Balela salad is an all-time favorite nutrition-packed power salad. It's fresh, satisfying, and totally festive. This is not your basic chickpea salad recipe!

Balela Salad Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Bright, flavor-packed Mediterranean chickpea salad with chopped veggies, lots of herbs, and favorites like olives and sun-dried tomatoes. A zesty dressing brings it all together! A simple recipe from TheMediterraneanDish.com #balela #chickpeasalad #mediterraneanfood #mediterraneanrecipe

Let's start with a simple definition. In Arabic, the word “balela” means “cooked chickpeas.” Balela salad is an ancient Middle Eastern chickpea salad. It is simple, wholesome, bright, and flavor-packed. A winner on all fronts!

There are many variations of balela salad, but this recipe is closer to what you'd find in the restaurants and food joints of Alexandria, Egypt.

Balela Salad Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Bright, flavor-packed Mediterranean chickpea salad with chopped veggies, lots of herbs, and favorites like olives and sun-dried tomatoes. A zesty dressing brings it all together! A simple recipe from TheMediterraneanDish.com #balela #chickpeasalad #mediterraneanfood #mediterraneanrecipe
Table of Contents
  1. Balela Salad My Way
  2. Turn Your Balela Salad Into a Meal!
  3. Have You Heard About the Half Cup Habit?
  4. You'll Also Like: Healthy & Filling Dinner Recipes
  5. Balela Salad Recipe

Balela Salad My Way

The gist: cooked chickpeas, chopped veggies, copious amounts of fresh herbs, and Mediterranean favorites like olives and sun-dried tomatoes. A zesty salad dressing with garlic and sumac brings everything together.

Tip: to allow the flavors to meld, make the balela salad ahead of time, at least a half hour before serving!

Turn Your Balela Salad Into a Meal!

Clearly this beautiful and festive salad can be served as part of a special dinner. But with nourishing and satisfying chickpeas, being the star ingredient in balela salad, it can really stand alone as a meal.  You can also serve it in warm pita pockets with a drizzle of tahini, or add it to an impressive vegetarian mezze platter with baba ganoush and roasted red pepper hummus.

Balela Salad Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Bright, flavor-packed Mediterranean chickpea salad with chopped veggies, lots of herbs, and favorites like olives and sun-dried tomatoes. A zesty dressing brings it all together! A simple recipe from TheMediterraneanDish.com #balela #chickpeasalad #mediterraneanfood #mediterraneanrecipe

Have You Heard About the Half Cup Habit?

I get excited when I see balela salad at my local deli. Good on them! It's one brilliant way to pack lean protein and plant-based nutrition into your diet! And if there were a list of textbook Mediterranean diet recipes, Balela salad would make the top!

As you know, one of the powerful secrets of the Mediterranean diet is in nutrition-filled pulses, like dry chickpeas, lentils, peas, and beans. Pulses pack a lot of protein, and they are rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber and B vitamins!

Balela Salad Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Bright, flavor-packed Mediterranean chickpea salad with chopped veggies, lots of herbs, and favorites like olives and sun-dried tomatoes. A zesty dressing brings it all together! A simple recipe from TheMediterraneanDish.com #balela #chickpeasalad #mediterraneanfood #mediterraneanrecipe

If you don't already eat a good portion of pulses, a simple goal would be to add to your diet just ½ cup of pulses three times per week (a total of 1 ½ cups of pulses per week, which is what USDA recommends). This is what USA Pulses and Pulse Canada call the Half-Cup Habit! Check it out here. And, I've included some more of my favorite recipes below!

You'll Also Like: Healthy & Filling Dinner Recipes

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Balela Salad

The Mediterranean Dish
Balela Salad Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Bright, flavor-packed Mediterranean chickpea salad with chopped veggies, lots of herbs, and favorites like olives and sun-dried tomatoes. A zesty dressing brings it all together! A simple recipe from TheMediterraneanDish.com #balela #chickpeasalad #mediterraneanfood #mediterraneanrecipe
This festive and wholesome Balela Salad is a Middle Eastern favorite! Filled with tons of nutrition from chickpeas and chopped veggies. And packs lots of flavor from fresh herbs, a zesty dressing, and Mediterranean favorites like olives and sun-dried tomatoes. A must-try!
Prep – 10 minutes
Total – 10 minutes
Cuisine:
Middle Eastern
Serves – 6 to 7 servings
Course:
Salad

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 3 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 ½ cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved if you’d like (or you can leave them whole)
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3-5 green onions, chopped (both white and green parts)
  • cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup pitted green olives
  • ½ cup chopped parsley leaves
  • ½ cup chopped mint or basil leaves

