This spicy chickpea salad comes together in only 15 minutes and requires almost no effort. Canned chickpeas, parsley, red onions, cucumbers, and red bell pepper for color become friends with a quick creamy, lemony dressing that is delicious and easy to make.
Chickpeas and why I love them
I love chickpeas! They are so versatile and easy to work with!
I have various recipes on the website that I often make, no matter the season. This Chickpeas Salad with Feta and Mint is excellent for the summer, while Chickpeas with Green Beans and Pork is a Spanish recipe you can make during the cold season.
Chickpeas (or Garbanzos) are packed with protein and are very good for you. They are the main ingredient in hummus and are used in soups, salads, dips, or stews.
An essential staple in Indian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern Cuisine, chickpeas are also made into flour.
What makes this salad a winner
- Flavors and textures- This salad has it all, fresh vegetables, chickpeas, herbs, and a delicious dressing that you can make spicy or not.
- It is healthy- There is not much to say about this one. Fresh vegetables are good for you, as well the legumes, because they provide a good amount of protein that could replace meat. This salad will keep you satisfied without the need to raid the refrigerator an hour later.
- Chickpeas- We are using cans of chickpeas here because we want this salad really fast on the table. I personally like the organic cans of chickpeas, but you can use whatever you can find at the grocery store.
- The spices in the dressing - will make the chickpeas go from blah to yum! The dressing is effortless to make, but the power comes from the ingredients we use. Stay with me, and you will see! This is one of my favorite dressings to make.
If you have chickpea haters in your family, make them this salad, and I bet they will love it.
Ingredients and possible substitutions
Chickpeas: Can use canned chickpeas, or soak and boil dried chickpeas.
Red onion: Can substitute with green onions or shallots.
Red bell pepper: Can substitute with yellow or green bell pepper.
Cucumber: Can use any type (English, Persian) with or without skin.
Parsley: Can use cilantro or a combination of both. Mint leaves can also be added. Fresh herbs are recommended for their vibrant flavor. However, if you're using dried herbs, remember that they are more potent. Typically, you'll want to use one-third the amount of dried herbs compared to fresh.
Garlic cloves: Fresh is best, but can use garlic paste or powder in a pinch.
Red-pepper flakes: Can substitute with a pinch of cayenne pepper or chili powder.
Lemon: Freshly squeezed is ideal, but bottled lemon juice can be used.
Dijon mustard: Regular mustard, or even honey mustard for a sweeter taste.
Olive oil: Can use avocado oil or any neutral oil.
Kosher salt: Regular table salt or sea salt.
Black pepper: Freshly ground is best, but pre-ground can be used.
How to Make the Spicy Chickpea Salad
Step 1. Place the ingredients for the salad in a salad bowl.
Place the chickpeas, diced onions, red pepper, cucumber, and chopped parsley in a large salad bowl. Set aside.
Step 2. Make the dressing:
Combine the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, crushed garlic, mustard, and red pepper flakes in a small jar. Place the lid on the jar and shake well until smooth; season with salt and pepper.
Of course, if you have no jar around, just grab a small bowl and whisk all the ingredients together. I prefer the jar, but you can definitely make this dressing the classic way.
Step 3. Combine the dressing with the rest of the ingredients from the bowl.
Pour the dressing over the salad in the bowl and stir to coat. Sprinkle the salad with crumbled feta cheese and serve.
Store the salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It is best when fresh, but flavors may meld more the day after.
If you plan to store for longer than a day, it's best to keep the dressing separate and mix it just before serving.
Avoid freezing as the texture of the vegetables and chickpeas can change.
You can add a dollop of yogurt or tahini to the dressing for a creamier consistency.
The red-pepper flakes add a kick, but you can adjust the amount based on your preference. Removing or reducing them will result in a milder salad.
Yes, you can prepare the ingredients ahead of time. However, to maintain freshness, it's best to add the dressing just before serving.
Yes, this salad is naturally gluten-free and vegan, making it suitable for various dietary preferences.
f the lemon flavor is too strong, you can reduce the amount of lemon juice or add a bit of honey or maple syrup to balance out the tanginess.
Add a side of the following
- Fried fish- Like my grandma used to make. It is an easy recipe that you will fall in love with because of its simplicity.
- No Breaded Fried Chicken- this is a good recipe if you want to eat fewer carbs. The chicken is moist and delicious and perfect next to not only this salad but to any salad you like.
- Romanian Meatballs or Chicken Schnitzel French Style
- Add grilled or broiled salmon or shrimp.
- Serve it next to a burger.
Basically, any protein will be great with this salad. It is also an excellent salad to take with you for a picnic in the park or to the beach.
Or, serve this salad with a chunk of good bread and enjoy! Seriously, only 15 minutes, and you have a wonderful salad to share with your family! How cool is that?
Some other salad recipes to love
Spicy Chickpea Salad
- 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed(15-ounce each)
- 1 small red onion diced or 3-4 green onions
- 1 medium red bell pepper chopped
- 1 medium cucumber peeled and sliced thin
- 1 cup parsley leaves roughly chopped or cilantro
- 2 large garlic cloves grated or minced
- ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 1 ½ medium lemon zested and juiced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard or regular mustard
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- In a large salad bowl, place the chickpeas, diced onions, red pepper, cucumber, and chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Make the dressing:
- In a small jar, combine the lemon zest and juice, mustard, olive oil, crushed garlic, and red pepper flakes. Place the lid on the jar and shake well until smooth; season with salt and pepper.
Combine the dressing with the salad:
- Pour the dressing over the salad in the bowl and stir to coat.
- Serve right away.