The fresh melody of southwest flavors in southwest chickpea quinoa salad will bring you back for more. This salad is oil-free and delicious; this salad is the perfect entree or side dish for your next family gathering. Ready in 15 minutes!
Although I try to eat salads often, I need to remind myself to eat more greens. Since becoming plant-based, I also need to bring variety to my meal plan, including nutrient-dense greens. Although sometimes boring, salad can be vibrant and full of choices and combinations. Since my garden bursts with tomatoes and cucumbers, I decided to make southwest chickpea quinoa salad for dinner.
Not only is this salad full of superfoods, but it also does not contain any oil. First, the chickpeas and quinoa work wonderfully with the fresh, diced vegetables. Make this salad ahead of time, and it won't get soggy.
- Canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans): Chickpeas have a mostly neutral taste with a mild nutty flavor. They are full of fiber, protein, and minerals. They are my favorite!
- English cucumber: I leave the skin on cucumbers for the beautiful dark green color and nutrients in the skin.
- Red bell pepper: the sweetest of all bell peppers, red bell peppers bring another color of the rainbow into this colorful salad
- Red onion: red onion brings sweetness to the dish without an overpowering onion presence.
- Grape tomatoes: I use grape tomatoes often because of their thick skin and they are less watery, keeping the salad from getting soggy.
- Parsley: Fresh parsley always brings a freshness to a salad and enhances the other ingredients in the salad.
- Mint: When combined with parsley, mint adds an additional fresh component to the dish
- Jalapeño pepper: Jalapenos, when deseeded, provide a mildly spicy flavor to the dish. Be sure to wear gloves when handling, deseeding, and cutting jalapenos.
- Purple cabbage: Actually called red cabbage, this type of cabbage has an earthy nutty taste
- Cooked red quinoa (cooled before adding to the salad): I used red quinoa, which is beautiful in a salad, but any type of quinoa works well.
- Sliced avocado: Avocados are creamy, earthy, and delicious in this southwest salad.
- Microgreens: I love microgreens! I add them to salad for their vast amount of nutrients, and they add color and pizazz to any dish.
Although I chose various vegetables for southwest chickpea quinoa salad, you can add or delete ones you don't prefer. I love the texture of the chickpeas with the crunchy cucumbers, red peppers, and tomatoes, even though I must say. To ensure I stayed with my southwest theme, I also cumin it into my dressing.
- Choose any sturdy bean if you don't like or have chickpeas. White navy beans, or Cannellini Beans are my suggestions.
- Choose napa cabbage or white cabbage instead of the purple cabbage in the recipe.
- Skip the jalapeno if you don't like spice, or add a few of the jalapeno seeds for added spice.
- Any color bell peppers work with this dish. Green peppers are a big bitter and have a stronger taste than red peppers, but yellow peppers are very sweet and mild tasting.
Southwest chickpeas salad dressing
Making oil-free dressing, for instance, is very simple. Despite the myth that oil is essential to the diet, oil is simply fat, which isn't necessary. Instead, a combination of healthy, fresh ingredients makes an easy, fresh dressing.
- Apple cider vinegar: provides a sweet yet tangy component to the dressing.
- Garlic: garlic tames the bite of the vinegar and gives a deep flavor to the salad dressing.
- Lemon: I love fresh lemon juice. It peps up greens, but it also makes roasted veggies more exciting, adds life to grain bowls, and more.
- Pure Maple Syrup or date syrup: Maple syrup adds sweetness and cuts the taste of the vinegar. It acts as a balancing agent in the dressing.
- Dijon Mustard: Dijon is my favorite type of mustard to cook with. It's tangy and sharp and adds depth to a dressing.
- Garlic powder: A dried version of fresh garlic, garlic powder is milder and offers texture as well as additional flavor to the dressing.
- Cumin: Rich and hearty, earthy and warm, with an edge of citrus. Cumin adds instant depth to any dish. Use ground Cumin rather than whole Cumin seed in recipes where you want the flavor to disperse evenly throughout.
- Salt: I always add a little salt for flavor, but add to your desired taste.
- Pepper: Pepper adds an additional depth of flavor. Again, add to taste preference.
- Substitute white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar for apple cider vinegar in the dressing.
- Coriander or Garam masala are great substitutes for cumin in recipes. But note, both spices are a little stronger in taste, so half the suggested amount.
- Stone ground mustard is the best substitute for dijon mustard in a pinch.
- Agave is another sweetener if you don't have maple or date syrup.
Once all the ingredients are tossed together in a large bowl, dress the southwest chickpea quinoa salad ahead of time. The earlier the salad is dressed, the more flavor the parsley and quinoa absorb. And, it's just as fresh and flavorful throughout the week for leftovers.
If you haven't noticed yet, I always make an extra salad, so we have lunches the next day. Or I meal prep a lot of quinoa to use during the week for another recipe.
Not only does it help with food prep, but it forces me to use all my leftovers.
Another Southwest Chickpea Quinoa Salad bonus is how cool and fresh it is. Although I am serving it for dinner tonight, it travels well for lunch.
Chickpeas salad lasts 5-6 days covered in the refrigerator. I make a large batch and eat it all week long.
Definitely! The salad is best when the dressing marinates all the ingredients. It won't get soggy! It only enhances the flavors.
Yes. Add the avocado and the microgreens right before serving, so the avocado doesn't brown and the microgreens don't wilt.
- When working with jalapenos, always wear gloves to prevent transfer burns from your hands to your eyes and other areas of your body. I recommend using gloves when handling, cutting, and removing the seeds from jalapenos.
- Cooking quinoa is so easy. If you struggle, follow these easy steps to make cooking easy and less stressful.
- I used red quinoa because of its beautiful color, but any type of quinoa works well with this recipe.
- Using a vegetable chopper cuts meal prep time in half. Consider getting one to save yourself some time in the kitchen.
I challenge you to eat a different salad every day for your overall health and wellness. Let's get healthy for better living.
Other Vegan Salad Recipes to Try!
If you love this Chickpea Quinoa Salad, give it a 5-star review below!
Chickpea Quinoa Salad
- 30 ounces chickpeas garbanzo beans drained and rinsed (keep the aquafaba from the can for another recipe)
- 1 large English cucumber skin on, diced
- 1 medium red pepper diced
- 1 medium red onion diced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes cut in half
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 jalapeño pepper deseeded chopped
- 2 cups purple cabbage chopped
- 2 cup cooked red quinoa cooled before adding to the salad
- 2 avocados sliced thin (garnish; optional)
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic minced
- The juice of 1 lemon or 3 Tablespoons
- 1 Tablespoon Pure Maple Syrup or date syrup
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- In a large bowl, add all the salad ingredients
- Do not add quinoa until it is cool
- Add dressing; toss
- Cover and refrigerate until served
- Add avocado for garnish (optional)
- Dress the salad in advance, so the ingredients enhance over time in the refrigerator.
- Do not add the avocado or microgreens until ready to serve to avoid, This way the avocado won't brown and the microgreens will stay vibrant.
- If you need help with cooking quinoa, check out this full-proof way to cook quinoa every time.
- Make sure the quinoa is completely cool before making the salad. After cooking, place it in the refrigerator to cool down more quickly.
- If using dried chickpeas instead of canned, soak them overnight for the best cooking result.
- I make a double batch of this salad and take it to work all week long.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