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This scrumptious Italian chickpea salad is so easy to whip up in 10 minutes. Chickpeas are tossed with tomatoes, mozzarella, red onion, extra virgin olive oil, and basil. The result is a flavorful salad that makes a light lunch, but it’s hearty enough for a dinner side dish.
I can’t stress enough how the healthy chickpeas make a terrific pantry staples. They’re inexpensive, super convenient, and pack plenty of nutrients and texture.
Also, these legumes are very versatile, you can turn them into a creamy garlic soup, hummus, or even a pasta dish in no time. For more inspirations, you might check out these fabulous chickpea recipes!
In this case, we’re taking the salad route and making a scrumptious Italian chickpea salad!
The chickpeas are combined with juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh onion, creamy mozzarella and and a generous handful of fresh basil.
You hardly need a recipe for it, but make sure you use the best ingredients and, last but not least, you go for good-quality extra virgin olive oil, because you can really taste it here.
What ingredients you need
- Canned chickpeas
- Cherry tomatoes
- Fresh mozzarella (packed in water)
- Red onion
- Fresh basil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
How to make this Italian chickpea salad
(Note: the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)
- Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves.
- Finely slice the red onion.
- Place chickpeas, tomatoes, and the red onion slices into a bowl.
- Add mini mozzarella balls, or mozzarella cut into cubes.
- Toss with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and plenty of basil. You don’t even need to make or shake a dressing here: just toss, taste, and adjust the seasoning until the flavors pop. Easy peasy.
Again, you hardly need any recipe here and you can feel free to eyeball the amounts too. But keep in mind just a few tips to enjoy a delicious Italian-style chickpea salad.
Italian chickpea salad ingredients
- Chickpeas: I keep this simple by using canned chickpeas. But you can soak dried chickpeas as well. Just make sure to thoroughly rinse and drain them before tossing into the salad.
- Tomatoes: make sure they’re ripe but still firm, not too soft.
- Red onion: this humble vegetable brings tons of flavor and health benefits too. Make sure it’s super fresh when you slice it, it should be hard and shiny.
- Mozzarella: chose soft, fresh mozzarella packed in water, no the low-fat or shredded counterpart. Ciliegine (I found them at TJ’s), pearls, or even a single mozzarella cut into cubes works just fine.
- Fresh basil: fresh basil leaves are a must in this Italian chickpea salad. If you have leftover basil, you can use them up in this delicious tomato basil pasta or cherry tomato pasta.
- Extra virgin olive oil: only good-quality extra virgin olive oil here. Its strong, fruity flavor is a great finishing touch for this salad. I don’t recommend using another oil or balsamic glaze in its place.
More salads packed with plant-based protein?
Italian Chickpea Salad.
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 9 oz (250 grams) cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
- 4 oz (120 grams) mozzarella (ciliegine or 1 mozzarella cut into cubes)
- Handful of fresh basil leaves (shred the large ones and keep the small ones to garnish)
- ½ red onion, finely sliced (use more if you wish)
- 2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ tsp fine salt, plus more to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Place tomatoes, mozzarella, chickpeas, onion slices, and the shredded basil leaves into a large bowl.
- Add the extra virgin olive oil, salt (I use about ⅓ tsp of salt) and freshly ground pepper (approximately ¼ tsp). Toss well, taste, ad adjust the seasoning to your liking.
- Garnish with the remaining basil leaves (the small leaves look nicer on top), and more freshly ground pepper if you wish.
- For the best flavor (if you have the time), let the salad rest for 30 minutes so the flavors have time to mingle. This salad is best served within a few hours. Enjoy!