This lemon Quinoa Chickpea Salad is exactly the kind of balanced recipe that I imagine my best self eating.
You know, the self who practices yoga at sunrise, never loses her patience, and doesn’t need to wear make-up because her skin is so flawlessly dewy.
Right. That self.
Good thing this quinoa chickpea salad is far more attainable!
While I’ve never had the patience for yoga (or much patience in general, just ask my husband), healthy make-ahead chickpea salad recipes can make us all feel like balanced zen masters. They help keep hectic days calm.
- This stellar salad is a bright blend of fiber and protein-packed quinoa and chickpeas, along with crunchy almonds and fresh parsley.
- The ingredients are tied together with a bright, lemony roasted scallion dressing that you’ll immediately crave on everything.
This quinoa chickpea recipe is a throw-together on Sunday, then love yourself all week salad. (Two other of my favorite salads that fit the bill: Moroccan Chickpea Salad and Mediterranean Chickpea Salad!)
It can last for days in your refrigerator and is an ideal companion to a wide variety of proteins, from Grilled Chicken Tenders, to Baked Salmon in Foil, to my favorite weeknight Baked Chicken Breast.
Thanks to its high-protein ingredients, it is also filling enough to stand on its own for a lunch you’ll look forward to all morning.
How to Make Quinoa Chickpea Salad
With summer potluck season around the corner, this quinoa chickpea salad is an ideal recipe to have in your back pocket.
Like my Roasted Vegetable Salad, it makes for a refreshing change of pace from standard backyard BBQ affair.
While the roasted scallion dressing is a bit more fussy than what you’ll typically find in my collection of salad recipes and the three easy back-pocket dressings in my cookbook, it makes this recipe and is well worth the effort.
My sister called it “an explosion of flavor.” She couldn’t have expressed my sentiments more perfectly.
- Quinoa. 100% whole grain goodness and a complete protein. Quinoa has a nutty flavor and is filled with fiber, making it a wonderful, hearty base for the salad.
- Dressing. Roasted scallions, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard create a bright, zippy, and flavorful dressing. You’ll want to add it to everything!
- Chickpeas. With oodles of fiber and vitamins, chickpeas are a healthy addition to this salad. They make it ultra filling and add wonderful texture.
- Toasted Almonds. For scrumptious, toasty, nutty goodness and added protein.
- Red Onion. Adds a tasty crunch and bite.
- Italian Flat Leaf Parsley. Fresh and bright.
- Soak the red onion in water. Cook and fluff the quinoa.
- Roast scallions, then add them to a food processor. Blend with the dressing ingredients.
- Gradually add the oil, blending until smooth.
- Place the quinoa in a large bowl, then toss it with the dressing.
- Add the remaining salad components. Toss and ENJOY!
Pouring the dressing over the quinoa while it is still warm helps the grains drink up its flavors.
- To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 1 week.
Meal Plan Tip
Up to 1 day in advance, prepare the dressing, toast the almonds, and dice the red onion. The day you plan to serve, cook the quinoa. While it is warm, pour the dressing over the top and stir it all together.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Baking Sheet. The exact tool you need for roasting veggies.
- Citrus Juicer. You’ll never want to juice a lemon without this tool.
- Food Processor. This one has an extra large capacity.
Quinoa Chickpea Salad
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 16 scallions (about 2 bunches, hairy ends removed)
- 1/3 cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice about 1 small lemon
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 can reduced sodium chickpeas (15 ounces) rinsed and drained
- 1/3 cup raw almonds toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup red onion finely diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Place rack in upper ⅓ of oven then preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Place the red onion in a bowl and cover with cold water (this is optional but will remove some of the onions' harsh bite).
- Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Fluff with fork. Cover to keep warm and set aside.
- Line a 9×13 inch rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment paper, or a silpat mat. Place the scallions in the center and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Spread into a single layer. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until scallions are lightly charred.
- Transfer the scallions to a food processor. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard. Pulse until mostly combined and scallions are roughly chopped.
- With food processor running, slowly pour the remaining ⅓ cup olive oil through the feed tube, and blend until relatively smooth and emulsified.
- While the quinoa is still warm, transfer it to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the grains, then toss gently to coat.
- Drain the red onions, then add them to the quinoa. Add chickpeas, almonds, and parsley. Toss until combined. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
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