Recipes

Easy, Greek Chickpea Salad Recipe (With Healthy Vinaigrette)

Summertime is the perfect time to try this light and cool chickpea salad recipe. Made with real food ingredients and textures that will leave your tastebuds craving more. 

You’ll be surprised how something so simple to make is not only delicious but leaves you feeling full. Perfect for a lunch dish or small side salad. This is probably one of my favorite salads to make and guess what? It doesn’t require lettuce. 

Step aside romaine, kale, and spinach. You’ve met your match.

Who said salads had to be boring? Or made of lettuce? Garbanzo bean salad adds a whole new meaning to what a healthy main meal or side dish looks like. 

This Chickpea Salad Recipe contains 6 main ingredients.

6 ingredients

Cucumber. For this recipe, you can use either an English or garden cucumber. English cucumbers are long, dark green, and contain minimal seeds. These are commonly found wrapped in plastic at your local supermarket. You can find them unwrapped at your local food market. 

Garden cucumbers are the ones you may be used to buying. Known for their waxy outside, green color. If you go with a garden cucumber consider peeling some or all of the outside. Sometimes the outside can have a bitter taste. 

Grape or Cherry Tomatoes. I’ve used both interchangeably. Most times I base it on what’s in stock and which one looks fresher. A one-pint container works. 

Red Onion. Known as salad’s companion, these red or purple beauties have a mild, yet slightly spicy flavor. Also one of the best onions to eat raw or add to guacamole or burgers. Red onions are a good source of potassium, high in vitamin C and B vitamins. Think antioxidant-rich, immune and collagen building, and heart-disease fighting powerhouse. 

chickpea salad ingredients

Avocado. My kids love avocados. This creamy fruit is a great source of healthy fat, Vitamin K, potassium, folate, fiber and so much more. Make sure to pick an avocado that gives slightly when lightly squeezed. Ensure it isn’t too hard, or too overly mushy. Nothing’s worse than a very tough avocado that hasn’t had a chance to ripen.  

Garbanzo Beans. Canned garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) make this dish convenient, easy to put together, and are a healthy source of plant protein. Make sure you drain and rinse the beans. Also, be sure to purchase beans with no added salt.  

Feta Cheese. One of the oldest cheeses in the world, this Greek staple is creamy and tangy. A perfect addition to this garbanzo bean salad recipe. Feta cheese is slightly higher in sodium than other cheeses but contains fewer calories. It’s considered one of the healthiest cheeses. Of course, no matter what you eat, the key is everything in moderation.

Healthy Greek Chickpea Salad Vinaigrette

The vinaigrette wouldn’t be Greek without olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, and oregano. A light, healthy yet tasty dressing that brings all the flavors together. 

vinaigrette

Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Half of the vinaigrette consists of this healthy fat. EVOO is made up mostly of monounsaturated fat, specifically oleic acid, which reduces inflammation. Extra virgin olive oil is a must-have pantry staple. 

Red Wine Vinegar. Pairs well with olive oil and is a great marinade for vegetables and darker meats. Plus, red wine vinegar is known to lower blood glucose levels

Not a vinegar fan? No problem, swap it out with fresh lemon. The acidity of the lemon gives the vinaigrette its same great taste plus lemons are another favorite fruit in Greece. Used in many of their recipes.   

Oregano. You can use either dried or fresh oregano. During the summer, I grow my own Greek oregano and dry most of it so I have it all year long. The oregano found in stores is usually a combination of Italian and Greek oregano. This earthy flavored herb is rich in antioxidants and contains some antibacterial and anti-viral components.

Garlic. You can use either a fresh clove of minced garlic or garlic powder. Either one will provide the right amount of garlic taste. 

Sea Salt and Black Pepper. Sea salt and fresh black pepper finish off this vinaigrette beautifully adding depth. I personally use Redmond’s Real Salt. I like the flavor and added minerals it provides.

garbanzo bean salad ingredients

Chickpea Salad Recipe Substitutes

Whether you are running low on supplies or are not a fan of certain things like garbanzo beans or vinegar, I’ve got you covered. Personally, I find myself sometimes needing to make a last-minute substitute because I’ve run out of things. I’ve become accustomed over the years to figuring out how to make recipes work well with other substitutes. In case you find yourself in a similar predicament here are some substitute suggestions.

Use cannellini or great northern beans in place of garbanzo. Similar health benefits and taste. The main difference is texture as garbanzo beans are round and slightly more firm. 

Try swapping in parsley for oregano. If you don’t have oregano on hand or are not a big fan simply use parsley instead. Parsley is another herb that pairs very well with vegetables. 

– Try fresh lemon in place of red wine vinegar. Lemon juice from a fresh lemon provides the right amount of acidity needed in the vinaigrette and great flavor. I personally sometimes switch it up and will use fresh lemon.

Red bell peppers are a great alternative to cherry or grape tomatoes. Another substitute I’ve used in the past and one that works beautifully. All you need is one red bell pepper, chopped. Be sure to purchase organic, as bell peppers are on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list.  

Don’t have feta? You can swap with fresh parmesan or simply skip the cheese altogether.

chickpea salad recipe

What to Serve With Greek Chickpea Salad?

Greek chickpea salad is great on its own as a light dinner or as a (plant) protein-packed lunch. You can also serve it as a small side dish with Greek chicken kebabs or a turkey burger. Double the recipe and bring it to your next family gathering.

You can make this a day ahead by chopping all the main ingredients and adding them to a glass bowl, cover, and store in the refrigerator. Wait to add the vinaigrette until the next day. You can also store it in the refrigerator for a day or two after serving. Most of the time at our house it’s gone the day it’s made.

Did you enjoy making this recipe? Let me know in the comments below. 

chickpea salad recipe

Easy, Greek Chickpea Salad Recipe (With Healthy Vinaigrette)

This flavorful, light and cool summer salad is packed with plant protein and simple to make. Great as a main meal for lunch or small side dish.
Prep Time 10 mins
Optional Chill Time 1 hr
Course dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine Greek
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Main Salad

  • 1 15-oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), no salt added (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 English cucumber, quartered lenghtwise and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (can substitue with 1 red bell pepper chopped)
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled (can use parmesan instead)

Healthy Vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (can use fresh lemon juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I use Redmond's Real Salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)

Instructions
 

Main Salad Ingredients

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Set aside. (Optional: Can cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1-hour or cover and serve the next day. Add the vinaigrette right before serving).

Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • Add all ingredients together in a small bowl and stir.

Combine main ingredients and vinaigrette

  • Right before serving the salad, add the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Be sure to try the salad and add any additional oregano, salt, or pepper to taste.

Notes

*Be sure to check your avocado for softness. It should have a slight give when squeezed. Soft but not mushy. You definitely want to avoid buying a firm avocado. Firm avocadoes aren't ripe, are extremely difficult to cut and hard to chew. 
** You can substitute cannellini or great northern for the garbanzo beans. 
Keyword chickpea salad, garbanzo bean salad, greek salad, healthy salad, Megan Sophie, summer salad

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