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I love the versatility of chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. They are the foundation for hummus, make a delicious curry and pair well with many other veggies, such as sweet potatoes.
Over the next two weeks, I’m experiencing a cleanse. That means although I am already plant based, I’m focusing on consuming fruits and vegetables only. During the cleanse I’m avoiding grains, except for gluten free oats, fermented foods, sugar, salt and oils and eating very little fat. This allows my digestive system to reset and toxins, bacteria and viruses to flush out of my body.
Even with the limitations, it’s not difficult to enjoy hearty, highly nutritious meals. This chickpea salad, loaded with fresh veggies, is an excellent example.
Chickpeas are a legume, cultivated originally in the Middle East. They’ve been around for more than 9,500 years. Chickpeas are used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. They are also a key ingredient in Indian foods such as curry. Today India produces 70% of the chickpea crop.
These legumes are a rich source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Additionally, chickpeas offer a variety of health benefits including improving digestion, aiding in weight management and reducing the risk for diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Quick and Easy Chickpea Salad
I enjoy chopped salads, heavy on veggies and light on lettuce. And I appreciate chickpeas. This tasty recipe combines the two for a perfect light meal or as the main dish in a bigger one.
Craving some chickpeas today, I made this salad in a few minutes, with what I had on hand. And because I’m avoiding oils right now, I adapted a simple recipe for an oil free dressing that uses the liquid in the can of chickpeas.
You may use canned chickpeas for this recipe…which is what I did…or start with dry beans and cook your own. Save at least 1/4 cup of liquid, either way.
- 2 cans chickpeas, drained and saving 1/4 cup liquid or 3 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 medium red, yellow or orange pepper, chopped
- 1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 12 grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1/4 cup liquid from canned or cooked chickpeas
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp tahini
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- pinch black pepper
- Drain chickpeas, reserving 1/4 cup liquid for dressing
- In a large bowl, combine chickpeas and remaining veggies. Stir gently to combine.
- In a small mason jar, combine liquid from chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, parsley and black pepper. Cap and shake jar well. Pour over chickpea salad and stir to coat veggies. Serve immediately or store covered in the refrigerator. Makes approximately 4 servings.
Tips for Making Chickpea Salad
This is a great recipe for using canned goods or, if cooking chickpeas for another recipe, cook extra for this salad.
I used the vegetables I had on hand, chopping them as I would for a typical chopped veggie salad. The peppers add color and powerful nutrients. I had a bag of mini orange, red and yellow peppers and used four of those in this recipe.
Feel free to include any other veggies of choice, including cabbage, red cabbage, zucchini, cucumber, carrots, olives or pepperoncini.
Chickpea or bean liquid is called aquafaba and useful for many other recipes. I saved ALL the liquid from my two cans of chickpeas so I could experiment with the aquafaba. Watch for recipes!
Fresh parsley may be substituted for dried, in the dressing.
Tahini is sunflower seed paste. It is rich in omega-6 fatty acids and makes a healthy salad dressing. Purchase online or in health conscious food stores. I used a small amount in the dressing, rather than oils.
The fun part of creating a new recipe is tasting it!
I made the recipe with the intent of enjoying it for lunch. And enjoy it I did. The taste is fresh, with all the veggies, while the chickpeas add a mild, nutty flavor and some density to the meal. This is one of those dishes that is sure to taste even better the next day, as the flavors all mingle.
I really liked the simple chickpea liquid, lemon juice, parsley and tahini dressing. It added just the right amount of flavor without overpowering the chickpeas and vegetables. When I’m back to consuming small amounts of sea salt, I’ll add a bit to the dressing. Otherwise, I won’t change a thing! Add sea salt and black pepper to taste to the salad and/or the dressing.
Eat this chickpea salad alone or add roasted sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli for a larger meal.
Let me know if you try this satisfying meal!
More Chickpea Recipes
Looking for more chickpea recipes? Try these:
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