Quinoa Chickpea Salad
Filled with whole grains, legumes, and hearty vegetables, this quinoa chickpea salad is filled with plant-based protein, packed full of fiber, and makes a wonderful side dish or light main course. Plus, it keeps well in the fridge for several days so it’s a great meal prep idea for healthy lunches.
Grain and legume salads are one of my favorite things to make during the warmer months. Not only are they incredibly simple to prepare but they are incredibly versatile as you can essentially use any combination of grains, beans, lentils, chickpeas, and veggies you have in the kitchen. The best part? Once mixed, they can easily be stored in the refrigerator and make for simple grab-and-go gluten-free and vegan meals whenever you need them!
How to Make Quinoa Chickpea Salad
Cook the quinoa. Cook quinoa in a pot with boiling water, or in vegetable or chicken broth for extra flavor, until light and full.
Prepare the chickpeas. You can use dry or canned chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, for this salad. If using dried chickpeas, soak overnight and then cook until tender. If using canned chickpeas, strain and rinse them under cold water before adding them to the salad.
Chops the veggies. Although this recipe call for carrots, cucumber, and spinach, quinoa salad is very versatile and you can really use any vegetables that you have on hand; red or yellow bell peppers, cherry or grape tomatoes, zucchini, celery, broccoli, kale, and cabbage would all work particularly well.
Mix the dressing. Whisk the oil, lemon juice, honey, and garlic together until well combined. If you don’t have any fresh lemons, apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar would also work nicely.
Mix, toss, and serve. Once you’ve prepared all of your ingredients, add the quinoa, chickpeas, veggies, and dressing to a bowl and toss until well combined before serving. Want to add some extra flavor? Top it with a little crumbled feta cheese.
What’s the best quinoa for a salad?
Quinoa is one of the highest protein grains, although it’s technically a seed, and comes in various colors including white, red, and black. While I used a blend of quinoa, known as tri-color quinoa, you can use any color of quinoa that you enjoy.
What’s the best dressing for quinoa and chickpea salad?
When it comes to grain salads, I think oil dressings tend to work best. While you can certainly use any dressing that you enjoy, oil and vinegar or oil and lemon dressings coat the grains nicely and absorb into the grains as they sit in the fridge, further infusing them with flavors. I suggest a lemon garlic dressing for this salad; it’s light and fresh, which is perfect for summer picnics, potlucks, and parties!
How to Store Quinoa Salad
Quinoa salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. For extra freshness and flavor, add an additional squeeze of lemon juice or drizzle of dressing and season with additional salt and pepper to taste before serving.
More Quinoa and Chickpea Salad Recipes:
This hearty quinoa salad with chickpeas makes a great side dish or vegetarian main course. Plus, it keeps well in the fridge for several days, so it works well as a healthy meal prep idea.
- 1 cup quinoa, dry
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, strained and rinsed
- 2 cups cucumber, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1 cup spinach, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, dill, and/or basil, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated
- Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add a generous pinch of salt and quinoa and cook for 15 minutes, or as per package directions, until tender. Once cooked, strain quinoa in a fine mesh colander, rinse under cold water to cool and shake the colander to remove as much excess water as possible.
- While the quinoa is cooking, chop the vegetables and prepare the dressing. In a small jar or small bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, grated garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk until well combined. Set aside.
- Once the quinoa is cooked and cooled, prepare the salad. In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa, strained chickpeas, chopped vegetables and herbs and toss to combine.
- Cover the salad with the dressing, toss until well coated, and taste and adjust oil, lemon and seasoning as needed.
- The salad can be served immediately or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 278 calories
- Sugar: 4 grams
- Fat: 13 grams
- Carbohydrates: 35 grams
- Fiber: 7 grams
- Protein: 8 grams
Keywords: chickpea quinoa salad