Spicy chickpea salad

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This spicy chickpea salad makes a terrific protein-packed lunch. It’s vegan, healthy, it requires cupboard ingredients and comes together in a snap.

Spicy chickpea salad in a wooden bowl over a white background.

And it’s so easy: open a few cans of chickpeas, and a jar of roasted peppers and olives. Combine the dressing in a jar. Mix them all together and you’re done.

It’s spicy, garlicky, with lots of zips thanks to the chili flakes and the lemon mustard dressing.

I think this is my new favorite lunch at this time of the year. It’s super quick, juicy, fresh, and keeps me full for hours. 

Not only is the combination of flavor beautiful, but it’s also budget-friendly and makes a delicious side dish to any summer gathering. And if you add crusty homemade bread or a baked frittatait works as a main course.

It’s so good you’ll be eating it straight from the bowl!

What you need for this recipe

  • Chickpeas
  • Jarred roasted peppers
  • Olives
  • Fresh parsley or some of this parsley pesto
  • Garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil 
  • White or red vinegar
  • Chili flakes
  • Mustard
  • Salt & pepper

How to make it

  • Rinse and drain the chickpeas
  • Chop parsley and red peppers
  • Combine the dressing ingredient in a jar and give it a shake
  • Place all the ingredients in a salad bowl and add the olives
  • Mix all together and serve!
Chickpea salad in a wooden bowl over a wooden board.

Recipe notes & tips


Chickpeas: same as garbanzo beans. Canned chickpeas are great for convenience, but cooked dried chickpeas work just fine and save you money.

Fresh herbs: you’ll want fresh and vitamin-packed parsley in this summer salad. And you happen not to have fresh parsley on hand, just skip it (but don’t use dried herbs, they won’t work in such a fresh salad).

Kalamata olives and roasted peppers bring extra flavor and texture. Plus, the roasted peppers have a touch of sweetness that works so well with the spicy dressing.
I used jarred roasted peppers, one of my favorite pantry staples.

Dressing: vinegar, extra virgin olive oil (my favorite!), and mustard make a flavorsome dressing. Add grated garlic (any garlic lover over there?) and red chili flakes for extra flavor. I’m a spicy lover, but if garlic and chili flakes are not your things, simply reduce their amount. 

Chickpea salad variations

This super easy recipe is so versatile, you can add your favorite veggies and turn this chickpea salad into a more substantial meal. Vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber or avocado work beautifully! 

If you want to add cheese, feta and mozzarella make another delicious variation. However, feta is pretty salty itself, and if you use it just add less salt to the dressing and make sure you’re happy with the overall flavor. 

How long does this chickpea salad keep?

It keeps great for 3 days in the fridge and makes a great meal prep lunch option. Also, it gets better the longer it’s sitting out, making it an ideal salad for buffets.

More quick and tasty salads

If you make this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo #theclevermeal on Instagram. I would love to hear from you!

Spicy chickpea salad in a wooden bowl over a white background.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Spicy Chickpea Salad

This spicy chickpea salad makes a healthy and tasty protein-packed lunch. It's vegan, it requires mainly cupboard ingredients and comes together in a snap. It's spicy, garlicky, with lots of zips thanks to the chili flakes and the lemon mustard dressing.
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Spicy chickpea salad
Servings: 4
Calories: 329kcal
Author: Katia


  • 2 cans (15oz/420gr each) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (200 grams) roasted peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped


  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or olive oil
  • 1 ½ Tbsp red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp mustard
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1 tsp fine salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes, or according to taste
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper


  • Combine chickpeas, peppers, olives, and parsley in a medium salad bowl.
  • Place the dressing ingredients in a jar, close the lid, and give a good shake. Alternatively, place them in a small bowl and whisk vigorously with a fork.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine.
  • Serve it or leave it to marinate for about 20-30 minutes for a more intense flavor.


Storage: It keeps great for 3 days in the fridge.
Substitutions: you can use cooked chickpeas (3 cups are fine) or you can substitute chickpeas with cannellini beans or Great Northern beans.
Note: the nutritional values are only estimates for 1 serving. They are provided by an online nutrition calculator and they should not be considered as a substitute for a nutritionist’s advice.


Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1688mg | Potassium: 410mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 706IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 3mg


  1. Ginny Cowsill says:

    Have made this for my eldest grandchild’s 21st and trial tastes are yummy. So easy when you have ready ingredients. Am putting marinade on 3-4 hrs before serving. So good we can prepare well beforehand.

    1. I’m so glad to hear that! Thanks for taking the time to share your lovely feedback, a marinade sounds great!
      Cheers x

  2. 5 stars
    Made this salad this morning – it was really tasty. Will definitely make it again. Next time I will reduce the salt.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your feedback, Diane! I’m so glad you liked it, it’s one of my go-to salad recipes!
      Cheers x

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