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Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, Basil, and Parsley

I’m a huge fan of garbanzo beans, but in the re-make of this favorite salad I’m using less beans and more tomatoes, olives, and herbs for a more carb-conscious salad. If Garbanzos are not your favorite, use a different type of bean for this tasty vegan salad that’s also gluten-free, dairy-free, low-glycemic, and South Beach Diet friendly.

Click here to PIN this tasty salad so you can make it later!

Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, Basil, and Parsley found on KalynsKitchen.com

For people with tomatoes in the garden, we’re approaching that point in the summer where some kind of salad that uses tomatoes is going to appear on the table nearly every day, and this Chickpea Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, Basil, and Parsley is lovely for a summer side dish, or even as a main-dish salad for a light meal. And if you have some fresh herbs in your garden, this salad is a perfect way to spotlight them.

I’ve always been quite a fan of chickpeas, and at one time I had a weekend ritual of soaking them overnight and cooking them the next day. But when I made this salad again recently to re-shoot the old photos, I decided to reduce the amount of chickpeas to make the salad a bit more carb-conscious. That gave me a chance to use more tomatoes, olives, and herbs, which in my opinion only made the salad better!

This salad was originally inspired by one I saw in Joanne Weir’s From Tapas to Meze, and I improvised on it back in 2008 after thinking about what needed to be used in the garden and what would taste good with the chickpeas I’d just cooked. If you’re not having a chickpea-soaking ritual going on at your house, of course you can make this with canned garbanzo beans.

You can definitely use less chickpeas like I did this time, or even skip the chickpeas completely if you prefer, but please be sure not to skip the fresh basil and fresh parsley, which is what makes the salad so delicious. If you have other fresh herbs in the garden, throw some of those in as well!

Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, Basil, and Parsley found on KalynsKitchen.com
Whether you soak chickpeas and cook them from scratch or just rinse canned chickpeas, don’t skip the step of marinating the beans in some red wine vinegar and lemon juice while you prep other ingredients! Then cut up tomatoes (and drain in a colander if they’re juicy), slice olives, and chop red onion and toss the other ingredients with the marinating beans.

Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, Basil, and Parsley found on KalynsKitchen.com
Chop up a generous amount of fresh basil and parsley, or any other fresh herbs you’re using. (I used my favorite Herb Scissors to cut up the basil.) Toss herbs with the marinating ingredients. Then whisk together red wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper to make the dressing; add the dressing to ingredients in the bowl, and toss the entire salad again.

Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, Basil, and Parsley found on KalynsKitchen.com
Season salad to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper and serve. This will keep pretty well in the fridge overnight, but it’s definitely best freshly made. For a healthy dinner this would make a great side dish for something like Grilled Chicken with Lemon, Capers, and Oregano or Herb-Encrused Grilled Salmon.

Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, Basil, and Parsley found on KalynsKitchen.com

And just for historical purposes, here’s the original photo of the salad from 2008!

Chickpea Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, Basil, and Parsley
(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe inspired by a chickpea salad in From Tapas to Meze, with additional inspiration from Kalyn’s garden.)

Recipe Note:
I updated this salad in 2016 with less beans and more other ingredients, so I am giving a range of ingredients in the recipe; choose the version you prefer.

Salad Ingredients:
1/2 – 1 cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) soaked overnight and cooked (or can use 1 or 2 cans garbanzo beans, well rinsed and drained)
1 T red wine vinegar
2 tsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice (I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice.)
2 or 3 cups diced plum tomatoes, cut in 1/2 inch pieces then drained (can also use cherry tomatoes but drain well)
1/2 – 3/4 cup Kalamata olives, sliced into lengthwise slivers
1/2 cup chopped red onion (about half of a large red onion) or use sliced green onion if you prefer
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (or more; I used about 1 cup)
1/4 cup chopped parsley (or more; I used about 1 cup)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients:
5 T best quality extra virgin olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper

Instructions:

If you’re cooking your own chickpeas, soak chickpeas in cold water overnight or for at least 8 hours . Drain soaking water, then put beans into pan with fresh water and simmer until beans are tender. This can take from 45 minutes to several hours, depending on how fresh the beans are, so plan ahead. (You can also cook the chickpeas in a slow cooker or pressure cooker.) For canned beans, drain into colander and rinse with cold water until no more foam appears. Whether using freshly-cooked or canned beans, drain well, then place in large plastic bowl and toss with 1 T red wine vinegar and 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice.

Chop tomatoes and drain in a colander while you chop the onions and slice olives, then add drained tomatoes, chopped onions, and sliced olives to the bowl with the marinating beans.

