If your goal is to make a filling salad for dinner that won't leave you reaching for frozen pizza an hour later, then you need to make sure protein-packed chickpeas are front and center. With a chameleon-like ability to adapt to whatever flavors that surround it, this legume can be combined with any number of fresh greens and veggies for a wholesome, nourishing salad designed for dinner satisfaction.
Your Template for Chopped Chickpea Salad
Inspired by easy-to-eat chopped salad, this version is the best dinner salad to keep in your meal plan rotation. In a departure from your standard green salad with a big base of lettuce, this one uses leafy greens as a supporting ingredient and leans on chickpeas as the base. Since they're packed with protein and fiber, we find they automatically make for a more filling meal.
Delicious, filling salads don't require a recipe so much as a smart template and plenty of fresh inspiration and ingredients, which is precisely how this chopped chickpea salad comes together. It all boils down to six key components.
- Chickpeas: Canned chickpeas are our pick for convenience, but you can also cook up a batch of dried beans, if you like.
- Chopped greens: We're partial to crunchy romaine, spicy arugula, or crisp red cabbage. You can even toss in some fresh herbs.
- Red onion: This brings a little bit of sweetness and a little bit of bite. Rinse them under cold water if you want a milder flavor.
- At least 2 chopped vegetables: Tomatoes, cucumbers, diced zucchini, corn — it's all fair game.
- More protein: Give your salad an extra boost of protein with cheese, sliced hard-boiled egg, or nuts.
- Dressing: The red wine vinaigrette listed below goes with pretty much everything, although you can also swap in another favorite.
Customize to Make It Your Own
With this template in mind, we created three versions of the chopped chickpea salad to show you just how easy it is to customize.
- Inspired by a classic diner-style Greek salad, this version mixes chickpeas with crunchy chopped romaine, hopped cucumbers, tomatoes, bell pepper, salty olives, and creamy feta.
- The Italian-style salad starts with chickpeas, then blends in spicy arugula and sweet basil, tomatoes, roasted red pepper, and creamy mozzarella bites.
- Lastly, the slaw-style salad combines chickpeas with shredded red cabbage strands, chopped cucumbers and carrots, crunchy peanuts, and a pop of fresh cilantro.
Weeknight Veggie Dinners
Chopped Chickpea Salad
For the dressing:
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
Version 1: Italian
2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup small fresh mozzarella balls (bocconcini)
1 cup arugula
1/2 cup small-dice red onion
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Version 2: Greek
Version 3: Asian
Make the dressing: Whisk the vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes to give the garlic time to mellow. Whisk in the oil until the dressing is emulsified.
Make the salad: For the version you plan to make, place all the ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss to combine.
- Make ahead: The dressing can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.
- Storage: Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.