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Kalyn's Kitchen

Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad

Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad 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

The word Balela means “cooked chickpeas” in Arabic, and variations of this Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad are found all over the middle east. 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. (If it was summer, I might add chopped fresh mint too!)

Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad process shots collage

How to Make Balela Middle Eastern Bean 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 Grilled Halibut with Garlic-Cilantro Sauce if you wanted to serve it as a side dish.

More Great Salads with Beans and Parsley:

Barley and White Bean Salad with Parsley, Lemon, and Capers from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Za’atar and Mint Butter Bean Salad ~ An Edible Mosaic
Carrot, Parsley, and Garbanzo Salad with Cumin from Kalyn’s Kitchen

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.

I'd love to see your pictures if you make this recipe. Share on social media with the hashtag #kalynskitchen so I can see how it turned out for you!

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 South Beach Diet. If you wanted 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 Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Pinterest image of Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad

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    34 Comments on “Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad”

  1. This is so bright, fresh and delicious looking!
    I love parsley and it is so healthy too (it’s actually very good for the thyroid!)

  2. Sheila, thanks! Comments like that make my day. So glad it’s working for you.

  3. BTW Kalyn – I’m LOVING your website! I don’t think I could stick with this anti-yummy pasta, no bread basket diet if it weren’t for all your creativity and talent with these recipes! Thanks so much!

  4. Thanks again everyone.

    Chris, hope your mom is doing okay!

    Sheila, I love your adaptations. Yes, I think some feta crumbled over this would be awesome!

  5. This salad is so refreshing and delicious! Instead of green onion I used a shallot. I also added a yellow bell pepper for some color. I halved some grape tomatoes and added them to the salad after the salad had set in the refrigerator all night. I also squeezed some extra lemon juice over it for more tang. I love this salad! Could you also sprinkle feta over it? I’m sure its also wonderful it you put it in a butter lettuce leaf and eat it like a wrap. Anyway, this was awesome and easy to make and I know it’ll be part of my rotation!


  6. Sorry I am just getting to this now…I saw your comment, but haven’t done any blogging while in NY. Your salad looks fabulous, Kalyn! I am thrilled you liked to as much as I did. Love the colors!

    Good luck with your braces…;)

  7. Kalyn
    You are certainly a trooper — “got my bottom braces on today”. Wow, good luck. But you have so many wonderful soup ideas on this blog that you should be ok for months. I still have some organic dried pintos in the house and will make this salad next week. Thanks for a great idea on how to use them.

  8. Oh, is that a gorgeous salad! And the best part – I have everything needed!

  9. That looks amazing kalyn!

  10. I want to dive right into that salad! It looks brilliant!

  11. fantastic article! two thumbs up!

  12. So glad people can imagine how good this tastes from the recipe and photo. I just got my bottom braces on tonight, but I’m thinking bean salad like this would work, fairly soft and already cut into small pieces.

  13. That looks delicious! Gorgeous picture as well.

  14. i love how many colors are in that salad!

  15. All that color, all that healthy stuff – that’s got to be on the list of perfect dishes. That is gorgeous Kalyn.

  16. I love all of the colors in this dish!

  17. ooh, YUM! I must try this one. 🙂

  18. Lovely salad! A perfect meal for me!

  19. Oh wow! That looks so fresh and delicious. I might have to make that to go with our dinner tonight. Mmm.

  20. This salad looks like it has so many fresh flavors, which sounds so good to me.