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Chickpea & Red Onion Salad

5 stars based on 11 votes

Chickpea Salad

My husband is from Long Island, NY so we make frequent road trips there to visit his family. We have a routine that’s been perfected after almost 20 years together: leave after work to avoid the dreaded NY rush hour traffic, and then stop somewhere along the Long Island Expressway for a late-night dinner at one of those retro-vibe, 24-hour diners with menus a mile long, ginormous portions, and pie-filled glass-enclosed dessert displays. You literally can’t go more than a few miles without passing one. On our last visit, we stopped at a place that brought a bowl of marinated chickpeas to our booth to nosh on as soon as we sat down. I thought it was a strange substitute for a bread basket, but we are chickpea lovers (and we were starving) so it was surprisingly delicious. When we got home, I found myself craving that chickpea salad, so I came up with this super-easy copycat recipe. It’s perfect for a desk or picnic lunch, potluck salad, or side dish to grilled shrimp or chicken. Feel free to add feta cheese crumbles to bulk it up, if you like.

how to make chickpea salad

As you can see, I use both extra virgin olive oil and vegetable oil to make the dressing for this salad. Sometimes the flavor or olive oil can be too strong, so I like to cut it with vegetable oil.

how to make chickpea salad

Begin by finely dicing the red onion. Next, place the diced onions in a small bowl and cover with cold water.

how to make chickpea salad

Let sit for 10 minutes, then drain. This step tames the bite of the raw onion, which can be overpowering (at least for raw onion-phobes like me).

how to make chickpea salad

Combine the onions with the remaining ingredients.

how to make chickpea salad

Toss well, then taste and adjust seasoning with more lemon, salt, and pepper, if necessary.

how to make chickpea salad

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Chickpea Salad

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Chickpea & Red Onion Salad

Servings: 4


  • 1/3 cup finely diced red onion, from 1 small red onion
  • 2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas (preferably Goya), drained and rinsed (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar


  1. Place the diced onion in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for 10 minutes, then drain. (This step tames the bite of the raw onion.)
  2. Combine the onions with the remaining ingredients and toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning with more lemon, salt, and pepper, if necessary. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Toss well before serving and adjust seasoning again, if necessary.
  3. Make-Ahead: The salad can be made and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator up to 2 days ahead of time.
  4. Note: Different brands of chickpeas contain different levels of salt, so if using a different brand than the one specified, add salt to taste.
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Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 488
  • Fat: 27 g
  • Saturated fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 50 g
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Fiber: 14 g
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Sodium: 598 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    Love this salad. I’ve been adding Penzey’s Ozark seasoning instead of salt and pepper and I have a hard time stopping eating this. Jen, I understand the craving.

    - Karyn on May 6, 2018 Reply
  • It amazes me that this has so many calories per serving. I am making this today.

    - Karen C on May 2, 2018 Reply
    • The oil in this definitely boosts the calories, Karen. Hope you enjoy!

      - Jenn on May 2, 2018 Reply
  • I made a similar version of this salad with feta a few times. I’ll definitely try this soon! My only minor grievance is the plastic-like “shells” of the chickpea – it was a real turn-off from eating them. Is there an easy way to get rid of this without having to “peel” each one by hand?

    - Christina on April 30, 2018 Reply
    • Hi Christina, Here’s an article that details a pretty easy way to skin your chickpeas. Hope you enjoy the salad!

      - Jenn on May 1, 2018 Reply
      • i was interested to read about this method as I’m a huge fan of Cook’s Illustrated and almost always skin my chickpeas. The method I use is just as quick, uses no extra ingredients and makes no additional washing-up. I rinse and drain the chickpeas in one of those sieves with a handle. This loosens the skins. Then, holding the sieve with one hand, I use the other hand to simply pinch off the skins and discard them into the sink. In no time at all, I have a sieve full of nicely skinned chickpeas.

        - Davinia on May 15, 2018 Reply
        • Good to know of another option – thanks for sharing, Davinia!

          - Jenn on May 15, 2018 Reply
  • Good afternoon chef Jenn!

