Quinoa and Chickpea Salad is packed with vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean. With healthy ingredients and zesty herbs, it’s a refreshing and nutritious dish perfect for any occasion. Pack a picnic for the beach, make meal prep a cinch, or prepare as your new favorite summer side dish.
Mediterranean Quinoa and Chickpea Bowl
Ready to taste the rainbow? Quinoa and Chickpea Salad is a colorful dish that can brighten up any mealtime. The Mediterranean inspired flavors are light enough for a summertime side dish or a satisfying lunch option. I keep recipes like this one, or Mediterranean Orzo Salad and Chopped Chickpea Salad in rotation for meal prep options because the flavors develop even better on day two!
Three reasons to whip this recipe up:
- Easy to toss together- especially if you already have some cooked quinoa on hand. Perfect for last minute invites or dinner guests.
- Travels well- pack for lunch, picnics, road trips and days at the beach.
- It’s super customizable – make it vegan/dairy free with vegan cheese or cutting out the feta.
Quinoa and Chickpea Salad is vibrantly colorful. Summer produce such as red peppers, spinach, and cucumbers are the heart and soul of this recipe. Splashed with in a homemade dressing to make the flavors sing. It’s a staple recipe in my kitchen and I hope it becomes your go-to quinoa salad recipe, too!
Ingredients and Notes
Chopped Vegetables. The quintessential summer mix of cucumbers, red onion, and red pepper make a vibrant base. About 3 cups. Sometimes I add kalamata olives, but that’s optional.
Chickpeas. Also known as garbanzo beans, these are usually found in the canned goods aisle or in the international foods aisle.
Greens. I love this recipe to use up leftover spinach. Spinach, arugula, parsley, basil, or mint are good options depending on your preference.
Goat Cheese or Feta Cheese. One of my favorites to add to any Mediterranean inspired meal because of its earthy, tangy taste. It mixes in seamlessly and holds up well after tossing.
Salad Dressing. A simple olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and oregano dressing made below.The dressing melds the flavors and brightens them without overpowering.
Tips and tricks
- Let the quinoa cool completely first. Warm quinoa will wilt the fresh veggies.
- This is great for leftover quinoa or you can cook the quinoa 1 or 2 days ahead of time and keep covered in the fridge.
- I like to add all of the ingredients to my largest mixing bowl and pour the dressing over before mixing.
Unleash your culinary imagination and tantalize your taste buds with endless variations for your quinoa and chickpea salad. Here are some ideas to inspire your dream creation:
- Vegetable variations: Arugula, spinach, kale, mint, parseley and basil make great additions. Banana peppers and other peppers, green onions, pickled red onions, riced cauliflower are all perfect companions to quinoa and chickpeas.
- Dressing customization: Personalize your dressing by experimenting with a variety of herbs and seasonings like thyme or mustard seed. Alternatively, try the Feta Greek dressing or my homemade white vinaigrette for an extra tangy boost.
- Protein Options: Elevate your salad by incorporating leftover roasted chicken, baked or pan-seared salmon, grilled shrimp, or canned tuna.
- Add nuts: Enhance the texture with the addition of walnuts, pecans, or almonds, providing a delightful crunch. Let your creativity soar!
Serving and Storage Suggestions
Store. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Lasts 3-4 days. This does not freeze well.
Make Ahead. The dressing will soak into the salad over time, so it is best to leave it and the feta separate if you make ahead.
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Quinoa and Chickpea Salad
- 1 Fine Mesh Colander for rinsing quinoa
- 1 cup Uncooked quinoa rinsed well
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup Red Onion diced
- 2 cups English Cucumber sliced and quartered
- 1 Red Bell Pepper chopped
- 1 can Chickpeas (15.5 ounces) rinsed and drained
- ½ cup Pitted Kalamata olives sliced or halved, optional
- 1 cup Chopped Fresh Herbs Spinach, arugula, parsley, basil, or mint are good options.
- ½ cup Goat Cheese or Feta or skip for Vegan
- 2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Pepper & Salt each
- 2 teaspoon Oregano or 2 tablespoon fresh herbs
- ¼ teaspoon Salt & pepper
- Make dressing by whisking all of the ingredients in a small bowl or shaking in a jar. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- add the rinsed quinoa and water according to package directions. Boil the mixture over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat to medium-low for a simmer. Simmer uncovered until the quinoa has absorbed all water, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool completely.
- In a large bowl, add all of the salad ingredients to the quinoa followed by the dressing. Toss to coat.
- Taste and season with additional lemon juice or salt and pepper.