Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
As much as I’d like to consider myself far too self assured and breezy to ever go through a mid-life crisis, my behavior every single July for the past 20+ years would suggest otherwise. Without fail, at some point during the month, I look at the calendar and FREAK OUT that summer is gone. Dramatic much? Fortunately, this fresh, definitively summery Mediterranean Chickpea Salad is here to convince me otherwise.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad is an easy, healthy, edible reminder that summer ain’t over yet.
It doesn’t just celebrate the present moment. It flaunts it.
Made with bell peppers of all colors, fresh herbs, and crisp cucumber—all ingredients that are hitting their summer prime—every bite reminds me that instead of burning my precious time and energy having a “midsummer crisis,” I should direct it towards appreciating the summer goodness that’s surrounding me right here, right now.
Did that stop me from impulsively checking the paddle tavern schedule for openings approximately 45 seconds after writing that last sentence? Of course not.
I am, however, making progress, one bite of Mediterranean Chickpea Salad at a time.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad—A No-Cook Rainbow Meal!
This easy chickpea salad is one of those glorious, no-cook summer meals that hardly needs a recipe. (This Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Salad Sandwich looks like another one!) I took a collection of ingredients that I often associate with the Mediterranean (and the really good Greek salad from my favorite Mediterranean restaurant back home) and combined them into one rainbow bowl of seasonal glory.
Bell peppers of all colors! Crisp cucumber! Creamy feta cheese! Hearty chickpeas! It’s a wheel of fresh, healthy ingredients that, while tasty on their own, are even better enjoyed together.
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.
This Mediterranean Chickpea Salad is sturdy and can last in the refrigerator for several days. It works well as a side dish (it tastes great at room temperature, making it an ideal option for barbecues and potlucks), is filling enough for a light lunch, and can be repurposed for a variety of different meals throughout the week. (Another delightful salad that checks all these boxes: Moroccan Chickpea Salad!)
After enjoying this Mediterranean Chickpea Salad on its own, I munched the leftovers a few different ways. I had it top of salad greens with grilled chicken, tucked it inside pita bread with avocado and a smear of Greek yogurt, and snitched bites directly from the fridge whenever I needed a little reminder that summer isn’t going anywhere just yet.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Recipe for healthy Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with feta, cucumber, and bell peppers. Quick, easy, and delicious! Serve for a simple side or light main.
Yield: about 12 cups (8 small or 6 large sides)
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
FOR THE SALAD:
- 1/2 cup finely diced red onion (about 1/2 small)
- 2 (15-ounce) cans reduced-sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (about 1 bunch)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 large seedless cucumber, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta (about 4 ounces)
FOR THE DRESSING:
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Place the onions in a bowl of cool water and let them soak while you prepare the other ingredients (this removes the harsher bite from the onions, while still giving great flavor).
- Place the chickpeas, parsley, bell peppers, cucumber, and feta in a large serving bowl.
- In a small mixing bowl or large measuring cup, stir together the dressing ingredients: olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Drain the red onions and add them to the chickpea mixture, then pour the dressing over the top. Toss to combine. If time allows, let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or enjoy immediately.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Serving ideas: This salad is lovely as is, but to transform it into a main dish, try it stuffed inside pita pockets with hummus and mashed avocado or add grilled chicken and serve it over salad greens with an extra squire of lemon juice and drizzle of olive oil.
Serving Size: 1 (of 8), about 1 1/2 cups
- Amount Per Serving:
- Calories: 169 Calories
- Total Fat: 7g
- Saturated Fat: 1g
- Cholesterol: 3mg
- Sodium: 466mg
- Carbohydrates: 21g
- Fiber: 6g
- Sugar: 2g
- Protein: 9g
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