This chickpea salad recipe is packed with fresh herbs, juicy grape tomatoes, velvety roasted red peppers, crisp cucumber, and creamy avocado. This Mediterranean chickpea salad is delicious and satisfying, thanks to the high plant-based protein and fiber content. Best part? It's ready in 10 minutes!
Chickpeas are a prominent ingredient in my Mediterranean cooking. I use these protein-packed beans in soups like my vegetarian take on Tunisian Lablabi, puree them for hummus, and I use the flour for gluten-free breads like Farinata, and frequently add heft to my veggies by making chickpea salad with endless variations.
I have a number of Mediterranean chickpea salad recipes on the site including this loaded Chickpea Salad with Eggplant and za'atar, this Middle Eastern Balela Salad with sundried tomatoes, and even a Chickpea Egg Salad to name a few.
But, this vegan chickpea salad recipe has to be one of my all-time favorites. It's loaded with roasted red peppers, crunchy cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and creamy avocado. I bring it all together with fresh herbs, and a peppery Dijon dressing spiked with spicy Aleppo pepper and tart sumac.
This Mediterranean chickpea salad is bright, colorful, super filling, and so easy to make. Enjoy it as a side dish at dinner, serve it as a light lunch, or bring it to your next gathering of friends and family.
Table of Contents
Ingredients for Chickpea Salad
This chickpea salad recipe is very customizable. It uses Mediterranean pantry essentials, but you can substitute many of the ingredients with what you have on hand. Let your imagination be your guide!
- For the dressing: Essentially a Dijon vinaigrette with an added kick from the Middle Eastern spices. You’ll need Dijon mustard, lemon, garlic, Aleppo pepper, sumac, salt, pepper, and high-quality extra virgin olive oil. You can swap the sumac with lemon zest and red pepper flakes for Aleppo pepper, or leave them off if you avoid spice.
- Chickpeas are a great source of plant-based protein and add texture to this chickpea salad recipe. You can cook them from scratch if you’d like, but canned chickpeas work well too.
- Cucumber adds a refreshing quality. I prefer English or Persian cucumber, as they’re sweet with tender skin. If you have a standard slicing cucumber, I recommend peeling it as the skin tends to be waxy and bitter.
- Grape tomatoes add bright, juicy bursts of flavor. You can substitute with any tomatoes you like, just make sure they end up about bite-sized. Grape and cherry tomatoes tend to be pretty flavorful year-round, with larger varieties like heirlooms tasting best in summer.
- Roasted red peppers add a smoky, bright flavor and velvety texture. I love to roast my own—and it’s so much easier than you might think. But a jar works here too.
- Red onion is sweet and mild enough to enjoy raw. Shallots or green onions would also work, but avoid white or yellow onions as they’d be too overpowering.
- Avocado adds creaminess and a good dose of healthy fats. I really like avocado in this salad, but it's not a requirement. If you want to take this salad somewhere or make it ahead to serve later make sure you wait to add the avocado until just before serving.
- Herbs: Parsley adds a peppery brightness and mint adds a refreshing quality. You can substitute with other tender green herbs, like dill, cilantro, or basil.
How to Make Chickpea Salad
This vegan chickpea salad could not be easier, particularly if you use store-bought chickpeas and roasted peppers. It only takes about 10 minutes to throw this salad together! Just be sure to add the dressing and avocado in the final moments to keep the salad’s fresh ingredients.
- Make the dressing. Mince 1 garlic clove and add to a large bowl. To the bowl, add 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, Aleppo pepper, and sumac. Squeeze in the juice of one lemon and season with salt and pepper to taste (about ½ teaspoon each). Whisk, and while whisking, drizzle in ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil. Continue to whisk until emulsified.
- Prep the salad ingredients, adding to the dressing as you go. Drain and rinse 2 (15-ounce) cans of chickpeas. Chop one large cucumber. Halve 2 cups of grape tomatoes. Chop 2 roasted red bell peppers, discarding the seeds. Chop enough parsley leaves and tender stems to yield 1 cup, and enough mint leaves to yield ½ cup.
