Happy Monday! I have a fresh, healthy recipe for Moroccan Chickpea Salad for you. It takes everyday ingredient favorites like quinoa, carrots, and feta to new and faraway places. Spices that once seemed standard—chili powder, cinnamon—taste exotic and unexpected. It’s light, lovely, and makes me feel centered and goddess-y in that way I so crave at the start of a new week.
If you’ve been looking for a new salad to liven up your weekly lunch routine, I hope you try this Moroccan-spiced chickpea salad. In addition to being filling and a refreshing change of pace from my standard lunch fare, it gives me a super satisfying healthy meal afterglow.
Healthy Meal Afterglow: The affirming feeling of complete adult life domination that follows eating a meal that is both ridiculously delicious and ridiculously good for you.
Polish off the plate, then give yourself a high five!
The Magical Simplicity of Moroccan Chickpea Salad
When taken separately, the ingredients in this Moroccan Chickpea Salad are nothing out of the ordinary. Once combined, however, they become a meal that could make a salad believer out of even the staunchest skeptic.
The stealth flavor-makers in this easy chickpea salad recipe are the chili powder and cinnamon in the dressing. These two spices are a classic pairing in Moroccan cuisine and, happily for our salad purposes, taste outstanding paired with carrots and chickpeas.
This brightly flavored Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Salad is also mighty filling. Both quinoa and chickpeas are high in protein and fiber, meaning a serving of this salad can sustain you through a long afternoon.
The remaining ingredients play supporting but still critical roles in making this Moroccan Chickpea Salad something you can honestly say you crave.
For sweetness and pleasant chewiness, golden raisins are in the building, erm, bowl. (They’re also stellar in this Moroccan Couscous.)
For creaminess and saltiness, feta is on scene.
For warmth and crunch, toasted nuts represent.
Each component adds a layer of complexity and texture that makes the Moroccan Chickpea Salad taste like a true meal, not simply a pile of vegetables that you eat because you feel like you should.
If you don’t have these exact ingredients on hand, you can certainly play around with the recipe based on what you do have and achieve the same OMG WHY CAN I NOT STOP EATING THIS CHICKPEA SALAD effect.
My advice is to make sure that you have each component well represented. For example, you could swap dates for golden raisins (sweet and chewy? check!), goat cheese for feta (creaminess accounted for!), or pumpkin seeds for pistachios (warmth and crunch? YEP!).
My final ingredient mention is arugula. I selected this green because its bold, peppery flavor can hold its own with the other ingredient players.
If you’d like your Moroccan Chickpea Salad to be more mild mannered (or don’t share my affinity for mass amounts of greens), feel free to use a lesser amount or do a blend of arugula and spinach. You can also check out this recipe for Mediterranean Chickpea Salad, which uses chopped vegetables instead of greens, or this Chickpea Tuna Salad.
To Make Ahead
- If you’ll be enjoying this salad over the course of a few meals, I recommend storing the chickpea, quinoa, and carrot mixture separately from the arugula so that the arugula doesn’t become sad and wilty.
- Stir in the arugula serving by serving as you go. (It will be fine in mixed in a container for a few hours if you’d like to pack it in the morning for lunch.)
More Easy Salad Recipes
Moroccan Chickpea Salad
FOR THE SALAD:
- 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cans reduced-sodium chickpeas (15 ounce cans), rinsed and drained
- 3 cups grated carrots pregrated or freshly grated from about 4 large/medium carrots, about 10 ounces
- 5 ounces baby arugula
- 1/3 cup toasted pistachios almonds, or pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta omit to make vegan
- 1/4 cup golden raisins or chopped dried dates
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- In a medium saucepan, cook the quinoa according to package directions.
- While the quinoa cooks, place the chickpeas and carrots in a large serving bowl. In a small bowl or measuring cup (my favorite for easy pouring), whisk together the dressing ingredients: olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon, maple syrup, chili powder, salt, and cinnamon. Taste and adjust as desired.
- Once the quinoa has finished cooking, fluff with a fork, then add to the serving bowl. Pour the dressing over the top, just until it is moistened, then stir to combine. Add the arugula (see recipe note if not eating all of the salad within a day or so) and stir again, adding a bit more dressing as desired. Sprinkle with the pistachios, feta, raisins, and mint. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
- This salad is great for meal prep lunches! Since the arugula can wilt, if you’d like to enjoy it over multiple days, I recommend waiting to add the arugula only to the portion you will be eating that day as you go along versus mixing in the entire amount. Salad WITH arugula is best enjoyed within 24 hours. Salad WITHOUT arugula can last up to 4 days.
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