You guys already know that I love a good, delicious salad. I’m passionate about making great salads at home. In fact, one of my biggest pet peeves is eating a crappy meal when on vacation – such a waste! I also hate trying a new recipe that is just meh.
So in order to prevent this from ever happening, I joined a Pinterest Board of Recipes Worth Trying with my friends. We all regularly contribute tried and true recipes that we recommend and love. That is exactly how I came across the idea for a chopped chickpea salad. With a few tweaks on several ends, the version I make over and over is delicious, healthy, and gluten-free. And that’s what I’m sharing today!
Chopped Chickpea Rainbow Salad
The Chopped Chickpea Rainbow Salad recipe below makes enough for 6-8 servings, depending on serving size. Here are the approximate nutrition stats per serving, if you calculate it for 8 servings (about 1 heaping cup size).
6.1 g fat
27.3 g carbs
3.2 g sugar
9.2 g protein
Below are the ingredients you will need for this yummy salad:
These are packed with a wide variety of nutrients and minerals, and even a decent amount of fiber and protein. These little guys are a super nutritious addition to any meal but are especially tasty on salads.
Cucumbers are rich in antioxidants and known for having a high water content (up to 96%). So they are great for hydration. But it’s important to eat cucumbers unpeeled to get extra nutritional benefits since the peel packs a lot of the nutrient punch.
Like cucumbers, bell peppers are high in water content but these guys are also a great source of Vitamin A & C. Red Bell Peppers are said to be the most nutrient-rich since they ripen on the vine for longer. I use both yellow and red peppers for a color variety in this recipe.
These are not only a fun, distinct flavor to add to salads, but they are a great source Vitamin K, C & A.
Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
Tomatoes are a flavorful addition to any salad. Tomatoes, in general, are high in lycopene, a beneficial antioxidant, but Grape Tomatoes are a good source of fiber while Cherry Tomatoes have high beta-carotene content. So you can’t go wrong with whichever tomato you choose to use for this recipe.
This is an action-packed little plant that I LOVE adding into any recipe I make (when it makes sense, of course). Parsley is a great source of Vitamin A, K & C and is packed with minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
Lemon Juice is great to have on hand in your kitchen. Even just a little juice can add such a dynamic flavor to your dishes. Not to mention it’s also a great source of Vitamin C, Folate, and potassium. I prefer having fresh lemon juice rather than the store-bought bottled kind. Fresh in this case truly is best!
This is one of the holy grails of oil, in my opinion. I love that even a little drizzle on a salad gives my body plenty of healthy monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and so much more. I prefer to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil since it’s unrefined and holds more nutrients and antioxidants.
Sea salt is mainly used for a flavor pop but it should be noted that it naturally contains magnesium, calcium, potassium, and other nutrients.
This is a surprising little ingredient that packs a lot in it. I think we sometimes forget the health benefits of black pepper. Not only is it low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium but it’s also a good source of Vitamin C, Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin K, Iron, Copper, and Manganese.
Contains a variety of antioxidants, which fight cell damage caused by reactive molecules called free radicals. It’s also a good source of Vitamin A. Plus it tastes great.
This one is a blend of herbs like basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, and thyme (depending on the brand you buy) which are all very nutritious and delicious.
Crushed Red Pepper
It is usually sourced from the same peppers that cayenne peppers are made from, so many of the health benefits are the same. Like most red peppers, they are a good source of carotenoids including beta carotene which are antioxidants that fight the free radicals known to cause cancer and heart disease.
This is typically lower in calories than other cheeses, although it can be higher in salt content since it’s usually packaged in brine to preserve freshness. I recommend using it in moderation but it does add a wonderful flavor to this salad.
The preparations for this Chopped Chickpea Rainbow Salad recipe are probably one of the easiest of any recipe out there. Simply prepare the ingredients and combine them into a large bowl. I HIGHLY recommend that you let the salad sit for at least a couple of hours before eating. I think the flavors really get a chance to absorb and settle, making it much tastier than if served right away. You might have to try a taste test for yourself if you don’t believe me.
Note – this recipe makes a lot, so you will definitely have leftovers. It’s great to have on hand for quick lunches during the week or for serving at a large family gathering if you don’t like leftovers. I like the leftovers over fresh greens for lunch!
I like making a large batch of this salad because I definitely think it tastes even better the next day anyway, but you can half it too.
Alternative Options For This Recipe
As always, I love changing things up with my recipes so I am not always eating the same thing every day. Since this recipe always provides plenty for leftovers, I love adding some hemp seeds or nutritional yeast for that extra flavor pop to this salad.
If you want this salad to be vegan-friendly, simply don’t add the feta cheese. The salad is still delicious with or without the cheese. I promise.
Let me know what you think of this recipe by commenting below. I would love to hear from you.
Bonus – it makes a lot so you have leftovers (and it’s definitely better the next day anyway). I’ve been eating it for lunch over greens all week, and it’s also great topped with some hemp seeds and/or nutritional yeast for extra protein.