This easy Mediterranean chickpea salad with fresh herbs and a garlicky lemon dressing gets spooned into creamy avocado halves for a protein-packed, vegetarian meal in one.
While we’re all fans of pinning, liking, and bookmarking new recipes, most of the time we’re making the same few recipes over and over again. In fact, a study of 2,000 adults in the U.K. revealed that while Brits cook nearly every night, they average only six recipes in their cooking repertoire.
That’s why trying new spins on favorite recipes is an easy way to add a fresh take to just about any meal. I mean, there are a WHOLE lot of ways to prepare a basic chicken breast, but by starting with a foundation then tweaking a little to the right or a dash to the left you can turn a favorite base recipe into something fresh and new—just like this healthy bean salad twist.
It’s likely that the most popular email I get after subscribers sign up for my newsletter (sign up here—it’s free!) is the request for more healthy Mediterranean-style recipes. Honey, I am so totally with you. This vegetarian Mediterranean meal came to me on a whim, where the craving for one of my favorite healthy salads and my eternal love of creamy avocados intersected in the most obvious way: the creation of these Mediterranean chickpea salad stuffed avocados.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad Stuffed Avocados
At first blush this simple vegetarian recipe may not look like a full-blown meal, but you take a closer look, all of the nutritional components are totally represented. Protein, good carbs, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients…the gang’s all here!
The base of this dish is an incredibly easy bean salad from my recipe archives. It calls for ingredients I nearly always have on hand, making it a recipe I can almost always make on the fly when I’m feeling virtuous in my healthy eating endeavors.
Here’s what you’ll need to make these stuffed avocados with Mediterranean salad mash up:
- Chickpeas and/or cannenllini or other white beans
- Red bell pepper
- Fresh parsley
- Red onion
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Kosher salt and pepper
How to Make Mediterranean Salad Stuffed Avocados
This salad combination couldn’t be easier to make and while it’s one you can absolutely make on the fly, it’s a wunderkind example of meal prep and planning success stories.
Here are some basic tips to making it:
- Chop ingredients in the same bite size pieces. This makes every forkful a flavorful one.
- Canned beans are A-okay, and use what you have! Chickpeas aka garbanzo beans are probably my favorite bean and the one I use most often in salads. But don’t feel limited—use your bean! Pretty much any bean will work in this salad, although I’d avoid pork and beans :) . This time around I used a combo of cannellini beans and garbanzo beans. Be sure to rinse and drain the canned beans well, and gently toss with the dressing so they don’t break apart.
- Use your leafy celery greens. Celery leaves don’t get nearly enough love. Chop them just as you would any leafy herb or green and add right along to the salad.
- Choose firm avocados for stuffing. How to tell if you’re avocado is ripe? Check out the info below.
How to Tell If An Avocado Is Ripe
The almighty avocado. It’s one of nature’s most complete foods thanks to good for you fats, essential fatty acids and phytochemical plus vitamins. It’s a nutritional powerhouse and pretty much has it all going on but choosing a ripe avocado can be a guessing game. If your fruit isn’t ripe enough you’ll never be able to peel it or mash it. Too ripe and the avocado flavor is bitter and the texture mealy.
So how to tell if you have a ripe avocado?
- First, gently squeeze an avocado and feel for just a bit of softness and give.
- Then, take a look at the brown nub of the stem and pluck it off. If the stem comes off easily and shows green underneath, the avocado is ripe and ready to eat.
- Check under the stem, if it is brown, the avocado is likely too ripe and could have dark spots inside.
- If the stem is stubborn and won’t budge, the avocado isn’t ready yet.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad Variations
As mentioned above, nearly any firm bean, canned or dried and soaked, will work in this salad—except ultra creamy ones like refried or pork and beans.
Try other colors of bell peppers for the salad, my vote going to the sweeter side of yellows or oranges over green, or a rainbow connection of all.
Flat leaf parsley, and plenty of it, with lemon juice gives this salad it’s fresh flavor. Try cilantro with lime juice for a change up if that’s what you’re craving now.
How Long Do Stuffed Avocados Last?
The first time I made these stuffed avocados I ate them in the same sitting. However, when I made them to photograph for this post, I had several days worth to eat for lunch later. To keep the stuffed avocados from browning in the refrigerator, I gave the avocado flesh an extra squeeze of lemon juice, as the citric acid in the juice keeps browning at bay.
The stuffed avocados lasted 3-4 days in the refrigerator with minimal browning. However, they are definitely best served when made.
The chickpea salad on its own will last 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
More Avocado Salad Recipes
- Citrus Shrimp And Avocado Salad
- Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad With Chicken
- BLT Pasta Salad With Avocado
- Greek Salad With Avocado
- Citrus Fennel And Avocado Salad
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.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad Stuffed Avocados
The perfect light lunch, this easy Mediterranean chickpea salad with fresh herbs and a garlicky lemon dressing gets spooned into creamy avocado halves for a protein-packed, vegetarian meal in one.
- 30 ounces chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or other white bean , rinsed and drained (or 3 cups cooked chickpeas)
- 1 medium red bell pepper , chopped
- 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley , about 1 bunch
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery plus leaves , about 2 ribs
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 to 1 1/2 lemons)
- 2 cloves garlic , pressed or minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 avocados
In a large bowl, add the chickpeas, bell pepper, parsley, red onion, and celery.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and garlic, and season to taste with the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the dressing to the chickpea mixture and toss to coat.
Slice the avocados in half and discard the pit. Carefully peel the skin from the avocado. Spoon 1/3 cup chickpea salad into each half and serve more on the side if desired.
Serve immediately or refrigerate the salad separately for up to 4 days and prepare the avocado just before serving.
More Healthy Mediterranean Recipes
- 50 Favorite Mediterranean Diet Recipes
- Mediterranean Orzo Salad
- Greek Chicken Gyro Salad
- Easy Chicken Gyros With Tzatziki Sauce
- Mediterranean Grilled Balsamic Chicken With Olive Tapenade
- Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl With Broccoli And Tomato
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