This no-cook Vegan Mediterranean Cucumber Chickpea Salad is an easy and healthy recipe to meal prep a vegan, gluten free lunch or dinner. It’s vegan, gluten free, nut free and protein-packed!
A few months ago, I was looking to make a healthy dinner for my husband and myself and we all we had in the fridge was one lousy cucumber and a handful of tomatoes. Not exactly the makings of a gourmet meal, eh?
Not in the mood to make another trip to the grocery store (I go at least 1x per day for work!), I grabbed a can of chickpeas from the pantry, plenty of dried herbs and ingredients for an easy mediterranean salad dressing.
The result, surprisingly, was magic!
The tart, herby mediterranean dressing paired perfectly with refreshing cucumbers and juicy tomatoes. I let the chickpeas infuse the flavor for a few minutes – my husband typically hates chickpeas – and we both ended up eating the whole bowl.
Since then, I’ve made this salad for us at least once a week. I actually had it for dinner last night! I never – and I mean NEVER – crave salad, but I’m making an exception for this one. There’s something so addictive about the salty + tangy +herby + fresh flavor combo!
Even better: it’s incredibly easy to switch it up with a variety of vegetables. Last night I added in some sliced mini bell peppers that I needed to get rid of. They were a fantastic addition! I also love adding in quick-pickled red onions (I always have a jar in the fridge), vegan feta cheese, and sometimes even avocado.
My husband is truly one of the pickiest eaters I’ve EVER met. When he gives the stamp of approval on a recipe (especially a vegan recipe!), I know it’s a keeper.
In case you need more convincing…
Vegan Mediterranean Chickpea Salad: perfect for meal prep!
With school back in session and schedules heating up, everyone’s looking for ways to save time. Meal prepping is one of our favorite ways to save time on the weekdays. It also allows us to keep eating healthy, well-balanced meals without spending more time in the kitchen.
A little bit of meal planning means that we have nutritious, satisfying vegan lunches and dinner on hand when our days get away from us. Plus, it keeps us from spending on take-out.
Of course, we spend so much time in the kitchen during the week making recipes for all of you. So come Saturday and Sunday, we aren’t always looking to spend another day over the stove.
That’s why this no-cook easy cucumber chickpea salad checks all of our meal prep boxes.
- It’s super fast to make. You just need one bowl plus a dressing container. To make it really fast, you could even mix the dressing right in the salad bowl before you add the veggies.
- This is a deeply flavorful salad. Our herby vinaigrette dressing brings major flavor without weighing down the fresh veggies.
- It’s packed with healthy vegetables. Crunchy cucumbers, plump tomatoes, and bright red onion.
- This salad is full of plant-based protein. Two cans of chickpeas add heft and heartiness to this otherwise veggie-packed salad.
- It stores well. After you toss the simple ingredients together, store the salad in airtight containers in the fridge. You can divide it into portions for each day of the week. Pack them up, along with some dressing, and you’ve got a healthy vegan lunch. We like to dress the salad right before eating to avoid wilting the delicate tomatoes and cukes.
- This salad is very versatile. You can stretch this chickpea cucumber salad even further with a few extra ingredients. For example, a cooked grain would add even more filling protein and carbs.
How to make the best herby Mediterranean vinaigrette
This salad packs some serous Greek-inspired flavors. Greek food is some of the freshest tasting in the world. It’s crunchy, savory and bright. And it relies a lot on fresh herbs, fresh cheese and ultra-fresh vegetables.
That’s why we dress up this chickpea cucumber salad with a quick and easy herb-packed vinaigrette!
This vegan salad dressing really couldn’t be simpler. It’s our twist on a classic vinaigrette. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Good-quality olive oil. Most of the flavor in this cucumber salad comes from the dressing. So don’t skimp when it comes to a flavor-packed olive oil. It may be a bit more expensive, but it doesn’t have to be wildly pricy. This is the kind of olive oil that you wouldn’t necessarily cook with, but you love the taste of raw.
