An easy, healthy Chickpea Salad recipe with fresh vegetables and a light lemon basil dressing. It only takes 25 minutes to make, and is great for make-ahead lunches, picnics, potlucks, etc. (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.)
This Lemon Chickpea Salad is so light and fresh, but really satisfying.
It combines a variety of colorful, crunchy veggies with hearty chickpeas. Then it is tossed in a tangy lemon basil dressing.
Feel free to change it up with your own favorite vegetables or whatever you have on hand however!
Ingredients for Lemon Chickpea Salad
For this recipe you will toss together in a large bowl:
- Chickpeas (garbanzo beans): These are a great source of plant-based protein, fiber, and many other nutrients.
- Bell pepper: Either orange, yellow, or red bell pepper will work.
- Cucumber: Either an English/hothouse cucumber or garden cucumber will work.
- Cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes: Or you can substitute with roma or other garden tomatoes if desired. I like cherry/grape tomatoes because they are so sweet and extra-flavorful.
- Red onion: Or substitute green onion for a milder taste.
- Fresh lemon juice: You will need about one lemon for this recipe, but you can add more if desired. (Or you could even include lemon zest in the dressing for extra flavor.)
- White wine vinegar: Red wine vinegar works great too.
- Garlic clove: Or use a half teaspoon dried garlic powder instead.
- Dried basil: Or dried oregano or Italian seasonings. You can also include fresh herbs in this salad which is delicious as well! Fresh parsley, fresh basil, cilantro, chives, or dill are great.
Change it up how you see fit! A few ideas include:
Cheese: Stir in your favorite dairy-free cheese like vegan feta crumbles, parmesan cheese, etc.
Veggies: Include other vegetables in the mixture like avocado, artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, celery, etc.
Olive oil: I keep this salad oil-free, but you can absolutely drizzle a tablespoon of high quality extra-virgin olive oil in the lemon dressing as well. (Dijon mustard would be tasty, too!)
Side or main: Serve this chickpea salad as either a side dish or main dish. The recipe yields about 6 medium bowls, or 8-10 smaller servings.
Serving suggestions: Enjoy as is, or serve it over greens/spinach, tossed with quinoa, or serve with pitas.
Make-ahead: It is also a great meal made in advance for picnics, potlucks, meal prep, or take-along lunches.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. We find they keep for about 3-4 days.
Tip: The flavors taste even better after they chill in the refrigerator and marinate for a few hours.
Chickpea Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing
- 30 oz. canned chickpeas (two 15 oz. cans)
- 1 bell pepper (I use yellow)
- 1 medium carrot
- 1/2 cucumber
- 8 oz. cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced (or green onion for milder flavor)
For the lemon basil dressing:
- Juice from 1 lemon (about 3 Tbsp.)
- 2-3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic (or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder)
- 1 tsp. dried basil (or fresh herbs)
- 1/8 tsp. salt (more to taste)
- Optional: 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- Make dressing: Mince garlic. In a small bowl, add all dressing ingredients and whisk to combine. (Use 2-3 Tbsp. vinegar depending on how tangy you prefer.) Set aside.
- Finely dice bell pepper, carrot, tomato, and cucumber. Place in a large bowl.
- Rinse and drain chickpea and place in bowl with veggies. Pour dressing over top, and mix well to combine.
- Can serve immediately, but tastes best after it chills and marinates in the fridge for at least an hour. (Just give it another stir before serving as the dressing will settle.)
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
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