Classic Mediterranean flavors are what make up this easy Greek chickpea salad with fresh veg, heart-healthy fats, and bright herbs keeping it light, lean and tangy.
The most popular recipe request I’m emailed on the regular after readers sign up for my newsletter (if you haven’t yet, here’s how), it’s the ask for more easy Mediterranean recipes. And if there’s one ask I’m more than happy to fulfill on the regular, it’s to make more easy Mediterranean recipes for all of us to enjoy. Because like you, I love eating the Mediterranean Diet way too.
This chickpea salad is not one of those that calls for unusual ingredients or mastered knife skills. This baby is basic, fresh, flavorful, and easy to pull together with just one bowl, making it a quick side dish, or if you’re trying to eat more veg like me, as a healthy vegetarian main meal.
Why the World Loves Chickpeas
If you asked me which bean is the only bean I could eat for the rest of my life, it would be the chickpea, and eaters around the world agree, making the chickpea the most popular legume in the world. And did you know? People who eat just 1/2 cup of beans a day live at least 4 years longer than those who don’t?
Chickpeas straight from the can, aka garbanzo beans, are one of the most convenient sources of vegetarian protein there is. High in protein, low in fat, plus a good source of fiber, naturally gluten-free chickpeas keep you fuller longer, thereby helping with weight loss. They offer a firm, somewhat nutty bite that adds richness and bulk to vegetarian recipes that actually fill you up, making them the perfect protein for this Greek salad.
I like the Goya or Kroger’s Simple Truth Organics brands of chickpeas best. Rinse and drain the chickpeas well before using.
What’s In this Simple Chickpea Salad
Classic Greek and Mediterranean flavors are what make up this easy salad. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Canned chickpeas
- Cherry tomatoes
- English cucumber
- Kalamata olives
- Red onion
- Feta cheese
- Fresh dill
- Dried oregano
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Red wine vinegar
- Sugar (optional)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
How to Make This Greek Chickpea Salad
One bowl is all you need. Following this salad’s lead with a simple ingredient list is the simple fact you only need one bowl to to make and dress it in. Fewer dishes to clean up later? I’m down with that.
Make it quick with canned chickpeas. Choose a high quality brand of chickpeas that are large and firm, and packed in their viscous cooking water that runs clear and not cloudy. This chickpea water is called aquafaba and is used in vegan cooking in place of egg whites, where it can be whipped into a foam or a meringue.
Why English cucumbers work best in salads like this. Cucumbers add crunch to any salad, but the variety you choose for this salad makes a big difference. English cucumbers are long and slender with a more tender skin than traditional slicing cucumbers found in the grocery store. This tender skin is why they’re sold wrapped in plastic and why there’s no need to peel away their dark green skin. English cucumbers also have fewer, smaller seeds for a sweeter fruit with a less bitter bite.
This Salad’s Signature Greek Flavor Makers
For the tang of it: Kalamata olives. Olives are a mainstay in Greek recipes, with kalamata olives being the most popular on the puckered block. These olives add a smooth tang to any salad and can be commonly found in the grocery store. Whole olives that have not yet been pitted offer the most flavor, but pitted olives are obviously the most convenient.
Choose block feta cheese. As I suggest in every recipe, avoid buying crumbled feta cheese and buy block feta cheese in brine instead. Pre-crumbled feta is treated with a coating so it doesn’t stick together, but also changes the flavor and texture of the cheese. Instead, look for an authentic feta cheese sold in brine for the creamiest tang.
Use a combo of fresh and dried herbs. This salad calls for fresh dill and dried oregano. But can you use all dried or all fresh instead? Sure! However, much prefer the delicate flavor of fresh dill over dried, and on the flip side, I prefer the more pungent zing of dried oregano over fresh. It’s all about your own taste so feel free to swap if you’d like.
Favorite Mediterranean herbs to mix and match in this salad, dried or fresh:
Ultra Simple Greek Salad Dressing
While my favorite Greek salad dressing can surely be used, I kept things ultra simple and clean this time around. Drizzle the olive oil and vinegar directly on the salad and sprinkle a bit of sugar to mellow the sharp vinegar notes. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, then toss to coat.
Feel free to use another acid in place of the red wine vinegar such as white balsamic vinegar, champagne vinegar or lemon juice.
What to Serve with Greek Chickpea Salad
- Grilled Greek Chicken Kebabs
- Greek Turkey Burgers With Tzatziki Sauce
- The Best Greek Chicken Marinade
- Easy Chicken Gyros With Tzatziki Sauce
- Pork Souvlaki With Lemon Rice
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Greek Chickpea Salad
- 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans , rinsed and drained
- 1 English cucumber , halved and sliced into coins
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives , drained and halved
- 1/4 cup slivered red onion
- 6 ounces feta cheese , crumbled
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar , optional
- In a large bowl, add the drained chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onion, half of the feta cheese and the dill. Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar then season with the kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and sugar. Toss gently and add the rest of the feta cheese. Adjust seasoning and serve or refrigerate overnight.
More Mediterranean Salads and Sides to Try
- Creamy Yogurt Cucumber Salad Recipe
- Greek Cobb Salad
- Greek Salad With Avocado
- 50 Favorite Mediterranean Diet Recipes
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
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