- Red wine vinegar. Brighter and lighter than balsamic, red wine vinegar is common in Greek salad dressings.
- Lemon juice. For extra brightness and a citrusy kick, lemon juice brings a new dimension to the chickpea salad.
- Herbs. We use oregano, basil and thyme. These complement the Greek flavors in this vegan salad. Plus, you probably already have them on hand.
- Bonus: sumac. This Middle Eastern spice is totally optional for this cucumber chickpea salad. However, it does add a delicious lemony punch to the vinaigrette.
What to Serve with this Vegan Chickpea Salad
Not a meal-prepper, or serving this crunchy salad as a side dish?
Dozens of other recipes complement this salad to make a full meal. We love pairing it with other Middle Eastern and Greek-inspired recipes.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Lentil Stuffed Eggplant Boats with Tahini Sauce. These hearty stuffed eggplants make a filling dinner alongside cucumber chickpea salad.
- Vegan Mediterranean Stuffed Avocados. These stuffed avocados use a lot of the same ingredients as this salad. Put them together for a meal that’s diverse in dishes and textures, but also very complementary. Not to mention easy to make at the same time.
- Mediterranean Pasta with Herbed Lemon Olive Oil. Here’s another recipe you’ll want that good-quality olive oil for! Together with cucumber chickpea salad, this pasta makes a quick and healthy Mediterranean weeknight meal. The leftovers will also make a delicious lunch the next day.
A Few Salad Ingredient Notes
Before you get tossing, there are a few things to take note of.
First of all, you may want to quick-pickle your red onion. Maybe you’re not a huge fan of the bite from raw red onions (I’m most definitely not!). Or, maybe you have an important meeting after lunch (we’ve all been there).
Don’t worry, you can still enjoy this vibrant salad thanks to the magic of quick pickling!
Simply turn your raw red onions into quick pickles. It takes just a few extra minutes, and the result is delightfully bright-tasting onions without the harsh bite. Here’s how to make nearly any veggie into a quick pickle in just a few minutes.
Of course, if dairy isn’t an issue for you, you can certainly use the real stuff. You can also omit it completely – there’s enough saltiness and tang in the dressing that it’s not a crucial ingredient. Other than that, this vegan chickpea salad recipe is naturally vegan and gluten free.
More High-Protein Vegan Meal Prep Recipes
Maybe this mediterranean chickpea salad has you on a meal-prep kick. If that’s the case, we have plenty more protein-packed make-ahead recipes to keep you prepping all year long.
Here are some of our current favorite meals to prep on a Sunday:
- Vegan Burrito Bowls. This healthier version of burritos will keep you satisfied without needing a 2 pm nap.
- Soba Noodle Salad with Citrus Scallion Dressing. Citrusy and delicious, you can enjoy these noodles cold or warmed up.
- Vegan Red Lentil Soup. This also freezes well. It’s great to keep on hand for a chilly night.
- Easy Vegan Spring Roll Bowls with Crispy Tofu. Crispy tofu is a no-brainer protein option for vegan meal prep.
- Creamy Vegan Roasted Tomato Soup. Another soup that stores well. It can be frozen, and enjoyed both warm and cold.
What are your go-to vegan meal prep recipes? Let us know in the comment section!Print
This no-cook cucumber chickpea salad is a quick and healthy recipe to meal prep a vegan, gluten free lunch or dinner.
For the dressing:
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2–1 tsp sumac (optional)
For the salad:
- 1 large English cucumber, sliced thinly into rounds
- 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2/3 cup red onion, sliced thinly (see note)
- 1/2 cup vegan feta cheese
- To make the dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid or small bowl. Shake or whisk well to emulsify.
- In a large serving bowl, add the cucumber, chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, and feta. Add the dressing and toss to combine.
To cut down on the bite from the red onion, you can quick pickle them in just a few minutes. If you do this, you may wish to cut back the salt by 1/4-1/2 tsp and the lemon by 1/2-1 tbsp. See our guide here.
Keywords: vegan chickpea salad