Chopped Chickpea Salad
This Chopped Chickpea Salad, loaded with crunchy vegetables, pickled condiments, cheese, and (of course) a full can of chickpeas, is a perfect representation of how I’ve been eating lately. It’s a hearty vegetarian main dish that’s colorful and nutritious but doesn’t feel like a sacrifice. Cheese, homemade croutons, and a slightly spicy dressing turn the bowl of greens into something you actually want to eat, full of interest, crunch, and so much flavor.
Chopped Chickpea Salad Ingredient Notes
- Dressing: It’s a classic red wine vinaigrette with a kick. Red pepper flakes infuse the salad with a subtle spice that you don’t usually get from your greens. Yum!
- Veggies: Crunch is the name of the game here. I love a mix of iceberg lettuce and red cabbage because they offer great texture and they’re sturdy enough to hold up toppings. I don’t think a softer lettuce would work here.
- Pickled Things: I don’t think a salad is complete without something deliciously tangy, whether that’s pepperoncini, olives, pickled red onions, or actual pickles.
- Chickpeas: This is your source of protein. Feel free to swap in chicken or any other type of bean if you prefer.
- Cheese: This is what makes a salad exciting to eat. I like a combination of something creamy to contrast all of that crunch (such as feta or mozzarella) plus Parmesan cheese for added umami and salt.
- Croutons: So, they’re not really croutons. I don’t usually feel like heating the oven up to make proper croutons on a weeknight, so all I do is toast a few slices of thick bread until super golden-brown and crunchy. Then I drizzle the slices with olive oil, season with a pinch of salt, and chop them into pieces. Easy!
How to Make Chopped Chickpea Salad
In a measuring cup or jar, add all of the dressing ingredients through red pepper flakes. Season with 1 tsp salt and as many cranks of pepper as you’d like. Whisk or shake until combined.
To a large bowl, add all salad ingredients through Parmesan cheese. Toast the bread until deeply golden brown and crisp (drizzle generously with olive oil and season with salt, if desired), then chop into bite sized pieces and add to the bowl with the salad. Pour as much of the dressing as you’d like over the salad and toss. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary, then serve.
More filling salad recipes
Chopped Chickpea Salad
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, pressed, grated, or finely chopped
- 1 tsp honey mustard (or 1/4 tsp honey plus 3/4 tsp mustard)
- ½ tsp oregano
- ¾ tsp red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ head iceberg lettuce (about 12 oz), sliced in half lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
- 1/4 head red cabbage (about 8 oz), thinly sliced crosswise
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced or finely chopped
- 1 cup pepperoncini (about 4 oz), thinly sliced or left whole, if you’d like
- ½ cup kalamata, green or black olives (about 3 oz), pitted and sliced
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas
- 8 oz feta or mozzarella cheese, crumbled or chopped (about 1 heaping cup)
- ½ oz Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about ¼ cup)
- 4 thick slices of bread (about 6 oz)
- In a measuring cup or jar, add olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, honey mustard, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Season with 1 tsp salt and as many cranks of pepper as you’d like. Whisk or shake until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- To a large bowl, add lettuce, cabbage, onion, pepperoncini, olives, chickpeas, and both cheeses.
- Toast the bread until deeply golden brown and crisp (drizzle generously with olive oil and season with salt, if desired), then chop into bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl with the salad. Pour as much of the dressing as you’d like over the salad and toss. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary, then serve.
- Note: In an earlier version of this recipe (when it was photographed), I added cucumber. Upon further testing, I removed it from the ingredients because I didn't think the recipe needed it and it just added another ingredient. If you love it, go ahead and add!