Chickpea Feta Salad
May 25, 2016, Updated Jul 31, 2023
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Chickpea and Feta Salad is a healthy, vibrant and delicious salad made with chickpeas, lots of chopped vegetables, and a zesty vinaigrette with Mediterranean flavors.
The first time Dan ate this chickpea salad at our local Lebanese restaurant, Woody’s, he called me with what could only be called a fever-pitch. He described what he’d eaten in detail, and brought some home. He started talking about how and when I would master the salad, reviewing a run-down of everything in it. My phone rings or dings every single time Dan makes the rounds at Woody’s (“I had the chickpeas again!”). I know, he’s adorable.
It took me a looong while to dive in on developing this recipe because it’s so…tabbouleh-esque in its demand for chopping. That’s not my favorite kitchen task, but once you try the incredibly good (and healthy!) combo of chickpeas, vegetables, and feta in the mouthwatering vinaigrette that dresses the salad, you’ll reach for your knife, no hesitation! Suddenly this is an easy chickpea salad to make because you’ll want it so much, and so often.
Why you’ll love it, the best chickpea salad recipe!
Looking to switch it up from your usual green salads? This Mediterranean chickpea salad is healthy, packed with flavor, so satisfying as a side dish, easy lunch, or snack. Plus, all of the pantry staples that are the ingredients here are long-lasting for make-ahead meal prep. The addition of feta cheese adds so much with salty complexity.
What goes in Chickpea Salad?
Cucumber. I like to use persian cucumbers, but a small english cucumber does the job, too! Crisp cucumbers are the only requirement.
Radish. Perfect for adding a crisp, slightly sharper flavor to the salad. Can easily be replaced with red onion if radishes aren’t in your wheelhouse!
Tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes, with the seeds removed before dicing. Grape tomatoes will do just fine if that’s what you have on hand. I wouldn’t recommend using bigger, juicy tomatoes as they might lend to a soggy salad.
Snap peas. The crunch! You can either finely dice them like the other fresh veggies, or snap them with your hands to get different sizes and textures in your salad.
Scallion. An essential part of the salad ingredients here, make sure to use both the white and green part of the green onions.
Bell pepper. My favorite is red bell pepper because it’s slightly sweet, but use whatever you like or have on hand.
Chickpeas. Also called garbanzo beans, these are among the main ingredients in a chickpea salad recipe. Make sure they are drained and rinsed with cold water if you buy canned chickpeas, or cook from dry.
Feta. One of my absolute favorite ingredients in this salad is the salty, briny flavor from feta cheese. Vegan substition: olives or capers.
Lemon. Fresh lemon juice is best for that acidic punch.
Olive Oil. Extra virgin!
Rice vinegar. Make sure to use unseasoned rice vinegar. If you don’t have any, apple cider vinegar, or red wine vinegar will have a similar effect to help create your zesty dressing.
Herbs. Dried herbs build on the flavors here. My recipe calls for dried mint salt. A bit of salt, garlic powder, and black pepper round out the dressing. Add red pepper flakes if you want a little kick!
How to make Chickpea Salad
Step 1. Chop! Finely dice all of the vegetables, removing the seeds from the tomatoes before dicing them. Use both the white and green parts of the scallions.
Step 2. Toss the salad. In a large bowl, combine the vegetables with the chickpeas. Crumble half of the feta over top.
Step 3. Make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, and dried mint, garlic, salt and pepper . Mix the vinaigrette with the salad and chill for an hour or so before serving.
Substitutions and Tips for Chickpea Salad
- If you’re making a vegan chickpea salad, substitute the feta with kalamata olives or capers (rinsed).
- Although chickpeas are protein-packed, if you want to take it to the next level, add black beans, but watch for creating too mushy of a texture if you combine the two.
- I like to use dried herbs mixed into the dressing, but if you prefer fresh, mint and fresh parsley would be great.
- Instead of making a light, lemony dressing, you could opt for one with more sustenance. Using mayonnaise will get the job done. Again, if making this salad vegan, use vegan mayo or creamy avocados as the base for your dressing. Go with a food processor for blending if you’re taking this route!
- Add edamame, salmon, chicken or other meat for more protein. Alternatively use a potato masher to mash the chickpeas to create a ‘chickpea tuna salad’ or ‘vegan tuna salad’ style dish.
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
To make chickpea salad ahead of time, go ahead and combine all of the ingredients and dress the salad. This salad enjoys a marinade time! The next time you serve it, within a few days, the flavor will be even better!
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to three days.
If making chickpeas from dry, give yourself and extra day to prepare the chickpeas (see how to cook dried chickpeas). You can also use an instant pot or pressure cooker; set the timer to the required cooking time.
What to serve with Chickpea Feta Salad
You can serve this simple chickpea salad with other great recipes like chicken shawarma or beef shawarma, or as a side dish alongside grilled meats like shish tawook, grilled chicken skewers, Lebanese beef kafta, or lamb kofta burgers.
Frequently Asked Questions
These words are interchangeable; chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same!
Chickpeas are vegan, so unless you add feta as is called for in my recipe, this whole salad is vegan.
Yes! Chickpeas, and all of the fresh ingredients in this recipe, are a great way to get your daily values of lots of nutrients.
Whole chickpeas are the healthiest added straight into whatever recipe you are making! If you’re looking for a crunchy version, lightly coat them in oil and roast.
Hummus has a higher fat content than chickpeas on their own because of the additional ingredient of tahini in hummus, but both are still quite nutrient dense. “Hummus” is the Arabic word for chickpeas.
While chickpeas do have carbs, they are whole foods with lots of protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
Absolutely. This can be made several days ahead, enjoyed cold for a delicious lunch, at room temperature, or put it between bread slices to create a chickpea salad sandwich recipe.
A best part about chickpea salad is that it’s super versatile, it can contain any fresh Mediterranean flavors you want. You can even switch up some ingredients to turn this into a Greek chickpea salad, or use Roma tomatoes and Italian seasoning for a totally different version.
Yes. A can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained, can go straight into a salad.
Totally! The vibrant flavors of this recipe are great to enjoy every day.
More Chickpea Recipes to try
Chickpea Feta Salad Recipe
- 3 Persian or other small cucumbers
- 5 radishes
- 5 Campari tomatoes
- 15 snap peas
- 3 scallions
- 1 large red, orange, or yellow bell pepper
- 16 ounces chickpeas (canned, drained and rinsed, or cooked from dry)
- 8 ounces feta cheese
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Mint Salt , or your own blend of dried mint, garlic powder, salt, and pepper
- Finely dice all of the vegetables, removing the seeds from the tomatoes before dicing them. For the scallions, use both the white and green parts.
- In a medium bowl, combine the vegetables with the chickpeas. Crumble half of the feta over top.
- Dress with the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, and Garlic Mint Salt (use dried mint, garlic powder, salt and pepper). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Refrigerate the salad for at least an hour before serving, topped with more feta.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.