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.
Add cooked chicken to this salad for extra hearty, protein-packed leftovers (try my easy method for Instant Pot Chicken, Crock Pot Shredded Chicken, or How to Cook Shredded Chicken).
What to Serve with Quinoa Chickpea Salad
Spicy Salmon Recipe
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 1/3 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, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 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 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard. Pulse until mostly combined and scallions are roughly chopped.
- With food processor running, slowly pour the remaining 1/3 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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Wow! What a great post! The photos are awesome and I really really want to make this! Yum!
Rest assured…as a former yoga teacher, I can tell you that most people who do yoga come to class a hot mess. They’re stressed, kinks in their back, and a million things on their mind. They come to yoga for 1 hour of stress-relief. They leave high on life. It’s worth it! Do it!
Somehow, I feel like if I were in your class, I could totally jump on board with yoga and relax. I need to give it another chance! (even if it’s not in a park at sunrise;-) )
I love long recipe tittles!! It means there are so many awesome ingredients! These photos are great and I totally wan to go run and make this for lunch!
I almost did Quinoa-Bulgur-Chickpea-Almond-Red-Onion-Lemon-Parlsey-Salad-with-Roasted-Scallion-Dressing, but it was just too much to type ;-) I agree–when a lot of ingredients are involved, it’s hard to choose. Thanks Teighan. Hope you have a great day!
I’ve never heard of roasting scallions before, but I bet its tastes amazing! This salad looks like it has so many great textures and flavors…I can’t wait to try it out :) Have a great Monday, Erin!
Valerie, I’ve gotten a little obsessed with roasting every veggie under the sun, and with scallions in season, I could not resist. Thanks so much for you comment–I hope you have a great day too!
Wow that sounds incredible! What do you take your pictures on top of? Is it a piece of slate?? Really enjoy your photography :)
Happy Valley Chow
Good eye! It is slate indeed–actually an enormous slate cheeseboard my sister gave me for Christmas. I absolutely love it (for cheese and for photography too, it turns out). Thanks so much for your kind words!
Erin this looks so tasty! I love following your blog because you use everyday ingredients :)
Thank you so much Reba! That is exactly what I try for, so it makes my day to hear from you that it’s working :) Hope you love this salad and thanks again!
Oh my goodness does that look delish! Love how colorful and wholesome this dish is, Erin!
Thanks so much Georgia! It definitely brightened up my Monday. Hope you’re having a great week!
I would so love to be that kind of person too! I feel like this would be the kind of lunch I would have if I did yoga (instead of cake.) Seriously though, this looks so fresh and delicious!
Thanks so much Rosie!! And if you want to have cake for lunch, as an FYI: I support you :)
Love this post Erin! The salad looks delicious… love the sound of the crunchy almonds and roasted scallion dressing (yum!!!). I hate yoga. I tried it once and the instructor was a rather rotund middle-aged lady who didn’t shave her armpits. She also swiftly developed sweat patches around her… um… ample stomach folds and other parts of her chest, and tried to correct my yoga positions by prodding me with her bare sweaty feet. So. Gross. Ugh! I’m getting shivers just thinking about it. I swiftly quit her yoga class, despite losing half my money, and decided that walking was enough exercise for me. Plus, lifting a fork to my mouth repeatedly. Anyway… thanks for this gorgeous recipe. Can’t wait to make it. Mmmm, chickpeas!
Oh no Laura! That does not sound like a good yoga experience at all! I think lifting the fork-to-mouth is much more pleasant. I like your routine ;-) Thanks so much for your comment–I adore chickpeas too!
dude, i could never be one of those people who do yoga every morning or turn to yoga to relax. it’s so hard to keep a position. everyone is like in their zone and i’m in the corner straining and falling on myself and sweating. anyway. i’m just not very…graceful. this dish looks so good – love all the ingredients in here!! so hearty and filling.
Oh Julie, how I can relate! I feel like I end up sliding on my mat, my palms get so sweaty. One class, we tried headstands. Badddd news. I’ll just focus on being able to go for a run without tripping over my own feet for today ;-)
Love the idea of roasting the scallions! Yum!
This looks awesome, Erin!!! Loving all the ingredients you put in it! x
Thanks so much Ashley!!
I need to get back on the yoga train. Sigh. Until then, I would love to eat this quiona chickpea salad everyday!!
You and me both Lauren! Can we maybe give ourselves half credit for thinking about yoga? It’s kind of a mental activity in large part anyway, right?
I wish yoga did all the things you mentioned above! While it does give me a clearer mind, it does not make my skin all dewy. This salad sounds fabtabulous! Loving the flavor party.
I’m a yoga person but make-up is still definitely a necessity. And I still think about smashing chairs now and then ;) This looks great!
At least I am in good company ;-) Thanks Bianca!!
I have been looking for some new lunch options and this is right up my alley! I love your photos!
Thanks! I had a lot of fun with this one. I’m making it again for lunch this week too–it really is such an easy option! Hope you like it too!
Umm, who needs yoga…I’ll take three bowls of this salad please!! Am I the only one who’s tummy rumbles in the middle of savasana? Haha!
Absolutely GORGEOUS photos and well, you totally sold me on that flavor combo…roasted scallions?! I’m IN!!
Exact same thing has happened to me, lol. Thanks so much for you kind comment Heather!
Love this recipe– but not the total calories. I estimate 386/serving. Here’s what I am doing next time, ditch the roasted scallions and olive oil, and using trader joes light champagne vinaigrette dressing. At 25 calories/tablespoon, my waistline will love the salad even more
Love this recipe!! The flavors are so complex. Love finding vegetarian recipes that are packed with flavor & protein. It was delicious enough to post a comment & that’s saying something coming from me. Even my meat & potatoes man couldn’t stop eating it. Thank you!
Side note didn’t have chickpeas on hand. Used great northern beans…still super yummy.
Melina, this makes me so happy to hear! Thanks so much for sharing how much you and your husband enjoyed this. It means a lot!
In the ingredient list you show 1/3 cup of oil plus 2 Tablespoons, but the recipe calls for 2 tsps to be tossed with the Scallions and then the 1/3 cup used later on. Which is correct 2 tsps or 2 Tbs?
And I can’t wait to try this and I love so many of your recipes.
Hi Lori! You should use 2 tablespoons of oil. I hope you enjoy the salad!
sorry just saw this now will be making this soon i never had salad before perfect for my after office meals will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya
I hope you enjoy it, Ramya!
This was amazingly delicious! I served it last night at our first post-pandemic get-together with close friends and they all loved it. Very little was left over, and I’m eating it now. I was proud to serve something that was not only so scruptious, but nutritious as well. You can be sure I’ll be serving this again and again for future gatherings.
I’m so happy that you enjoyed it, Anda! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
Wow! This is so good! Those roasted scallions are amazing! Thank you again for a wonderful healthy recipe!
I’m so happy that you enjoyed it, Jessica! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
This was so good!!! Will be making it again and again this summer.
I’m so happy that you enjoyed it, Ines! Thank you for sharing this kind review!
I make this salad weekly! Sometimes I’ll add shredded chicken to my portion.
Making it today for a Women’s Club potluck.
Hi Catherine! So glad you enjoyed the salad! Thank you for this kind review!
This is my favorite Quinoa recipe ever!!! I make a ton of Quinoa salads for lunch and this is by far my favorite. So filling. So easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of time. The textures and flavors are just incredible.
Hi Brienne! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!