Chickpea salad combines humble chickpeas with fresh, colorful veggies and a tangy, flavor-packed mustard dressing.
You can make this recipe in 15 minutes with simple seasonal ingredients. It's tasty, wholesome, and excellent for meal prep.
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You'll love the combination of colors, flavors, and textures in this Mediterranean-inspired chickpea salad recipe.
Take this blog post as a guideline and change the veggies based on your availability.
We recommend sticking to 4 to 6 different vegetables with different colors and textures for best results.
For the dressing, we use a creamy mustard dressing with tangy, zesty, and fruity notes. We think its bold flavor is delicious with chickpeas and fresh veggies.
Note: This chickpea salad recipe is made with whole chickpeas, not mashed. For our chickpea salad sandwich recipe with vegan mayo, check out our vegan tuna salad that you can put in a sandwich, lettuce wraps, or crackers.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Quantities are in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are the main ingredient for this easy chickpea salad recipe.
You can use drained and well-rinsed canned chickpeas or dried ones that you cook yourself.
To cook dry chickpeas, first, soak them in cold water with a teaspoon of salt for 12 to 24 hours.
Then, change the water and boil them until tender; it'll take 1 to 3 hours, depending on how dry and large they are. Taste them to check for doneness.
Substitute cannellini beans, kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, borlotti beans, or lentils for chickpeas.
Use ripe tomatoes, such as Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes, and grape tomatoes.
We use cherry tomatoes because they are available all year round, have a pleasant sweet taste, and all you have to do is cut them in half.
Substitute red bell pepper for tomatoes.
English cucumber, American cucumber, Persian cucumber, or Kirby cucumber are all perfect for this garbanzo bean salad.
We like to keep the peel on, but that's a personal preference.
Substitute fresh zucchini for cucumber.
Finely chopped red onion adds a pleasantly spicy taste to the salad.
Substitute shallots or spring onions for the red onion.
Olives add healthy fats and umami (a bold, savory taste), which makes the salad more delicious.
Use pitted black or green olives. For an even more flavorful chickpea salad, go for Kalamata olives or Taggiasche olives.
Canned corn is perfect for this salad. It adds color and sweetness.
You can replace it with diced yellow bell pepper.
Pick your favorite, or mix more than one fresh herb for an even more flavorful chickpea salad.
We use fresh flat-leaf parsley as it goes very well with chickpeas.
Substitute fresh basil, mint, chives, fresh dill, and cilantro for parsley.
It is optional but recommended as it adds creaminess and healthy fats to this delicious dish.
Add diced avocado shortly before serving the salad because avocado turns brown quickly once it's out of its shell.
Our mustard dressing with maple syrup or honey is perfect for this salad for several reasons.
First, the chickpeas are pretty slippery, so you'll need a creamy dressing that coats them properly.
The mustard and maple syrup in this dressing do just that.
Second, the dressing is tangy, fresh, light, creamy, and sweet. It fits deliciously with fresh veggies.
You can make it with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice (substitute apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar), mustard, maple syrup or honey, salt, and black pepper.
Add one teaspoon of ground cumin or garlic powder to spice things up.
How to make chickpea salad
Drain and rinse the chickpeas and the corn kernels.
Cut cherry tomatoes and olives in half. Dice the cucumber. Finely chop the red onion and parsley. Add everything to a large mixing bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar), mustard (American or Dijon mustard), maple syrup (or honey), salt, and black pepper.
Optionally, you can add a teaspoon of cumin or garlic powder.
Note: As an alternative to the bowl, add all ingredients to a small mason jar, close it, and shake it until combined.
Pour the dressing over the veggies and toss well with two spoons.
Add diced avocado shortly before serving the salad.
Avocado fits this salad perfectly because it adds creaminess and healthy fats. Add avocado shortly before serving the salad, then give it a quick toss and serve.
For example, if you bring this to potlucks or make it for meal prep, don't add the avocado until ready to serve or eat the salad because it will turn brown due to oxidation.
