Mediterranean Chickpea Salad – Balela Salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad – Balela Salad


This colorful Mediterranean Chickpea Salad known as Balela salad is hearty, refreshing, and bursting with fresh herbs and zesty flavor from the fresh lemon garlic dressing. So easy, so delicious, and so satisfying! Turn it into an easy weeknight meal by serving it with pita bread! Jump to Recipe
overhead shot of Balela Salad with a fork and a napkin on the side

Coming at you with a protein-packed power salad that is as satisfying as delicious: Balela Salad! A very popular salad in the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Don’t you love how fresh and festive it looks?

In Arabic, the word “balela” means “cooked chickpeas and they are indeed the main ingredient in this salad. However, we also add some extra crunch from cucumbers, peppers and a zesty sumac lemon garlic dressing takes this salad to the next level.  It is simple, wholesome, bright, and flavor-packed and you will LOVE every bite of it.

side view of a dish of Mediterranean vegan chickpea salad with lemon garlic dressing

While you would normally think of a bean salad as a typical summer side dish, I can assure your that this Mediterranean chickpea salad is so delish, it could be easily the star of the meal. If served with some oven warm pita, it could even be a light main!

How to make Mediterranean Balela Chickpea Salad

This colorful Mediterranean Balela Chickpea Salad is hearty, refreshing and bursting with fresh herbs and zesty flavor from the fresh lemon garlic dressing. So easy, so delicious, and so satisfying! Turn it into an easy weeknight meal by serving it with pita bread!

Prep Time15 mins

Total Time15 mins

Course: Appetizer, Side

Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Keyword: Balela salad recipe, healthy chickpea salad vegan, Mediterranean chickpea salad

Servings: 4

Calories: 426kcal

Author: Vegan Richa

Ingredients

  • 2 15 oz (850 g) cans of chickpeas drained or 3 cups cooked
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper diced small
  • 1 small cucumber chopped Small
  • 1/4 cup (11.25 g) chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup (15 g) chopped parsley
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar or use a mix of balsamic and apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp or more lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sumac
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne or red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • Chop up all your veggies, Add the washed and drained chickpeas, garlic, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper to a bowl and toss. Add the mint and parsley, and 1/4 tsp salt, and toss well.

  • In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dressing, and mix well.

  • Add the dressing to the salad bowl, and toss well to combine.

  • Serve immediately, or chill and store for upto 3 days. This side can also be served in toasted pita bread with Tahini dressing.

Notes

This side can also be served in toasted pita bread with Tahini dressing

  • To allow for all the flavors to blend and develop, make the balela salad a bit ahead of time, at least half an hour before serving!
  • You can use a mix of balsamic and apple cider vinegar instead of red wine vinegar.
  •  Feel free to add some chopped olives and sun-dried tomatoes to this recipe.
  •  

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts

How to make Mediterranean Balela Chickpea Salad

Amount Per Serving

Calories 426 Calories from Fat 81

% Daily Value*

Fat 9g14%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Sodium 179mg8%

Potassium 1078mg31%

Carbohydrates 68g23%

Fiber 18g75%

Sugar 16g18%

Protein 21g42%

Vitamin A 2057IU41%

Vitamin C 79mg96%

Calcium 140mg14%

Iron 8mg44%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Ingredients for Balela Salad

  •  Chickpeas, drained canned, or cooked chickpeas work well here.
  • Garlic for that Mediterranean twist.
  • Veggies: cherry tomatoes, red bell pepper, and cucumbers. All veggies should be chopped up small for that fun colorful look and all the flavor of all the veggies combined in each bite.
  • Chopped mint and parsley – a flavorful combination that is common in Mediterranean cuisine. You can chop them in the food processor – it does the work in no time.  Don’t skimp on these! The herbs are what gives this chickpea salad its distinctive flavor.
  • The zesty dressing is made with extra virgin olive oil,  red wine vinegar,  and lemon juice seasoned with sumac (see below), cayenne or red pepper flakes, and salt.
  •  Sumac is a bright red Middle Eastern spice made from the berries of the sumac bush and it looks a little like chili powder but is not spicy, but rather lemony. If you cannot find it, use lemon zest instead.

Tips :

  • To allow for all the flavors to blend and develop, make the balela salad a bit ahead of time, at least half an hour before serving!
  • You can use a mix of balsamic and apple cider vinegar instead of red wine vinegar.
  •  Feel free to add some chopped olives and sun-dried tomatoes to this recipe.
  • Make this a whole meal by serving it in a pita and drizzling with some Tahini Dressing.

overhead shot of Balela Salad with a fork and a napkin on the side
How to make Mediterranean Balela Chickpea Salad

overhead shot of ingredients needed to make balela salad recipe

Chop up all your veggies, add the washed and drained chickpeas, garlic, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper to a bowl and toss. Add the mint and parsley, and 1/4 tsp salt, and toss well.

ingredients for balela salad combined in a bowl

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dressing, and mix well.

Add the dressing to the salad bowl, and toss well to combine.

balela chickpea salad ingredients being tossed with dressing in a white bowl

Serve immediately, or chill and store for 3 days. This side can also be served in toasted pita bread with Tahini dressing

 

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