My absolute favorite girl dinner, this Hummus Salad has a huge crunch to it! The salad dressing tastes exactly like hummus, and the rest of the bowl is full of tomatoes, tomatoes, red onions and (optional) green olives. The best part is the crushed pita chips on top, because every salad needs a bit of crunch!
If you haven't heard of the phrase 'girl dinner,' let me fill you in. It's the small easy meals that girls make for themselves when home alone. Girl Dinner must be quick to make, crunchy and salty. I don't make the rules of Girl Dinner, but I do make the recipes.
This hummus salad has a dressing that tastes just like hummus. The dressing is simply minced garlic, lemon juice and tahini, which if you're paying attention, is the exact ingredients for hummus. If you're really paying attention, you'll notice that the most important ingredient for hummus is missing in the dressing, however: the chickpeas! We're going to roast them add them on top for crunch instead!
So, let's recap: this salad has a creamy hummus dressing, crispy roasted chickpeas on top, and crushed pita chips for the finale. It's loaded with flavor, crisp, crunch, and saltiness. I love it so much that it is my go-to girl dinner!
The garlic-stuffed olives on top are completely optional, but if you're an olive girl, they have a nice home here in this salad inspired by Mediterranean flavors.
How to Make Hummus Salad
AS soon as you get home, you're going to crank the oven, because roasting the chickpeas is what takes the absolute longest here. We're riffing on my recipe for roasted chickpeas by adding za'atar, which is a Middle Eastern spice blend that I can't get enough of! It contains oregano, sesame seeds, thyme, cumin, coriander, sumac and salt. The actual blend can vary, based on where you purchase it. Just smell the herb blend, and if it smells delicious to you, buy it!
If you've never had za'atar, it has smoky, citrus, herby, and nutty flavors all at once. The cumin makes it smoky, the thyme and oregano have the citrus flavors, the sumac has a sour punch, and the sesame seeds make it nutty. It's truly a spice blend that you will love once you have it in your pantry.
What to do with Leftover Za'atar:
Sprinkle leftover za'atar on your hummus, on a bowl of plain yogurt drizzled with olive oil for dipping with flatbread, or on any protein before roasting. You will fall in love with it and use it in more things than this Hummus Salad.
- Chickpeas. One 15-ounce can of chickpeas that have bee rinsed, drained and dried very well. It's best to lay the chickpeas out on a clean dish towel, top with another clean dish towel and gently roll them around to release some of their skins. They must be completely dry before going into the oven for roasting.
- Za'atar Spice Blend. As mentioned, this is a Middle Eastern spice blend that often contains oregano, sesame seeds, thyme, cumin, coriander, sumac and salt.
- Olive Oil. A small amount of olive oil for roasting the chickpeas. We don't need any for the dressing, because we're using tahini instead, which is crushed sesame seeds.
- Garlic. One clove of garlic, minced, is for the dressing, and it brings a bit of heat and spice to the dressing. You can use 1 teaspoon of dried garlic granules instead, but it doesn't have the same level of spiciness.
- Lemon. We need 3-4 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice from 1-2 lemons.
- Tahini. One-quarter cup of well-stirred runny tahini to make the salad dressing for our hummus salad.
- Romaine. My lettuce of choice for this crunchy hummus salad is romaine lettuce. I think it's crunchiest when its cut from a fresh whole head instead of pre-chopped in bags. Plus, the whole head has much more green leaves, as compared to a bag of lettuce that is mostly pale green or white. Yes, I'm a lettuce snob, thanks for noticing.
- Carrot. One medium carrot that has been grated.
- Cherry Tomatoes. Two handfuls of cherry tomatoes make a great addition to this salad, but they're optional.
- Red Onion. I love adding a small amount of very thinly sliced red onion to all of my salads, because it brings such a crunchy bite of spice. If you love them but worry about how strong they are, soak in warm water for a few minutes after slicing and then drain before adding them to your salad.
- Green Olives. If you're an olive girl, you must add the garlic clove stuffed green olives to this salad. If you don't love olives, omit them!
- Pita Chips. Another layer of crunch in this salad is pita chips. If you have them, crush two large handfuls over the hummus salad just before serving. It's similar to my vegan taco salad, which I top with crushed tortilla chips.
First, preheat the oven to 375, and have ready a large baking sheet with 1-inch edges. Dry the chickpeas very well with a kitchen towel, and place on a baking sheet with a rim. Toss with the olive oil and za'atar, olive oil and salt.
Roast for 15 minutes, toss and roast for another 15 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
In a small bowl, add the garlic, lemon juice, tahini and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk very well to combine, adding 2-4 tablespoons of hot water to thin it out to be a pourable consistency.
In a serving bowl, add the roasted chickpeas, chopped lettuce, grated carrot, sliced tomatoes, red onion slices, and sliced green olives.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad, toss, and then use your hands to crush two handfuls of pita chips on top of the bowl. Do not add the pita chips until just before serving, because they can get soggy.
Hummus Salad FAQ:
Yes, this recipe is entirely vegan! The dressing is made with tahini and lemon juice, and the salad ingredients are all vegan, including the roasted chickpeas and crushed pita chips.
This hummus salad dressing does not actually contain hummus! If you're looking for a way to thin out a scoop of hummus to use as salad dressing, this is not that! This salad dressing recipe just tastes like hummus! It contains all of the ingredients of hummus, minus the chickpeas because we're roasting those to put on top. Combine lemon juice, one clove of grated garlic, salt and pepper, and then add a big scoop of runny tahini. If it seems too thick, slowly stream in hot water until it's thin and pourable.
For the chickpeas:
- 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ teaspoons of za’atar spice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
For the dressing:
- 1 clove garlic (preferably grated on a microplane or smashed and minced)
- 3 TB fresh lemon juice (from one lemon)
- ¼ cup well-stirred tahini
- Salt and pepper
- 2-4 tablespoons of hot water
For the salad:
- 1 head of romaine, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 2 handfuls cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- ¼ of a red onion, very thinly sliced
- Handful of green olives (preferably garlic-stuffed olives), sliced
- 1 cup of pita chips, crushed
- First, preheat the oven to 375, and have ready a large baking sheet with 1-inch edges. Spread the chickpeas out on a clean dish towel. Place another dish towel on top, and gently rub to dry the chickpeas and remove some of the skins. It’s not essential to remove all of the skins, just as many as you can by doing this.
- Place the chickpeas in a bowl, and add the za’atar spice, salt and olive oil. Stir to coat all of the chickpeas. Spread the chickpeas on the baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes. Shake the pan, and return to the oven for another 15 minutes. After 30 minutes, taste a few chickpeas to ensure they’re mostly crispy. Remove from the oven, let cool, and set aside.
- Now, make the salad dressing: in a small bowl, add the garlic, lemon juice, tahini and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk together very well, slowly whisking in hot water until the dressing is pourable and somewhat thin.
- In a serving bowl, add the roasted chickpeas, chopped lettuce, grated carrot, sliced tomatoes, red onion slices, and sliced green olives.
- Drizzle the dressing on top, and toss well to coat the salad. Just before serving, crush the pita chips on top and serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 631Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1539mgCarbohydrates: 81gFiber: 16gSugar: 11gProtein: 21g