Vegan Chickpea Salad - Chef Abbie Gellman MS, RD, CDN

Vegan Chickpea Salad

Chef Abbie Gellman RD

I love pickled veggies, they are a great way to brighten a dish or help cut through fat. In this vegan chickpea salad, the pickled onions brighten without overpowering the other ingredients. This can be a side dish, perfect with grilled chicken and corn, or serve it as a vegetarian main dish for lunch or a light supper. The cucumbers and tomatoes add a nice, fresh summer feeling to the meal as well. This vegan chickpea salad also is perfect as a packed lunch to bring to work or school.

How To Make Vegan Chickpea Salad

You want to start by pickling your onions.  To do this, place your sliced red onion into a container with vinegar, seal and set aside.

Next, place oregano, oil, dill, zest, juice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine.  Add In your chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes and olives.  Top with pickled onion and enjoy your Vegan Chickpea Salad!

What is Pickling?

To pickle a food, you place it in a solution containing salt, acid, or alcohol.  Typical solutions used to pickle include brine, vinegar, alcohol, and olive oil.  In my Vegan Chickpea Salad recipe, we pickle our onions in vinegar.  The pickling process destroys bacteria which helps preserve the food.  It also changes the texture and flavor of the food.  Our red onions become a little more bright and tangy when pickled!

Chickpea Nutrition

Chickpeas (also known as “Garbanzo Beans”) are packed full of nutrition.  Chickpeas are a great source of complex carbohydrates, plant-based protein, fiber, B-vitamins, iron, and phosphorus.

A good source of carbs?? But aren’t carbs bad for me?  No!  Carbohydrates are one of the Three Macronutrients we need in our diets, along with protein and fat.  They are also the body’s main source of energy.  Complex Carbohydrates are made up of sugar molecules that are strung together in long chains.  Because of their more complex structure and high amount of fiber, they take longer to break down in your digestive system.  This helps promote a steady blood sugar, and keeps you feeling full for longer.

Chickpeas provide plant-based protein, which is great for vegetarians, vegans, or individuals trying to cut-back on their consumption of animal products.  1 ounce of chickpeas provides 3g of protein.  Protein is important for bone, muscle, and skin health.  Chickpeas are not a “complete protein”, however, because they do not contain all 9 of the essential amino acids we need to get from our diets.  They are missing the essential amino acid Methionine.  To make sure you get all of the essential amino acids, be sure to incorporate other plant-based sources of protein like whole grains!  Enjoy these nutritional benefits in my Vegan Chickpea Salad!

Should I use canned or dried chickpeas? 

You can use whichever you prefer!  For my Vegan Chickpea Salad, I prefer to use canned chickpeas because they are ready to eat right out of the can as opposed to the dried variety that needs to be soaked and cooked.

If you already have dried chickpeas or garbanzo beans on hand and want to cook them, simply soak your beans overnight.  Next combine 1 cup beans and 3 cups water to a pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 60-90 minutes or until tender.

If you want to use canned chickpeas but are worried about sodium in your diet, buy no-salt-added canned chickpeas or garbanzo beans.  You can also rinse your beans to remove up to 40% of the salt.  

Similar Pages

Looking for more bean salad recipes?  Try my Vegan Bean Salad, Mandarin Orange Salad with Black Beans, and Southwest Quinoa Black Bean Salad!


“Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans).” The Nutrition Source, 28 Oct. 2019,

“Pickling.” Pickling – an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics, Elsevier B.V.,

chickpea salad


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Course: Side Dish
Keyword: vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Chef Abbie Gellman RD


  • 1 red onion sliced into half moons
  • 2 cups White wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • Zest of a lemon
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 hothouse cucumber diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • ¼ cup olives sliced in half


  • Place onion into container with vinegar and seal, set aside or place in refrigerator.
  • Place oregano, oil, dill, zest, juice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add vegetables to bowl and mix well. Top with pickled onion.


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