Chickpea Salad

by Caroline
Published: Last Updated on

This chickpea salad recipe is super simple to make in advance, and is so filling and delicious! It is made with chopped fresh peppers, diced red onion, fresh herbs and spices, and sweet dried cranberries. It’s tangy, fresh, and a great side dish or topping for a salad. 

I once stayed at a hotel that served chickpea salad with the continental breakfast. This is not something I would have traditionally expected at an American breakfast buffet, but it was amazing. Since then, I have been looking for a recipe that came close to that chickpea salad. 

I noticed that the hotel was using a prepackaged chickpea salad. From the way the container looked, I guessed they might have purchased it from a wholesaler like Costco or BJs. As it so happens, BJ’s Wellsley Farms brand has a chickpea salad you can purchase. 

I went online and took note of the ingredients on the Wellsley Farms chickpea salad. Everything on the ingredients list seemed similar to the chickpea salad I had enjoyed at the hotel. I tinkered with the recipe, using the ingredients on the container as my north star, and came up with this chickpea recipe. 

Some of the quantities and measurements were inspired by one of my favorite blogger’s (Once Upon a Chef) version of a chickpea salad recipe

I love this recipe because once your ingredients are all chopped up (which you can do in advance), all you have to do is toss all the ingredients together! Such an easy meal, side dish, or salad topper. 

Chickpea salad can be a meal in and of itself, or eaten alongside salmon, on top of caesar salad, or with grilled chicken.  

Chickpea salad in small bowl

Chickpea Salad Ingredients:

  • Chickpeas – This recipe calls for 30-ounces (two 15 ounce cans, or one 29-ounce can… I’m not sure why the cans don’t come in a clean 30 ounces…). That shakes out to be about 2.5 cups of cooked chickpeas (if you’re using dried chickpeas). 
  • Red and Green Peppers – Nice and bright color! Feel free to use what you have on hand. 
  • Red Onions – This recipe calls for a quick ice bath soak for your red onions to reduce some of the bite of the onion (if that doesn’t bother you, then feel free to skip it!)
  • Dried Cranberries – A handful of these adds a bit of sweetness and a layer of texture. If you hate cranberries, leave them out. You could substitute raisins, chopped dates, or dried cherries. Sometimes I chop my cranberries into smaller bites if they are clumped and stuck together.
  • Fresh Herbs – This chickpea recipe uses chopped parsley, but you could substitute cilantro if you have that on hand. Italian parsley and flat leaf parsley both work! 
  • Kosher Salt – Please, please pay attention to the branch of of salt you’re using (and do NOT use Iodized salt!!). If you’re using Morton’s salt instead of Diamond Crystal Kosher salt, halve the amount of salt and adjust to taste. 
  • Extra Virgin Olive & Vegetable Oil – If you prefer to use all EVOO, feel free. However, I would not omit the EVOO. You can substitute canola oil, sunflower oil, or another similar oil for the vegetable oil. 
  • Lemon juice – Use fresh lemon juice for this recipe. If you’re really in a pinch, the lemon juice from concentrate is an adequate substitute. 
  • Red Wine Vinegar – It’s hard to find an exact substitute for this, but if you don’t have red wine vinegar on hand or don’t want to add it to your pantry, you can use apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar, as a last resort). 
  • Honey – A dash of honey balances out the tangy-ness. You could substitute this with a small amount of white sugar, maple syrup, or your favorite sugar substitute. 
  • Seasoning – Cumin, Italian seasoning, and pepper give this chickpea salad a little flavor boost! These are some ingredients listed on Wellsley Farm’s version. 

What to Eat with Chickpea Salad

This recipe is definitely best served cold. My favorite way to eat the chickpea salad is… on top of salad! I like to add this to my burger salad bowls for some added protein, or on top of a simple bed of chopped kale. 

You can also eat the chickpea salad as a side dish. While most people may not eat this for breakfast (I promise, it’s not as weird as it sounds!!), it could be eaten alongside some savory scrambled eggs or a tofu scramble. 

Chickpea salad can be a meal in and of itself, or eaten alongside salmon, on top of caesar salad, or with grilled chicken.  

Chickpea Salad

Substitutions & Modifications

  • Cheese – Add a handful of fresh crumbled feta or goat cheese. 
  • Red Pepper Flakes – A pinch to add some kick! 
  • To simplify the recipe even more, you can omit some of the mix-ins if you don’t have them on hand. I wouldn’t skimp on the onion or other seasonings, but you can play around with the vegetable mix-ins. 
  • Chopped Italian Meats – A half cup of diced salami or other hard Italian meat elevates this chickpea salad to a new level! 

How to Store Chickpea Salad

To store the chickpea salad, wrap the bowl tightly in plastic wrap, or transfer to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator. The salad is best eaten within two days, but is good for up to four days (it starts to get mushier around day three). If you’re using dried chickpeas, you might be able to squeeze a few more days out of the salad because those chickpeas are typically less soft than the canned ones. 

Freezing Instructions

Any leftovers can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for up to three months. When you are ready to eat the chickpea salad, remove the container from the freezer and allow it to defrost in the refrigerator (do not microwave the salad… I mean you can, if you want to run the risk of eating warm chickpea salad). 

Chickpea Salad

An easy-to-make, filling chickpea salad that can be served as a side dish, on a bed of greens, or eaten straight from the bowl!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 7 cups
Calories 216 kcal


  • 1 Large mixing bowl


  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 2 cans chickpeas (30 ounces total), drained and rinsed (see notes)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or canola oil)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon, from one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, roughtly chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup green pepper (about 1/2 a pepper), diced
  • 1 cup red pepper (about 1/2 a pepper), diced
  • 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher salt (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar, or a dash of honey


  • Soak the chopped onions in ice cold water for approximately 10 minutes, drain, and set aside. This helps reduce the bitterness of the onions.
  • In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more lemon, sugar, salt and pepper. Cover the salad tightly with plastic wrap, or transfer to an airtight container, and place it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  • When you are ready to serve the chickpea salad, toss to combine and adjust seasoning as necessary. The salad can be made two days in advance.


  • This recipe will last up to three days in the refrigerator (the chickpeas might start to get mushy beyond that). 
Freezing Instructions 
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to three months. Defrost and enjoy.
Keyword chickepea salad, Chickpea salad, Healthy, quick and easy, Vegetarian

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1 comment

Sue S. August 29, 2023 - 9:17 pm

5 stars
So easy to throw together and a great vegetarian option!!!


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