For the Dressing

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Mix the salad. In a large bowl, mix the chickpeas, bell pepper, jalapeno (if using), tomatoes, green onion, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and herbs.
  • Make the dressing. In a separate bowl or jar, add the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, sumac, Aleppo pepper, and red pepper (if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste and whisk to combine.
  • Dress. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and mix gently to coat. Ideally, leave aside for 30 minutes before serving, or cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
  • Serve. When ready to serve, give the salad a quick mix and taste to adjust seasoning if at all needed. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Turn your babela into a meal! This wholesome, nutrition-packed salad can easily be turned into a meal. Serve it in warm pita pockets with a drizzle of tahini. Or add it to an impressive vegetarian mezze platter with baba ganoush and roasted red pepper hummus.
  • Recommended for this recipe: Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives). And from our all-natural spice collection: Sumac and Aleppo Pepper.
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils, honey, jams, and spices.

Nutrition

Calories: 302.8kcalCarbohydrates: 36.8gProtein: 11gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 1.9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 8.7gSodium: 234.5mgPotassium: 848.3mgFiber: 10.5gSugar: 10.4gVitamin A: 1451.3IUVitamin C: 35.2mgCalcium: 94mgIron: 4.6mg
Tried this recipe?

*This post has recently been updated with new information for readers’ benefit.

Balela Salad Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Bright, flavor-packed Mediterranean chickpea salad with chopped veggies, lots of herbs, and favorites like olives and sun-dried tomatoes. A zesty dressing brings it all together! A simple recipe from TheMediterraneanDish.com #balela #chickpeasalad #mediterraneanfood #mediterraneanrecipe

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. I usually roast the chickpeas with cumin and coriander seeds, and add them to the tomatoes and other ingredients afterwards. The contrasting textures are appealing: crunchy chickpeas and soft juicy tomatoes, enhanced by the dressing and other spices.

  2. 4 stars
    Delicious and colorful but no way does it take 15 minutes to make!!! I'm no slouch in the kitchen but this took 1.5 hours to prep.

  3. I was also born and raised on the shores of the Mediterranean, in Malta. I’ve lived in the US since the mid 1980’s and have always preferred the Mediterranean way of cooking and eating, as opposed to the typical American diet. I love your recipes and this version of balela is delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    This is fantastic. I used mint because I had it on hand. Will try with basil once it grows! Definitely making often this summer.

  5. 5 stars
    The amount of chickpeas seemed too much for my taste, so I used half the amount. It was a great salad. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi, Kerry! You'll find that of our olive oils can be used for dressings, marinades, baking, frying, etc. The one you choose for a particular dish will depend on what you're personally going for, flavor-wise. Each olive oil has its own flavor profile. Some, like our Arbequinia California EVOO, are a bit more fruity or neutral-tasting, so they would be better for dessert baking (as you see in our olive oil cake recipe). Others, like our Early Harvest EVOO are a bit more robust or peppery, so they work better on more savory recipes. If you check out the olive oil section of our online shop, you'll find flavor descriptions of each, so that can help guide you a bit.

  6. This. Was. Delicious! I made it for dinner tonight. Sadly, I didn’t have sumac or Aleppo on hand, but I added a generous spoonful of harissa and it was amazing. We put it in toasted pita and drizzled with tahini as suggested. It was just so good! I can’t wait to have leftovers tomorrow.

  7. I made this salad a few days ago and it was so tasty!!! I will be making it again for a holiday party. Thank you for sharing!!!!

  8. 5 stars
    My friends and family EXPECT and request that i bring this dish. THIS recipe is a knockout every time! THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS AND ALL THE WORK YOU DO.

  9. 5 stars
    This was fantastic! Even better than the Trader Joe’s balela salad. I skipped the jalapeño and parsley (simply because the jalapeño was optional and I forgot the parsley). I couldn’t find Aleppo pepper near me so I substituted 1.2 teaspoon of paprika and I made sure to include the 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper that was optional to make up for the missing subtle heat. Overall this recipe was a keeper and it is going to be in my regular lunch rotation now! I’m also going to save this recipe for whenever I have vegan guests over or for times I need to bring a salad or side to a potluck— thanks so much for putting this recipe together!
    EDIT: 1/2 a teaspoon of paprika (not 1.2….)

  10. The recipe does not say to slice, chop, dice etc. the olives nor the sun dried tomatoes, but the photo appears to show that they are chopped or sliced? Thank you.

    1. Hi, Maria. Chopping these is optional. It depends on your personal preference and how large they are to begin with.