Wash and dry basil and parsley, using salad spinner or washing in the sink and drying with paper towels. Finely chop herbs, then add to marinating salad ingredients and gently combine.

Put 3 T red wine vinegar and 1 tsp fresh lemon juice in a small bowl or glass measuring cup, then whisk in olive oil until dressing is emulsified. Stir salt and pepper into dressing.  Gently mix dressing into salad, then season to taste with additional salt and fresh ground black pepper. The salad can marinate at room temperature for an hour or two before serving.

I did refrigerate leftovers with pretty good results, but it’s definitely best when freshly made and before being refrigerated.

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:

This salad is great for any phase of the South Beach Diet, and is suitable for any type of low-glycemic eating plan. With the reduced amount of beans, it might work for some low-carb diets; you could also make the salad without beans for a low-carb version.  

Find More Recipes Like This One:

Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?

If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

More Beans In Your Life?
Slow Cooker Beans and Legumes Photo Index Page ~ Slow Cooker from Scratch

Spinach Salad with Marinated Garbanzo Beans and Feta Cheese ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Healthy Chicken Chickpea Chopped Salad ~ Ambitious Kitchen

Vegan Middle Eastern Bean Salad with Parsley and Lemon (Balela) ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, Basil, and Parsley found on KalynsKitchen.com
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45 comments on “Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, Basil, and Parsley”

  1. This is a really delicious and beautiful salad. I should eat garbanzos more, as they are an excellent source of protein and fiber. But after that I have to stay downwind of everyone 😉

    If you can’t control the freshness of rehydrated beans, wouldn’t canned be better for standardizing cooking times? Or does the lower cost of bulk dried beans outweigh the time spent cooking them?

    Another question – did you use flat Italian parsley or curly parsley?

  2. I love using chickpeas in salads. A great source of protein and they are super tasty!! I am sure the herbs boost it up a notch too!

  3. Naten-n-annie, I think if you rinse the garbanzos well, it helps with the downwind problem!

    It’s purely a personal choice whether to use canned or fresh beans. Yes, the canned beans are great when time is an issue. But if you buy the beans at a reputable store where they’re likely to not be overly old, I think it’s well worth the trouble to soak and cook them, and MUCH cheaper.

    I really do use the two types of parsley interchangeably, since I have both in my garden but I used curly parsley in this recipe.

    Maria, thanks!

  4. That looks like such a yummy and fresh tasting salad!

  5. I’m going to soak the beans today and cook them tomorrow. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  6. I love garbanzo beans. But since I’ve had such bad luck with dried beans in general I think I’ll try this with the canned stuff 🙂

  7. This is so colorful! It looks gorgeous!

  8. this is so colourful. i love any salad that has any kind of beans in it, chickpeas salad is yummy. love boiled kidney beans salad too. love the fresh ingredients here.

  9. I came across your blog on blogher. Fantastic picture! Your salad looks just wonderful!

    http://www.katelynsfood.blogspot.com

  10. Ya know, the great thing about the healthy dishes you post is that they always look lovely enough for people to actually want to make them. They look delicious and enjoyable. I don’t know if that even makes sense :P.

    I guess it’s that sometimes I see people who only cook healthy stuff and it sometimes seems so boring and bland. Yours never does and it’s very encouraging to those of us who really need new and interesting nutritious dishes. So thank you.

  11. more and more, I’m struck by the vibrancy of your pictures. all of the practice is surely paying off!

  12. I really appreciate the nice feedback on the recipe and photo. This is one of my favorite salads of the summer this year!

  13. This salad looks wonderful. Until recently I soaked and cooked my own chick peas. Just lately I’ve been using canned ones and they just aren’t the same. I often crush a spoonful of the peas and add to the dressing – it gives it a creamy consistency.

  14. I’ve been cooking up large batches of dried beans and freezing them in 2 cup portions. I agree with you, they taste much better than canned, plus they’re cheaper.

  15. Lovely and delicious looking. Mr CC would love it if I made this for him!

  16. That’s the kind of salad I love! Healthy, fresh, tasty and very pleasant! I could eat chickpeas at every meal!!!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  17. Delicious-sounding, as usual!

    Paz

  18. Love the way bloggers share ideas with each other. Barbara, I like your idea of crushing some chickpeas to add to the dressing. Sara, also a great idea to cook a lot of chickpeas and freeze. Thanks everybody for nice thoughts.

  19. I think the downside of using the canned food is high ammount of sodium. However, you can always rince the chickpea to lower the ammount of sodium.

