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.
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.
- 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.
Whisk the lemon juice, oil, parsley, pepper, and salt in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
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.
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
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.
No, they don’t. You can add the right to the salad after draining and rinsing them.
This is a great make-ahead salad and will keep for four to five days in the refrigerator.
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
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- 1½ 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!