Last updated on February 27th, 2023 at 07:47 pm
This Mediterranean roasted chickpea salad is flavorful, healthy and pretty easy to make! All you need are some vegetables, canned chickpeas and cashews to make the dressing and put this healthy lunch idea together.
So, if you’re looking for a satisfying Mediterranean salad recipe with chickpeas that you can meal prep and enjoy all week long – try this one!
What You’ll Love About The Salad
I don’t know about you, but I love love love salads. And the weird thing is, I start craving them when it’s cold. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I’m spending 23 of my hours in a day indoors (working from home, makes you very adventurous and outdoorsy!).
Maybe it’s because I’m not eating any fresh fruit and vegetables otherwise. I don’t know. But I love a good salad and I love to have everything in it. I love to put a lot of complimenting flavors into it and I especially love when it’s a bit more Mediterranean-inspired.
So are you going to find this Mediterranean salad with chickpeas on an actual menu when visiting a country in the Mediterranean? Probably not. Unless they steal it from here of course. But I don’t mind. Take it, make it, eat it and enjoy it! It’s still in line with the “rules” for the Mediterranean diet though.
So, here’s why you’ll love this healthy Mediterranean roasted chickpea salad:
- it’s spicy and flavor-packed
- takes a bit of time, but it’s super easy to make
- you can prep it for the week
- it’s full of plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals
- it’s the perfect lunch idea
- you can have it on a gluten-free, dairy-free and even vegan diet
Mediterranean Roasted Chickpea Salad Ingredients
You’re going to freak out when you see the long ingredient list for this Mediterranean salad with vegetables and chickpeas. It’s like a receipt for a single thing at a drugstore. It’s as if someone decided to write an entire poem on that receipt or the lyrics to a rap song.
Well, it’s not a rap song, just some healthy ingredients and most of them are spices, so we’re good. Here are the foods you need for the Mediterranean salad in general:
Canned Chickpeas. And you can make those cooked chickpeas too. I had actually gotten into the habit of cooking chickpeas in the pressure cooker and freezing them. But somehow got out of that and I’m now back to the canned chickpeas. Use whatever type of cooked garbanzo beans you have.
Vegetables. A lot of different vegetables. Roasted and fresh! They make the salad what it is, really. So I pan-roasted some cauliflower, peppers, garlic and a carrot. But you can do what you have here. Eggplant and zucchini will be great when they’re in season. Asparagus might be great too. Some scallions…whatever you have! Also fresh vegetables: some salad greens – I used a mix of radicchio (I recently discovered I really like this one), romaine and some other salad I forgot. Then some onions and tomatoes.
Olive oil. Now, you can’t really make a Mediterranean dish without olive oil.
Spices and herbs. Chili powder, cumin, mint and if you want to add something else – go ahead!
Cashews. We need these for the dressing. I actually wanted to make a tahini dressing, but I guess I just don’t like tahini. So cashews it is – they have a milder, sweeter taste and are perfect for sauces and dressings.
How To Soak Cashews Quickly
So, if you want to make the cashew sauce for the Mediterranean chickpea salad, but have no soaked cashews or cashew butter, then boil some hot water. Then let the cashews sit in that hot water for about 10 minutes until they almost double in size and soften. Now they’re ready to blend!
How To Make This Mediterranean Roasted Chickpea Salad
Now, if you’re ready to make this healthy Mediterranean salad with vegetables and chickpeas for lunch today, here’s what you need to do:
Before you start: Make sure to have some soaked cashews for the sauce or cashew butter.
To start you want to prepare the ingredients that require no cooking. So, cut up the onion, tomato, salad greens, olives.
Then make the cashew sauce. You can either use soaked cashews or cashew butter for the sauce. If you don’t have them, tahini will work too, but the taste will be a bit more bitter than cashews. So what you need to do here is basically blend the soaked nuts or nut/seed butter with lemon juice, garlic, water and salt until creamy and silky smooth like a Barbie doll’s hair. Do they still make Barbie dolls?
