All aboard the fresh express! It’s time for Mediterranean Chickpea Salad. This simple chickpea salad is uplifting, filling, and one of my absolute favorite meals to have waiting in my refrigerator for healthy lunches.

Healthy Mediterranean chickpea salad in a bowl

Made with bell peppers of all colors, fresh herbs, crisp cucumber, and creamy feta, every bite tastes of warm, sunny moments. Eating it never fails to brighten my mood.

Protein- and fiber-rich chickpeas make it a hearty vegetarian main, or you can serve it as an easy side with chicken, fish, or shrimp. Or, even pair it with Grilled Halloumi Cheese!

This Mediterranean chickpea salad is a recipe I usually save for summer, but I caught myself craving it incessantly earlier this week.

I first fell in love with simple chickpea salads when I tried a recipe from Jamie Oliver. A friend made it for a picnic, and it was delicious but a few of the ingredients (like fresh chilis) weren’t ones I necessarily keep on hand. Others (like fresh tomatoes) only taste great at the height of summer, a season that’s perilously short here in The North.

Today’s Mediterranean chickpea salad has everything I loved about the original—the oodles of texture, healthy ingredients, and energizing flavors—but is made with ingredients that:

  • I’m much more likely to have around, and
  • Taste excellent in any season.

You don’t need to wait until the height of summer to make this recipe (bell peppers, for example, taste great at nearly any time of year).

It tastes fab at room temperature and will perk up your afternoon, especially if you are looking for something lighter on the lunch front as I often am.

Just like my Israeli Couscous Salad, chickpea salad lasts 3 to 4 days in your refrigerator, meaning you can make it today, then enjoy having the leftovers tucked in your refrigerator for fast, healthy meals whenever you need them.

Chickpea salad ingredients in a bowl

How to Make Chickpea Salad

This easy chickpea salad is one of those glorious no-cook meals that hardly needs a recipe.

Similar to this Chickpea Salad Sandwich and this Chickpea Tuna Salad (another fave!) it makes the best of pantry staples (hi, chickpeas) and fresh ingredients.

Chickpea Salad Ingredients

Salad Ingredient #1: Cooked Chickpeas

The true star ingredient here is canned chickpeas. A few fun facts and qualities I adore about this pantry powerhouse.

  • Chickpeas inexpensive and incredibly versatile. You can use chickpeas for burgers (like these Mediterranean Quinoa Burgers), in a chickpea salad like today’s recipe, or even a stir fry like this recipe for General Tso’s Chickpeas.
  • Chickpeas are good for weight loss because they’re high in fiber and protein, so they help keep you fuller for longer.
  • Chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same thing. The two names are used interchangeably especially in the U.S., and you may see either one written on a can or bag.
  • This recipe calls for two 15-ounce cans of chickpeas. You can also substitute 1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas if you prefer to make them yourself from dried beans.
  • Chickpeas cannot be eaten raw (they’d be crunchy and hard; if they are in a can, they are actually cooked first), though you can certainly munch them right out of the can or toss them onto a salad (ahem, this one!).
  • Rinse your canned chickpeas first to avoid excess sodium.

The Fresh Ingredients

The fresh ingredients I choose for this recipe are ones I often associate with the Mediterranean like feta and parsley, which we always seem to have too much of. Feel free to tweak the below to suit your own preferences too.

  • Bell Peppers. Oodles of bell peppers add sweet, colorful crunch to every bite. Plus, bell peppers are packed with Vitamin-C, folate, and potassium.
  • Cucumber. Every time I eat cucumber, I wonder why I don’t have it more often. It makes this recipe taste extra light and fresh.
  • Red Onion. Red onions are perfect for salads because of their mild flavor and color. TIP: soak your red onion in water first to remove some of the less pleasant, lingering, harsh flavor.
  • Feta Cheese. One of the best things in life. You’ll love this chickpea salad with feta crumbles added. If you want to make this chickpea salad vegan, you can omit the feta and you are good to go.
  • Parsley. Fresh herbs like parsley are a little addition that make a big difference. It gives this chickpea salad a complete, polished taste you’d miss without it.
  • Dressing. 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.

