Learn how to make the best Balela Salad for a vibrant, colorful, and nutritious Middle Eastern chickpea salad that’s sure to win your heart. Bursting with chopped veggies, refreshing herbs, and an olive oil dressing, it’s the ideal stuffing for pita bread or the perfect addition to a bed of greens! 

A bowl of balela salad with chickpeas, black beans, fresh veggies, and herbs.
Serve this Balela Salad as a satisfying side dish or nutritious vegetarian main course!

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 Joes! 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 for a Balela Salad including chickpeas, black beans, cucumbers, red onion, sumac, lemon, and fresh herbs.
All you have to do is gather your ingredients and combine them in a large bowl.

Ingredients You’ll Need

The beauty of Balela Salad lies in its simplicity and budget-friendly ingredients, making it a perfect choice for feeding even the hungriest and largest crowd! Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • 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. 
Tossed Balela Salad in a large mixing bowl.
Toss all your ingredients well, making sure they’re completely coated in oil.

How to Make an Easy Balela Salad

This is hands down one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever whip up. Don’t be shocked if you catch yourself making it on repeat!

  1. Prepare. Chop the veggies into even-sized pieces. Then, drain and rinse the chickpeas and beans. 
  2. 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. 

Serving Suggestions

Savor Balela Salad just as it is at room temperature, or let it chill in the fridge for that extra refreshing vibe! Whether you dish it up as a side or make it the star of a vegetarian meal, it’s also fantastic:

A spoon scooping up a portion of Balela Salad.
Add this Balela Salad to all your favorite meals for a nutritious, flavorful boost.

How to Store

Balela Salad is your go-to make-ahead champion, making celebrations a breeze or ensuring you have quick, nutritious options to enjoy 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. 

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03/13/2024 10:54 pm GMT

More Middle Eastern-Inspired Salad Recipes

Craving more salads bursting with flavor? Check out more easy recipes listed below! 

A bowl of Balela Salad with black beans, chickpeas, and veggies.

Balela Salad Recipe

5 from 8 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 6 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Learn how to make an easy Balela Salad for a classic Middle Eastern recipe that’s quick, nutritious, and perfect for serving on its own or adding to your favorite meals! 

Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, mix the chickpeas, black beans, bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, parsley, and mint.
    2 cans chickpeas, 1 can black beans, 1 red bell pepper, 2 cups baby tomatoes, 1/2 small Persian cucumber, 1/2 red onion, 1/4 cup fresh parsley, 1/4 cup fresh mint
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the salt, pepper, sumac, lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar.
    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
  • 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.

Notes

*To dampen the flavor of the onion, soak it in the vinegar for at least 30 minutes before combining the salad.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 240mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1344IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious! The mint makes this salad. Served with Greek Chicken Souvlaki and pita bread. Perfect meal!

  2. 5 stars
    Tried it with chickpeas but also black eyed beans. Very tasty and very refreshing especially now that the weather is so hot!

    1. This salad was amazing, thank you for sharing it. I have a question please and thank you 😊.
      What do you consider a serving size that you got it makes 6 servings?

      1. Thank you, Rosa! We’re so glad you enjoyed it. About a scant cup or so is typically a serving. 😊

        Xo,
        Alia & Radwa