Chickpea Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
This 20-minute chickpea salad has a creamy avocado dressing with basil and lemon. It is a great protein source for plant-based diets and is perfect to serve at potlucks, summer cookouts, picnics and barbecues.
This easy tasty vegan recipe makes a great side dish for Grilled Lemon Marinated Chicken or goes along with Burgers or grilled pork tenderloin.
Table of contents
Why We Love This Chickpea Salad Recipe
This creamy chickpea salad is a great recipe all summer long! You don’t have to be on vegan diet to fall in love with the tender garbanzo beans, crunchy veggies, creamy dressing and fresh basil and lemon. I am so excited to share this easy chickpea salad recipe, and I cannot wait to hear what you think. So stir up a big batch and enjoy!
- Perfect for so many occasions: Makes a great side dish or vegetarian main for a potluck, picnic or backyard barbecue. Easy enough to go with a weeknight dinner. Leftovers are hearty enough for a weekday lunch any time of year.
- Balance Your menu: pairs perfectly traditional grilled meats and a nice alternative to three bean salad
- Meat Eaters and Vegans Will Love it: Everyone at the table can enjoy it because it is plant-based and gluten-free
- Healthy: It also serves as a great source of plant-based protein, high in fiber and loaded with veggies
- It can be made ahead and sits well and once it is stirred together it doesn’t become soggy
More Salads with Chickpeas
I used canned chickpeas, also sometimes called garbanzo beans, for this recipe so that it would come together super fast. Since canned chickpeas are already cooked it is ready in less time than cooking from scratch!
Once you open the cans, drain the liquid by pouring them into a strainer. Then rinse off any excess canning liquid with cool tap water. Rinsing and draining help reduce the amount of sodium in the recipe.
If you like to cook your beans from scratch you can do that instead. Instructions are below in the expert tips section. You can also use your Instant pot to cook dry chickpeas without soaking.
I wanted to make this salad both creamy and vegan, so I used avocado in the dressing to make it thick and creamy (like mayonnaise) but still plant-based. Look for a black-skinned and soft avocado, that is not too mushy or past ripe.
Basil, Parsley and Lemon
For amazing flavor, you’ll need a half cup of chopped fresh basil. This goes right into the food processor with the avocado and it makes the dressing so good!
The dressing also has fresh lemon juice and zest from a whole lemon. Look for organic lemon when using lemon for zesting to avoid pesticide residue. Zest the lemon first before cutting it in half to juice it.
I also used a considerable amount (1 cup) of chopped fresh parsley to bulk up the serving and add freshness. If you are a fan of fresh dill you could add in a teaspoon or so, depending on your personal taste.
I also used red bell pepper, red onion and cucumber. Here’s how to dice onion if you need a refresher. You can also use finely sliced green onions or scallions instead of red onion.
The crunch of the crisp cucumbers is a really nice aspect of this recipe, so to prevent the cucumber from becoming watery, cut it in half lengthwise, and then scoop out the seeds with a spoon. You can use English cucumber or Persian cucumbers, which have very few seeds in them to begin with. Once you remove the seeds, chop the cucumber.
If you do not care for red pepper, you can swap in green pepper or use a cup or so of cherry tomatoes (cut into halves) instead.
This recipe is really flexible, so if you happen to have extra veggies that you are hoping to use up, go ahead and chop them ad add them in.
How To Make Chickpea Salad
Puree the avocado with the garlic, lemon, lemon juice, olive oil, basil and salt until it is smooth. You can use a food processor or mini-prep to do this. If you don’t own one, you can also do this by hand, but make sure to chop the basil as fine as possible so that it really blends the flavors into the dressing.
Combine the drained chickpeas, chopped bell pepper, cucumber and red onion in a bowl with the parsley.
Mix the dressing into the chickpea salad and stir until it is completely coated with the dressing. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste if necessary.
FAQs, Tips and Tricks For Making Chickpea Salad
How many cups does this make and what is the serving size?
This recipe makes seven cups total, for seven one-cup side dish servings. To serve this as a plant-based main course, you can double the portions.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
The best way to make this ahead is to chop the veggies and keep them separate. Once it is stirred together it should be served within four hours.
The dressing keeps well in an airtight container with a layer of plastic wrap pressed against the surface. It may darken slightly but the flavor will be good. Note that the flavors may be slightly muted, so make sure to season with salt and pepper just before serving. If you are concerned about the appearance, it is best to make the dressing and use it within four hours.
How To Store Leftover Chickpea Salad
Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to three days. Stir well and serve with a slotted spoon if it becomes watery.
Can I use dried chickpeas instead of canned chickpeas?
Yes! To make this salad with dried chickpeas, do the following:
- Start with 1 cup of dried chickpeas.
- Soak them overnight on the countertop in plenty of cool tap water.
- Drain, cover with fresh water in a large saucepan, and simmer until they are tender.
- Make sure to monitor the level of the water so that it doesn’t get too low.
- Cooking times vary from 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Drain well and cool the chickpeas with cool running water before adding them to the salad.
- Season with additional salt as the canned chickpeas would have been salted.
Do canned chickpeas need to be cooked?