  20. This is stunning! And I agree, soaked and cooked-from-scratch chickpeas taste so much better than canned varieties. This salad looks so fresh and delicious!

  21. It looks heavenly. I have a can of garbanzo beans in my pantry which I will use for this recipe soon later this week.

    The photo is simply lovely. Great colors too.

  22. This salad sounds delish and I can’t wait to try it. I’ve been soaking and cooking my own garbanzos for hummus for a while now and really do think they are preferable over canned.

    One question: When a recipe states “1/2 cup chopped basil,” does this mean you measure 1/2 cup of basil and then chop it OR you chop basil and measure 1/2 cup? You wind up with more herbs the second way (I think!).

  23. MsBlueKatt, when I write “1/2 cup chopped basil” in a recipe it means a half-cup measure packed with chopped basil. One thing I like about Fine Cooking magazine is the explanation of these kinds of things. You could write 1/2 cup basil, chopped if you mean to measure the basil after chopping. But thanks for the question; I could certainly make it more clear in the way I write it. BTW, in a salad like this I think the measurement of herbs doesn’t have to be that exact. If I made it in the winter when I had to buy basil I’d probably be using less, but I have a lot of basil in my garden right now.

  24. It’s your salads that have me always coming back – whenever I lack inspiration I know who I can rely on!

  25. In my new kitchen (whenever I get it) I’m going to be cooking more chickpeas and other beans from dried, too. Why does the idea of a new kitchen become so inspiring for this kind of thing? hahaha!
    Great looking salad!

  26. That looks so incredibly yummmmy!

  27. Your food is also so simple and delicious looking (and tasty–the ones I’ve made)! This salad looks great!

  28. I love chickpeas, they are my favourite of the legumes.
    I have been considering picking up this book, so thank you for the review.
    I love your salad, so simple, light and healthy.

  29. What a great salad – truly – I love salads made with lots of interesting things and leave out the lettuce.

  30. Kalyn, your food is always so colorful and just looks truly delicious.

  31. OK, now this is freaky – I made a very close approximation of this salad on 6 September for our annual big BBQ!! Clearly there was a ripple in the force 🙂

  32. Thanks everyone!

    Jeanne, if we’re channeling each other I don’t mind a bit!

  33. What a beautiful salad. I have just set some chickpeas to soak.

    I think tinned legumes are fine in dishes served hot or pureed but for salads, you can’t go past freshly cooked.

  34. I found this recipe a couple of months ago and decided to try it for my son, the vegetarian. Wow! I didn’t have red wine vinegar on hand, so I substituted balsamic – and it was fantastic. I bought the dried beans and soaked them, and I really think it makes a tremendous difference, especially in the sodium content. The first time my son tried it, he was eating it a day after I’d made it. He enjoyed it, but I told him how much better it is first time around. A few weeks ago, I made it for him since he was babysitting our bulldogs. I mixed the dressing shortly before we left the house, so it would be just right when he got there. He ate nearly the whole recipe!

  35. Francine, so happy to hear your son liked it. All credit to Joanne Weir, this is mostly her recipe. I love the cookbook this recipe came from, so many good choices.

  36. Hi Kalyn, nice recipe. There is something about chickpeas they always look so nice in a salad or pasta, or even with rice. I cooked a bucket load of chickpeas yesterday so I will be making this salad tonight.

    Can I share a chickpea trick I learned from Lucy of Nourish Me? Soak your chickpeas for several days in the fridge, in water with a tablespoon of yoghurt mixed in. It results in the softest creamiest chickpeas when cooked. The difference is very noticeable.

    Or use a can. 🙂

    Still very hot weather here – 2 weeks of 40C (approx 106F) temps. Melting….

  37. Hope you like the salad. Thanks for the soaking tip, very interesting. I’ll definitely try it.

    We’re freezing here, I would prefer melting!

  38. Just made this salad last night and it was amazing. Chickpeas are a great ingredient to use. The fresh herbs added such a punch to the salad. Glad we got the kalamata olives! Can't wait to try more of your recipes!

  39. I love your name! So glad you enjoyed the salad.

  40. This was delicious. I think it was even better the next day when the spices had more time to marinade in the olive oil and red wine vinegar. I shared the link on Facebook. Thanks 🙂

  41. Richard, thanks (always appreciated!) So glad you enjoyed it.

  42. Being low-carb, I make this salad with chopped cauliflower in place of the chickpeas. Have taken it to a couple of family gatherings and it's been a hit!

  43. Ribron, I love that idea; thanks for sharing!

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