This quick and easy Mediterranean Chickpea Salad has it all – punchy flavor, bright colors, loads of nutrients, and enough fiber and protein to keep you full and fueled for hours. It’s super flexible, and fit for everything from a simple packed lunch to an impressive picnic side dish and everything in-between.
If I said you could make an incredibly flavorful meal packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins in just 20 minutes without even looking at your oven, what would you say?
Liar, liar, pants on fire?
This situation is legit thanks to this herby, veggie-packed Mediterranean Chickpea Salad.
Using one of my favorite pantry staples (canned chickpeas) and a handful of fresh ingredients, you can be shoving this simple salad into your hungry face in less time than it takes to pre-heat the oven. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but I’m telling you, this recipe is quick! It’s also crave-worthy delicious, super filling, and flexible for everything from a weeknight dinner to a impressive potluck offering.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad Ingredients
This ingredient list for this simple vegan salad is short, so go for the freshest and best quality ingredients you can source.
Persian Cucumbers: Persian cucumbers are great for this recipe. They’re small and sweet with thin skin that doesn’t need to be peeled, and tiny seeds that don’t need to be scraped out. If you can’t find Persian cucumbers at your grocery store, opt for an english cucumber (also known as hothouse). These cucumbers needn’t be peeled, but I would scrape the seeds out before dicing.
Ripe Tomatoes: Use any ripe and juicy tomatoes you can get your hands on. You’ll want about 2 cups total. If using grape or cherry tomatoes, simply quarter them.
Bell Pepper: Any color bell pepper works here (red, orange, yellow) but I like yellow for the visual contrast to the tomatoes.
Red Onion: Self-explanatory! If you don’t like red onions or find their flavor too harsh, substitute four green onions, and slice them thinly.
Fresh Mint and Parsley: They key here is fresh – no dried herbs in this mediterranean chickpea salad.
How to Make Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
A quick, filling meal doesn’t get any easier than this Mediterranean Chickpea Salad. This was inspired by one of our favorite side dishes, Israeli Salad. My version is beefed up with protein and fiber packed marinated chickpeas and served simply with grilled pita bread. It’s an incredibly flexible and forgiving recipe, so it’s perfect for everything from meal prep to a potluck salad or weeknight side dish.
Start the chickpeas first. Drain two cans of chickpeas, then rinse the beans under cool running water until the water runs clear.
Transfer the chickpeas to a large mixing bowl and add lemon juice, olive oil, paprika, and salt. Toss to coat the chickpeas in the sauce, then place into the fridge to marinate for at least 15 minutes, and up to an hour. This marinating stage allows the chickpeas to soak up all that lemony goodness, and will only improve the flavor and texture.
While the chickpeas marinate, prepare the remaining ingredients.
Dice the cucumbers, tomatoes, bell pepper, and red onion. Aim for a 1/2″ dice, about the size of a chickpea, to ensure flavor from each ingredient in every bite.
Mince the mint and parsley. I like a coarser mince, instead of a fine mince, but you do you.
Add the diced vegetables, chopped herbs, and a few rounds of cracked black pepper to the marinated chickpeas, then toss. Taste for seasoning and add more lemon juice, salt, pepper, or paprika to taste.
This mediterranean chickpeas salad can be enjoyed immediately, especially if you’ve allowed the chickpeas to marinate for closer to an hour. You can also chill for an additional 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld further.
This keeps for at least 3 days in a sealed container in the fridge, so it’s perfect for meal prep.
Tips for Making This Salad Perfectly
- Rinse the canned chickpeas throughly to remove the starchy liquid (aquafaba)
- You can substitute chickpeas cooked from scratch – use three cups of cooked chickpeas. I typically reach for from-scratch beans, but I actually prefer the firmer texture of canned chickpeas in a raw salad.
- Allow the chickpeas to marinate – don’t rush it! Marinating the chickpeas will infuse them with flavor, and also tenderize canned chickpeas. If you have the time, chill the finished salad for an additional 30 minutes – it will only improve the flavor.
- Season with salt conservatively if using canned chickpeas – they tend to have a lot of salt already, and it’s easy to over salt. You can always add more seasoning once the salad comes together.
- Be sure to dice the vegetables to a uniform size of about half an inch, roughly the size of a chickpea. This will give you a bit of each flavor and texture in every bite.
- This salad holds up well in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 3 days, so it’s an excellent recipe for meal prep. Additional juices will accumulate, so soak those up with some pita.
- If you believe as I do that most dishes can be improved by the addition of cheese, add a a cup of feta cheese along with the chopped vegetables.
- Serve this as a main dish with fresh pita bread (optional, but tasty). This salad is packed with fiber and protein, so it’s got staying power.
- Serve this as a side dish with chicken shawarma and a dollop of yogurt or with beef kofta and tahini dressing.
- This salad tastes wonderful at room temperature, so pack it up for a potluck or offer it at your next picnic or backyard BBQ.
More Quick and Easy Salad Recipes
- Broccoli Quinoa Salad with Sunbutter Sauce
- Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad
- Grilled Zucchini Salad with Corn and White Beans
- Strawberry Cucumber Salad with Mint and Basil
- Peach Panzanella
DID YOU MAKE THIS MEDITERRANEAN CHICKPEA SALAD?!? I’D LOVE TO KNOW HOW IT TURNED OUT! LEAVE A COMMENT AND A RATING BELOW 👇
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- 2 15-oz cans chickpeas
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp sea or kosher salt
- 2 large tomatoes, diced to 1/2"
- 4 persian cucumbers, diced to 1/2"
- 1 yellow bell peper, diced to 1/2"
- 1/2 medium red onion, diced to 1/2"
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup minced fresh mint
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Drain the chick peas, transfer to a strainer, then rinse under cool running water until the water runs clean from the strainer.
- In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas with the lemon juice, olive oil, paprika, and salt. Stir to combine. Cover the bowl and transfer to the fridge. Marinate at least 15 minutes and up to an hour.
- While the chickpeas marinate, dice the vegetables and chop the fresh herbs.
- Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, onion, mint, and parsley to the marinated chickpeas and toss to combine. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt, pepper, or lemon juice if needed until the flavor pops.
- Serve immediately with fresh pita. If time permits, chill for 30 minutes, then serve. Store leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
- Substitute chickpeas 3 cups of cooked-from-scratch chickpeas for canned chickpeas.
- If time allows, chill the finished salad for 30 minutes.
- Season with salt conservatively if using canned chickpeas as they tend to have a high sodium content. Taste for seasoning at the end and add more if needed.
- Dice the vegetables to a uniform size of about half an inch, roughly the size of a chickpea, for best texture.
- Optional: add a a cup of feta cheese along with the chopped vegetables.
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