A delicious way to use the overabundance of the season, this Greek chickpea salad is both filling and refreshing – and bonus, no heat needed. It’s not so hot in our region this year but no one really wants to cook and bake so much for summer recipes.
With creamy chickpeas, piles of summer veg, and a simple lemon vinaigrette, this is an easy dinner or packable lunch. A tiny bit of onion goes a long way here to really boosting the overall flavour. This is a vegan version as keeps a bit longer as a result.
While feta is (obviously) missing here, and so are olives, it’s definitely inspired by a classic Greek salad. And of course you can add both! What better way to use some garden vegetables?
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Chickpeas: cooked or canned. There are instructions in my book about how to cook chickpeas at home. Be sure to rinse very well if using canned chickpeas.
- Tomatoes: cherry or small plum tomatoes are ideal, but larger types cut into chunks works too. You’ll probably get a bit more liquid in the salad if using large tomatoes.
- Avocado: a little bit to replace the texture of feta, but great for the healthy fats, too. If using feta, you can omit the avocado if preferred.
- Onion: finely diced, to avoid a mouthful of onion. You can sub shallot here if preferred, and let the salad rest a little while if you don’t like it so sharp.
- Oregano: fresh makes a big difference – see below for substitutions.
If you like vegan feta, it could be added here, no problem. I’ve never found one I like – they just taste like salty tofu – so can’t recommend a brand or recipe. If you eat cheese, of course traditional sheep feta or another type can be used.
I think preserved lemon might add a bit of that salt kick if you’re craving it but don’t want to use cheese. I’ve only just started a new batch so haven’t tried this, but it seems like it’d be really good. Olives will add another element of flavour as well.
Don’t have oregano? Marjoram is the obvious sub, but mint or basil are good substitutions too. Make sure to use fresh herbs. Dried won’t be nearly as nice here and may overwhelm the salad. Parsley would work in a pinch too.
Change up the vegetables based on what you have on hand. The onion can be left out if you have a propensity to heartburn, and keep in mind that if you make this a few hours before you plan on eating it, the onion will mellow a lot in the lemon vinaigrette.
How to Store
Make Ahead: if you want to make this in advance, no problem. The salad can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance and stored in the refrigerator. The vinaigrette must be added in order to keep the avocado fresh.
Storage: leftovers can be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Freezing: I don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
- Choose a low-seed cucumber: english is the most readily available, but other varieties like suyo are excellent if you can grow your own or have access to a good market farmer. Too many seeds will make the salad a bit runny.
- Add some vinegar: if you like a more acidic vinaigrette, add a splash of white wine vinegar to the mix. I often do this.
- Season to taste: if you’re not adding feta or olives, you may want to add a little extra salt to make up for them. The recipe uses a fairly low amount of salt as a starting point and I usually add a bit more.
More Chickpea Recipes
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Summer Greek Chickpea Salad
- 1 medium cucumber diced
- 300 grams cherry tomatoes
- 2 avocados diced
- 1 sweet pepper diced (red or yellow)
- ¼ red onion finely minced
- 450 grams cooked or canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 handful fresh oregano minced
- Juice of a lemon ~¼ cup
- 60 ml olive oil, extra virgin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- Add the cucumber, tomatoes, avocado, pepper, onion, and chickpeas to a large bowl.
- To make the vinaigrette, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, mustard, and maple syrup in a small container. Pour over the salad and mix thoroughly until combined.
- If possible, cover the salad and set it aside for 1-2 hours before serving, or serve immediately. Leftovers will keep well in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
This post was first published in September 2018. It has been updated with slight improvements to the recipe as of July 2021.