Why this recipe works
This quinoa chickpea salad recipe is so easy to make with simple ingredients that are full of flavor. Chickpeas, quinoa, fresh cucumber, red onion, and feta are combined in a delicious lemon mustard dressing and topped with fresh herbs for a light and bright salad recipe that is so delicious!
This quinoa salad with chickpeas is really quick to throw together. The longest part of this recipe is to cook the quinoa and chop up your vegetables. So simple!
While this salad might seem simple, it does not lack flavor. There are so many good flavors in this recipe!
The dates add a subtle sweetness and a bit of chewiness which contrasts so well with the tangy feta crumbles. The quinoa gets cooked in a vegetable broth, which adds so much more flavor than cooking quinoa in water.
Trust me, this easy quinoa salad recipe will become part of your meal rotation!
You’ll love this recipe because:
- quinoa – I used white quinoa in this recipe, but red quinoa, black quinoa, or tri-color quinoa all work wonderfully here.
- vegetable broth – Make sure that your vegetable broth is gluten-free if you need it to be. You can also use chicken broth instead if you prefer.
- chickpeas – I used canned chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, in this recipe. Drain and rinse the chickpeas before using. You can also use dried chickpeas that you have soaked in water overnight instead.
- dates – A few dates add some sweetness and chewy texture to the recipe. Make sure you pit the date before dicing it up. To do so, use a knife to cut a slit lengthwise across the date. The pit should be easy to pop out from there.
- cucumber – I used an English cucumber for this recipe, which is seedless. It also has a thinner skin than a regular cucumber, so you can leave the skin on.
- red onion – Red onion adds some bite to the quinoa salad. I like the red onions as is, but you can also soak the red onions in ice water for 10 minutes and then drain them before using to remove some of the pungency and bite. Instead of red onions, feel free to use green onions instead if you prefer.
- feta – I used fresh blocks of feta that I crumbled myself for this recipe. I think that it has better flavor than the pre-crumbled feta. If you are dairy-free or vegan, just leave the feta out or use vegan feta.
Adjustments and Substitutions
While I highly recommend that you try this cold quinoa salad as written the first time, I completely understand wanting to use up ingredients you have in your refrigerator or to suit your own tastes.
Here are some additions that I think would be so delicious in this easy quinoa chickpea salad:
- Red bell pepper or green bell pepper – dice the bell pepper up into small pieces and add raw
- Kalamata olives – pit the olives and slice or cut in half
- apple cider vinegar – add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the dressing to make a tangy lemon vinaigrette
- Red wine vinegar – similar to the apple cider vinegar, add a tablespoon of red wine vinegar to the dressing for different flavor
- grape tomatoes – slice your tomatoes in half and add to the salad
- lime juice – substitute the lemon juice with lime juice for a different flavor profile
You won’t believe how easy this chickpea quinoa salad recipe is to make. Follow the general steps with matching photos below to help you make this gluten-free cold salad perfectly every time.
For the ingredient list with measurements, full instructions, printable recipe, and additional notes, please scroll down to the recipe card.
I always rinse my quinoa, even if the package specifies that the quinoa is pre-rinsed. It’s just a step to rinse off the bitter-tasting compound (saponin) that is on the quinoa.
I like to serve this salad cold. The only ingredient that might be a little warm is the quinoa, but you can let that cool for a bit at room temperature before assembling. I tend to start making the quinoa first and chop the rest of the vegetables while it’s cooking.
Canned chickpeas aren’t raw. They have been pre-soaked and pre-cooked, so you can eat them straight from the can. I like to rinse off the thick white soaking liquid (aquafaba) from the chickpeas before using or eating.
Yes, this recipe is naturally gluten-free as written. Be sure to double check that your vegetable broth is gluten-free, as some broths have hidden gluten in them. Always double check all ingredients to make sure they are gluten-free.
This recipe can easily be made dairy-free and vegan by omitting the crumbled feta cheese. The rest of the recipe is dairy-free and vegan as written.
hints & tips
- Storage: You can store the chickpea quinoa salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Let sit out at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving. Eat cold.
- Freezer: While you can freeze plain quinoa, I do not recommend freezing this chickpea quinoa salad because the other ingredients in the cold salad will change their texture. This is best made and served immediately or stored in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
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Did you make this recipe?
I’d love to know! Please rate it and leave a comment below. You can also share your pictures and tag @adashofmegnut on Instagram.
Quinoa Chickpea Salad
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (rinsed (180g))
- 2 cups vegetable broth or water (16 oz, 475mL)
- 15 oz canned chickpeas (drained and rinsed (440g))
- 3/4 cup red onion (diced (100 grams, from 1/2 large red onion))
- 1/2 cup dates (pitted and chopped (75 grams, about 4 medjool dates))
- 1 cup feta (crumbled (120 grams, 4 ounces))
- 1 cup sliced cucumbers (from 1/2 english cucumber (125 grams))
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (measured after chopping, 10g)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (27g)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (30g)
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard (15g)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Add quinoa and vegetable broth to a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, turn the temperature to low and cover with a lid. Let the quinoa simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the quinoa has soaked up all the broth.
- Remove the quinoa from the heat and fluff with a fork. Let cool completely.
- Add the cooked quinoa to a large bowl with the canned chickpeas, diced red onion, diced dates, crumbled feta, and fresh parsley.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt and black pepper.
- Pour the olive oil dressing over the quinoa and toss until coated. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled in the refrigerator.
- If you have celiac disease or are on a gluten-free diet, be sure to double check all of your ingredients to make sure they are gluten-free. Manufacturing practices change from time-to-time.
- This recipe can easily be made dairy-free and vegan by omitting the crumbled feta cheese. The rest of the recipe is dairy-free and vegan as written.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Make sure you pit the dates before dicing them up.