Kalyn's Kitchen

Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad

Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad is loaded with interesting flavors and it makes a great lunch or side-dish salad any time of year. And this tasty salad is vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. 

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Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad

Variations of this Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad are found all over the middle east, and this salad may vary in the ingredients but it always has a generous amount of fresh herbs. I was inspired to make this salad by a recipe I spotted on a blog that no longer exists, but I loved the salad I’m so glad I tried it. And bean salads where you can use canned beans and still get a good result are my idea of convenience food, and this recipe was definitely a winner.

The salad has a garlicky lemon dressing that bumps up the flavor and uses garbanzos, black beans, parsley, chopped tomatoes, and green onion for a simple salad that’s bursting with flavor. The star ingredient here is chopped fresh parsley, great to use in winter when other herbs are so expensive and if it was summer when I made the salad, I might add chopped fresh mint too!)

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • canned black beans
  • canned garbanzo beans
  • green onion
  • chopped fresh tomato
  • finely chopped fresh parsley
  • fresh-squeezed lemon juice, I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice
  • garlic puree or Minced Garlic (affiliate link)
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

Where does the name Balela come from?

The word Balela means “cooked chickpeas” in Arabic, and Balela is an ancient Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad.

Will the salad stay good in the fridge?

The salad was surprisingly not bad after bring in the fridge overnight. But I prefer not to refrigerate tomatoes, and if I wanted to eat this over several days I’d leave out the tomato and add a fresh-chopped tomato to each portion of salad when I ate it.

Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad process shots collage

How to make this salad:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Pour chickpeas and black beans one at a time into a colander placed in the sink, rinse well until no more foam appears, and let drain. (I often blot them dry with a paper towel if I get impatient and they still seem wet.)
  2. While beans are draining, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic puree and let the flavors blend.
  3. Chop the green onions, tomatoes, and parsley and put in a large bowl.
  4. Add the well drained beans to the bowl.
  5. Mix the salad ingredients together and let it marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. (If I had more time I might marinate the beans for a few hours in the dressing, then mix in the other ingredients for the last 30 minutes.)
  6. Season to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper and serve.

Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad

Make it a Meal:

This would taste great as a side dish for something like Pan-Grilled Steak with Olive Sauce or Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar. Or serve it as a main dish salad for a meatless meal!

More Salads with Chickpeas:

Chickpea Salad with Tomatoes, Olives and Herbs
Arugula Chickpea Salad with Feta
Curried Chickpea Salad
Leafy Green Salad with Chickpeas and Feta
Cucumber, Tomato, and Garbanzo Salad

Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad

Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad makes a great lunch or side-dish salad and parsley and lemon make this an extra-flavorful dish.



  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed well and drained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, rinsed well and drained
  • 1 cup chopped green onion (or less)
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato (about 6 small tomatoes)
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 3 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic puree (or use finely minced fresh garlic)
  • 4 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. One at a time, empty canned beans into a colander placed in the sink, rinse well with cold water until no more foam appears, then let beans drain well. (I sometimes blot them dry with a paper towel if they still seem wet.)
  2. Put well-drained beans into a plastic bowl.
  3. While beans drain, chop green onions, tomatoes, and parsley and add to bowl.
  4. Whisk together dressing ingredients.
  5. Gently mix dressing into bean mixture, stirring just enough to combine and coat the ingredients with dressing.
  6. Let salad sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before servings, then season with more salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. (If I had lots of time I would drain beans, mix dressing, and then stir in about half the dressing into beans and let them marinate for a few hours before I added the other ingredients.)
  7. Despite the fact that tomatoes shouldn’t be refrigerated, this was actually very tasty even after being in the fridge for a few days. If you know you won’t eat it all right away, you could mix together everything but tomatoes and add them each time you eat some.


This recipe adapted from Middle Eastern Bean Salad at MeleCotte who adapted it from the Balela Recipe at Relish.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 178Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 495mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad

Low-Carb Diet / Low Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Salads like this with low-glycemic ingredients are a great choice for any phase of the original South Beach Diet, but this is too high in carbs for a low-carb diet. If you want a salad that’s lower in carbs, use less beans and more of the other ingredients, or add a protein like Feta cheese, tuna, or chicken.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Meatless Recipes or Salad Recipes to find more recipes like this one.Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This salad was first posted in 2009. It was last updated in 2021.

Pinterest image of Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad

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    34 Comments on “Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad”

  1. Love this stuff. It's stick-your-face-right-into-the-bowl good!

  2. Amy I don't think this would freeze well with the tomatoes and fresh herbs.

  3. Can you freeze it?

  4. delicious!!

  5. Can't wait to try this. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Thanks very much for publish this

  7. Michelle, thanks. So glad you liked it.

  8. My husband was a HUGE fan of this! We all really loved it! So colorful and delicious!!

  9. We loved loved loved this salad!!! IT taste so fresh and has tons of flavor! Thanks!

  10. Anonymous, thanks for tipping me off about the site copying my recipe word-for-word. I have contacted them, but don’t want to publish your comment because I don’t want to send people to a site doing that soft of thing.

  11. http://yummyrecipebox.blogspot.com/2009/03/middle-eastern-bean-salad-with-parsley.html

    This site exactly quoted your post w/o credit.

  12. I think I have the ingredients. I can’t wait to make this for lunch tomorrow.


  13. that salad is looking nice and healthy and good. I like all the beans.

  14. I have been looking for this recipe ever since I tried a container of Balela from Trader Joe’s. This was perfect! A great Lenten luncheon. This one is definitely a keeper. Thanks so much for sharing!