, none have the zippiness of freshly squeezed.
Find the complete ingredients list with amounts in the recipe card below.
How to Make Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Prepare the ingredients: Rinse and drain the chickpeas and pat them dry so you don’t add excess moisture to the salad. Next, wash and dry the produce and prep accordingly. You’ll need a sharp knife for the tomatoes and mint. As for the Brussels sprouts, a knife is fine, but a mandoline is even better. Just be sure to use the provided guard to avoid injury!
- Add to a bowl: Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl. Ensure the bowl is larger than needed to accommodate all the ingredients so you can easily toss the salad once dressed.
- Make the dressing: Whisk the lemon juice, oil, and salt in a bowl until well combined.
- Dress: Drizzle the dressing over the salad (you may want to start with half if not serving right away) and toss to combine. Serve the salad as desired.
Variations, Substitutions, and Tips
Add cucumber – Cucumber will bring a light, crisp crunch of freshness to the chickpea salad. To keep cucumbers extra crisp, lightly salt to remove excess water.
Spice it up – Mediterranean spices like coriander, cumin, paprika, sumac, or a combination will add depth and complexity to the dish.
Use an emulsifying agent – An emulsifier like Dijon mustard will stabilize the vinaigrette since it has a good amount of natural lecithin.
Add garlic – A grated clove will make the dressing pop.
Change the dressing – Add a bit of honey or maple syrup to offset the acidity or reduce the olive oil and lemon juice, then combine with Greek yogurt for a heartier, creamier dressing.
Storage and Freezer Tips
Store leftover chickpea salad in an airtight container. It will keep for 3-4 days. For the best results, do not add all of the dressing. Instead, store it in a separate airtight container. The dressing will last up to 1 week but solidifies lightly in the fridge. Just leave it at room temperature, then whisk it before use to return it to its original state.
- 2 cans chickpeas
- 1 tomato thinly sliced
- 2 tbs. of fresh mint
- ½ cup shredded Brussels sprouts
- ¼ cup feta
- The juice of 2 lemons
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl.
- In another small bowl, add the dressing ingredients and whisk to combine.
- Pour the vinaigrette into the large bowl and gently toss to combine.
- Serve cold plain, or with pita bread.
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