Filled with whole grains, legumes, and fresh 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.
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, and you can essentially use any combination of grains, beans, lentils, chickpeas, and veggies you have in the kitchen.
By pairing quinoa with chickpeas in this salad, you create a more complete and well-balanced profile of amino acids from these plant-based protein sources, while creating a fiber-packed salad at the same time.
Whether you’re using leftover quinoa or cooking a new pot of fluffy quinoa, this chickpea quinoa salad recipe keeps well in the fridge for several days so it’s a great meal prep idea that you can enjoy for healthy lunches and dinners for days to come.
Why This is the BEST Quinoa Salad Recipe
This chickpea quinoa chickpea salad is so good I promise it will become your favorite quinoa salad recipe. Here’s why you’ll love it:
- Quick – Ready in 20 minutes, this quinoa salad is super quick to prepare.
- Easy – If you can boil water and chop veggies, you can make this chickpea quinoa salad.
- Fresh – Filled with fresh herbs and lemon juice, this easy salad recipe is absolutely delicious.
- Versatile – Once you’ve got the basics down you can swap the vegetables and herbs as you like.
- Meal Prep – This quinoa chickpea salad keeps well in the fridge making it a great make-ahead salad for the week.
Chickpea Quinoa Salad Ingredients
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this quinoa chickpea salad:
- Quinoa – To add some vegetarian protein and fiber. I used tri-color quinoa, but you can use any color you like.
- Chickpeas – AKA garbanzo beans, chickpeas add some more plant-based protein and fiber to the salad.
- Cucumber – To add some veggies.
- Carrot – To add some more veggies and color.
- Red Onion – To add a bit of crunch, feel free to use green onions if you prefer.
- Spinach – To add some leafy greens, arugula or kale would also work.
- Herbs – A mixture of fresh parsley, fresh basil, fresh dill, or any other fresh herbs you like.
- Olive Oil – Some extra virgin olive oil to make the salad dressing.
- Lemon – Some fresh lemon juice to balance the dressing and give the quinoa salad a lemony flavor. If you don’t have any fresh lemons, apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar would also work nicely.
- Honey – To add a hint of sweetness to the lemony dressing.
- Garlic – Some freshly minced garlic to add a punch of flavor. If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Salt and Pepper – A bit of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to season the salad.
Although I used carrots and cucumber in my quinoa chickpea salad, the recipe is super versatile and you can use any fresh veggies that you like or have on hand; bell pepper, zucchini, diced avocado, green onion, chopped celery, and/or tomatoes would also work well.
To Make it Gluten-Free: o adaptations are needed, this recipe is gluten-free.
To Make it Dairy-Free: No adaptations are needed, this recipe is dairy-free.
How to Make Quinoa Chickpea Salad
Here’s how you’ll make this lemony quinoa salad:
- Cook the quinoa. Cook quinoa in a pot with boiling water, or in vegetable or chicken broth for extra flavor, until light and fluffy.
- Prepare the chickpeas. You can use dry or canned chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, for this salad. If using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight and then cook until tender. If using canned chickpeas, strain and rinse them under cold water before adding them to the salad.
- Chop the veggies. Dice the cucumber, carrot, and red onion, and finely chop the spinach and fresh herbs.
- Mix the dressing. Whisk the oil, lemon juice, honey, and garlic together until well combined.
- Mix, toss, and serve. Once you’ve prepared all 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.
You can find the details instructions in the recipe card below.
Red’s Nutrition Tip
To enhance the flavor of the quinoa in this salad, cook the quinoa in chicken broth or vegetable broth instead of water. This helps to flavor the quinoa and add a small boost of broth, without compromising nutritional value or adding unnecessary calories from additional dressing.
What to Serve with Quinoa Salad
This quinoa chickpea salad can be served as a vegetarian main course or as a side dish with a source of plant or animal protein such as grilled shrimp, chicken, steak, pork, fish, tofu, or halloumi 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!
This quinoa chickpea salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. For extra freshness and flavor, add a bite more lemon juice or a drizzle of dressing and season with additional salt and pepper to taste before serving.
More Quinoa Salads:Print
Quinoa Chickpea Salad
This quinoa chickpea salad recipe makes a great side or main course. Plus, it keeps well in the fridge for several days, so it works well as a healthy meal prep idea, and so good it’s sure to become your favorite quinoa salad recipe.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 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 the warm 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 and toss gently. Then taste and adjust olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper 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