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Chicken Chickpea Salad

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Chicken Chickpea Salad is an easy, gluten-free dish that’s ready in under 30 minutes! With a delicious combination of hearty chickpeas, grilled chicken, silky avocados crunchy veggies and a light vinaigrette, it’s a full meal in a bowl

This post and recipe card were updated May 26, 2019
close up shot of finished Chicken Chickpea Salad in a white bowl

Chickpeas are an integral part of Indian, West Indian, and Mediterranean cuisines. My parents are from Trinidad, and I’ve been eating chickpeas all my life. So it never occurs to me that people have never tried them or don’t know what they are.

Chickpeas are legumes (beans). They’re also called garbanzo beans, and that’s the name you’ll commonly find on the cans in the grocery store. Chickpeas are very nutritious and high in fiber, protein, and iron.

One of the first recipes I learned to make before I moved out of my parents’ house is Curry Chicken and Chickpeas, and I still make it all the time. About a year ago I jumped WAY out of my comfort zone and made Homemade Falafel.

I launched the blog so I wouldn’t keep rotating the same recipes. But there are a few that I still make several times a month, and the top one is Chicken Chickpea Salad

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
  • It’s ready in under 30 minutes
  • It’s gluten-free and low carb
  • Make it vegetarian by omitting the chicken
overhead shot of finished Chicken Chickpea Salad in white bowl, with avocado, tomatoes, cilantro and dry chickpeas around the bowl
CHICKPEAS: CANNED OR DRY?

You can find Canned Chickpeas in the canned vegetable aisle of any grocery store. Dry Chickpeas can be harder to find. Some stores have them with the other packaged dry beans, and others sell them in the bulk food section.

I prefer to buy dry chickpeas because they last for a long time, and I can prepare just what I need. I keep canned chickpeas on hand for when I need them in a pinch.

Preparing dry chickpeas requires some forethought, but it is very easy

  • Chickpeas triple in size when they soak, so use a large bowl!
  • Cold water soak: will take about 8 hours
  • Hot water soak: will take about 4 hours (bring water to a boil, pour over chickpeas, and soak)

I cook the soaked chickpeas in a Pressure Cooker for 12-15 minutes. When I have “fresh” dry chickpeas they’ll be ready in 12 minutes. If they’ve been sitting in my pantry for a month or more, they’ll take 15 minutes.

You can also use an Instant Pot. I do not have one, so I cannot specify a cooking time, but it should be close to the same as a pressure cooker.

You want your chickpeas to be tender, but still a little firm. Undercooked chickpeas are hard; overcooked chickpeas are mushy. Yes, I have made both mistakes!

overhead shot of dry and soaked chickpeas on a white plate
INGREDIENT TIPS FOR CHICKEN CHICKPEA SALAD

Cherry or grape tomatoes add a burst of flavor, and Sundried Tomatoes add a nice tart bite.

Red onion and bell peppers add wonderful crunch and flavor. For a nice contrast in texture, avocado adds a creamy bite.

I use boneless/skinless chicken thighs, but chicken breast would also work. Grill the chicken while the chickpeas cook, so that everything comes together at the same time.

The vinaigrette is easy to make and pulls the dish together. Raw Honey and Avocado Oil are the base, and a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce add a great kick.

People either love or hate cilantro. I’m firmly on team love, so I add lots of fresh cilantro. If you don’t like it, you can substitute parsley.

High-quality Balsamic Vinegar is optional, but the perfect finish. Just a little drizzle is all you need

up close shot of Chicken Chickpea Salad in a white bowl
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHICKEN CHICKPEA SALAD

I soak my chickpeas starting in the morning so I can use them for either lunch or dinner. 

1) In a small bowl, prepare the vinaigrette. Add avocado oil, honey, garlic, hot sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Whisk until fully combined, and set aside to rest

2) Cook the chickpeas in the pressure cooker for 15 minutes. Drain, and set aside in a large bowl. While the chickpeas cook, grill the chicken until done. Remove from heat and add to bowl with chickpeas

overhead shot of chickpeas and grilled chicken in a bowl

3) Add avocado, bell peppers, onion, cherry/grape tomatoes, and sundried tomatoes to bowl.

overhead shot of all ingredients in a bowl

4) Pour vinaigrette over Chicken Chickpea Salad, add cilantro, and toss to combine.

overhead shot of all ingredients, plus cilantro and vinaigrette
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I store dry chickpeas? In an airtight container in the pantry.