    I’m definitely making this in a little while. But instead of the parleys can I use cilantro? Thanks!!
    And congratulations on the book, its amazing!

    - Rosanna Borbon on April 30, 2018 Reply
    • Yes, definitely – and thank you so much! 🙂

      - Jenn on April 30, 2018 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Delicious! I think this salad could be served with a lot of thngs. It’s flavourful but not so much that it clashes with other dishes.

    - Laura Kargov on April 29, 2018 Reply
  • 5 stars

    As usual, delicious! The only note that I would add is that I cook up batches of chickpeas in my Instant Pot. I had to do some ‘calculating’ to figure out the cup equivalent to a 15-oz. can drained. My best estimate is 1 1/2 cups of actual chickpeas per can. If you have a better estimate, please let me know.

    - Cynthia on April 29, 2018 Reply
  • 5 stars

    So good and so easy! We couldn’t stop eating it. Will be making ALL the time! My daughter actually liked it heated up in the microwave.

    - Carol on April 28, 2018 Reply
  • 4 stars

    This was really good but I definitely felt it needed more seasoning than what the recipe called for. Really simple to throw together and really healthy. I will definitely make this again!

    - Carrie on April 28, 2018 Reply
    • Yes I agree. I’d maybe 1-1/2 the rest of ingredients except chickpeas next time.

      - Jenn on April 30, 2018 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Yum. A delicious side dish…or lunch. I’m so tired of potatoes or rice. This chickpea salad gave some real pizzaz to our steak dinner. Thanks!

    - Lizzie Quigg on April 27, 2018 Reply
  • 4 stars

    This was good, but I prefer a version with more veggies. I like to add red bell pepper, celery and cucumbers in addition to the onion. I also add a dash or two of hot sauce. I guess I prefer a higher veggies to chickpea ratio.

    - Steve on April 27, 2018 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is my go-to lunch – it’s delicious if you add chopped avocado, and even some chopped arugula!

    - chris on April 26, 2018 Reply
  • My Italian family makes a similar version except it uses one can of garbanzos and one can of kidney beans. I add quite a bit more of garlic and more of sugar. And I use green onions instead.

    It is a wonderful second dish and thank you for posting this version – every recipe I’ve tried of yours has been very, very successful

    - Coralin Feierbach on April 26, 2018 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I have made this a couple of times, but in the summer added fresh garden tomatoes, seeds removed. Yum

    - Laura Osborne on April 26, 2018 Reply
  • 5 stars

    What diner? I live on Long Island and would love to go there for the chickpeas.

    I love getting your recipes. They are without fail delicious.

    - Jetty Purohit on April 26, 2018 Reply
    • Hi Jetty, I just asked my husband and he said it was Celebrity Diner in Syosset.

      - Jenn on April 26, 2018 Reply
  • I also add some chopped tomatoes. Delicious.

    - Maggie on April 26, 2018 Reply
  • This salad is delicious. I do add the addition of feta along with some toasted chopped almonds and Greek olives. If I don’t have parsley, I add cilantro.

    - Jean on April 26, 2018 Reply
  • I do not care for parsley, could this be made with any other type of herb? Thank you!

    - Kim on April 26, 2018 Reply
    • Sure, Kim – cilantro or dill would both be very good.

      - Jenn on April 26, 2018 Reply
  • Former Long Islander here. Bars were open until 4 am then you hit the diner & many times went straight to work.

    And when we walked home we went to the bagel store that was open. A warm bagel for the walk home at 430 am.

    Back to the recipe – I grew my own parsley & it really makes a difference with the chick pea salads. I also add cucumbers, no seeds.

    - Carol on April 26, 2018 Reply
    • Ha! Agree – this would be great with cucumbers. 🙂

      - Jenn on April 26, 2018 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Are the nutritional values and calories per serving, or for the whole salad?

    - Sandy on April 26, 2018 Reply
    • Hi Sandy, It’s per serving, but the servings are large.

      - Jenn on April 26, 2018 Reply

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