Summer Chickpea Salad

Anyone else feel like August snuck up on them? This summer is whizzing by, and I had grand plans to post (a little) more often. I have stacks of new recipes to share, but wow, I’m having a hard time keeping up. Three kiddos at home through summer isn’t exactly “free time”. (Any mamas out there relating??) Still, I will do my best to share these new goodies, starting now!

You guys know I love beans. Love ’em, legume-y goodness love. Not only for their nutrition, but I just love how versatile they can be in dishes, and adding unparalleled heartiness. Yet, I typically turn to hot dishes when making bean dishes – like soups, casseroles, stews, and on. (You too?)

As much as I love these dishes, it’s summer. Some days are just too hot to turn on the oven, or even the stove! While I love my hummus and dips as much as the next legume-lovin’ vegan, sometimes I want something different.

Summer Chickpea Salad by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen

I’ve been making a variety of bean-based salads this summer. Salads with beans. Not a novel idea, I know. But, somewhat novel for my family to eat for dinner. They associate “hot food” with dinner, so it’s a bit unusual for them to see a cool bean dish on the table. I meet them halfway. I typically serve up the salad alongside some grilled spuds. (I grilled sweet spuds this week for the first time, wow!) Plus some guac. (YUM!) That rounds out the happiness factor for this vegan family of five.

Today I’m sharing my Summer Chickpea Salad. It brings summer tomatoes, spinach, and basil together with chickpeas, olives, and avocado in a bright, tangy lemon dressing. Chickpeas are my bean of choice because I think their firm texture holds up well amongst the softer tomatoes, avocados, and spinach. But, if you prefer another bean, cannellini beans would sub well. Enjoy!

Summer Chickpea Salad (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free) by Dreena Burton, Plant-Powered Kitchen

Summer Chickpea Salad (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, oil-free)

ReciPage link to print/share

This salad is a breeze to make, and makes a deliciously satisfying meal when you’d love a hearty bean dish but it’s too hot to turn on that oven! Serve over greens, with a side of grilled potatoes or sides of bread.

2 – 2 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tbsp pure maple syrup

1 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp salt, rounded

1/2 tsp lemon zest (optional)

2 cups cooked chickpeas (see note)

1 cup tomatoes, cut in bite-size chunks

1 cup avocado, cut in bite-sized chunks

1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced

1 1/2 – 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped

1/4 cup torn/chopped basil leaves

1-2 tbsp chopped chives (optional)

In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice (starting with 2 tbsp), maple syrup, dijon, salt, and lemon zest (if using). Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, avocado, olives, spinach, and basil (and chives, if using). Toss through, gently so not to break up the avocado too much. Taste, and if you’d like more lemony tang, add the extra 1/2 tbsp of juice. Season as desired with more salt or with some pepper. Serve!

Chickpea Note: I like the firmer texture of chickpeas in this salad. If you’d like to try another bean to replace chickpeas, try cannellini beans.

Avocado Note: If not serving straight away, store in the fridge in a covered container. Note that the avocado in this salad will oxidize slightly after several hours, this salad is best eaten the same day. If you want to make ahead, add the avocado just before serving.

Kick it Up a Notch: If you’d like some spicy kick, grate a clove of garlic into the vinaigrette, whisking through.

Idea: Want to add a little crunch to this salad? Top with 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts or chopped pistachios or walnuts!

Serving Suggestion: Serve over a bed of greens alongside grilled potatoes with Cashew Cheese!

Hope you enjoy the salad, please comment with your ideas and feedback, I love to hear from you!




  1. Tracy says

    Best salad I ever made/had! Just wonderful fresh flavors and textures! Next time I’m going to add the garlic though I’m not sure how it could possibly taste better. Thank you for everything you do and share!

  2. Laura says

    Hi Dreena,

    That looks so yummy! I’ve really only just discovered your site and it is beautiful. It’s winter here in Australia but, that just means it’s slightly colder. I still eat my lunches outside and have been looking for something portable that isn’t boring…looks like I’ve found it!


  3. Elaine says

    It was so delicious ..all of my favorite tastes together ! I am having a friend over for lunch this week and thought it might be a nice salad to serve so I tried it out first on my family last night and we loved it… thanks so much for sharing your gift !

  4. Lyn E. says

    This salad looks delicious, and I like that idea of serving it with spuds.

    Thanks for sharing this with us during your busy summer.

    Also came across your Tomato Lentil soup recipe that I’ve just got to try. (I keep making soup even in summer):)

  5. says

    Sounds tasty Dreena. I like the suggestion to serve with grilled potatoes & cashew cheese. I bet it would be yummy stuffed in a WW pita too :)
    P.S. I only realized it was August on Sunday (the 3rd!)

  6. Lynn says

    This looks fab, Dreena! Once I get some tomatoes I’ll be sure to try it. I might sub in yellow peppers for the olives, and maybe a few raisins – because just about everything is good with raisins :). The dressing reminds me of Chef AJ’s Yummy Sauce, which I just had over a bowl of sweet potato, white beans and kale. Anything lemon-y has me hooked!

    • Dreena says

      Oooh, I like your ideas, Lynn! I too love lemon in dressings – brightens just about all flavors! Enjoy. xx

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