Next it’s time to start roasting chickpeas and the vegetables you chose. For the chickpeas you need to rinse and drain the canned chickpeas, then add them to a pan with mint, chili powder, cumin, garlic and olive oil and stir-fry them for a few minutes. It’s important to allow them some time to toast without stirring, in order to develop deeper flavor and to basically not make them mushy.
Now for the roasted vegetables, cut them up, add them to a pan with olive oil and garlic. Cover the pan with a lid for 2 minutes – to allow the vegetables to cook slightly, but still, remain crunchy. Then uncover and let toast, stirring only occasionally to turn. The vegetables will be ready in about 5 minutes, or when you can see charred spots on them.
Now that you’ve got everything put it in a bowl starting with the greens, tomatoes, olives, onions, then the roasted vegetables, chickpeas and finally the garlicky dressing!
Enjoy your healthy Mediterranean lunch!
Mediterranean Roasted Chickpea Salad Additions
This healthy lunch recipe is super versatile! I bet you can come up with at least 5 things to change about it. But, some additions that come to my mind include:
- A lot of chopped parsley! I love parsley and tabbouleh and I feel like it would be wonderful here! Parsley is full of iron, the vitamins A and C and believe it or not protein.
- Some toasted sesame seeds. If you never add toasted sesame seeds to your dishes, try it! They bring in so much nutty flavor. I learned this trick from my sister when she was pregnant years ago. She read somewhere that garnishing dishes with toasted sesame seeds helps to reduce your salt intake. So something to keep in mind.
- More vegetables. Yes, I want to make the list of vegetables even longer. So I’d like to try some cabbage, arugula and some crunchy cucumbers or radishes in the salad.
And there are of course other options as well. When it comes to the dressing, you can even try this spicy variation if you’re into spicy things.
How To Meal Prep
If you have no time to make food during the week and like to be prepared, here are some ways you can prep this salad to have lunch for the week ahead:
- Ingredient Prep. It is what it sounds like. Prep the different parts of the salad and keep them stored in the fridge in separate containers. Chickpeas in one, roasted vegetables in another, cashew sauce in a third container and you can even wash and cut up the fresh vegetables as well (make sure to let them dry before storing – otherwise they spoil fast when with water).
- Salad jars. Now here you want to layer the jars starting with the dressing, then olives, chickpeas, then roasted vegetables and then the fresh vegetables with the greens on top. Do yourself a favor and leave out the tomato. Add them when you dump out the salad jars into a bowl and assemble the salad. And that’s it, now you have a healthy, very portable Mediterranean salad for the next few days.
More Healthy Mediterranean Salad Recipes
Well, I do hope you enjoy the Mediterranean roasted chickpea salad and if you want even more Mediterranean salad recipes, you can try these:
- 1 cup cauliflower florets (bite-sized)
- 1 bell pepper, in clices
- 1 carrot, in circles
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 cups chickpeas, canned, rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp mint
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup cashews, soak them
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 tbsp water (or as needed)
- 1/4 cup chopped olives
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1 cup tomatoes
- 4 cups lettuce (or mixed salad greens)
- Before you start if you don't have soaked cashews - boil water and let the cashews soak for 10 minutes in hot water while you're preparing the vegetables.
- For the chickpeas you need to rinse and drain the canned chickpeas, then add them to a pan with mint, chili powder, cumin, garlic and olive oil and stir-fry them for a few minutes. It’s important to allow them some time to toast without stirring, in order to develop deeper flavor and to basically not make them mushy.
- For the pan-roasted vegetables, cut them up and add them to a pan with olive oil and garlic. Cover the pan with a lid for 2 minutes – to allow the vegetables to cook slightly, but still, remain crunchy. Then uncover and let toast, stirring only occasionally to turn. The vegetables will be ready in about 5 minutes, or when you can see lightly charred spots on them.
- Now that you’ve got everything put it in a bowl starting with the greens, tomatoes, olives, onions, then the roasted vegetables, chickpeas and finally the garlicky dressing!
- Enjoy your Mediterranean salad with chickpeas and vegetables!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 533Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 617mgCarbohydrates: 74gFiber: 20gSugar: 18gProtein: 22g