Chickpea salad is an excellent alternative to meat salads, where you want to keep the meal vegan, or at least vegetarian, but you want plenty of protein. The struggle for many vegans is trying to get adequate protein while finding dishes they can enjoy.
I think once you learn how to make chickpea salad, you’ll find it makes a delectable vegan entree and can even be served as its own meal, if there’s enough of it to go around.
It’s a versatile salad that is really good at accommodating additional ingredients, if you want to expand it and make it more complex.
Or, if you’re just looking for a way to throw in a bunch of ingredients you have lying around, chickpea salad can handle them, and I’ll show you how to incorporate a variety of foods into this salad. That way, you don’t have to have it the same way twice.
How to Prepare Chickpea Salad
There are a few key ingredients to make chickpea salad a good choice if you’re looking for a healthy meal. Chickpeas are the real star here, which is simply another name for garbanzo beans. So, either one will work.
This isn’t usually a salad that has lettuce, spinach, or other leafy greens. It’s not that kind of salad, so you want to make sure there’s plenty of veggies in there, and perhaps some avocado to give it a nice green appearance.
Only use fresh, ripe avocado. That would be avocado that’s somewhat soft, but not overly so. Cut the seed out of the center of the avocado and cut up the rest of the fruit into squares. You can take the skin off or leave it.
It is edible, but it will make for a tougher texture to salad that you may not want. Most people choose to remove the skin.
You’ll also want to spritz the salad with a little lemon juice before you serve it. If you’re going to store it in the fridge, be sure to add the lemon juice before packing it away to be refrigerated. This adds some nice, zesty flavor to the salad, but more importantly, it prevents the salad from browning.
No chickpea salad is complete without some fresh herbs. Fresh parsley is probably the most common herb used, but dill and cilantro work as well, if you don’t have any fresh parsley available or you just want to try something different.
I wouldn’t recommend dry parsley, as it changes up the flavor in a way that’s not exactly appealing for the solid, I think.
There are plenty of great veggies you can add to the salad to give it some real bite, color, and flavor. Whatever you use, you want to chop them up into bite-size pieces. What veggies should you be adding? If you want to know how to make a healthy chickpea salad, I highly recommend cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and red onions.
Just mix all your ingredients together and toss with some dressing, and your chickpea salad is ready. This method for how to make avocado chickpea salad can be made without the avocado.
Avocado can be added when you’re ready to serve the salad, if you’re making it up beforehand. This way, your avocado is more likely to be fresh and have the right texture appearance when the salad is served.
How to Make Spicy Chickpea Salad
If you like this base chickpea salad and want to make it a little hotter and spicier, I have a few suggestions for you. A dash of two of cayenne pepper can add some subtle heat to the salad. Depending on how much salad you’ve made, you may want to add more pepper to it.
One method I like for making a salad spicier is to chop up jalapeno peppers or banana peppers into it. Remember to use bite-size slices, and only leave the seeds from the peppers in if you want your salad really spicy.
How to Make Curried Chickpea Salad
Chickpeas are used commonly in India and throughout the Caribbean, and they are usually combined with yellow curry powder. This is often a very spicy dish, but it doesn’t have to be.
The yellow curry powder turns the chickpeas yellow, changing the entire appearance of this dish.
It also tends to be made without some of the more traditional vegetables you would find in the western version of this salad. So, you would leave out the tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash, but instead you’ll add in carrots and perhaps some peas.
How to Make Greek Chickpea Salad
If you want to make the Greek version, you can make it according to the method I described at first, early in the article. However, you’ll want to add some more ingredients to it, including sliced black olives, feta cheese, and some salt and pepper. Definitely include the tomatoes and red onions in this version, and then drizzle with an olive oil to give it that authentic Greek flavor.
How to Make Quinoa Chickpea Salad
For a more robust salad, try adding quinoa to it. It’ll have more protein, more fiber, and it will be a more filling meal. Just make up the quinoa ahead of time, and once it’s cooled, you can add it to the rest of your ingredients. Feel free to use any of the recipe ideas listed so far for this version of the salad.
How to Make Chickpea Salad Wraps
If you made a bunch of salad and you have some leftover for the next day, you may not be interested in eating it the same way twice. One way to use the leftovers is to make chickpeas salad wraps. Take a whole grain tortilla shell or flatbread wrap and put your salad mixture into it.
Feel free to add some dressing like a spicy Sriracha sauce or southwestern sauce to keep the salad from being too dry as a wrap.