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Quinoa Chickpea Salad is a fresh and healthy salad recipe that’s also a snap to prepare. This salad is perfect for a quick and satisfying lunch or as a side dish for a summer barbecue or picnic. Packed with protein, fiber, and an array of flavors, this salad makes a refreshing side dish at dinnertime. Whether you’re a vegetarian or vegan, or if you’re simply looking for a delicious way to enjoy a lighter meal, this salad will surely become a favorite.
I just can’t get enough of flavorful, filling salads. And if they look beautiful on the plate, even better! Give this StarKist chicken salad a try. You won’t be disappointed! This roasted chickpea salad has a tangy lemon zip that makes it so YUMMY, and my chicken and avocado caprese salad is perfectly sweet and savory – a salad the whole family will enjoy.
What You’ll Love About This Salad
- Nutritious and filling: Packed with protein-rich quinoa and fiber-loaded chickpeas, this salad will keep you feeling full and give you plenty of energy.
- Familiar flavors: The BBQ ranch sauce adds a smoky and tangy kick, complementing the freshness of the bell peppers and creaminess of the avocado.
- Quick and easy: With simple ingredients and straightforward instructions, you’ll have this salad ready in no time.
- White quinoa: If you can’t find white, you can use red quinoa, bulgur wheat, or couscous instead.
- Water: Essential for cooking the quinoa.
- Chickpeas: If you don’t have chickpeas or you’re not a fan, try adding in cannellini or black beans.
- Red bell pepper: Substitute with orange or yellow bell pepper instead.
- Avocado: You can use sliced cucumber or cherry tomatoes for color and flavor, but they won’t replace the creaminess of the avocado.
- Primal Foods BBQ Ranch: Any BBQ ranch dressing, salad dressing, or a homemade vinaigrette will work, but the flavor will be quite different.
How To Make
STEP ONE: Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
STEP TWO: Roast the chickpeas. In a mixing bowl combine the chickpeas and bbq ranch sauce, then pour into a baking sheet. Arrange them into a single layer and bake for 15 minutes.
STEP THREE: Prepare the quinoa. Add quinoa, water, and salt to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
STEP FOUR: Assemble the salad. Add quinoa to a bowl and top with the bbq ranch chickpeas, red bell pepper, and avocado. Drizzle with additional bbq ranch.
What can I serve with chickpea salad?
Wondering what to pair with quinoa? It can seem like a difficult ingredient to work with, but it’s actually quite easy. Quinoa has an earthy, nutty, and slightly sweet flavor and can be reminiscent of brown rice or oatmeal. Because it’s fairly neutral in flavor and earthy undertones, it easily absorbs the flavors of the foods it’s eaten with.
For this reason, you can pair it with just about any protein, veggie, or sauce. Here are a few ideas:
Grilled chicken or tofu: For an extra boost of protein, serve this salad alongside grilled chicken or tofu, seasoned however you most enjoy.
Crusty bread or pita: Enjoy the salad with some warm crusty bread or toasted pita. Garlic bread or garlic naan taste especially delicious.
Fresh fruit: Pair the salad with a side of fresh fruit, such as sliced watermelon or grapes. This makes your meal feel like and refreshing.
Salmon – Seared salmon is flavorful and full of healthy fats and protein, so it helps to turn this quinoa salad into a fully balanced meal.
Tips and Recipe Notes
- Quinoa can taste a bit bitter, but if you give it a good rinse before you cook it, you can remove a lot of the bitterness and make it taste sweeter.
- Fluff the quinoa with a fork after it’s done cooking to keep the grains from sticking together.
- Make sure the chickpeas are spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet when you roast them for the best texture.
Quinoa usually takes about 15 minutes to cook until all the water is absorbed.
Yes, you can use canned chickpeas. Just make sure to rinse and drain them before using.
Yes, this recipe is vegan-friendly if you use a vegan BBQ ranch dressing or make your own.
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a highly nutritious grain-like seed that originates from the Andean region of South America. Despite being commonly referred to as a grain, quinoa is actually a pseudo-cereal or pseudo-grain, as it doesn’t come from grasses like traditional grains (such as wheat or rice). Quinoa is known for its exceptional nutritional profile and is considered a complete protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids that the body needs to function at its peak.
Quinoa is also gluten-free, making it a popular choice for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Quinoa comes in different varieties, including white, red, and black, each with its own subtle differences in flavor and texture. It has become increasingly popular worldwide due to its versatility, health benefits, and pleasant taste, and makes a perfect neutral base for all kinds of culinary creations.
In the Fridge
Place any leftover salad in an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 4 days. Give the salad a good toss before serving again.
Can I freeze leftovers?
I don’t recommend freezing this salad. It just doesn’t thaw well and ends up mushy and watery. Best to eat it fresh.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the individual components ahead of time and assemble the salad just before serving. Keep the cooked quinoa, roasted chickpeas, and diced veggies separate until ready to serve to maintain their freshness and texture.
Can this recipe be made gluten-free?
Absolutely! This recipe is naturally gluten-free when using gluten-free BBQ ranch dressing or homemade dressing. If you need the recipe to be dairy-free, check your dressing and find one that is dairy-free as well.
More Meatless Recipes
Quinoa Chickpea Salad
- 1 cup white quinoa uncooked
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 can chickpeas washed and drained
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 avocado sliced
- ¼ cup Primal Foods BBQ Ranch + more for serving
- Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Roast the chickpeas. In a mixing bowl combine the chickpeas and bbq ranch sauce, then pour into a baking sheet. Arrange them into a single layer and bake for 15 minutes.
- Prepare the quinoa. Add quinoa, water, and salt to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- Assemble the salad. Add quinoa to a bowl and top with the bbq ranch chickpeas, red bell pepper, and avocado. Drizzle with additional bbq ranch.