Chickpea Salad with tomatoes, cucumber, avocado and easy Mediterranean dressing. This protein packed garbanzo bean salad takes only 15 minutes to make.
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Chickpea Avocado Salad
This is the best chickpea salad recipe I ever made! It is super tasty and is based on traditional Ukrainian cucumber and tomato salad I grew up with, minus the garbanzo beans. Although it definitely has Mediterranean flare to it. Juicy tomato, creamy avocado, crunchy cucumber and simple dressing with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and freshly cracked pepper.
Natural juices from tomato and cucumber are released as soon as you add salt, so you don’t need to add much oil to a garbanzo salad. And red onion slices are big enough for kids to pick out and adults to enjoy.
This chickpea avocado salad is so filling, it can be lunch. Meal prep for a week, serve alongside grilled chicken breast or grilled salmon, bring to a potluck. Sprinkle with feta cheese like Greek salad. Possibilities are endless!
Ingredients You Will Need
Chickpeas known in the US and garbanzo beans known in Europe are legumes of yellow colour and round shape. That is what hummus is made of. Chickpeas are extremely high in protein and super good for you.
For this chickpea salad recipe you have 2 types of garbanzo beans to use:
- Canned: I recommend to buy organic low sodium chickpeas in BPA free cans. They are not cheap or always available. BPA has been proven to interfere with our hormones, cause cancer and fertility issues.
- Cooked: A few years ago I learnt how to cook dried beans and now I make Instant Pot chickpeas. It is once in a few months time investment that I do for my family’s health and budget. Then take out from a freezer and make dishes like chickpea stew and cauliflower shepherd’s pie.
- Cucumber and Tomato: Large or mini tomatoes work. When choosing large, best to pick not too soft fruit so it doesn’t leak too much. Also sharp knife helps a lot to cut through their skin. Cukes do not have to be seeded.
- Avocado: Pick avocado with brown skin and slightly soft to the touch.
- Red onion and fresh herbs: Red or white onion are sweet and less sharp than yellow. Any fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, dill or basil will be great.
Love Mediterranean food? I highly recommend to try these Mediterranean baked zucchini sticks.
How to Make Chickpea Salad
- Chop veggies: No matter the size of vegetables, make sure to chop them into bite size pieces a bit larger chickpeas’ size for the maximum flavour in every bite.
- To dice avocado, using chef’s knife, cut avocado in half lengthwise. Hold half with a pit in one hand, gently tap sharp edge into the pit deep enough to twist the pit out, twist the knife and discard the pit. Remove with the spoon and dice.
- Make dressing by whisking olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Combine everything and stir gently. I like to use metal spoon so it doesn’t make veggies mushy. Also do not stir too long.
How to Serve, Store and Make Ahead
Serve: With any protein and side like bulgur, quinoa or brown rice. Or pick one of five chicken marinades and serve along grilled/toasted pita. Below photo is pf Fajita Chicken marinade.
Make ahead: You can make ahead garbanzo bean salad for up to 1 day in advance.
- Prep veggies: Add all ingredients except dressing and avocado to a salad bowl.
- Make dressing.
- Store: Cover and refrigerate both until ready to serve, up to 1 day.
- Before serving: Dice avocado before serving and combine. You might have to warm up dressing to melt the oil.
Store leftovers for up to 1 day. Because there are no leafy greens like in this green salad, garbanzo salad holds up well.
Pictured is grilled Fajita chicken with chickpea avocado salad and pita bread.
Variations and Substitutions
This chickpea salad recipe is packed with plant-based protein, blood cleansing cilantro, vitamin C loaded tomatoes, heart healthy avocado and cancer fighting red onion. I’m selling it super hard to you, right?! I just want everyone to eat healthy. True fact. 🙂
- Leafy greens: You could add chopped kale, Romaine lettuce or spinach.
- Ukrainian flare: My aunt always added sliced radishes. And of course a little bit of freshly grated garlic adds more oumph.
- More Mediterranean: Add 1/4 cup crumbled feta but then reduce salt. Toasted pine nuts make this salad more Mediterranean.
- Mexican twist: Add diced jalapeno and 1 tsp cumin.
Chickpea salad is perfect mid-summer when days are hot and garden is abundant. Use what you have.
More Favorite Salad Recipes
- Mediterranean quinoa salad
- Quinoa black bean salad
- Mexican bean salad
- Southwest quinoa salad
- Mexican street corn salad
- 2 x 14 oz cans chickpeas drained & rinsed
- 1 long English cucumber cut into bite size pieces
- 3 medium tomatoes cut into bite size pieces
- 2 medium ripe avocados diced
- 1/4 cup red onion diced
- 1/2 cup parsley dill or cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 large lime or lemon juice of
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, add chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, red onion and parsley.
- In a small bowl, add olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and whisk.
- Pour dressing over salad and gently stir to combine.
Store: Refrigerate in an airtight glass container for up to 1 day.
Make Ahead: You can make this salad up to 1 day ahead. Refrigerate beans and veggies except avocado in a bowl and dressing in a jar. When ready to serve, dice avocado, warm up dressing to melt the oil and combine.
- I cook my own chickpeas in Instant Pot. You can also cook beans and legumes on the stove.
- If you are using canned chickpeas, I recommend to start with less salt and adjust to taste.
- Use medium ripeness avocados and tomatoes (not too mushy), so they hold their shape better once mixed.
- You could add any leafy greens like kale, Romaine lettuce or spinach.
- And of course a little bit of freshly grated garlic adds more oumph.
- My aunt always added sliced radishes.
- Add 1/4 cup crumbled feta but then reduce salt.
- Toasted pine nuts make this salad more Mediterranean.
- Add diced jalapeno and 1 tsp cumin for a Mexican twist.
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