Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

You'll make this easy chickpea salad recipe again & again! It keeps well if you prep it ahead of time, so pack it up for a sweet/savory healthy lunch.

Chickpea salad

Chickpea salad has been one of my go-to lunches for years. With back-to-school season right around the corner, I thought I’d share my favorite chickpea salad recipe with all of you! 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. The garbanzo beans hold up well in the fridge, so you can easily make it ahead for parties and lunches. And with a mix of beans, herbs, and fresh vegetables all cut to a similar size, you get a delicious blend of flavors in every bite.

I’ve made many chickpea salad variations, but this quick and easy recipe takes the cake. The star of the show is a light, creamy fresh milk honey goat cheese from Roth. I’m picky about my goat cheese, but I’ve been loving this one and their plain goat cheese on salads, pasta, zucchini noodles, and more. It’s fresh and tangy, with a touch of sweetness from the honey. In my opinion, the new Roth Chèvre varieties (try the wild blueberry on your next cheese board!) are the perfect cheeses for summer entertaining.

In this recipe, I played off the cheese’s sweetness, adding toasted cumin seeds and Medjool dates to give the salad an aromatic, sweet & savory flavor. We really love this one, and I hope you do too, whether you serve it with dinner, pack it up for lunch, or bring it to your Labor Day gatherings!

Chickpea salad recipe ingredients

Chickpea Salad Recipe Ingredients

This chickpea salad starts with a bright, spiced dressing made from lemon juice & zest, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, and toasted cumin seeds. I whisk it together in the bottom of a big bowl and then toss in the chickpeas, as well as these components:

  • Goat cheese. In this recipe we use Roth Honey Chèvre, which is a fresh milk goat cheese with a delightful creamy texture and a lightly sweet, mellow flavor.
  • Medjool dates. Soft & chewy, they contrast perfectly with the earthy goat cheese and the cumin-spiced dressing.
  • Persian cucumbers. They’re essential for a crisp, fresh crunch. I especially like to use Persian cucumbers because of their small size. Cut into little half-moons, they’re perfect for pairing with garbanzos.
  • Cherry tomatoes. They add juicy, bursty texture.
  • Roasted red peppers. I love the hint of char and nice sweetness they add to the salad. If you don’t have roasted red peppers, diced red bell pepper would be fine in its place.
  • Chopped fresh parsley. Sprinkle it in for fresh flavor and flecks of green.
  • Roasted chickpeas. These guys add a great crunch. If you don’t feel like roasting chickpeas, a handful of toasted almonds would be good too.
  • Basil or mint. I like to top my salad with leaves of fresh herbs for a light, herbal finish.

Chickpea salad recipe steps

Aside from the pan for toasting the cumin seeds, this bean salad comes together in one bowl! Just toast the seeds for 30 seconds or so until fragrant, crush them lightly with a mortar & pestle, and whisk them together with the other dressing ingredients.

How to make chickpea salad

Add the veggies, dates, chickpeas, and parsley, and toss. Then, dot on the cheese, remaining herbs, and roasted chickpeas, and serve!

Chickpea salad recipe

Chickpea Salad Recipe Tips

  • Taste and adjust. The key to making a great salad is tasting and adjusting until you have a balance of flavors you love. You might need an extra pinch of salt or squeeze of lemon. Don’t be afraid to try your chickpea salad before serving!
  • Cut everything to a similar size. The best bites of chickpea salad happen when you get a little of everything – fresh herbs, creamy cheese, sweet dates, juicy veggies, etc. Cut your cucumbers, dates, and tomatoes into a small, even dice so you can scoop them up along with the chickpeas.
  • Save some herbs and/or cheese for garnish. If you make this salad ahead of time, I recommend saving the mint leaves to add at the last minute. If you’re packing it for lunch, dot a few leaves on the top of the packed salad before you head out the door in the morning. The same could go for the goat cheese, depending on your preferences. Over time, the goat cheese starts to blend into the salad, creating a creamy coating. If you prefer it in chunks, add it at the same time you add the mint. See this post for more of my best meal prep tips!

