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 all of you! Because of the protein from the chickpeas, it’s hearty enough to be a meal on its own, but it can also double as a healthy side dish. The garbanzo beans hold up well in the fridge, so you can easily make it ahead for parties and lunches. And with a mix of beans, herbs, and fresh vegetables all cut to a similar size, you get a delicious blend of flavors in every bite.
I’ve made many chickpea salad variations, 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’ve been loving this one and their plain goat cheese on salads, pasta, zucchini noodles, and more. It’s fresh and tangy, with a touch of sweetness from the honey. In my opinion, the new Roth Chèvre varieties (try the wild blueberry on your next cheese board!) are the perfect cheeses for summer entertaining.
In this recipe, I played off the cheese’s sweetness, adding toasted cumin seeds and Medjool dates to give the salad an aromatic, sweet & savory flavor. We really love this one, and I hope you do too, whether you serve it with dinner, pack it up for lunch, or bring it to your Labor Day gatherings!
Chickpea Salad Recipe Ingredients
This chickpea salad starts with a bright, spiced dressing made from lemon juice & zest, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, and toasted cumin seeds. I whisk it together in the bottom of a big bowl and then toss in the chickpeas, as well as these components:
- Goat cheese. In this recipe we use Roth Honey Chèvre, which is a fresh milk goat cheese with a delightful creamy texture and a lightly sweet, mellow flavor.
- Medjool dates. Soft & chewy, they contrast perfectly with the earthy goat cheese and the cumin-spiced dressing.
- Persian cucumbers. They’re essential for a crisp, fresh crunch. I especially like to use Persian cucumbers because of their small size. Cut into little half-moons, they’re perfect for pairing with garbanzos.
- Cherry tomatoes. They add juicy, bursty texture.
- Roasted red peppers. 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 would be fine in its place.
- Chopped fresh parsley. Sprinkle it in for fresh flavor and flecks of green.
- Roasted chickpeas. These guys add a great crunch. If you don’t feel like roasting chickpeas, a handful of toasted almonds would be good too.
- Basil or mint. I like to top my salad with leaves of fresh herbs for a light, herbal finish.
Aside from the pan for toasting 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 & pestle, and whisk them together with the other dressing ingredients.
Add the veggies, dates, chickpeas, and parsley, and toss. Then, dot on the 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 a balance of flavors you love. You might need an extra pinch of salt or squeeze of lemon. Don’t be afraid to try your chickpea salad before serving!
- Cut everything to a similar size. The best bites of chickpea salad happen when you get a little of everything – fresh herbs, creamy cheese, sweet dates, juicy veggies, etc. Cut your cucumbers, dates, and tomatoes into a small, even dice so you can scoop them up along with the chickpeas.
- Save 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, dot a few leaves on the top of the packed salad before you head out the door in the morning. The same could go for the goat cheese, depending on your preferences. Over time, the goat cheese starts 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. See this post for more of my best meal prep tips!