You will make this easy chickpea salad recipe again and again! It will keep well if you prepare it ahead of time, so pack it for a sweet/savory healthy lunch.
Chickpea salad has been one of my go-to lunches for years. With back-to-school season right around the corner, I thought I’d share my favorite chickpea salad recipe with you all! Because of the protein from chickpeas, it’s hearty enough to be a meal on its own, but it can also double as a healthy side dish. Garbanzo beans keep well in the fridge, so you can easily have them ahead of time for parties and lunches. And with a mix of beans, herbs, and fresh vegetables all cut to the same size, you get a delicious blend of flavors in every bite.
I’ve made many variations of chickpea salad, but this quick and easy recipe takes the cake. The star of the show is a light, creamy fresh milk honey goat cheese from Roth. I’m picky about my goat cheese, but I love this one and their plain goat cheese on salads, pasta, zucchini noodles, etc. It’s fresh and tangy, with a touch of sweetness from the honey. I think the new Roth Chèvre varieties (try wild blueberry on your next cheese board!)
In this recipe, I played up the sweetness of the cheese, adding toasted cumin seeds and Medjool dates to give the salad an aromatic, sweet and savory flavor. We love this one, and hope you do too, whether you serve it with dinner, pack it for lunch, or bring it to your Labor Day gatherings!
Chickpea Salad Recipe Ingredients
This chickpea salad starts with a bright and spicy dressing made with lemon juice and zest, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, and toasted cumin seeds. I combine it in the bottom of a large bowl and then toss in the chickpeas, as well as these ingredients:
- goat cheese. In this recipe we use Roth Honey Chèvrewhich is a fresh goat’s milk cheese with a pleasant creamy texture and a slightly sweet, mild flavor.
- Medjool dates. Soft and chewy, they contrast perfectly with the earthy goat cheese and cumin-spiced dressing.
- Persian cucumbers. They are essential for a crisp, fresh crunch. I especially like to use Persian cucumbers because of their small size. Cut into small half moons, they are perfect for pairing with garbanzos.
- Cherry tomatoes. They add a juicy, bursty texture.
- Roasted red pepper. I love the hint of char and nice sweetness they add to the salad. If you don’t have roasted red peppers, diced red bell pepper will do just fine in its place.
- Chopped fresh parsley. Sprinkle it on for fresh flavor and chunks of green.
- Roasted chickpeas. These guys add a great crunch. If you do not like roasted chickpeasa handful of toasted almonds would be good too.
- Basil or mint. I like to top my salad with fresh herb leaves for a light, herbal finish.
Aside from the pan for roasting the cumin seeds, this bean salad comes together in one bowl! Just toast the seeds for 30 seconds or so until fragrant, crush them lightly with a mortar and pestle, and mix them in with the other dressing ingredients.
Add the greens, dates, chickpeas, and parsley, and mix. Then, top with cheese, remaining herbs, and roasted chickpeas, and serve!
Chickpea Salad Recipe Tips
- Taste and adjust. The key to making a great salad is tasting and adjusting until you have the balance of flavors you like. You may need an extra pinch of salt or a squeeze of lemon. Don’t be afraid to test your chickpea salad before serving!
- Cut everything to the same size. The best bites of chickpea salad happen when you get a little bit of everything – fresh herbs, creamy cheese, sweet dates, juicy greens, etc. Cut your cucumbers, dates, and tomatoes into small, even dice so you can scoop them out. along with chickpeas.
- Reserve some herbs and/or cheese for garnish. If you make this salad ahead of time, I recommend saving the mint leaves to add at the last minute. If you’re packing it for lunch, add a few leaves to the top of the packed salad before you head out the door in the morning. The same can go for goat cheese, depending on your preferences. Over time, the goat cheese begins to blend into the salad, creating a creamy coating. If you prefer it in chunks, add it at the same time you add the mint. Look this post for more of my best meal prep tips!
If you love this chickpea salad recipe…
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
Serving 4 until 6
Goat cheese, dates, and toasted cumin seeds give this chickpea salad a deliciously sweet, savory, and tangy flavor. It stays good if you prepare it ahead of time, so pack it for lunch or bring it to a potluck!
In a large bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and a few grinds of pepper.
In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast the cumin seeds until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and crush a bit (mortar and pestle are easiest for this). Add them to the bowl and stir.
Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, dates, cucumber, red pepper, and parsley to the bowl and toss. Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with goat cheese, sprinkle with mint, and top with extra-roasted chickpeas, if desired. Season to taste and serve.
*If using ground cumin seeds, use a heaping 1/2 teaspoon and add directly to the mixing bowl, no need to toast.
Special thanks to Roth for sharing this post. Press here to find something new Roth Chèvre Fresh Goat Milk Cheeses, nationwide, at a store near you!