This delicious vegan chickpea salad is made with chickpeas, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and onions dressed in a fresh, light vinaigrette – perfect for summer. You will love the hint of spice in the dressing!
(Please read the entire post for detailed step-by-step instructions and tips)
I’m usually all about the big and hearty meals, and if you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you will know how much I love a good hearty curry such saag paneer or vegan korma curry. But in the summer, I can't get enough of some of my favorite salads. Lately, I've been using fresh basil to make a few batche of classic basil pesto and using it in everything I can, including my pesto potato salad.
I like salads that are filling and are good enough to be a meal in themselves. For this reason, I especially love using chickpeas (aka, garbanzo beans) in my salads. They are hearty enough to serve as an entire meal and are an excellent source of plant-based protein as well. I highly recommend having chickpeas as part of regular meals if you’re on a vegan or vegetarian diet. I love using chickpeas in to make this chickpea coconut curry, and it is so good in tagines too.
To take this salad up a notch, I’ve used a dressing that is light, perfect for summer with all that citrus from the lemon, but I’ve given it a little twist with a hint of spice from cumin. Everything tastes better with some spice, and cumin is just the thing!
Chickpea Salad Ingredients
To make this lightly spiced chickpea salad, we will use the following ingredients:
- Chickpeas - Preferably use dried chickpeas instead of canned chickpeas (see below, for tips on cooking dried chickpeas)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Onions – To reduce the sharp taste of red onion, you can soak them in water for 5 minutes before using them in the salad.
- Peanuts – these are optional and you can totally skip peanuts if you have a nut allergy, but I love adding them for that extra crunch!
For the salad dressing
- Lemon juice
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- Cumin Powder
- Fresh parsley
How to cook dried chickpeas
You could make this salad with canned chickpeas or dried chickpeas. I prefer to use dried chickpeas in my salads. Dried chickpeas are a staple in my pantry and I use them to make so many meals. Canned chickpeas come with added salt and preservatives that can easily be avoided if you simply cook dried chickpeas at home! Dried chickpeas are also so much cheaper and flavorful than canned chickpeas.
Soaking dried chickpeas:
Cooking dried chickpeas at home needs just a bit of early planning – you will need to soak the chickpeas in water for a minimum of 4 hours before you cook them. I usually soak my chickpeas overnight the day before I cook them, but 4 hours also works fine.
This is how the chickpeas look like after soaking for 4 hours in water:
Cooking chickpeas on the stovetop:
I highly recommend using a pressure cooker to cook you chickpeas – cooking them without a pressure cooker is definitely possible but time-consuming. To cook chickpeas on the stovetop (if you don’t have a pressure cooker), simply add the soaked chickpeas to a pot with twice as much water. Bring the pot to a boil and let this cook for 1 hour, until the chickpeas are tender.
Cooking chickpeas in the pressure cooker:
The easier method of cooking chickpeas is in the pressure cooker. Drain the soaked chickpeas and add them to the pressure cooker. Add twice as much water and a teaspoon of salt to taste. If you are using an Instant Pot, Pressure Cook on High for 15 minutes, and let the pressure release naturally. You could also cook dried chickpeas in the pressure cooker without soaking them, but you will then need to pressure cook the chickpeas for 50 minutes instead of 15.
- Substitute cherry tomatoes with regular Roma tomatoes
- Add chopped avocadoes
- Substitute peanuts with walnuts
- Add red kidney beans
- Add olives and sun-dried tomatoes
Spiced Chickpea Salad
- Instant Pot (optional)
For the salad
- ¾ cup dried chickpeas (soaked for at least 4 hours) or substitute with canned chickpeas
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes sliced into quarters
- ½ cup chopped cucumber
- ½ red onion sliced thin
- ¼ cup salted peanuts (optional)
To cook the chickpeas (if using dried chickpeas)
- Drain the soaked chickpeas, and add it to the pressure cooker. Add double the amount of water and pressure cook on High for 15 minutes, along with a teaspoon of salt. Let the pressure release naturally. Drain the chickpeas and keep aside to cool.
- Once the chickpeas are cooled, add to a large mixing bowl together with the rest of the vegetables (leave the peanuts for the end).
Prepare the dressing:
- Add all the ingredients for the dressing in a small jar witha lid. Close the lid and shake well to prepare the salad dressing.
Assemble the salad:
- Add the salad dressing to the vegetables and chickpeas, and toss well using a fork. Once the dressing is well combined, add the peanuts and lightly toss. Serve immediately.