Chickpeas, black beans, and fresh veggies combine with a sweet salad dressing to make this Mediterranean chickpea salad recipe. This is our spin on Cowboy Caviar but Greek style! An easy vegetarian dish, it’s light enough to serve as an appetizer but filling enough to prepare for a main course!
Chickpeas vs. Garbanzo Beans
We often get questions about the difference between chickpeas and garbanzo beans. The truth is, there is none! They’re the same thing and can be used interchangeably. Either way, they’re little tan-colored pods that are part of the legume family and are commonly found in vegan and vegetarian dishes.
Are Chickpeas Healthy?
Yes! Chickpeas are nutritional powerhouses and are loaded with fiber, nutrients, and plant-based protein to keep you full and satisfied!
Chickpea Salad Ingredients
For the Dressing
- Olive Oil – Mild in flavor and full of healthy fats, olive oil helps form the base of the dressing.
- Lemon Juice – Lemon juice helps add a slightly acidic element that lightens up the heaviness of the oil and pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the dressing.
- Vinegar – Vinegar elevates the acidity of this dish and acts as a preservative, keeping your chickpea salad fresh!
- Herbs and Spices – We included salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin for a Mediterranean-inspired flavor. Feel free to experiment, and add ingredients to fit your preferences.
- Honey – The secret to taking this dressing to the next level, adding just a touch of honey boosts the antioxidant profile even more and creates an irresistible sweet flavor you’ll love!
For the Salad
- Chickpeas – You can boil uncooked chickpeas, but we prefer the canned versions to make this salad super fast.
- Black Beans – Again, we opt for canned black beans, but use whatever you have on hand!
- Cucumbers – For the best texture, we recommend using English cucumbers or baby cucumbers. They have thinner skins, making them easier to chop and bite into.
- Red Onion – Red onions contain more antioxidants than white onions and have a slightly spicier flavor we prefer for this chickpea salad.
- Herbs – We opted for cilantro and parsley for a super refreshing taste! If you don’t like cilantro, you could use chives or dill instead. Whichever herbs you pick, just make sure they’re fresh!
- Tomatoes – For a slightly sweeter flavor, we prefer Roma or cherry tomatoes.
- Olives – We used a combination of green olives and Kalamata olives so as to minimize the saltiness and bitterness of this dish. Yet, if you prefer, you can use just one kind.
How to Make a Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Start with the Dressing
- Combine all of the dressing ingredients.
- Shake or stir until smooth and creamy.
Toss the Salad
- Rinse and drain the beans.
- Chop all the veggies.
- Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle the dressing on top.
- Toss to combine.
This chickpea salad recipe is super filling and flavorful as it is, but it can easily be customized to fit your preferences! Some of our favorite variations are listed below.
Add Protein. If you’re not following a vegan or vegetarian diet, this chickpea salad pairs great with grilled chicken or shrimp for even more protein.
Sprinkle in Feta. For a creamier taste, you can never go wrong with a sprinkle of feta cheese.
Bulk It Up with Quinoa. If you want a slightly heartier salad, cooked quinoa makes for a great plant-based addition.
Mix In Avocado. For extra healthy fats, fiber, and nutrients, we love to toss in sliced avocado, too!
Can I Make This Recipe Ahead of Time?
We love to prepare this chickpea salad in advance. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days. However, we don’t recommend freezing it as it will become soggy once thawed.
More Chickpea Salad Recipes
- As vibrant in flavor as it is in color, this One Pot Greek Couscous is nourishing, refreshing, and quick to make!
- Easily customizable to fit your needs, this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is a delicious powerhouse of a recipe that’s so good for you, too.
- This Vegan Roasted Eggplant Salad is made with fresh ingredients and a homemade tahini dressing you’re going to love.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad Recipe
For the Dressing
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 Tablespoon honey
For the Salad
- 2 15 ounce cans chickpeas
- 1 15 ounce can black beans
- 2 cups chopped cucumbers
- 1 large red onion (chopped)
- ½ cup fresh parsley
- ½ cup fresh cilantro
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped green olives
- 1 cup chopped kalamata olives
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Mix to combine.
- Chop the veggies.
- Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl. Toss to combine.
LOVE your recipes and presentations. Is there something I can replace olives with in recipes. I don’t like olives (even a tiny bit). What do you suggest?
Idaho Falls, ID
Hi Debbie- You can certainly leave them out, you can try subbing with a n little bit of pickled peppers, or capers, or even drained canned artichoke hearts! Let us know how it turns out! xo, Alia and Radwa
Made this for a BBQ this weekend and it was a huge hit!!
Made this as a side dish along with pizza. Everyone enjoyed the salad!! I didn’t have red onion, but used white onion instead and added chopped avocado & chopped feta cheese. Huge hit with the kids too!
Yay, that’s amazing! Thanks for giving it a try! xo, Alia and Radwa
This Mediterranean Chickpea Salad is so light and fresh! It was easy to assemble, but plan accordingly to chop everything. The dressing is a nice balance of flavors. We will be making this dish again for sure!