We're talking about a hearty, fresh and healthy lunch featuring beans today. It's my Mediterranean Chickpea Salad, and it tastes like something you would order at a family-run deli tucked away on a busy street. The flavors of this bean salad absolutely sing, and the best part is that it just gets better as it sits in the fridge.
Hello to my absolutely favorite meal prep lunch for the week! This chickpea salad is full of vegetables, flavor, and pizazz, and yes, I just said the word 'pizazz' when referring to a salad. Truly, if you've ever had a scoop of this salad from a New York deli, you will recognize this treat.
The flavors of this salad just get better as they sit in the fridge, so I like to make this on Sunday night and eat it for lunch during the week. Similar to my Chickpea Tuna Salad, this recipe tastes best after resting in the fridge so that the flavors can marinate.
The Mediterranean flavors here are:
- a punchy lemon-oregano vinaigrette
- tangy yet spicy pepperoncini peppers
- salty feta cheese, crumbled
- fresh herbs, like basil and parsley
- peak summer produce, like cherry tomatoes and cucumbers and red onion
- hearty, toothsome chickpeas
If you love all of these flavors, you should check out my Chickpea Pasta Salad recipe, because it's similar with its lemon juice, cucumbers and tomato flavors.
- Olive Oil. Since we're eating this salad raw, use a high-quality extra virgin olive oil for making the vinaigrette.
- Lemon Juice. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is always better than bottled, in my opinion.
- Pepperoncini. These are those tiny lime green peppers that sometimes come with pizzas. They're only mildly spicy and their heat is tamed by the vinegar. They are absolutely addictive, however, you can use any pickled pepper you like in its place.
- Dried Oregano. When you use dried oregano, be sure to crush it with your fingers to release the aroma. You can also use twice the amount of fresh oregano, if you prefer.
- Cherry Tomatoes.
- Red Onion. These onions are mild and can be eaten raw, but if they bother you too much, soak them in hot water for 15 minutes before draining and using. This helps remove some of their bite.
- Feta Cheese. Crumbled feta cheese, plus extra on top for serving.
- Parsley. Fresh parsley really sings here. You can use any leftover to garnish my Chickpea Noodle Soup.
- Basil. Fresh basil is the flavor of summer; use it here and you will love it.
How to Make Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
This recipe requires zero cooking or heat. We're really just chopping and stirring together everything in a bowl. First, we will make the vinaigrette, and then we will add all of the chopped vegetables and chickpeas. Finally, a quick rest in the fridge makes this Mediterranean chickpea salad the absolute best that it can be!
This is a great recipe for using my Instant Pot Chickpeas!
Whisk together the dressing: combine the olive oil, lemon juice, juice from the pepperoncini jar, dried oregano, salt and pepper. Whisk very well to combine.
Next, in a large serving bowl, combine the chickpeas, diced cucumber, julienned pepperonicinis, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced red onion, and the crumbled feta. Toss.
Stir in the finely chopped parsley and chiffonaded basil leaves. To chiffonade basil leaves, stack them together, roll them up and then thinly slice.
Finally, pour the dressing over everything, and toss to combine. Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour for best flavor.
Variations on Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Beans - If your pantry only has white beans, use them here in place of the chickpeas.
- Vegetables - This salad has plenty of fresh summer produce, like tomatoes, cucumber and herbs, but you can use sun-dried tomatoes and hot house cucumbers in the winter.
- Peppers - If the vinegary brined pepperoncini peppers are hard to find for you, you can use any pickled pepper you like. Banana peppers are good here, too.
- Herbs - Anytime a recipe calls for fresh herbs, please know that you can use dried instead. The rule is to use half the amount of dried herbs as fresh, since dried herbs are twice as strong.
You can make this chickpea salad one day in advance for the best flavor. Additionally, if you're meal prepping, go ahead and portion this out into airtight containers and it will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge.
Frequently Asked Questions:
The recipe below has all of the exact calories and nutritional information. Chickpeas are loaded with iron and protein, and all of these raw vegetables pack a punch of flavor with loads of antioxidants. Plus, the benefits of eating raw onions and fresh herbs can lower blood pressure and contain very few calories for their immense flavor.
You can make this Mediterranean chickpea salad one day in advance. Give it a toss before serving. It keeps in the fridge (covered) for up to 4 days. Lastly, please know that it should always be covered in the fridge, lest the onions flavor everything else in your fridge while it chills.
- For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon pepperoncini juice from the jar
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- For the rest of the salad:
- 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium cucumber, diced
- ¼ cup julienned pepperonicini peppers
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halves
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons basil (chiffonade)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, pepperonicini juice, oregano, salt and pepper. Slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking, and then set aside.
- In a serving bowl, combine the chickpeas, diced cucumber, pepperonicini peppers, halved tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, and the feta cheese.
- Toss the vegetables, chickpeas, and cheese together well, and then sprinkle on the herbs and toss again.
- Drizzle over the dressing, and toss a final time. Salad tastes best if allowed to rest for about an hour before serving.
Stogage: You can make this chickpea salad one day in advance for the best flavor. However, if you're meal prepping, go ahead and portion this out into airtight containers and it will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 230Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 634mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 7gSugar: 11gProtein: 9g