This refreshing Mediterranean Chickpea Salad is tossed with a light and bright lemon dijon vinaigrette and made in 15 minutes or less! It features juicy veggies, fresh parsley, plant-based feta cheese and more. Naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan with paleo, Whole30, low-carb and keto options.
Updated July 2022
Healthy Chickpea Salad With Tangy Lemon Dressing
Enjoying a protein-rich salad for lunch always makes me feel like a million bucks. This easy Mediterranean-inspired dish is definitely one of my favorite options! It’s packed with flavor and texture to satisfy your taste buds while it blesses your body with essential nutrients and long-lasting energy.
From the crunchy cucumbers and chickpeas to the creamy avocado, there’s a world of goodness packed into each bite. It’s also super easy to adjust the ingredient lineup according to your tastes and dietary needs! Once everything is coated in that citrusy vinaigrette, you’ll waste no time filling up your bowl and feasting away.
What You’ll Need
Let’s dive right into the wholesome ingredients that go into this flavorful dish. Check out the recipe card below this post for the specific amounts.
For the Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
- Avocado Oil: Olive oil works well too.
- Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed.
- Dijon Mustard
- Dried Oregano
- Maple Syrup: Or the sticky liquid sweetener of your choice, such as sugar-free maple syrup or yacon syrup. Omit the sweetener altogether if you’re Whole30.
- Salt & Pepper: Added to taste.
- Garlic Clove: Finely minced.
For the Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Bibb Butter Lettuce: You could also use a small head of romaine lettuce (or half of a medium-sized head). Whatever kind you go with, be sure to wash it, dry it and chop it up.
- Diced Cucumber
- Diced Red Bell Pepper
- Halved Cherry Tomatoes
- Peeled Red Onion: You’ll only need half of the onion for this salad.
- Avocado: Pitted and cut into cubes.
- Fresh Parsley: Finely chopped.
- Kalamata Olives: Pitted and chopped.
- Canned Chickpeas: Rinsed and drained. Leave these out for a paleo, Whole30 and low-carb/keto salad, replacing them with your protein of choice.
- Crumbled Vegan Feta: We like Violife. Omit this for paleo and Whole30 or substitute it with regular feta cheese if your diet plan permits.
- Salt & Pepper: To taste.
- Grain-Free Tortilla Chips: Optional, for serving. We like the ones from Siete.
How to Make Mediterranean Salad
The speed at which this salad comes together is truly a miracle. Once you’re done preparing the ingredients, you barely have to lift a finger!
Make the Dressing
- Combine Ingredients: Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl until the mixture is well combined. Alternatively, add them to a jar, then close the lid and shake thoroughly.
- Adjust to Taste: Taste the dressing and add additional seasonings or sweetener if desired.
- Chill: Store the vinaigrette in the refrigerator while you start preparing the salad.
Assemble the Salad
- Add Lettuce, Cucumber, Red Pepper & Tomatoes to Bowl: Place the chopped lettuce, diced cucumber, diced red pepper and halved cherry tomatoes beside each other in a large salad bowl.
- Add Onion & Avocado: Cut the peeled onion half into thin slices. Transfer the sliced onion to your salad bowl, followed by the cubed avocado.
- Add Parsley, Chickpeas & Feta: Add the parsley, drained chickpeas and feta to the salad bowl.
- Season: Season the salad to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Add Dressing: Drizzle the salad with your desired amount of vinaigrette and toss until everything is evenly combined.
- Enjoy! Serve the salad immediately, topping it with some extra feta crumbles and black pepper if desired. We like to scoop it up like a dip with the grain-free tortilla chips.
Can I Make It in Advance?
If you’d like to make this salad ahead of time, it’s best to start with the dressing, which can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. All of the veggies (except for the avocado) can be prepared a day or two in advance and kept in an airtight container in the fridge. The avocado is best prepared right before the salad is assembled to preserve its bright color.
Tips for Success
The following tips and tricks will help you knock your chickpea salad out of the park.
- Keep It Fresh: Frozen veggies and bottled lemon juice won’t give you the restaurant-quality salad you’re going for. For optimal results, use fresh ingredients whenever possible.
