Chickpeas and quinoa are combined to create a simple and healthy chickpea quinoa salad with fresh, seasonal veggies and a simple mustard-maple vinaigrette.

This salad offers a nutritious, naturally vegan, gluten-free meal choice that will please even the pickiest eaters.

Quinoa and chickpea salad with a fork

Check out our Best Salad Recipes

Our chickpea quinoa salad is an easy, nutritious, and tasty meal that you can make in less than 20 minutes with simple ingredients. We often make a big batch, and it feeds us for days!

You can have it for lunch, bring it to a potluck, barbecue, or picnic, or enjoy it as a quick and healthy dinner.

You can also prepare it in advance and bring it to work or have it ready in the fridge for a busy day when you have less time to cook.

We are sure you’ll love this chickpea quinoa salad for its taste and its many nutritional benefits.

For example, this salad is an excellent source of plant-based protein and fiber, thanks to quinoa and chickpeas.

Quinoa is also rich in iron, magnesium, and folate. Combined with fresh, colorful, seasonal vegetables, it’s also an incredible source of antioxidants and vitamins.

Quinoa chickpea salad with avocado variation

Ingredients

Quinoa

Use white quinoa, black quinoa, red quinoa, or a mix.

Replace quinoa with other pseudo-grains such as buckwheat, teff, and amaranth.

You can also use whole grains such as barley, oats, and brown rice.

Chickpeas

They are also known as garbanzo beans. You can use canned chickpeas or dry chickpeas that you cook at home.

Substitute lentils and beans for chickpeas.

Tomatoes

We use cherry tomatoes, but you can use any tomato variety, including vine tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, grape tomatoes, or plum tomatoes.

Olives

You can use black or green olives. We like Taggiasca or Kalamata olives, but any kind of olive will be delicious.

You can substitute them with capers, sun-dried tomatoes in oil, or quartered artichoke hearts in oil.

Cucumber

American cucumber is fine; alternatively, replace it with English cucumber, Persian cucumber, or Kirby Cucumber.

Ensure your cucumber is fresh and firm, or it might be bitter.

Substitute zucchini for cucumber.

Bell pepper

Add yellow bell pepper to have a colorful salad.

Substitute green bell pepper, red bell pepper, or corn kernels for the yellow pepper.

Onion

We use red onion as it’s generally sweeter than white or yellow.

Some might find onions hard to digest. If so, substitute shallots or spring onions for the red onion.

Fresh herbs

We like to use flat-leaf parsley for this chickpea quinoa salad to keep it “Mediterranean” in flavor.

However, we tried many other fresh herbs, such as cilantro, dill, chives, mint, and basil, and we love them all. Pick your favorite!

Dressing

We recommend a quick and delicious dressing with fresh lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar), extra virgin olive oil, mustard (American or Dijon mustard), maple syrup (or honey), salt, and black pepper.

Optionally, you can add a teaspoon of ground cumin.

Optional add-ins

  • Diced avocado (only add it at the last minute before serving; otherwise, it’ll turn dark).
  • Crumbled feta cheese.
  • Arugula or chopped spinach.
  • Nuts and seeds: toasted almonds, walnuts, pecans, pinenuts, pistachios, pepitas, or mixed seeds.
Honey mustard dressing and spoon

Instructions

1. Cook the quinoa

Rinse and drain 1 cup of uncooked quinoa, then add it to a saucepan or small pot with 2 cups of water (or vegetable broth) and ⅓ teaspoon of salt.

Bring to a gentle simmer and boil uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes or until the quinoa has absorbed the water.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl and fluff it up with a fork. While the quinoa cooks, cut the veggies.

Tip: rinsing the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve will remove the bitter-tasting outer coating containing saponins. Saponins are compounds that the quinoa plant uses to make itself bitter so that animals wouldn’t eat it.

cooked quinoa in a white pot

2. Chop the veggies

Cut the tomatoes and olives in half. Next, cut cucumber and bell pepper into small dice.

Finely chop the onion and parsley.

Rinse and drain the chickpeas, then add everything to the bowl with the quinoa.

Vegetables and quinoa in a bowl

3. Make the dressing

To a small bowl, add freshly squeezed lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, mustard, and maple syrup, and whisk well.

Alternatively, you can add all ingredients into a mason jar, close it and shake it well.

honey mustard dressing in a jar

4. Mix the salad

Pour the dressing onto the salad and toss well with two spoons.

Taste, adjust for salt, and serve.

Quinoa chickpea salad in a white bowl

Variations

Chickpea quinoa salad with avocado

A ripe avocado is delicious in this chickpea quinoa salad. However, add the avocado shortly before serving the salad.

The avocado quickly turns brown, so it’s unsuitable for meal prep. Instead, we recommend cutting it open and adding it at the last minute.

Quinoa chickpea salad with avocado

Add a crunch!

Substitute roasted chickpeas or crispy air fryer chickpeas for canned chickpeas to add even more flavor and a delicious crunch to this dish.

oven roasted chickpeas with curry powder

Change the veggies

You could add lightly sauteéd asparagus, confit tomatoes, or marinated artichoke hearts for an even more unique chickpea quinoa salad recipe.

You get the gist of it; you can use any of your favorite vegetables.

Our only advice would be to stick to 4 to 6 vegetable max and use different colors and textures.

