Vegan and gluten-free, this Chickpea Salad is my absolute favorite.
It has cucumber, onions, dates and olives tossed together in a flavorful dressing. It’s also great for meal-prep.
As a vegetarian, chickpeas are one of my absolute favorites!
I have had my share of chickpea salads, some good and some just plain boring. When it comes to salad I always like trying new things. New dressings, new flavors, that’s what keeps them interesting right?
The chickpea salad that I am sharing with you guys today is my absolute favorite. It has the perfect balance of flavors and makes a great vegan meal. I often have this for lunch.
Whenever it comes to making salads with chickpeas, I like to start with raw chickpeas. Canned is fine when I am in rush but if I can plan ahead, I always like to use raw chickpeas and boil them in the morning. The texture is just so much better in my opinion.
You can use a regular stove-top pressure cooker or use an Instant Pot, like I did to cook the chickpeas.
Usually when I am making chole or any Indian based recipe, I like my chickpeas super soft and I usually cook them for 25 minutes on high pressure using the instant pot.
For salad though, 15 minutes is good enough as a little firm texture is preferred.
Why This Chickpea Salad Works?
This is my favorite salad for a reason. There are so many flavors and all of them come together so nicely here.
There’s the crunch from the onion and cucumbers, the sweetness from the dates, the saltiness from the olives.
The dressing is little tangy and little sweet and the paprika and oregano just add the perfect touches to the salad.
This salad cannot be easier to make, it requires only a few ingredients and the best part is that you can make this in advance. I usually make it extra and it then it makes great lunches for the next 2-3 days.
So if you are looking for a meal pre-salad, this one is definitely up there.
Not to mention, the salad is also vegan, gluten-free and nut-free. So perfect for all dietary restrictions.
Chickpeas: I like using raw chickpeas whenever possible. So, I soak them overnight and then cook in the morning.
For this recipe, I used 1 cup raw chickpeas. If you want to use canned chickpeas, that will be around 2 3/4 cup cooked chickpeas.
Onions & Cucumber: these are my favorite add-ins. They give the salad a nice crunch and freshness.
Olives: for this recipe, I have used a mix of green and black olives. I basically got a small box of Italian olives from the supermarket and that’s what I used in the recipe.
You can whatever olives you like.
Dates: my absolute favorite ingredient in this recipe is medjool dates. You can use more dates here if you want, I thought 3 was just a good number.
A substitution for dates would be any other dried sweet fruit like maybe apricots or even raisins will be nice.
Oregano: dried oregano is what I have used here. You can use any other dried herb that you like as well like thyme, marjoram etc.
Paprika: this spice imparts a little spiciness to the salad. Since we have some sweet elements this helps balance the flavors.
Garlic powder: you may very well use some fresh minced garlic if you don’t have garlic powder on hand.
Parsley: fresh parsley is used as a garnish here. I absolutely love the parsley here but you can substitute it with cilantro if you want.
Dressing ingredients: for the dressing I have used olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard and maple syrup. You can adjust all these ingredients to taste.
If you prefer a sweeter dressing add more of the maple syrup, if you prefer stronger mustard flavor, add more of the dijon mustard.
You can make a big batch of this salad and keep it in the fridge, it will be good for 3 days easily. You can even take it with you for picnics and can also pack in your lunch-boxes.
Soak chickpeas overnight in 3 cups water. In the morning, drain the water, rinse the chickpeas and transfer then to an Instant Pot with 2-3 cups water. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
Or you can use 2 3/4 cups of canned chickpeas.
1- Transfer the cooked chickpeas to a bowl. Add the chopped onions, cucumber, olives and dates.
2- Add the dried oregano, paprika, salt and pepper.
3- In another jar or bowl, make the dressing by mixing together olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard and maple syrup. Mix until it’s all well combined.
4- Pour dressing over the salad and mix really well until everything is well combined.
Add in the freshly chopped parsley and mix. You can serve this chickpea salad immediately but I like to cover and chill for 20 to 30 minutes before serving. This helps in brining the flavors together.
My Favorite Chickpea Salad
- 1 cup chickpeas raw, 205 grams, soaked overnight
- 1/2 cup red onion chopped
- 1/3 cup cucumber diced
- 1/3 cup olives I used mix of green and black
- 3 medjool dates chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil extra-virgin, 45 ml
- 1.5 tablespoons red wine vinegar 22 ml
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2-3/4 tablespoon maple syrup adjust to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- Soak chickpeas overnight in 3 cups water. In the morning, drain the water, rinse the chickpeas and transfer then to an Instant Pot with 2-3 cups water. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.Or you can use 2 3/4 cups of canned chickpeas.
- Transfer the cooked chickpeas to a bowl. Add the chopped onions, cucumber, olives and dates.Add the dried oregano, paprika, salt and pepper.
- In another jar or bowl, make the dressing by mixing together olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard and maple syrup. Mix until it's all well combined.
- Pour dressing over the salad and mix really well until everything is well combined.
- Add in the freshly chopped parsley and mix. You can serve this chickpea salad immediately but I like to cover and chill for 20 to 30 minutes before serving. This helps in brining the flavors together.
- The cook time includes the time taken to cook the chickpeas. If you are using canned chickpeas, then the total time is only 15 minutes to put this together since there's no cooking involved.
- You can add some feta cheese on top if you want.