This simple chickpea salad is loaded with fresh summer vegetables. There is no cooking involved and it is a perfect make ahead side you can take to all your summer gatherings. It is gorgeous, fresh, vegan, gluten free and super easy to make!
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This tasty chickpea salad is full of delicious fresh veggies like cucumber, tomatoes, parsley and bell pepper and is topped off with an easy homemade lemon dressing. It makes a wonderful salad, either as a side dish with dinner or as a healthy lunch!
I am a big fan of chickpeas, because not only are they tasty and inexpensive they also are a great plant based source of protein, fiber, and nutrients. And in this salad the chickpeas are combined with lots of basic pantry staple ingredients making it a breeze to make.
This salad is also an excellent side dish to bring to a potluck or a cookout because it aligns with so many dietary restrictions. It is vegan, gluten free, keto friendly, paleo and dairy free, so most people will be able to enjoy eating it.
Why You Will Love this Simple Chickpea Salad
- It is easy to make, with only some chopping required and absolutely no cooking.
- It is very versatile and you can easily change up the vegetables or herbs to suit your preferences.
- If you have a garden it is a great way to use your fresh veggies all summer long.
- The salad is very pretty! Chickpeas by themselves look pretty boring, but mix them with colorful vegetables and they take on a whole new life.
- You can serve it right away but it also gets more flavorful as it marinates. And it keeps very well in the refrigerator for a few days which makes it great for a make ahead side dish.
Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) – I used canned chickpeas to keep this recipe quick and easy. I always keep a few cans in my pantry so I can make this with little planning. But if you want to cook chickpeas from dried go right ahead, I am sure that would be delicious.
Parsley – I used fresh flat leaf parsley. The fresh parsley is not a garnish, it is an essential part of this recipe just like one of the vegetables. And the recipe uses quite a bit, about 1 cup of the herb. If you don’t have fresh parsley you can substitute 1 teaspoon of dried, but it won’t taste quite as good.
Tomatoes – I prefer to use grape or cherry tomatoes in this recipe. They are sweeter and cutting them in half takes no time at all. But last summer I accidentally planted all full sized tomatoes in my garden and no cherry tomatoes. So I used diced regular tomatoes to make this and the salad was still amazing.
Bell peppers, Cucumber – I use whatever I happen to have on hand. The color of the peppers doesn’t matter.
Lemon – It tastes better if you zest and juice a fresh lemon. But if you are short on time or lemons you can skip the zest and substitute bottled lemon juice.
Cumin – The cumin might not be an obvious addition to the salad, but it adds a little bit of warm flavor. Cumin is commonly used in hummus, so it makes sense it goes well with chickpeas.
The rest of the ingredients are just basic pantry staples for making the dressing – garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
How to Make Chickpea Salad
Open the cans of chickpeas and drain and rinse them. Rinsing them off before putting them in the salad has two big benefits – it reduces the amount of sodium in them and it makes them easier to digest.
Cut the tomatoes into smaller pieces, cutting grape tomatoes in half and cherry tomatoes in quarters. If you are using full sized tomatoes dice them into 1 inch pieces.
Chop the parsley, cucumber and bell pepper and mince the garlic. Finally zest and juice the lemon for the salad dressing.
Combine the chickpeas, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes and bell peppers in a large bowl.
In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, cumin, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Stir until the dressing is well combined.
Pour the dressing over the vegetables and gently toss them together until they are coated with dressing.
You can serve the salad right away, but I think it tastes better if it is refrigerated for at least an hour.
How to Serve
One of my favorite things about this salad is how versatile it is. You can serve it many, many different ways. Here are some of my favorite suggestions!
- Serve it as a side dish with dinner. It goes especially well with grilled foods like steak kabobs or as a side to a simple dinner like air fryer whole chicken.
- Top it off with grilled chicken or a can of tuna fish for a delicious and light dinner.
- Eat it as is for lunch or make into a handheld lunch by putting it pita bread or wrapping it in a tortilla.
- Take it to your next summer cookout or potluck for a vegan and gluten free side dish.
- Add diced avocado. If you are making the salad ahead of time wait and add the avocado right before serving so it doesn’t brown.
- Replace the lemon with a lime. This is especially delicious if you are adding avocado!
- Give the salad a little bit of Mediterranean flavor by adding olives and feta cheese.
- Use diced cilantro instead of parsley.
This salad keeps very well in the refrigerator for 2-4 days. Exactly how long it keeps will depend on how fresh the vegetables you used were. I find my cucumbers usually start to get mushy around day 4.
Yes, the two are exactly the same thing. Chickpeas is the English word derived from the botanical name for the plant. Garbanzo, on the other hand, is the Spanish name for them.
Almost anything goes well with this salad. I usually make it in the summer, when it naturally pairs well with grilled meat. But it wouldn’t be out of place at a fancy holiday dinner like Thanksgiving turkey or beef tenderloin, especially if you are trying to make side dishes that accommodate dietary restrictions.
Find More Side Dish Salads
- 2 (15.5 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, diced
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced or 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
- Chop the parsley, cucumber and bell pepper into bite size pieces. Slice the tomatoes into quarters or halves. Mix the chickpeas, parsley, cucumber, bell pepper and tomatoes together in a big bowl.
- Zest and juice the lemon and mince the garlic. In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss gently.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
The salad keeps well for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Serves 8 as a side dish or 4 as a main dish.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 188Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 386mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 5gSugar: 11gProtein: 5g
Nutrition facts are estimates.