Canned chickpeas are already cooked and do not need to be cooked further.
Should I wash canned chickpeas?
We always recommend draining and rinsing canned chickpeas and other beans because this helps to remove any excess canning liquid and additional sodium. The only exception to this is if a recipe specifically calls for the canning liquid.
What other kinds of dressings goes well with chickpea salad?
My lemon vinaigrette or this tarragon vinaigrette would both be good alternatives to the lemon basil avocado dressing. You can also use balsamic vinaigrette instead of these other two options. Use 3/4 cup dressing per batch of salad. Make sure to taste and adjust the seasoning too!
Variations To Try
- Instead of the avocado dressing, use our Lemon Tahini dressing and add in black olives and feta cheese for a Mediterranean-inspired combination.
- Sub in a blend of other tender herbs for some or all of the basil such as dill, cilantro, tarragon or chervil.
- Swap out the raw onion, cucumbers and red bell peppers and add in roasted veggies instead. A blend of onion, pepper and either eggplant or zucchini would be lovely.
- Add in sun-dried tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes, and artichoke hearts.
Try These Other Chickpea Recipes
- Skip the extra dishes and make this Sheet Pan Salmon Dinner with Moroccan Spice.
- Chickpeas and chicken give this power salad lots of extra protein!
- And of course there are also non-traditional hummus recipes Roasted Red Pepper hummus and edamame hummus as well.
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~KatiePrint
Chickpea Salad Recipe
- Total Time: 20
- Yield: 7 cups 1x
- Diet: Vegan
This easy tasty vegan chickpea salad has a creamy avocado dressing with basil and lemon. It is a great protein source for plant based diets and is perfect to serve at potlucks, summer cookouts, picnic and barbecues.
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
½ cup chopped basil
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 cup chopped parsley
- Puree avocado, garlic, lemon zest and juice, basil, olive oil and salt in a food processor or mini prep.
- Combine chickpeas, cucumber, red pepper, red onion and parsley in a large bowl.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately, or chill up to 4 hours.
MAKE AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS
The best way to make this ahead is to chop the veggies and keep them separate. Once it is stirred together it should be served within four hours. The dressing keeps well in an airtight container with a layer of plastic wrap pressed against the surface. It may darken slightly but the flavor will be good. If you are concerned about the appearance, it is best to make the dressing and use it within four hours.
- Prep Time: 20
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: No cook
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 209
- Sugar: 5 g
- Fat: 11 g
- Carbohydrates: 24 g
- Fiber: 6 g
- Protein: 7 g
Keywords: chickpea salad,vegan chickpea salad,chickpea salad with avocado
Made this yesterday for the first time and will definitely be making again. I loved it. Had it as a side with dinner last night and ate the rest for lunch today with tortilla chips. So good! Very easy and fresh and I love the lemon flavor.
I am so happy to hear you liked this chickpea salad! I appreciate the fact that you came back to review it, Becky. That is so helpful!
Easy to make… Great taste… The family loved it.
Thank you so much!
Super fresh and delicious!!!
My one adjustment was to add 1/4 of white wine to the dressing to make it thinner so it spread more easily. Will be making this one again for sure!
Good idea! Thanks for coming back to let us know how it went.
This is the most delicious dressing I’ve ever made!!!
It’s smooth, lemony and absolutely scrumptious with blackeye peas!
I will try it with yucca next time as a lemon Basil take on potato salad.
Oh wow! That’s a great idea!
This was so delicious! Will be making again and again! Thanks Katie – for another great recipe 🙂
Thank you so much! I appreciate the feedback. Have a great day!
Perfect combination of dressing, chickpeas and veggies. Love this website- it’s the little things: the pictures of the ingredients, the step by step pictures, the “notes” section, the ability to customize the print options when you want to add the recipe to your recipe folder! Great site Katie!
Aw, thank you Jenn! I am flattered. Thank you for commenting and rating. You know that is so helpful so thank you!
I love hearty salads like this that can be a side or a full meal. So many great flavors and textures!
TYVM Donny! Have a great day!
This avo dressing is SO incredible!!! I look forward to bringing this to share this summer. The chickpeas with the dressing = big heart eyes!
How fabulous with that avocado dressing! The perfect summery lunch – love it!
Turned out lovely! Dressing nice and bright.
Hi Lisa. Thank you so so much for coming back to rate and review. I appreciate that so much. I’m glad you liked it! Yay! Have a great rest of your weekend!
Love this wholesome and delicious dressing that goes so well with chickpeas. 🙂
So glad! Thank you!
So fresh and delicious, I love it! Had it over greens for lunch, then again over rice for dinner. This is definitely going to be a summer staple.
I am so glad you liked it Ronna! Thank you!
Omg the avocado dressing. So simple but it MAKES this salad perfect.
Yay! I am so glad you liked it Shelby! Thank you for coming back to review it.
I am in love with this salad! All of my favorites and the flavors are terrific!
I am so happy to hear it! Thank you Colleen!
This salad is everything! Love the creaminess, it’s so perfect for summer!
Thanks so much Ana! I am glad you tried it and liked the dressing.