How long do dry chickpeas last? Stored properly, they will last 2-3 years. I buy my chickpeas in smaller quantities from the bulk food section, so I’m constantly using fresher product

How long will Chicken Chickpea Salad last? Stored in the fridge in an airtight container, it will last for up to 5 days.

What is the best way to serve Chicken Chickpea Salad? I usually eat it immediately. You can also chill it for an hour, and serve it as a cold salad.

overhead shot of Chicken Chickpea Salad in white bowl
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Chicken Chickpea Salad - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Chicken Chickpea Salad

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Chicken Chickpea Salad is an easy, gluten-free dish that’s ready in under 30 minutes! With a delicious combination of hearty chickpeas, grilled chicken, silky avocados crunchy veggies and a light vinaigrette, it’s a full meal in a bowl

Ingredients

Vinaigrette

Instructions

  1. DRY CHICKPEAS:, Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, and pour over chickpeas in a heat-proof bowl. Soak for 4 hours. Place chickpeas and water in pressure cooker. Cook on medium heat for about 12 minutes. You want chickpeas to be soft, but still have a little bite. Drain chickpeas
  2. CANNED CHICKPEAS: pour chickpeas into fine mesh colander to remove liquid. Rinse well with warm water, and allow to drain
  3. In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, honey, garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper, lemon juice and hot sauce
  4. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces, and season with salt & pepper. Grill chicken over medium-high heat until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. In large bowl, combine chicken, chick peas, avocado, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Add vinaigrette and cilantro, and toss to combine. Add a little bit more black pepper, to taste
  6. Portion into serving bowls. Drizzle 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar over each bowl. Serve immediately

Notes

PREPARING DRY CHICKPEAS

  • Chickpeas triple in size when they soak, so use a large bowl! 
  • Cold water soak: will take about 8 hours
  • Hot water soak: will take about 4 hours (bring water to a boil, pour over chickpeas in a heat-proof bowl, and soak)
  • Add chickpeas and water to a pressure cooker and cook over medium heat for about 12 minutes

You want your chickpeas to be tender, but still a little firm. Undercooked chickpeas are hard; overcooked chickpeas are mushy

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I store dry chickpeas? In an airtight container in the pantry. 

How long do dry chickpeas last? Stored properly, they will last 2-3 years. I buy my chickpeas in smaller quantities from the bulk food section, so I’m constantly using fresher product

How long will Chicken Chickpea Salad last? Stored in the fridge in an airtight container, it will last for up to 5 days. 

What is the best way to serve Chicken Chickpea Salad? I usually eat it immediately. You can also chill it for an hour, and serve it as a cold salad. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 538Saturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 750mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 14gSugar: 21gProtein: 31g
Recipe adapted from Gluten Free Spinner
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Saima

Sunday 2nd of June 2019

What a beautiful, colorful chicken chickpea salad! I love chickpeas and they are used extensively in Indian cooking too, so I'm no stranger to them. Look forward to trying your salad...all those other ingredients make it is so nutritious and worth making.

Karyl

Friday 14th of June 2019

Thanks so much Saima! I make it at least once a week in my house

Claire | The Simple, Sweet Life

Sunday 2nd of June 2019

This salad looks so deliciously fresh and perfect for those evenings where it's simply too hot to turn the oven on! We had our first 80F night this week, so we're definitely into no-cook-meal season here!

Karyl

Friday 14th of June 2019

Thanks Claire! Yes, it's great for summer, but honestly I eat it all year long and make it probably once a week

Analida Braeger

Sunday 2nd of June 2019

This salad looks like the perfect poolside appetizer, Good photos! i can tell how fresh the veggies are and juicy the chicken is :) !

Karyl

Friday 14th of June 2019

Thanks Analida! Yes it's perfect for poolside in the summer. And it holds really well too

Marisa F. Stewart

Sunday 2nd of June 2019

I love chickpeas and we eat them often. Although we've been cheating by buying the canned. I do admit that dry chickpeas soaked and cooked are so much better. Your salad is lovely. So colorful!! It would be great at a picnic or a potluck dinner. I'd like to make a big batch and have it for lunch during the week.

Karyl

Friday 14th of June 2019

Thanks Marisa! I do have canned chickpeas in my pantry all the time for when I need them in a pinch. I've made it for potlucks before, and it is always a hit

Lorie

Saturday 1st of June 2019

Guess who has a bunch of chickpeas that I need to use before the cans go bad?? This girl! This is gonna be first up!

Karyl

Friday 14th of June 2019

Haha that's awesome Lorie! I hope you love this dish as much as I do

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