Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Yield: 4-6 servings (recipe doubles easily)
An economical can of beans mixes with fresh veggies and a flavorful vinaigrette in this versatile, plant-based salad that can be adapted in countless ways. 

For the salad:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ a large English cucumber, diced (about 1 cup; may sub pickling cucumbers or a regular cucumber, seeding the latter to reduce moisture)
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup; use color of choice or a mix of two)
  • 1 cup seeded and chopped vine-ripened tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley (or a mix of basil, mint, dill, chives, and/or oregano)
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion (may substitute chopped scallions)
  • ¼ cup pitted and sliced Kalamata or green olives (or a mix)
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta, or more to taste
  • Optional: 1 chopped avocado


For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons (28ml) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. For the dressing: In a small bowl or jar, stir together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. May prepare in advance and store on the counter for up to 2 hours or cover and refrigerate. Stir well before using.

    For the salad: Place the chickpeas, cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, herbs, onion, olives, and feta in a large serving bowl. Drizzle the dressing overtop, and toss to combine. If time allows, let the salad marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (longer is fine), or enjoy immediately. If using, stir in the avocado just before serving, and add an extra sprinkle of salt and pepper if desired. If you expect leftovers, you may wish to use the avocado as a topping, as it will brown over time.


To peel the cucumber or not? You may peel the cucumber if you like. I tend to leave the skin on unless it has a waxy coating. Mini pickling cucumber may also be used.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Serving ideas: This salad is delightful as is but can be transformed in several ways. Try it inside a pita with a spread of hummus or mashed avocado. Add grilled chicken or shrimp and serve it over salad greens (in which case you may want to make extra vinaigrette to coat the greens). Or stir in a drained can of tuna or salmon.

Do red onions have too much bite for you? You can always omit them or substitute chopped scallions or chives. However, you can also reduce the bite and retain good flavor by soaking the chopped onions in ice cold water while preparing the other ingredients. When ready to add them, simply drain them well and pat dry.

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