Greek Chickpea Salad is a perfect meatless summer dinner or side. It’s made with canned chickpeas, sweet cherry tomatoes, red onions, crunchy cucumbers and peppers, feta cheese and kalamata olives.
Have you ever ordered a Greek salad at a restaurant and been disappointed when presented with a ton of iceberg lettuce, large rings of red onions, 2 pale tasteless tomato slices and a massive feta cheese crumble? Oh, and the weirdly brown Greek dressing in a small black plastic container on the side. Let’s not forget the dressing!
Well, this salad is NONE of these things. It is filled with colorful crunchy vegetables, creamy chickpeas, briny olives and feta, and dressed with THE BEST garlicky, lemony homemade Greek dressing.
What's in an authentic Greek salad?
If you’ve ever been to Greece or eaten in a good Greek restaurant, you’ll know that the authentic Greek salad does not come with any greens at all. Instead, it’s typically made with super flavorful fresh tomatoes and cucumbers that ripened in the wonderful Mediterranean warm sun, sweet and spicy red onion and a block of feta cheese in the middle, sometimes sliced thickly.
While this recipe is different from the authentic Greek salad, it is definitely inspired by the flavors and textures of the classic. For the best tasting vegetables, I used bright and red cherry tomatoes, mini cucumbers (sometimes called Persian cucumbers) and yellow bell peppers. To make this salad a balanced meal that can be served on its own, I decided to add canned chickpeas – an excellent source of plant-based protein and fiber.
- Canned Chickpeas: ready to use and inexpensive, they add substance and nutritional value to this salad.
- Cherry Tomatoes: pick red and juicy tomatoes for best flavor. There are many varieties of delicious small tomatoes. Use whatever you have access to!
- Mini Cucumbers: they have less water and more flavor than large cucumbers.
- Yellow Bell Pepper: to add color and crunch to the salad.
- Red Onion: a Greek salad staple!
- Kalamata Olives: dark purple, meaty and smooth, these are the best olives ever. Make sure they’re pitted!
- Feta Cheese: I buy a block of feta and cube it small but you can also use already cubed feta in brine or the crumbled kind, if you prefer.
- Parsley Leaves: to add an extra layer of herby, bright flavor. Use flat leaf or curly parsley.
- Homemade Greek Dressing: try my recipe for creamy homemade Greek dressing. It is made with olive oil, red or white wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, dried oregano, salt and pepper. It is easy and delicious, and SO MUCH BETTER than the store bought bottled dressing.
How to make Greek salad with chickpeas
Step 1: Chop all the vegetables, parsley, olives and feta and place in a large mixing bowl
Step 2: Pour in the dressing. Start with about ⅓ cup, stir gently until the veggies are coated. If you like lots of dressing, add more and mix, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it’s dressed to your liking.
Step 3: Serve and enjoy!
Serving & storage tips
This salad is quite versatile. Serve it on its own in bowls, perhaps with crusty bread, if that’s your thing. You can also serve this salad on a bed of lettuce or other greens for a big crunchy summer dinner salad. If you want to make it into a side, it will go perfectly with grilled chicken, fish or shrimp.
You can store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. If making ahead, place all the ingredients in a bowl but don’t dress it until right before serving for the freshest, best tasting, crunchiest salad.
Is this salad good for meal prep?
Yes! My favorite way to meal prep this salad is to layer it in mason jars. Start by placing 1-2 tablespoons of dressing at the bottom of each jar. Then add the chickpeas and layer the rest of the vegetables until you fill the whole jar. To serve, dump the contents of the jar into a bowl, stir together to dress and enjoy!
Variations and substitutions
- If you don’t like chickpeas, you can swap them for white cannellini beans or cooked chopped up chicken.
- Mini cucumbers can be replaced with European cucumber, sliced and quartered.
- If you don’t have cherry tomatoes, they can be swapped for regular chopped tomatoes.
- Yellow bell pepper looks best in contrast with red tomatoes and green cucumbers but use whatever bell pepper you have on hand.
- For a spicy kick, add some chopped pepperoncini from a jar.
- If you like fresh herbs in salads, you will love parsley in it but feel free to add other fresh herbs: dill, mint and oregano will all work well.
If you try this Greek Chickpea Salad, be sure to leave me a comment and give this recipe a rating. I would love to hear from you and see how it turned out for you! You can also share and tag me on Instagram!
Greek Chickpea Salad
- 15 oz can of chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
- 2 mini cucumbers sliced
- ¼ cup chopped red onions
- 6 oz feta cheese crumbled or cubed small
- ¾ cup kalamata olives halved
- ¼ cup chopped parsley leaves
- ⅓ cup homemade Greek salad dressing
- Start by making the homemade Greek dressing.
- Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, pour over the dressing and stir gently until all the vegetables are coated.