Chopped chickpea salad in a glass bowl with dressing being poured over the top

The Directions

  1. Soak the red onion in water.
  2. Add the remaining salad ingredients to a large bowl.
  3. Prepare the dressing (I like to make extra for the leftovers).
  4. Drain the onions, add them to the bowl with the salad ingredients. Pour the dressing over the top, and toss. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. ENJOY!

How to Serve Chickpea Salad

  • Right out of the Bowl. The chickpeas make it plenty filling for a light and lovely meal.
  • With Fresh Greens. If you wanted to up the veggies even more, you could toss this chickpea salad with fresh greens (arugula is my favorite), then add on a bit of extra dressing to create a green salad.
  • Chickpea Salad with Avocado. Add big chunks of fresh avocado and halved cherry tomatoes for additional servings of healthy fats and colorful veggies.
  • Chickpea Salad Pitas. Stuff it inside warmed, halved whole wheat pita bread for a chickpea salad sandwich.

A bowl of chickpea salad with feta

Make Ahead and Storage Tips

  • To Make Ahead. Chop your cucumber, bell peppers, and onions up to 2 days in advance, and store them in separate airtight storage containers in the refrigerator. You can also mix the dressing together up to 2 days in advance, and store it in the refrigerator.
  • To Store. Store leftover salad in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

What Goes with Chickpea Salad?

Other Healthy Salad Recipes

Healthy and fresh recipe with bell peppers, onions, and feta in a bowl

Recommended Tools to Make Chickpea Salad

  • Chef’s Knife. One of my most prized kitchen tools. It makes chopping a breeze.
  • Mixing Bowls. These are stackable for easy storage, and they work great for this recipe.
  • Measuring Spoons. I love how easy these are to store and clean.

I hope this Mediterranean chickpea salad recipe brings some freshness to your week and variety into your healthy meal routine.

If you try the recipe, I’d love to hear what you think! Let me know in the comments section below. Your feedback is so important to me. ♥

Healthy Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with feta, cucumber, bell peppers, and a simple Greek dressing. Fast, easy recipe that’s perfect for a summer barbecue side dish or a main dish salad for a light dinner. {vegetarian, gluten free, vegan friendly} Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

4.98 from 43 votes
A simple Chickpea Salad with feta, cucumber and bell peppers. Fast, healthy and filled with bright Mediterranean flavors, it's a perfect lunches or side!

Prep: 25 mins
Total: 25 mins

Servings: 8 to 10 servings (about 12 cups total)

Ingredients
  

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion about 1/2 small
  • 2 cans reduced-sodium chickpeas (15-ounce cans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley about 1 bunch
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 8), about 1 1/2 cupsCalories: 169kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 9gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 466mgFiber: 6gSugar: 2g

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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131 Comments

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  1. I love this salad! Made it for lunch for the whole family, even the meat lovers. It’s delicious. I blended the leftovers (I had doubled the recipe) into hummus. OMG it was gone in 15 min flat. Thank you for a great meal5 stars

    1. Hi Patricia I haven’t tried a swap myself, but you could experiment with using white wine vinegar instead. I hope this helps!

  2. I buy a store bought version of this salad and it’s so expensive for a small dish. Just made this today it was so yummy! The only thing I did different was squeeze half a lemon into the dressing.5 stars

  3. I loved it, yum! I’m a vegetarian so I also added a little quinoa for a bit of extra protein and thought it was delicious. My meat eating hubby also thought it was great. Perfect summer salad or side dish, it’s really fresh and full of flavor. Thanks for another winning recipe! 😊5 stars

  4. I started making a version of this for my son last year and he loved it so much that started recreating it at the salad bar in college! We both like it with tuna and he also adds black olives. If I have good tomatoes or avocado, I’ll also throw that in there, too. It’s better with fresh parsley, but I’ve used dried in a pinch and it was still good.5 stars

  5. The recipe calls for 2 – 15 ounce cans of chickpeas but in your narrative you say 1 – 15 ounce can. Please confirm the correct amount. Thanks

    1. Hi Denise, thank you so much for letting me know. The recipe card is correct, it’s 2 – 15 ounce cans of chickpeas. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  6. I make this often to keep me on the straight and narrow in terms of a healthy diet. It’s easy to pack for lunch at work, so it saves me money as well as calories. It is delicious and (bonus!) colorful and pretty. And this Mediterranean Chickpea Salad can certainly be a side to a cool summer meal with friends or family.5 stars

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