Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Salad

5 from 6 votes

Made using cooked quinoa, lots of veggies, and a zesty and flavorful dressing, Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Salad, is a healthy and delicious salad. Serve it on its own or as a side dish.

If you like to binge on refreshing salads for a light meal, check out these: Healthy Broccoli Apple Salad, Watermelon Feta Salad, Cucumber Avocado Salad, and Thai Green Papaya Salad.

Mediterranean chickpea quinoa salad served in a bowl.
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Indians have not grown up eating quinoa, a fairly new grain, but it is becoming increasingly popular because of its health benefits. Now, many people have developed the taste of eating steamed quinoa with dal and curries, but for me, giving up the soul food of dal chalwal (rice) is a little tough.

So, I use quinoa to make salads. Salads are a great way to include it in one’s diet. They are also easy to make and quite filling.

Last weekend, I made this salad with chickpeas and quinoa and gave it a Mediterranean twist by adding ingredients like olives, feta cheese, pine nuts, etc.

About Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Salad is a healthy salad with Mediterranean (Middle Eastern) flavors. It is full of fresh, crunchy vegetables, feta cheese, quinoa, and chickpeas and is topped with a tangy dressing.

This Chickpea Quinoa Salad is filling and light on the stomach. It can be made using basic pantry ingredients in under 10 minutes of active work time.

The best part about this salad is that it is super customizable. The recipe I am sharing is naturally vegetarian and gluten-free, but you can also make it vegan by making a few changes.

You can also load it with any meat you choose for added protein, change the veggies you like, and even play around with the dressing.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad keeps good in the refrigerator and is a great make-ahead option for gatherings or potlucks.

Ingredients

Quinoa – Quinoa is rich in fiber and protein, so it’s great to include this grain in your diet. I’ve used white quinoa, but you can also use mixed-color quinoa. It’s nuttier and will make the salad more vibrant.

Chickpeas – Another great source of vegetarian protein, chickpeas or garbanzo beans add a nice soft crunch to this salad. Soak them overnight and boil until they become soft.

To save time, use canned garbanzo beans. Make sure to drain and rinse before using them.

Veggies – I have used cherry tomatoes, English cucumbers (or Persian cucumbers), onions, red bell peppers, and parsley.

Olives – Olives add a great taste to this salad, so don’t miss this one. I have added pitted kalamata olives, but you can also go for black or green olives.

Feta Cheese – Crumbled soft feta cheese is a must in Mediterranean dishes. You can also use crumbled goat cheese instead.

Pine Nuts are a must for the crunch, but if you don’t have pine nuts, add toasted walnuts, pecans, or almonds to this salad. 

Dressing – To make this salad full of flavor, make a simple dressing with a combination of just five ingredients – extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar.

Crushed garlic can also be added if you like garlicky flavor.

If you do not like a particular ingredient in this salad, you can skip it. It won’t make a big difference.

How To Make Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Cook The Quinoa

Cook ¾ cup of dry quinoa. ¾ cup of dry quinoa will yield 2 cups of cooked quinoa. Cool the quinoa for a few hours before using it in the salad.

You can cook the quinoa in an instant pot or over the stovetop. Whichever way you cook it, it is essential to rinse it well to remove the natural coating on quinoa, which can make it bitter if not washed properly.

If you cook it in a pot over the stovetop, you’ll want to use 2 cups of water for every cup of quinoa. Place the water and quinoa in a pot and boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, then cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and let the quinoa cook for 13-15 minutes or until tender. Turn off the heat and let the quinoa rest for 5 minutes. Fluff it with a fork; then, you’re ready to use it.

Cook The Chickpeas

If you are cooking the chickpeas from scratch, soak the dry chickpeas in water for 6-8 hours for better cooking. Cook them in a traditional pressure cooker or an instant pot. To save time, you can use canned chickpeas. Drain the can, rinse the beans well, and use them in the salad.

Prepare The Veggies

Dice the bell peppers into ½-inch pieces. Discard their seeds. Chop the cucumbers into ½-inch cubes. You can choose to keep the skin on or peel it. I like using Persian or English cucumbers as they are seedless and juicy. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Chop the onions.

Toast The Nuts

Toast the pine nuts or any other nuts you use in a pan or oven. You can toast a big batch, store it in an airtight container, and keep using them in your recipes. Make sure to toast them on medium heat.

Make The Salad

Place the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup cubed cucumber
  • ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, whole or sliced
  • 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
All the salad ingredients added to a bowl.

Stir together the following ingredients in a small bowl to make the dressing.

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Dressing ingredients added to a bowl.
Ready dressing.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat nicely.

Pouring the dressing over the salad.
Mixed well.

Refrigerate the salad for 1-2 hours before serving.

Top the salad with 2 oz crumbled feta cheese and ¼ cup toasted pine nuts just before serving.

Ready Mediterranean quinoa chickpea salad.

Variations

You can also add some more ingredients to this Mediterranean quinoa salad to make it even more filling and wholesome,

  • Quinoa can be replaced with farro, broken wheat, or Israeli couscous.
  • Add some proteins like – soft or hard-boiled eggs or tofu.
  • Add sun-dried tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes to this salad.
  • Instead of just garbanzo beans, make it with three beans. You can use cannellini beans, red kidney beans, white beans, or any other bean of your choice.
  • To make the salad vegan, skip adding the cheese or replace it with avocado.
  • Add roasted peppers instead of raw ones.
  • You can add other veggies such as carrots, corn, summer squash, eggplant, etc.
  • Add shredded boiled or grilled chicken or shrimp.
  • Add arugula leaves, spinach, massaged kale, or fresh basil leaves for flavor.
  • You can add fresh herbs, like parsley, mint, cilantro, chive, dill, etc., to the dressing.
  • Replace the dressing. Use Sumac Vinaigrette, Lemon Garlic Dressing, Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette, or Lemon Pepper Dressing for a taste change.

You Might Also Like

Made using cooked quinoa, lots of veggies, and a zesty and flavorful dressing, Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Salad, is a healthy and delicious salad. Serve it on its own or as a side dish.
5 from 6 votes

Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Salad Recipe

Made using cooked quinoa, lots of veggies, and a zesty and flavorful dressing, Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Salad, is a healthy and delicious salad. Serve it on its own or as a side dish.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

For The Salad

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (white or mixed color)
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup cubed English or Persian cucumber
  • ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives (whole or sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 ounces Feta cheese (55 g)
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts

For The Dressing

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Instructions 

  • Place quinoa, chickpeas, red bell pepper, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, onions, kalamata olives, and parsley in a large mixing bowl.
  • Stir together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl to make the dressing.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat nicely.
  • Refrigerate the salad for 1-2 hours before serving.
  • Top the salad with crumbled feta cheese and toasted pine nuts just before serving.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

If you do not like a particular ingredient in this salad, you can skip it. It won’t make a big difference.

Nutrition

Calories: 438kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 731mg, Potassium: 496mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1001IU, Vitamin C: 35mg, Calcium: 131mg, Iron: 4mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Neha
    Just tried out this recipe for my daughter, who is a fitness freak, and we just loved it!! It is so simple to assemble and yet so exotic. Loved the fresh flavours of this salad.
    BTW, we love your Allepey fish curry too… it’s comfort food for us ! Thank you for these wonderful recipes and keep them coming.
    SONIA MATHUR

  2. The recipe tasted good on its own without the dressing.. but I added the dressing after enjoying the salad on its own for a while.. yummy it is .. I added some raisins to the salad to have that umami flavor.. it was a mix of spice, pungent flavor n a lil sweetness with crunchy nuts on top