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

If you love this chickpea salad recipe…

Try my couscous salad, pasta salad, or Greek salad next, or head to this post for more summer salad ideas!

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with goat cheese

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

rate this recipe:
5 from 34 votes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Serves 4 to 6
This goat cheese, dates, and toasted cumin seeds give this chickpea salad delightful sweet, savory, and aromatic flavors. It keeps well if you prep it ahead of time, so pack it for lunch or bring it to a potluck!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cumin seeds*
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 Medjool dates, pitted and diced
  • 3 Persian cucumbers, sliced into thin half moons
  • cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 3 ounces Roth Chèvre Honey Goat Cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh mint
  • cup roasted chickpeas, optional

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and several grinds of pepper.
  • In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast the cumin seeds until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and crush them a bit (a mortar & pestle is easiest for this). Add them to the bowl and stir.
  • Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, dates, cucumbers, red pepper, and parsley to the bowl and toss. Transfer to a serving platter and dollop with the goat cheese, sprinkle with mint, and top with the extra roasted chickpeas, if desired. Season to taste and serve.

Notes

*if using ground cumin seeds, use a heaping 1/2 teaspoon and add it directly to the mixing bowl, no need to toast.

 

Special thanks to Roth for partnering on this post. Click here to find the new Roth Chèvre Fresh Goat Milk Cheeses, nationwide, at a store near you!

43 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Vada
    07.14.2021

    Hi, can I prep the verges the day before

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.14.2021

      yep, absolutely. The whole salad can also be made the day before, I’d just leave the mint off until ready to eat.

  2. Chara Harter
    06.30.2021

    5 stars
    This salad is delicious and great for summer. I used feta instead of goat cheese and it was delicious!

  3. Ali from sevencastles.life
    06.23.2021

    5 stars
    I actually didn’t have even a full cucumber on hand so I used seedless watermelon and it was spot-on for a summer salad. I added some pepper flakes to balance out the sweetness and feta (didn’t have any goat cheese) for saltiness. I loved the figs and roasted pepper and how the simple dressing just pulled it all together. Another winner!

  4. Lisa
    06.22.2021

    I’d love to make this but allergic to cucumbers! What would you recommend to put in as an alternative please?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.22.2021

      Hi Lisa, you could try thinly sliced raw zucchini or maybe some chopped bell pepper.

  5. Denise
    06.20.2021

    5 stars
    This was a hit at the picnic yesterday! I used feta instead of the honey goat cheese and it was almost gone before the hot dogs and hamburgers were even cooked. Delicious and satisfying. Thank you so much!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.20.2021

      Hi Denise, I’m so happy to hear!

  6. Teri
    04.27.2021

    5 stars
    This was soooo delicious! I even forgot the cumin and garlic. So I can’t wait to make it the right way but it was still amazing. Definitely going to make this regularly.

  7. Katie
    04.10.2021

    For the cumin seeds, can we use ground cumin? Or has anyone else tried that?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.11.2021

      Hi Katie, you can use about 1/2 teaspoon ground, I’d just skip step 2 and add it straight to the bowl.

  8. Chris
    11.29.2020

    I usually am not a fan of roasted chickpeas and tend to like them better as they are out of the can. Do you think that’d still work for this recipe?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.29.2020

      Hi Chris, yes, this recipe uses them straight out of the can for the main part of the salad. I added a few roasted ones on top for extra crunch but they’re very optional.

  9. Sandy
    11.11.2020

    5 stars
    I made this wonderful chickpea salad for 48 and had a lot left over, so I put it in a pot with vegetable broth, zucchini, summer squash, green beans, celery, cooked quinoa, oregano, and Italian herb seasoning to create a hearty soup! The mint and dates blended right in.

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.