Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Soooo easy to make, Mediterranean Chickpea Salad is fresh and full of vibrant flavors! My copy cat version of Trader Joe’s famous Balela Salad recipe, this one has olives for an added briny punch.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Ok, so there’s just ONE thing I hate about Trader Joe’s and it’s that they frequently discontinue some of my favorite things. I won’t get into specifics but I become quite attached to various products (Helloooo, puffy pancake balls) that later vanish from the store shelves. No explanation….no apology. Just….POOF….gone.
AND….really there’s another thing I dislike….when they completely rearrange the whole store. We live kind of far from the nearest Trader Joe’s so when I get the chance to visit it’s usually a big deal….and it’s usually squeezed into a bunch of other errands so I have limited time.
I like to run into the store…grab what I need…and get the heck out of there because it’s always a zoo. Especially with those little ankle banger mini shopping carts with the flag so you can see them coming….but you never do. You never see the cart coming until it rams you in the achilles tendon. Am I right?
Ok, so I’m rambling on here…..the one thing I always, always go for is the Balela Salad…which is a Mediterranean Chickpea Salad that’s packed with flavor and fresh EVERYTHING. I used to grab this chickpea salad when I worked nearby and eat the whole container for lunch. It always made me feel like I just pumped myself up with nutrients and revitalized my energy for the remainder of the day.
But the last few visits, I couldn’t find it anywhere! I don’t know if they were out….it was moved to another location….they discontinued it. Whatever the story was about the Mediterranean Chickpea Salad, I didn’t care. I needed to rectify the situation so I made my own….and I made it even better than the Trader Joe’s version! Ha!
AND it takes less time to make than it does for my to drive all the way to the store to buy it so….there’s that, too.
First….What are Chickpeas?
Also knows as garbanzo beans, Chickpeas are an annual legume that are packed with health benefits. An excellent source of lean protein, they’re also loaded with vitamin K, folate, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, choline, and selenium. Fiber filled, chickpeas also contain exceptional levels of iron, vitamin B-6, and magnesium.
How do you make a Chickpea Salad?
There are really no rules to making a chickpea salad. For this Mediterranean Chickpea Salad recipe I grabbed ingredients that I are bright, vibrant and fresh….and commonly found in the popular Mediterranean diet.
What I love most about this chickpea salad is that you can customize it to your own preferences. If you don’t like olives, leave them out….want something a little spicy, throw in a little bit of chopped jalapeno. It’s your salad your way.
The ingredients in THIS Mediterranean Chickpea Salad are:
- Black Beans
- Red Onion
- Fresh herbs
So, simple and easy….and the chickpea salad dressing whips up in under 30 seconds.
If you want something a little more “stick to your ribs” we love this Mediterranean Orzo Salad!
How long does Chickpea Salad last in the fridge?
I like to make a big batch of this Mediterranean Chickpea Salad at the beginning of the week to pick at for light snacks or easy lunches. It’s also a fantastic side dish for summer.
This Chickpea Salad will last in the fridge for up to 5 days if stored in an airtight container. It actually gets better the longer it sits because the dressing has time to flavor the ingredients of the salad.
Chickpea Salad is a great make ahead side dish for your next potluck or picnic. It’s always the first to vanish and everyone always asks for the recipe.
What to Serve with It
I love to serve this simple chickpea salad as a side dish for these favorite recipes:
- Easy Oven Baked Chicken Breast
- Grilled Chicken Gyros
- Grilled Balsamic Lamb Chops
- The Very Best Filet Mignon
- Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs
More Easy Salad Recipes
Here are a few more of our favorite salads:
- The Very Best Cucumber Salad
- Chopped Greek Pasta Salad
- Easy German Potato Salad
- Cauliflower Rice Tabbouleh Salad
- Chili Spiced Mango Guacamole Salad
Seriously, I could literally just make a meal of this chickpea salad all by itself. It’s so filling and satisfying, you really don’t need anything else with it. But we even enjoy it in the winter months alongside this Rotisserie Style Chicken. It’s simple and amazing!
Get the Recipe: Mediterranean Chickpea Salad Recipe
- 1 15 ounce can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained well
- 1 15 ounce can Black Beans, rinsed and drained well
- 1 English Cucumber, Chopped
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup green olives
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, optional
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
- In a large bowl, toss together the chickpeas, black beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, parsley and mint until well combined. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, zest and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
- Cover the salad and transfer to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container until ready to serve.