Chickpea quinoa salad is the perfect light and healthy meal for a hot summer day. The chickpeas make this salad hearty and satisfying, while the quinoa adds a touch of protein and fiber. Best of all, this salad comes together in minutes!
So if you're looking for a quick and easy lunch or dinner solution, be sure to give this chickpea quinoa salad a try!
Whether I need a hearty salad for lunch or whether I need to bring something to a potluck, this Chickpea Quinoa Salad recipe is a great choice along with this Southwest Quinoa Bowl. They're easy to make, plus they are healthy and filling! This recipe is perfect for meal prep, too.
For another tasty chickpea recipe, try this Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad.
This fresh salad is so satisfying because of all the delicious flavors and textures. It's got a nice crunch from the bell peppers and pumpkin seeds, sweetness from the carrot, all complemented by the delightful tahini lemon dressing.
What is quinoa?
The ancient grain quinoa has gotten a lot of attention as an excellent source of protein and minerals such as iron, magnesium, lysine. It's even enough to be considered a superfood these days!
Quinoa is a complete protein; it contains all nine essential amino acids, making it an excellent protein source.
Highly nutritious quinoa also comes with the bonus of being naturally gluten-free; if you have celiac disease or other kinds of intolerance to wheat products, then this grain will be perfect for you!
Why eat chickpeas?
Chickpeas are a wonderful source of fiber and plant-based protein. They also contain amino acids, minerals, manganese, zinc, and vitamins, including B vitamins.
What are serrano peppers?
The serrano pepper is a type of chili similar to jalapeños or habaneros, but they have an intense heat that makes them popular for adding a kick to any dish you're cooking up! They are five times hotter than jalapeño peppers.
Why eat serrano peppers?
Serrano peppers have many health benefits and contain many minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6.
Like other hot peppers, serrano peppers contain capsaicin in the seeds and ribs, which causes heat and a burning sensation. Capsaicin has many anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help digestion and reduce nasal congestion.
Here is what you will need to make this easy quinoa chickpea salad:
- Quinoa - use any quinoa of your choice; tri-color, white, red, or black.
- Lemon juice - freshly squeezed, not from concentrate. I love the brightness that fresh lemon juice adds to the dressing.
- Water for thinning the dressing - if you use the juice of a whole lemon you may not need the water.
- Tahini - I love Kevala for the taste, plus it's slightly runny and not too thick.
- Fine sea salt - adjust to your taste. Himalayan pink salt is a great choice as well.
- Spring mix salad - the fresher the salad greens, the better! I prefer organic whenever possible, but if conventional salad greens are the only choice, that is fine.
- Chickpeas - you can use canned chickpeas, or cook dried chickpeas for the best taste and texture. They are also known as garbanzo beans.
- Serrano pepper - this freshly diced pepper adds a hot and spicy bite. I prefer the green unripe serrano peppers.
- Cherry tomatoes - I love the fresh flavor they add.
How to make Chickpea Quinoa Salad recipe
Here are the steps to make this simple and easy quinoa salad:
Make the quinoa
- Rinse the quinoa before you cook it. Heat the broth to boil in a medium saucepan, and cook the quinoa for 15 minutes on low to low-medium heat. Keep the lid on, slightly ajar. Let it sit for another 5 minutes once it's off the heat. Let it cool to room temperature.
Make the dressing
- Combine the dressing ingredients: whisk the tahini, lemon juice, water, and sea salt to taste in a small bowl or jar.
Assemble the salad
- Assemble the salad greens, chickpeas, radishes, bell pepper, carrot, cherry tomatoes, and serrano pepper between serving bowls.
- Top with hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds.
- Add quinoa to each plate, and top with the lemon tahini dressing.
- Sprinkle coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Top with sliced or chopped avocado and chopped fresh parsley.
To enjoy the best flavor, rinse the quinoa with water in a fine-mesh strainer before cooking to remove the saponin, a natural coating which can make it taste bitter or soapy even if boxed quinoa is pre-rinsed at home.
To save time, make the quinoa the day before.
Serrano peppers are hot and can irritate the skin. The juice may be painful when it comes in contact with the eyes, so keep your fingers away from your face! I recommend that you wear thin gloves when handling this pepper.
Spring mix - you can use spinach or kale instead, or any salad greens of your choice.
Chickpeas - feel free to substitute with black beans, cannellini beans, or black-eyed peas.
Quinoa - if you don't have quinoa, use whichever grain you have - brown rice, Kamut, or freekeh, for example.
Red peppers - you can use yellow or orange bell peppers instead.
Lemon juice: Use fresh lime juice instead or a touch of apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar; adjust to taste. Feel free to add some maple syrup to the salad dressing for sweetness.
Kid-friendly: Leave out the serrano pepper.
Add-ins: Change up the salad ingredients by adding any other fresh vegetables you like such as chopped green onions, or snap peas. You can make a Greek quinoa salad by adding red onion, kalamata olives, sliced crunchy cucumbers, and vegan feta cheese.
How to store
You can store this healthy quinoa salad in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days in an airtight container; keep the dressing and salad in separate containers.
If you need to, you can freeze the leftover quinoa for one to two months.
If you make this Vegan Chickpea Quinoa Salad, please take a moment to ★★★★★ star rate it and leave a comment below. You can follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me! Tag me @resplendentkitchen and hashtag #resplendentkitchenrecipes.
Chickpea Quinoa Salad (Vegan and oil-free)
For the Quinoa:
- ¾ cup quinoa rinsed
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed, not from concentrate
- 2 tablespoons water
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
For the Salad:
- 4 cups organic spring mix salad
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 2 radishes sliced thinly
- ½ cup chopped red bell pepper or yellow or orange
- ½ cup carrot shredded
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 teaspoons serrano pepper diced
- 2 teaspoons hemp seeds
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin seeds
- Black pepper freshly ground
- Parsley optional
- Avocado optional, sliced or chopped
Cook the Quinoa:
- In a small-medium saucepan, heat the broth on medium heat. Rinse the quinoa, and add to the broth. Bring to a boil and cook on low heat for 15 minutes with the top on, slightly loose. Take off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
Make the Tahini Dressing:
- Combine the tahini, lemon juice, water, and salt. Combine with a small whisk. Add water in small increments if the dressing is too thick.
Make the Salad:
- Between two plates, assemble the salad greens, chickpeas, radishes, bell pepper, carrot, tomatoes, and serrano pepper.
- Top with hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds. Add ¼ cup quinoa to each plate, and top each salad with 2 tablespoons of tahini dressing. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add sliced or chopped avocado and fresh parsley if desired.
- Be sure to rinse the quinoa to avoid bitterness.
- If you cook the quinoa and chop up the vegetables ahead of time, the preparation will go quicker.
- This lunch is great for meal prep. Pack the salad, quinoa, chickpeas, and vegetables in a container. Keep the dressing separate; add it to the salad at the time of serving.
Resplendent Kitchen offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site as a courtesy. Although resplendentkitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information from online calculators, these figures are estimates.