Vary the dressing

Other dressings you can try with this salad are:

Quinoa chickpea salad with fork and a lemon

Serving Suggestions

We eat this quinoa chickpea salad as a quick lunch and serve the leftovers for an easy dinner. You can dress it with toppings and condiments for a special meal that is extra fulfilling:

You can also serve it as a starter or an easy side dish in smaller portions. It is the perfect summer recipe for a day outdoors with friends, as a putlock meal, or office lunch.

Questions

Is quinoa salad eaten hot or cold?

Eat this salad at room temperature for the best flavor. Take it out of the fridge 15 to 30 minutes before serving it. You can warm up quinoa salad if you like it slightly warm. Do that in the microwave for about 1 minute.

Can I make quinoa salad ahead of time?

Yes. You can make this salad up to 3 days ahead and keep it in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Make Ahead & Storage

Make ahead: chickpea quinoa salad is an excellent recipe to make in advance, use for meal prep, and bring to potlucks or for lunch at work. You can make it up to 3 days in advance.

Refrigerator: store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days. Take it from the refrigerator 15 to 30 minutes before eating, and enjoy it at room temperature.

Freeze: we don’t recommend freezing this recipe.

More salad recipes

If you love meal-prep-friendly salads, you might like these healthy and easy green bowls:

  • Vegan couscous salad (cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, parsley, corn, cucumber, pine nuts).
  • Kale quinoa salad (corn, bell pepper, pumpkin, pomegranate seeds, mustard, maple syrup).
  • Rice salad (black olives, chickpeas, tomato, bell pepper, lemon, parsley, olive oil).
  • Farro salad )chickpeas, corn, pepitas, cherry tomato, cucumber, parsley, lemon).
  • Chickpea salad (avocado, cucumber, corn, parsley, tomato, mustard, maple syrup).
  • Pasta salad (red onion, corn, cucumber, black olives, cherry tomatoes, white beans).

For many more salad ideas, check out our salads category page.

Quinoa chickpea salad with fork

Chickpea Quinoa Salad

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 7 votes
Chickpeas and quinoa are combined to create a simple and healthy chickpea quinoa salad with fresh, seasonal veggies and a simple mustard dressing.
This salad offers a nutritious, naturally vegan, gluten-free meal choice that will please the pickiest eaters.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 – 8 people
Course: Main, salad
Cuisine: International

Ingredients

For the Quinoa

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa or about 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • teaspoon salt

For the Salad

  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas or 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • cup yellow bell pepper
  • cup cucumber
  • cup cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup olives
  • ¼ red onion
  • cup parsley
  • 1 ripe avocado optional

For the Dressing

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 twists black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin optional

Instructions 

Cook the quinoa

  • Rinse and drain 1 cup of uncooked quinoa, then add it to a pot with 2 cups of water and ⅓ teaspoon of salt.
    Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed the water.
    Transfer to a large mixing bowl and fluff it up with a fork.
    While the quinoa cooks, cut the veggies.
    cooked quinoa in a white pot

Cut the veggies

  • Cut the tomatoes and olives in half.
    Cut the cucumber and bell pepper in small dice.
    Finely chop onion and parsley.
    Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
    Add everything to the bowl with the quinoa.
    Vegetables and quinoa in a bowl

Make the dressing

  • To a small bowl, add lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, mustard, maple syrup, and optionally the cumin. Mix well.
    Alternatively, add everything to a small jar, close, and shake well.
    dressing in a bowl

Mix the salad

  • Pour the dressing onto the salad, and toss with two spoons till the ingredients are well combined.
    Taste and adjust for salt.
    Quinoa chickpea salad with fork and a lemon
  • Optionally, you can add a diced avocado, but do so shortly before serving.
    Quinoa chickpea salad with avocado variation

Video

Chickpea Quinoa Salad (20 min lunch idea)

Notes

Nutritional values are an estimate for 1 serving of chickpea quinoa salad out of 6 servings.
SUBSTITUTIONS
– Quinoa: buckwheat, teff, amaranth, barley, oats, and brown rice.
– Chickpeas: beans, lentils, peas.
– Cherry tomatoes: any other tomatoes.
– Cucumber: zucchini, sautéed asparagus.
– Yellow bell pepper: red or green bell pepper, canned corn kernels.
– Onion: shallots or spring onions.
– Parsley: cilantro, mint, dill, chives, basil.
OPTIONAL ADD INS
– Diced avocado
– Cumbled feta cheese
– Arugula or chopped spinach
– Nuts and seeds: toasted almonds, walnuts, pecans, pinenuts, pistachios, pepitas, or mixed seeds.
MAKE AHEAD & STORAGE
– Make ahead: chickpea quinoa salad is an excellent recipe to make in advance, use for meal prep, and bring to potlucks or for lunch at work. Make it up to 3 days in advance.
– Refrigerator: store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days. Take it from the refrigerator 15 to 30 minutes before eating, and enjoy it at room temperature.
– Freeze: we don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 277kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Potassium: 503mg, Dietary Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 591IU, Vitamin B6: 0.5mg, Vitamin C: 79mg, Vitamin E: 2mg, Vitamin K: 65µg, Calcium: 59mg, Folate: 97µg, Iron: 3mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 94mg, Zinc: 2mg
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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

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5 Comments

  1. Love this recipe and your website! If I omit maple or honey from dressing hI don’t like sweet) do I have to change the amounts of other ingredients in the dressing recipe ?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Sue,
      thanks for your message. I’m happy you like the recipes 🙂

      You don’t have to change the other ingredients if you omit the maple syrup.
      Have a great day!
      Nico

    1. Hi Andre,
      We live in Italy, so we buy the organic option from our local supermarket (Eurospin).
      Kindest, Louise