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Italian Chickpea Salad

This quick and easy Italian Chickpea Salad is fresh, crisp, colorful, full of good-for-you veggies and mozzarella cheese, and tossed with a balsamic dressing. It’s great for lunch, a light supper, or as a side dish.

This is a favorite in my house. I’ve made it so many times I could probably make it in my sleep. It’s easy to make, it’s good for you, and it’s absolutely delicious! What’s not to love?

The chickpeas are full of protein and make the salad filling and satisfying. The veggies are fresh and crisp. The mozzarella cheese makes it extra yummy (plus, hey, you get some calcium), and the balsamic dressing deliciously pulls it all together.

We usually eat this chickpea salad for lunch, but it’s also great as a light and healthy supper. It also makes a great side dish for anything grilled and makes an excellent potluck dish.

All you have to do to make this salad is chop a few veggies, whisk up a quick dressing, and toss everything together. 

You can eat it immediately, but I highly recommend letting it sit in the fridge for about an hour before you eat it. Everybody in the bowl gets to know each other better, which makes it even more delicious. It’s worth the wait!

large serving bowl full of chickpea salad with a white napkin and a serving spoon on the side

Ingredients You Need To Make Italian Chickpea Salad:

  • Chickpeas
  • Grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Sweet onion
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried basil
  • Dried oregano
  • Mozzarella cheese

Here’s a Quick Look at How to Make Italian Chickpea Salad:

three photos showing steps to make chickpea salad with text that says combine chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, and onions, whisk together dressing ingredients, and add dressing to chickpea mixture
three photos of steps to make chickpea salad with text that says stir to combine, add mozzarella, and stir to combine
two photos of steps to make chickpea salad with text that says refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving, serve and enjoy

You can use home-cooked or canned chickpeas in this recipe. Both will work fine. If you have an Instant Pot, check out my recipe for cooking chickpeas in the Instant Pot – so easy and so good!

Also, although fresh mozzarella is excellent, I would recommend using regular mozzarella in this salad (the kind you would grate and use for pizza). The firmer texture will hold up better.

One thing I have to note is that this chickpea salad is really best on the day you make it. As it sits in the refrigerator, the tomatoes and cucumbers lose their crispness and the mozzarella can get a little mushy from sitting in the dressing.

If you don’t think you’re going to eat all of the salad the day you make it, I would consider halving the recipe or making only as much as you would plan to eat that day. Of course, if the loss of texture doesn’t bother you, it will last a few days in the fridge.

close up of chickpea salad

This salad isn’t just for summer. These days, it’s easy to find sweet and juicy grape tomatoes and crisp cucumbers in the grocery store all fall/winter long, so we eat this salad year-round. It’s too good not to!

I hope you try this Italian Chickpea Salad recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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a bowl of chickpea salad with a serving spoon on the side

Italian Chickpea Salad

This quick and easy Italian Chickpea Salad is fresh, crisp, colorful, full of good-for-you veggies and mozzarella cheese, and tossed with a balsamic dressing. It's great for lunch, a light supper, or as a side dish
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Author: Michelle | Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time (optional but recommended): 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 5 (about 1½ cups each)
Estimated Calories: 288

Ingredients

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

  • cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 (15.5-ounce) can, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 English cucumber, partially peeled and cut into quarter moons
  • ½ cup Vidalia or other sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 cup diced mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Combine the chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Pour the dressing over the chickpea mixture and toss to combine.
  • Add the mozzarella cheese and toss to combine. Taste and add salt and/or pepper if needed.
  • For the best flavor, allow the salad to sit in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally, for at least an hour before serving. 

Notes

  • This salad is best when served on the same day that you make it. The vegetables will lose their crispness and the mozzarella will become a little mushy the longer it sits in the refrigerator.
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Recipe Rating




Colleen

Sunday 19th of May 2019

Fantastic light and simple salad! I changed the quantity of the onions and used fresh mozzarella. Definitely something I’ll be making a lot this summer!

Michelle

Sunday 19th of May 2019

Hi, Colleen! Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!