- Finish and serve. Slice the avocado in half, remove and discard the pit. Then roughly chop the flesh, discarding the skin. Add the avocado to the salad mixture and toss very gently until everything is well mixed.
- Enjoy! Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking and serve immediately.
Making the Most of Chickpeas
You might say we have a thing for chickpeas in the Mediterranean. This humble bean is well known as the foundational ingredient in Hummus, but chickpeas are used throughout the Mediterranean in breads, soups, salads, and snacks.
They are an excellent source of plant-based protein, packing a whopping 14.5 grams of protein per cup (more than 2 large eggs), not to mention a good amount of fiber too. I often buy them dry and cook a big batch to use throughout the week, but canned chickpeas are a super convenient option and save time.
I linked to a bunch of chickpea salad recipes further down in the post but here are some more recipes that make the most of chickpeas.
- Chickpea and Farro Salad
- Roasted Vegetable Salad with Halloumi and Chickpeas
- Easy Mediterranean Bean Salad
- Vegetarian Stuffed Eggplant
- Pasta e Ceci
- Smashed Chickpea Toast
How to Tell if an Avocado is Ripe
While avocado wasn't a staple in my childhood, I've come to adore this super-ingredient since I moved to the States. It’s brought mayo-free richness to my egg salad, extra creaminess to avocado hummus, and even starred in my version of Mediterranean “guacamole”!
Here, avocado ties the salad together with no dairy necessary. And it’s full of heart-healthy fatty acids, dietary fiber, and essential nutrients (you can see the full nutritional breakdown at the USDA.) Add that to a salad already stacked with protein and nutrients and you have a delicious, healthy meal that will satisfy and nourish you in all the best ways!
Picking an avocado feels like less of a commitment than a watermelon or pineapple, but still these stone fruits are not cheap! And a perfectly buttery-soft (but still green!) avocado makes all the difference. To find a ripe avocado:
- Color: Look for a very dark green color, which is typically a good sign of ripeness.
- Feel: Okay I know this is controversial! But without squeezing the fruit too hard, give it a very gentle press. If it feels soft but not mushy, that means it’s likely ripe.
- Look for soft spots: Look for any spots on the fruit that are starting to cave in. These soft spots are usually a sign that the avocado is overripe.
Getting Ahead and Storage
Avocado doesn’t age gracefully! So if you’d like to enjoy leftovers, don't mix the avocado in with the salad. Instead, portion out just what you need and add it to the salad just before serving.
Store any remaining avocado in a tightly sealed container with plastic wrap pressed against the flesh to prevent oxidation. It will keep for about 3 days.
The salad (without the avocado) will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. The tomatoes might lose a little texture, but they will still be perfectly edible.
What to Serve with Chickpea Salad
Rich in protein, this vegan chickpea salad can hold its own without any additions, but if you want to have a vegan feast serve it as a side dish next to Cauliflower Steaks with Chermoula or, if cauliflower isn't your thing, try Mushroom Shawarma.
If you're a meat eater serve this chickpea salad alongside Lemon Garlic Chicken or this simple Poached Salmon.
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Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
For the Dijon Dressing
For the Salad
- 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 large English cucumber, chopped
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 roasted red peppers, seeded and chopped (or a 16-ounce jar roasted peppers in oil)
- 1 small red onion or 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 cup chopped parsley leaves
- ½ cup chopped mint leaves
- 1 avocado, pitted and roughly chopped
- Make the dressing. In a large bowl, whisk together the Dijon, lemon juice, garlic, Aleppo pepper, sumac, and salt and pepper (about ½ teaspoon each). Whisk, and while whisking, drizzle in enough olive oil to make it nicely glossy and well-balanced. Continue to whisk until emulsified.
- Mix. To the bowl with the dressing, add the chickpeas, cucumbers, tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, onion, parsley, and mint. Toss gently. Add the avocado and toss very gently once more.
- Enjoy! Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking and serve immediately.
- Leftovers: Avocado doesn’t age gracefully to say the least! So if you’d like to enjoy leftovers, portion out just what you need and add half the avocado on top. Leave the pit on the second half, which will prevent it from browning. Wrap the leftover avocado tightly and store separately in your refrigerator. Both the salad and avocado will keep for another day or so.
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