It is no secret how much I love salads. I could eat them every day. Especially during these Florida summers when it’s hot and humid, I love having something fresh and light. This Easy Cucumber and Chickpea Salad is perfect year round, but especially during the summer.
I love creating salads that are both vegetarian, such as my Summertime Strawberry Caprese Salad, and with meat, like my Salmon Niçoise Salad. This salad takes a few simple ingredients including one of my favorite pantry staples, and comes together for a protein packed meat free options.
A well stocked pantry makes pulling delicious salads like this Easy Cucumber and Chickpea Salad together easy and effortless. I always have cans of chickpeas in my pantry. They’re a great source of protein and fiber and also add texture to every bite.
- Chickpeas – I am using canned chickpeas for this recipe. Simply drain them and rinse them. You might also find them labeled as garbanzo beans.
- Cucumbers – I like using Persian cucumbers or English cucumbers for this. They have less seeds and thinner skin.
- Red onion
- Fresh Herbs – I used a combination of parsley, mint, and basil
- Feta cheese – This adds both salt and creaminess to every bite
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice – Always use fresh squeezed lemon juice, especially in salad dressings.
- Dijon mustard – This adds tang to the dressing and also helps emulsify the lemon and olive oil together.
- Za’atar – This Middle Eastern spice blend combines dried herbs, sesame seeds, and the lemony bright pop of sumac.
How to Make Easy Cucumber and Chickpea Salad
There’s no need to heat up the kitchen with this colorful and fresh salad. Just chop up a cucumber, and you’re almost done!
Time needed: 10 minutes
This is a great salad to make quickly while also being an ideal make ahead. The longer it sits, the more flavor it absorbs from the light and bright dressing.
- Pop that Can
Drain your chickpeas and rinse them thoroughly. Allow them to dry while you mix up the dressing and chop your remaining ingredients. This will keep them from diluting the flavor of the vinaigrette dressing.
- Chop Chop
Slice your cucumber and onions. If you’re using English or Persian cucumbers you don’t have to peel them or deseed them. Make sure you cut all of your vegetables into about the same thickness.
- Mix it Up
Add your cucumbers, chickpeas, and onions to your bowl and toss to combine. Crumble your feta of the top and fold it in.
- Shake it Up
Add all of your ingredients for the salad dressing to a jar and shake to combine. Pour it over the salad and toss.
Variations and Substitutions
With just a few easy swaps you can transform this fresh and cool salad into something new and different.
- Beans – For a slightly different flavor and texture, swap the chickpeas for a while bean like cannellini beans.
- Cheese – If you don’t have feta or want to try something different, goat cheese would also add a creamy texture and tang. You could also try cotija or ricotta salata.
- Herbs – Use your favorite combination of fresh herbs. These include dill, chives, chervil, and tarragon.
- Onion – While red onion adds both color and flavor to this salad, you can use a sweet onion such as Vidalia.
- Meat – Pair up this beautiful salad with any of your favorite grilled meats such as chicken or steak.
Equipment to Make Easy Cucumber and Chickpea Salad
Besides a cutting board and sharp knife, there is one tool that will bring this salad together even faster. I like to use a mason jar to shake up my dressing. Not only does it help the vinaigrette come together faster, it also makes for easy storage.
This salad is a great make ahead salad either for meal prep or to be enjoyed layer in the day. Make sure you store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You can either add the dressing and allow it to marinate or keep the dressing separate in a mason jar until you’re ready to serve.
Top Tip for Easy Cucumber and Chickpea Salad
Because za’atar is the star of the light, bright lemon vinaigrette, you want to make sure it’s fresh. Always check the expiration dates on your spices. The longer they sit, the less flavor and aroma they have. If you can’t remember the last time you used a particular spice it’s definitely time to replace it!
Easy Cucumber and Chickpea Salad
- 1 Salad bowl
- 1 mason jar
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups cucumbers, sliced
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh herbs, torn or sliced
- 2 tbsp feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp za'atar spice
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Make sure your chickpeas are drained and dry. Add them to a bowl with the cucumber and onions.
- Toss to combine.
- Sprinkle the herbs and feta cheese over the top of the salad.
- Add all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette to a mason jar and shake to combine.
- Pour the dressing over the salad.
- Toss to evenly coat.