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Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Chickpea salad with fresh Mediterranean flavors from lemon juice, herbs, fennel, and onion. This is a light and refreshing salad that just happens to be healthy, too. Perfect as a side dish or appetizer. Or, make it for a light meal with some bread on the side.

Chickpeas salad in a grey bowl with a silver spoon.


It’s not always heavy pasta dishes at our house, in fact, the Italian prefers pasta dishes only a few times a week. More often than not, especially during the summer, I make light dishes like this Mediterranean chickpea salad. With our main meal in the middle of the day, this healthy chickpea salad makes for a light side dish or starter. You can even serve it all on its own.

It’s very easy to make and needs to be made ahead so it has time for the flavors to develop. It’s a great dish for sharing at cookouts or potluck meals because the dressing is light and can sit out even when it’s warm.

There are many interpretations of what a Mediterranean salad is and my version is simple. A few fresh ingredients like parsley, onion, and fennel combine with a light lemon dressing. I used canned chickpeas so it takes only about 15 minutes to make.

If you’re craving a light and healthy dish this is a great one to try. The chickpeas are filling and the fresh flavors are wonderful.

Chickpeas salad in a grey bowl with a silver spoon.


  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Drained and rinsed chickpeas
  • Thinly sliced fennel
  • Chopped white or yellow onion

Fennel is a vegetable that is round on the bottom with whispy fronds on top. It has an anise flavor and a very crisp and crunchy texture when eaten raw. Be sure to slice it thinly. You can also finely chop some of the fronds and add them to your salad, but that’s optional.

How to Make It

Clean and slice the fennel into thin slices.

Slicked fennel on a clean board.

Whisk the lemon juice, oil, parsley, pepper, and salt in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.

Olive oil mixture mixed in a biege bowl and chickpeas & fennel in a blue bowl.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate the salad for at least two hours. It’s best the longer it sits, so I usually chill it for 24 hours before serving it.

All the mixture mixed in a blue bowl.


Can you use dried chickpeas?

Yes, but it adds a few more steps. First, you will need to soak the chickpeas for at least eight hours. Refresh the water and then cook them until tender

How do you prepare chickpeas for a salad?

If you used canned beans all you need to do is drain and rinse them before adding them to the salad. Dried chickpeas will need to be soaked and cooked before using.

Do canned chickpeas need to be cooked?

No, they don’t. You can add the right to the salad after draining and rinsing them.

How long does chickpea salad keep?

This is a great make-ahead salad and will keep for four to five days in the refrigerator.

What else can you add to Mediterranean salad?

There are quite a few things you can add. Artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, and olives would all be good in it. You can also add crumbled feta cheese or some finely grated Parmesan cheese.

Serve this easy salad with chicken, fish, or even grilled steak. It’s also great as an appetizer with some sliced bread on the side. I can eat it by the spoonful right from the bowl! I hope you enjoy it, too. Buon Appetito!

More Easy Side Dishes

Salad in a blue bowl.
Chickpeas salad in a grey bowl with a silver spoon.

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Rosemary Molloy
Chickpea salad with fresh Mediterranean flavors from lemon juice, herbs, fennel, and onion. This is a light salad that just happens to be healthy, too.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Chilling Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4 servings
Calories 78 kcal


  • tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
  • 1-2 dashes black pepper
  • 1-2 pinches salt (or to taste)
  • 1 can chickpeas (14 ounces – rinsed and drained)* (400 grams can)
  • ½ medium fennel (thinly sliced)
  • ¼ cup chopped onion (white or yellow)

*You can also use dried chickpeas, be sure to soak at least 8 hours before using and cook in water before adding to the recipe.


    • In a medium bowl whisk together the lemon juice, oil, parsley, pepper and salt, add the chickpeas, fennel, and onion stir gently to combine well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 24 hours before serving. Enjoy!


    Be sure to keep any leftovers well covered or in a air tight container, it will keep for four to five days in the refrigerator.


    Calories: 78kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 113mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 125IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg
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