My kale chickpea salad is a delightful mix of massaged kale, roasted chickpeas, and a zesty lemon dressing. This salad is no regular rabbit food – it's packed with flavorful feta, crunchy veggies, and a whole lot of sass. Get ready to fall in love with your greens again.
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I love a kale salad recipe around here, and this roasted chickpea kale salad is no different. With simple ingredients and plant-based protein, it is filling enough to be a main dish but also makes a lovely side salad as part of a larger meal.
📖Why This Recipe Works
Not quite a Greek kale salad, this is my version using inspiration from that region. I kept the lemon dressing light and sweet (thanks to sun-dried tomatoes) because we have salty elements from the olives and cheese.
The additional vegetables are bright and have a variety of textures. But the star is crunchy chickpeas, they balance so well with the soft crumbling feta cheese.
Kale- Curly kale is used for its ruffled texture that holds the dressing well. Lacinato or dinosaur kale can also be used. Baby kale is milder in flavor but doesn't hold up as well once dressed.
Feta Cheese- You can skip the cheese or substitute goat cheese in a pinch.
Red Pepper - You can use jarred or roast your own bell peppers. Red peppers are in place of tomatoes. I use sun-dried tomatoes in the dressing so I wanted something colorful but different in the salad.
Olives - I use kalamata olives to add a briny bite or substitute green olives if preferred.
Cucumber - English cucumbers have few seeds and tender skin. No need to peel them.
Red Onion - Thin slices add crunch, sub shallot for milder flavor.
Chickpeas- AKA garbanzo beans, use canned beans that have been drained or 2 cups of cooked beans.
Sun-Dried Tomatoes- You can use oil-packed or vacuum-sealed tomatoes.
⏲️ How to Make Kale Chickpea Salad
Dry the drained chickpeas with a kitchen towel. Drizzle with olive and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. They will continue to crisp up as they cool.
Remove the stems from the washed kale. Chop into bite-sized pieces. If the kale is bitter you can massage it in a little dressing to soften.
To serve, add all the ingredients to a large bowl.
Top with the dressing. Use tongs to toss.
🥗What to Serve Chickpea Kale Salad
You can eat this salad as is but consider these optional add-ins and variations:
- Swapping the crispy chickpeas for toasted pine nuts, sunflower seeds, or almonds
- Topping with sliced avocado, grilled chicken, flank steak or shrimp
- Try with a different salad dressing like my basil balsamic vinaigrette or my house salad dressing
- Roast the chickpeas while you prep the other ingredients for the fastest prep time.
- Massage the kale with dressing to soften the leaves.
- Ensure chickpeas are thoroughly dried before roasting for maximum crispiness.
- Make the lemon vinaigrette in advance to allow the flavors to meld together.
- If your tomatoes come packed in oil you can use that to roast the chickpeas for extra flavor.
This salad is great for meal prep. Keep greens, veggies, cheese, and roasted chickpeas separate. Make the lemon dressing up to 5 days early and store it in a sealed container.
Greens stay fresh for 3-4 days, other veggies last 5-6 days. Assemble the salad right before serving for the best texture.
Store everything in the fridge except chickpeas; they're good at room temperature as long as they are in an airtight container.
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💭 Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, spinach or arugula work well as substitutes.
Yes! Saute the kale in olive for 2 to 3 minutes on low. Transfer to a bowl and add the warm chickpeas and remaining toppings. Drizzle with dressing.
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📖 Printable Recipe Card
Mediterranean Kale and Chickpea Salad
- 10 ounces curly kale
- 1 cup cucumber diced
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
- ⅓ cup roasted red pepper chopped
- ⅓ cup kalamata olives
- ⅓ cup red onion thinly sliced
- Wash and dry the kale. Remove the stems and cut into bite size pieces.10 ounces curly kale
- Combine all the chopped salad ingredients in a bowl, drizzle with the dressing. Top with the crispy chickpeas.1 cup cucumber, ½ cup feta cheese, ⅓ cup roasted red pepper, ⅓ cup kalamata olives, ⅓ cup red onion
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pat chickpeas dry on a kitchen towel, removing skins. Toss chickpeas on baking sheet with olive oil and salt. Roast 20-30 mins until crispy golden brown.1 15- ounce can chickpeas, 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Whisk all the ingredients together and season to taste with salt and pepper. You can also blend in a food processor or blender for a creamier consistancy.¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, ¼ cup sundried tomatoes, 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, ⅓ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, 10 ounces curly kale