This tasty chickpea quinoa salad is packed with crunchy almonds, salty feta, and plenty of veggies for a salad that is perfect for a filling meal!

chickpea quinoa salad
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There’s a restaurant here in Richmond called The Daily that serves a quinoa salad I absolutely love. It’s been my go-to order every time I visit, and it got me thinking… why not try to recreate it at home? It turned out to be a pretty simple meal, but the layers of flavor work together really well. The homemade chipotle vinaigrette brings it all together — and I think you’ll love this one as much as I do!

chickpea quinoa salad

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Lettuce– You could use any kind of greens you like, but I recommend something crunchy like romaine or little gem lettuce.
  • Carrot– Chopped carrot adds a little sweetness and crunch.
  • Bell pepper– I used a red bell pepper but yellow or orange would work well, too.
  • Quinoa– I cooked my quinoa in vegetable broth to add additional flavor.
  • Chickpeas– I used chickpeas straight from the can, but I’ve also made this recipe with crispy chickpeas and that’s tasty, too!
  • Feta– Crumbled feta adds a creamy, salty element. I prefer a block of feta cut into pieces, which has the creamiest texture.
  • Almonds– Roasted, salted almonds add a lovely crunch. I used whole almonds, chopped, but sliced almonds work well, too. You can substitute with roasted salted cashews, if you prefer.
  • Olive oil– High quality olive oil is essential for the dressing. I like California Olive Ranch or O Olive Oil.
  • White wine vinegar– You can substitute with champagne vinegar or even red wine vinegar.
  • Lemon juice– Fresh lemon juice is great but most of the time I used bottled lemon juice. (Just keeping it real!)
  • Cumin– This adds a warm, earthy spice to the dressing.
  • Adobo sauce– I use some of the sauce from canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce. You can add a whole diced chipotle pepper if you want to add more spice.
  • Honey– A little honey adds sweetness to balance out the heat. You can substitute with maple syrup.
  • Salt– Don’t forget to season the dressing with salt!
quinoa

How to Cook Quinoa

Most quinoa should be rinsed before cooking. Some bagged varieties come pre-rinsed, but if you’re not sure, give it a rinse just to be safe. Place it in a fine mesh sieve and run it under cold water. Be sure it’s a very fine mesh strainer so the quinoa doesn’t fall through.

  • Rice Cooker Method: Add one part quinoa and 2 parts vegetable broth to the rice cooker and press start.
  • Stovetop Method: Use a two-to-one ratio of vegetable broth to quinoa. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the water is absorbed, then fluff with a fork.
  • Instant Pot Method: This is a quick, fool-proof method for perfect quinoa, but it works best for larger batches.

You’ll typically find quinoa sold in bags in the natural section of the grocery store, by the rice or gluten-free products. If you don’t see it at the grocery store, you can always find quinoa on Amazon! If you’re looking for other quinoa recipes, try my pesto quinoa salad or caprese quinoa salad.

chickpea quinoa salad

Tips & Tricks

  • This salad can be prepared 1-2 days in advance. Wait to add the almonds and dressing until you’re ready to enjoy it.
  • I recommend using a salad spinner after washing the romaine. This helps remove all of the moisture from the lettuce, so you get a nice, crunchy salad. This also improves the flavor, as damp lettuce leaves won’t hold the dressing.
  • This salad also makes a delicious wrap!
  • If you’re looking for something to make with the leftover chipotle chilies, try making this spicy dressing!
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chickpea quinoa salad

Chickpea Quinoa Salad

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 large salads 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This tasty chickpea quinoa salad is packed with crunchy almonds, salty feta, and plenty of veggies for a salad that is perfect for a filling meal!


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the salad

  • 6 cups chopped romaine
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 (15oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted, salted almonds
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese

For the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all the salad ingredients.
  2. In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the dressing.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Divide into bowls and enjoy immediately.

Notes

If you want to save half of this salad for later, wait to add the dressing until you’re ready to enjoy it. The salad can be prepared a day or two in advance. (For best flavor, wait to add the almonds until you dress the salad!)