Learn how to make the best Balela Salad for a bright, colorful, and nutritious Middle Eastern chickpea salad you’ll love. Full of chopped veggies, refreshing herbs, and an olive oil dressing, it’s perfect for stuffing in pita bread or serving over a bed of greens!
Trust us when we say you’re gonna want to keep this Balela Salad recipe on hand for all your summer potlucks, barbecues, and pitch-ins! It’s our go-to recipe for every event and is always a hit. Even better, it comes together with super simple, budget-friendly ingredients that provide tons of flavor without breaking the bank.
You may have seen pre-made balela on the shelves of your local Trader Joe’s! It makes for a great grab-n-go option when you need something filling and quick. But! It doesn’t compare to our homemade version. There’s just something about the texture of the freshest veggies and the ability to adjust the flavor that makes it unbeatable. One bite of our Balela Salad, and we guarantee you’ll agree!
What Is Balela Salad?
Balela Salad pronounced “bah-lay-la”, is a Middle Eastern salad that translates to mean “cooked chickpeas”. Super popular all throughout the Middle East, it is a quick recipe that features chickpeas, black beans, and fresh veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh herbs like sumac. As a result, it’s super nutritious, zesty, and delicious!
Ingredients You’ll Need
One of the most appealing factors about Balela Salad is that the ingredients are easy to find and super budget-friendly, making it great for feeding even the largest, most hungry crowd! Here’s what’s included:
- Chickpeas – We love to use canned chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) to keep this recipe super simple and quick.
- Black Beans
- Fresh Veggies – We use red bell pepper, baby tomatoes, Persian cucumber, and red onion.
- Fresh Herbs – Parsley and mint add a fresh flavor to this salad is known for.
- Sumac – This is key to creating the best Balela Salad recipe. Truly unique, sumac has a flavor that is sour, bitter, sweet, and salty all at once. However, if you don’t have it, your salad will still taste great!
- Spices – Just a dash of salt and pepper helps bring out the flavor of the rest of the ingredients.
- Lemon Juice – Used to cut through the heaviness of the fat and provide a bright, refreshing taste.
- Olive Oil – Extra virgin olive oil forms the base of the dressing, adding a peppery flavor and healthy fats to keep you full.
- Vinegar – White wine vinegar helps balance out some of the tangy taste of the veggies, particularly the onions.
How to Make an Easy Balela Salad
This is by far one of the easiest recipes you’ll make! Don’t be surprised when you find yourself making it on repeat.
- Prepare. Chop the Veggies into even-sized pieces. Then, drain and rinse the chickpeas and beans.
- Toss. Add everything to a large mixing bowl, and toss to combine. That’s it!
*Pro-Tip: If you want to reduce the strength of the onion flavor, soak them with vinegar for a few hours before tossing the salad.
Enjoy Balela Salad as is at room temperature, or chill it in the fridge! Then, serve it as a side or a vegetarian meal. In addition, it’s great:
- Stuffed in warm pita bread with a drizzle of tahini and shawarma chicken.
- As part of a mezze platter along with tabbouleh and hummus.
- Over a bed of greens for a vibrant salad.
How to Store
Balela Salad is a great recipe to make in advance to make celebrations easy or have quick, nutritious options to eat throughout the week. Once everything is tossed together, transfer it to an airtight container, and keep it stored in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Just give it a good toss before you serve.
We do not recommend freezing this recipe as it’s likely to become wet and soggy once thawed.
More Middle Eastern-Inspired Salad Recipes
Looking for more flavor-loaded salads? Try out the easy recipes below!
- Chickpea Cucumber Feta Salad
- Chickpea and Lentil Salad
- Lentil Salad Recipe
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Balela Salad Recipe
- 2 cans chickpeas (rinsed drained)
- 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
- 2 cups baby tomatoes (sliced in quarters)
- 1/2 small Persian cucumber (chopped)
- 1/2 red onion (chopped)
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
- 1/4 cup fresh mint (chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- 1 squeeze lemon juice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- In a large bowl, mix the chickpeas, black beans, bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, parsley, and mint.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the salt, pepper, sumac, lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss to combine. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days, and toss to combine before serving.