Simple, yet delicious! This easy Greek Chickpea Salad is loaded up with bright and refreshing veggies, protein-packed chickpeas and topped off with a punchy red wine vinaigrette. Spruce this salad up with a bit of feta or keep it dairy free by adding your favorite vegan alternative or ditching the cheese altogether. Either way, your taste buds will thank you! | Grain Free + Vegan Option
Given the amount of bright and peppy flavors merging together, there’s something quite soothing about digging into a classic Greek Salad (also know as Horiatiki salad). It’s no wonder it makes for a such a popular side dish in Greek Cuisine.
While this salad certainly shines in warmer weather when all the fresh vegetables are at their peak, there’s never a bad time to indulge in such a healthy, colorful and delicious salad!
Greek Salad Ingredients
Traditional Greek salad is typically made with tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives and feta. Simple That being said, you you can often find additions like capers, green bell peppers, baby spinach, lettuce and more.
This Greek Chickpea Salad recipe stays fairly close to its inspiration with a few minor additions. I suppose you could say it’s more of a greek-style chickpea salad if you want to get technical. What’s inside?
- Cherry Tomatoes: Tomatoes make up the foundation of any Greek Salad recipes. I prefer cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes here because they stay plump and juicy even after dicing. If you prefer you can absolutely use larger vine tomatoes or plum.
- Cucumber: English cucumbers are ideal because they are generally easy to find, they have thinner skin, smaller seeds and a slightly sweeter flavor. Persian cucumbers (small and narrow) are also a great option if you can find them in store. If neither English or Persian cucumbers are available you can also use regular cucumbers. Based on your preferences you may want to peel the skin first.
- Cucumber seeds and the area surrounding them tend to hold a lot of water which is why I recommend you scoop out the seeds. This salad already has a lot of natural water in it from all the fresh veggies. Scooping out the seeds here will help it last longer. If you don’t want to waste the seeds you can always save them to add to a smoothie later.
- Red Onion: Both red and white onions will work here. Red onion will stay crispy and provide a sharper taste than white, but it’s up to you.
- Kalamata Olives: Fresh olives are quite bitter when fresh so it’s best you look for ones preserved in bine. They are dark brown/purple in color and somewhat oval shaped. You can usually find them jarred and can be found in grocery stores near pickles, capers and where other jarred veggies are kept.
- Fresh Herbs: Feel free to play around with the herbs depending on what you like and what’s available. I used a fresh parsley and mint in my salad, but you could also add fresh dill and oregano.
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) add a good amount of protein which makes for a more filling salad. It also adds a creamy texture to balance out all the bright flavors and crunchy textures. A can of chickpeas is all you need. If you prefer to cook the chickpeas yourself, you need about 1 1/2 cup.
- Feta Cheese(optional): Creamy, salty and utterly delicious. If you can have it, I recommend you add a bit of feta to your Greek Chickpea Salad. To keep this dairy free, you could always add vegan feta to provide that extra punch of salty flavor. If you have the time, I recommend this vegan feta from The First Mess! Of course, you can always leave out the feta altogether and still end up with an absolutely mouthwatering salad.
Greek Chickpea Salad Vinaigrette
Red Wine Vinaigrette and fresh lemon juice provide a one-two punch of acidic flavor. Olive oil and the sweetener work to mellow out the citrusy punch. Mix in a small amount of herbs, dried or fresh will both work depending on what you have. Season your dressing with a touch of sea salt and black pepper and you’re good to go!
This salad makes for a perfect side dish to grilled or barbecued meats like chicken breast, fish, lamb, etc. For a lighter meal you can pair it with gluten free pita or flatbread.
If kept stored in an airtight container in the fridge you should be able to keep this salad about 4-5 days. Because there are no leafy greens to wilt this makes for a great meal prep salad to enjoy throughout the week.
If you enjoy this recipe you might enjoy some of my other Mediterranean recipes as well!
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parley or 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried mint or 3 fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cup (450 g) cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1 medium English cucumber, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds scooped out and then cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup (90 g) Kalamata olives preserved in brine, pitted and halved
- 1 can (15 oz | 400g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 3/4 cup (3 oz | 112g) feta, crumbled or cut into cubes
- Chopped fresh mint leaves, parsley and/or oregano for serving (optional)
- In a small cup or jar combine the vinaigrette ingredients. Mix together until well combined. Set aside.
- Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl. Toss to combine.
- Pour the mixed vinaigrette over the salad and mix until everything is well coated in the vinaigrette.
- Finish off the salad with an extra sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper and chopped fresh herbs if desired.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.