This Mediterranean salad has everything I love about salads— healthy ingredients, the oodles of texture, exciting flavors — but what makes it my absolute favourite is the fact that it requires ingredients that:
- I always have on hand, and
- Taste excellent in any season.
Loaded with protein- and fiber- rich beans, vitamin packed veggies and herbs, exotic yet mild spices, healthy fats and delightful creamy cheese, this salad is so hearty and satisfying that it can stand alone as it’s own vegetarian meal with the toasted pita chips. You can also serve it as side with chicken, fish or any entree of your choice.
What ingredients to use?
Similar to this Black-eyed Beans Salad and this Tabbouleh (another fave!), the great thing about this salad is that it is made from pantry staples and very simple fresh ingredients. Here’s what’s in it:
Chickpeas are the base of the salad and replace traditional greens. I simply use chickpeas from a can here, boil them shortly to get the desired melt-in-mouth consistency. You can also use the dried beans. Soak them overnight in water and cook until soft.
They’re essential for a crisp, fresh crunch. I prefer using Persian or English cucumbers. They are both thin-skinned enough to be served unpeeled, and both are nearly seedless.
For a juicy burst of flavor and texture! Cherry tomatoes or Roma both work fine. Remove the seeds if using a large fruit!
– Feta Cheese
One of the best things in life. You’ll love the nutty beans with feta crumbles added on top. If you want to make this recipe vegan, omit the feta and you are good to go!
Black pitted olives add a very Mediterranean touch. Use Kalamata or any other flavorful type of black olive. Make sure to adjust the quantity of salt accordingly as both feta and olives are quite salty!
Chopped prasley for flecks of green and fresh flavors. Mint can be a good replacement.
– Fresh Pomegranate
The red edible ruby adds sweet, colorful crunch to every bite. You can leave it out but I would highly recommend adding if easily available.
Za’atar is the spice blend for this salad recipe. Made of wild thyme, sumac and toasted sesame seeds, it has a fine nutty, earthy and slightly citric taste that adds depth to the salad and elevates the flavor of the chickpeas.
– Thin Flatbread
Khubz, Lawash, Roti or any thin pita bread would work to make the crispy chips. Drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled generously with za’atar, the flatbread is first cut into wedges and then baked in oven.
Avoid mixing bread chips in the salad and always place on the side to ensure they stay crispy.
Good quality olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice are all you need in addition to the above ingredients! You can also add yoghurt mixed with tahini on top for variations.
How to serve ?
Right out of the bowl. 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.
– With Roasted Eggplants
I have shared the idea already on the blog here!
– With Grilled Chicken or Meat
This salad would also pair nicely with a grilled chicken breast, fish, kebabs or any meat dishes of your choice.
A step-by-step video tutorial is available in my Insta highlights. Do have a look before you start making the salad! Come back to rate the recipe and if convenient, do send me a photo of your remake. I love receiving your feedback!
If you love this chickpea salad recipe, also try my….
Mediterranean Chickpea Nachos Salad
- 3 thin pita breads Khubz
- 1/2 cup olive oil preferably extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp Za'atar
- 1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas drained
- 2 +1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 + 1 Tbsp Za’atar spice blend divided
- 2 + 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Roma tomato diced
- 1 medium cucumber diced
- 1/3 cup black olives pitted
- 1/3 cup parsley chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate arils
- 1/2 cup feta crumbled
- sesame seeds
- Preheat the oven to 200 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
- Drizzle a pita with olive oil and generously sprinkle with zaatar. Stack second pita evenly on top of the first and rub a bit so the back side gets some spice mixture too. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle wit a tablespoon of za'atar. Repeat the step one more time and use a sharp knife to slice the pitas into 8 small wedges each. Arrange the wedges evenly across the baking sheet and bake until they are lightly crisp and golden, about 10 minutes.
- Boil the chickpeas until completely soft. Drain the excess water.
- While the chickpeas are still warm, add 2 tablespoon each of lemon juice, olive oil and za'atar. Add in 1/4 teaspoon salt and give a good mix.
- Allow to cool completely.
- Combine the za'atar spiced chickpeas, chopped tomato, chopped cucumber, parsley, olives and pomegranate arils.
- Now add 1 teaspoon each of lemon juice, olive oil, and za'tar. Toss and adjust salt.
- Throw some crumbled feta cheese and pomegranate seeds on top, then finish off with a light sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley, sumac, sesame seeds etc.
- Serve immediately with crispy pita chips.
- You can use dried chickpeas or canned. Make sure to boil them until completely tender.
- Adding salt, olive oil, lemon juice and za'atar to warm chickpeas ensures flavourful beans.
- Add the fresh ingredients once the chickpeas have completely cooled, else the tomatoes and cucumbers tend to soften.
- Fresh pomegranate arils can also be replaced with fresh mangoes or blueberries in this salad.
- Be careful with salt! Olives and feta are quite salty.