This 20 minute chickpea salad has a creamy avocado dressing with basil and lemon. It is a great protein source for plant based diets and is perfect to serve at potlucks, summer cookouts, picnic and barbecues.
This easy tasty vegan recipe makes a great side dish for Grilled Lemon Marinated Chicken or goes along with Burgers or grilled pork tenderloin.
Why We Love This Salad
Serve this salad when you want to round out your barbecue menu with a nutritious plant based side dish. In addition to being a great side dish for potlucks to pair with traditional grilled meats, it also serve as a great source of protein for vegetarians. It is a terrific alternative to three bean salad because it is colorful and the flavors pair with a variety of cuisines.
This salad is also great for entertaining because it can be made ahead and sits well and once it is stirred together it doesn’t become soggy when it is made for a picnic or cookout.
I used canned chickpeas, also sometimes called garbanzo beans, for this recipe so that it would come together super fast. Since canned chickpeas are already cooked it saves a lot of time!
Once you open the cans, drain the liquid by pouring them into a strainer. Then rinse off any excess canning liquid with cool tap water.
If you like to cook your beans from scratch you can do that instead. Instructions are below in the expert tips section.
I wanted to make this salad both creamy and vegan, so I used avocado in the dressing to make it thick and creamy (like mayonnaise) but still plant-based. Look for a black skinned and soft avocado, that is not too mushy or past ripe.
Basil and Lemon
For amazing flavor, you’ll need a half cup of chopped fresh basil. This goes right into the food processor with the avocado and it makes the dressing so good!
Look for organic lemon when using lemon for zesting to avoid pesticide residue. Zest the lemon first before cutting it in half to juice it.
I also used red bell pepper, red onion and cucumber. To prevent the cucumber from becoming watery, cut it in half lengthwise, and then scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Then chop the cucumber. Here’s how to dice onion if you need a refresher.
If you do not care for red pepper, you can swap in another color or use a cup or so of cherry tomatoes (cut into halves) instead.
How To Make This Recipe For Chickpea Salad
Puree the avocado with the garlic, lemon, lemon juice, olive oil, basil and salt until it is smooth. You can use a food processor or mini prep to do this. If you don’t own one, you can also do this by hand, but make sure to chop the basil as fine as possible so that it really blends the flavors into the dressing.
Combine the drained chickpeas, chopped bell pepper, cucumber and red onion in a bowl with the parsley.
Mix the dressing into the chickpea salad and stir until it is completely coated with the dressing.
Make Ahead Tips
The best way to make this ahead is to chop the veggies and keep them separate. Once it is stirred together it should be served within four hours.
The dressing keeps well in an airtight container with a layer of plastic wrap pressed against the surface. It may darken slightly but the flavor will be good. If you are concerned about the appearance, it is best to make the dressing and use it within four hours.
FAQs and Expert Tips For Chickpea Salad
Start with 1 cup of dried chickpeas.
Soak them overnight on the countertop in plenty of cool tap water.
Drain, cover with fresh water in a large saucepan and simmer until they are tender
Make sure to monitor the level of the water so that it doesn’t get too low.
Cooking times vary from 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Drain well and cool the chickpeas with cool running water before adding them to the salad.
My lemon vinaigrette or this tarragon vinaigrette would both be good alternatives to the lemon basil avocado dressing. You can also use balsamic vinaigrette instead of these other two options. USe 3/4 cup dressing per batch of salad. Make sure to taste and adjust the seasoning too!
This recipe makes seven cups total, for seven one cup servings. To serve this as a plant based main course, you can double the portions.
More Chickpea Recipes
More Bean Salad Recipes
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This easy tasty vegan chickpea salad has a creamy avocado dressing with basil and lemon. It is a great protein source for plant based diets and is perfect to serve at potlucks, summer cookouts, picnic and barbecues.
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
½ cup chopped basil
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 cup chopped parsley
- Puree avocado, garlic, lemon zest and juice, basil, olive oil and salt in a food processor or mini prep.
- Combine chickpeas, cucumber, red pepper, red onion and parsley in a large bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately, or chill up to 4 hours.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 209
- Sugar: 5 g
- Fat: 11 g
- Carbohydrates: 24 g
- Fiber: 6 g
- Protein: 7 g