- Make It Your Own: Whether you need to make a switch for diet-related reasons or want to change something up based on your cravings, feel free! This salad is extremely adaptable.
- Serve It Immediately: It’s best to enjoy your Mediterranean salad as soon as it’s assembled. If you’re not serving it right away, then hold off on adding the vinaigrette and refrigerate the salad and dressing in separate airtight containers.
What Goes With Chickpea Salad?
Pretty much any accompaniment will complement this salad wonderfully. The same is true if you’re serving it as a side dish!
- Maple Roasted Carrots: These sweet and savory Air Fryer Carrots are easy to make in under 20 minutes! Their meltingly tender texture provides a lovely contrast to the crunchy elements of the salad.
- Stuffed Peppers: Need a stellar entree to pair with your Mediterranean side salad? Treat yourself to these Vegan Stuffed Peppers. They’re made with cauliflower rice, cremini mushrooms, salsa and so much more.
- Steamed Mussels: If you’re looking to whip up a full meal inspired by Mediterranean cuisine, then you have to serve your salad with these tangy Steamed Pei Mussels. They’re sure to become a new seafood favorite!
How to Store Leftovers
Serve the dressing on the side if you think you might have leftovers. It’s best to store the salad and the vinaigrette in separate airtight containers in the fridge. The salad will last for up to 2 days and the dressing will stay good for up to 4.
If the salad and dressing have already been combined, you’ll want to enjoy your leftovers within 1-2 days. After a while, the vinaigrette will start to draw liquid from the veggies and water down the dish.
Can I Freeze This?
I don’t recommend freezing your Mediterranean chickpea salad – or the dressing that goes with it. The thawing process would diminish the quality of the dish.
More Wholesome Main Course Salads to Try
Tossed with a light and bright lemon dijon vinaigrette, this refreshing Mediterranean Chickpea Salad is made in 15 minutes or less! It features juicy veggies, fresh parsley, plant-based feta cheese and more. Naturally gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan with paleo, Whole30, low-carb and keto options.
- 1 head of Bibb Butter lettuce or Small Romaine (or half a medium Romaine), washed + dried, chopped (about 2 - 2 ½ cups)
- 1 large cucumber diced
- 1 small red bell pepper diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- half of a small red onion peeled
- 1 small avocado or 1/2 a medium avocado
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives pitted and chopped
- 1 14-15 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained omit for paleo, low carb, keto and Whole30 and add protein of choice.
- 1/2 cup crumbled vegan feta cheese we like Violife + more for serving. Omit for paleo and Whole30 or sub with regular if not dairy-free.
- Fine sea salt + freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup avocado oil or olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or preferred sticky liquid sweetener such as sugar-free maple syrup or yacon syrup (omit for Whole30)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper to taste
- 1 small clove garlic finely minced
- Gluten-free/grain-free tortilla chips optional, for serving. We like Siete Grain-free tortilla chips.
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl (or shake together in a jar) until combined. Taste and add additional seasonings or sweetener if desired.
Store in the refrigerator while you prepare the ingredients for the salad. Can store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Use a sharp knife to chop the lettuce, followed by dicing the cucumber, red pepper, halve the cherry tomatoes then add them to a large salad bowl, placing all the ingredients next to each other.
Peel the onion then cut into thin slices. Transfer to the salad bowl.
Carefully cut the avocado in half, and remove the pit. Cut into cubes and transfer to the salad bowl.
Add the parsley, drained chickpeas and feta to the salad bowl.
Season the salad with salt and black pepper.
Drizzle the salad with the desired amount of the vinaigrette, and toss until evenly combined.
Serve immediately, topped with extra feta cheese and black pepper if desired.
Grab one tortilla chip to scoop up some salad and enjoy.
Serve dressing on the side if you think you might have leftovers. It's best to store salad and vinaigrette in separate airtight containers in the fridge. The salad will last for up to 2 days and the dressing will last for up to 4.
If salad and dressing have already been combined, enjoy leftovers within 1-2 days. After a while, the vinaigrette will start to draw liquid from the veggies and water down the dish.