Check out our avocado salad recipe.
Add your favorite short pasta to turn this chickpea salad into a complete meal.
All you have to do is boil ½ pound of pasta in plenty of salted boiling water, drain it, cool it down under running tap water, and toss it in with the other ingredients.
Check out our chickpea pasta salad recipe.
Have you ever had chickpeas and farro together? Oh gosh, they are amazing!
With similar ingredients to our chickpea salad, you can make a delicious, fulfilling, and nutritious chickpea farro salad that everyone will love.
Check out our farro and chickpea salad recipe.
In this recipe, we combine chickpeas and quinoa to create a simple and healthy chickpea quinoa salad with fresh, seasonal veggies.
This recipe is a nutritious, naturally vegan, gluten-free meal that will please the pickiest eaters.
Check out our chickpea quinoa salad recipe.
Rice salad is probably the most popular salad during spring and summer and for a good reason. It's delicious, affordable, and packed with veggies and flavor.
Add chickpeas to make it even more nutritious and turn it into one of the best recipes for picnics, potlucks, and meal prep.
Check out our rice salad recipe.
Another Mediterranean-inspired dish, couscous salad with fresh veggies and chickpeas, is quick to make, crunchy, refreshing, and fulfilling.
Check out our couscous salad recipe.
Use our recipe as a guideline, and change it based on your preferences and availability of ingredients. Other delicious ingredients we often add to our chickpea salad are:
- Green, yellow, or red bell peppers (diced)
- Fennel (thinly sliced or diced)
- Celery (chopped)
- Red cabbage (thinly sliced)
- Eggplant (diced and roasted)
- Sun-dried tomatoes in oil (chopped)
- Artichoke hearts in oil (chopped)
- Feta cheese or non-dairy feta
When swapping veggies, consider their texture, color, and flavor. For example, you want a salad with different colors and mixed textures, resulting in better taste and nutrition.
You can also substitute the mustard dressing for one of our delicious pestos.
Make ahead: Chickpea salad is an excellent make-ahead recipe as it lasts several days. We recommend it for meal prep, potlucks, and picnics.
Refrigerator: Keep the salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 - 4 days. Take it out of the refrigerator 15-30 minutes before serving, as it will taste better at room temperature.
Freezer: We don't recommend freezing this recipe.
More Summer Salads
More Salad Recipes
These are some of our favorite all-year-round salads:
- Broccoli salad with a creamy yogurt and mayo dressing
- Cauliflower salad with creamy lemon tahini dressing
- Mediterranean lentil sweet potato salad
- Fattoush, a Levantine salad with crunchy pita chips
- Pear salad with oranges and ricotta.
- Creamy dill potato salad.
For many more salad ideas, check out our salads category page.
For the salad
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas or 1½ cups of cooked chickpeas, drained
- 1½ cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1½ cups cucumber diced
- ½ cup olives sliced
- ⅓ cup red onion chopped
- ½ cup corn
- ⅓ cup parsley chopped
- 1 ripe avocado optional, diced
For the dressing
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice sub apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mustard yellow or Dijon
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup sub honey
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin optional
- To a large bowl, add 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (drained), 1½ cups cherry tomatoes (halved), 1½ cups cucumber (diced), ½ cup olives (sliced), ⅓ cup red onion (chopped), ½ cup corn, ⅓ cup parsley (chopped), and 1 ripe avocado (diced).
- In a small bowl, whisk 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon mustard, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, ¾ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and 1 teaspoon ground cumin.
- Pour dressing over salad and toss well.
- Pasta: boil ½ pound of pasta in plenty of salted water as per package instructions. Drain it, cool it down under running water, and add it to the chickpea salad.
- Farro: rinse 1 cup of farro and cook it in vegetable broth as per package instructions. Let cool down then add it to the salad.
- Quinoa: rinse and boil 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups of lightly salted water for 10-15 minutes. Let it cool down then add it to the salad.