Vegan Chickpea Salad

Full of protein, relatively low calorie, cheap to buy. And on top of all that, they have a good flavor, a better bite, and are vegan friendly.
cooked chickpea salad in a bowl

Why I love Chickpea Salad

Since starting my diet and health journey, I’ve come to love this vegan chickpea salad. They’re full of protein, relatively low calorie, cheap to buy in a can, and even cheaper to buy dried. And on top of all that, they have a good flavor with a better bite.

Inspired by other bean salads, I came up with this recipe trying to find a side dish to accompany a quesadilla. Usually I would choose rice, but I really wanted to meet my protein macros for the day, and I had an extra can of chickpeas in the pantry. So the decision was made.

Fried and Vegan

I chose to fry this salad to avoid all the extra calories that an oil based dressing adds. While there is still oil in the recipe, its function is to fry the pepper and onion, bringing out their juices, which adds all the moisture this salad needs. It’s a lot better on calories than adding in 3+ tbsp of oil to coat everything.

With only chickpeas, peppers, onion, and oil, this dish is a tasty vegan side dish.  You might enjoy serving it with a quesadilla!

cooked chickpea salad in a bowl

Making Vegan Chickpea Salad

To make the salad, start by dicing your onion and pepper. I did not specify the color of pepper or onion because really, any color will be delicious. I used a yellow bell pepper and a sweet white onion, but you could just as easily use a red onion and green bell pepper, or any other combination.  To add even more flavor to this salad, I chose olive oil to fry in. 

peppers and onion frying in a pan

After frying the pepper and onion for about 3-4 minutes, they were softened and lightly browned. At this point I added the paprika, garlic powder, and cumin. If you have a jar of taco seasoning on hand or an open packet, you could just as easily add 2.5 tsp of that instead and achieve a flavorful effect. It’s important to stir this together quickly to prevent the spices from burning on the skillet.

Once the spices are mixed well into the onion and pepper, it’s time to add the drained chickpeas. Make sure you stir well here to coat the chickpeas in the spices from the vegetables. Now fry it until the chickpeas are just getting crispy, stirring frequently.  Keeping the chickpeas moving prevents burning or over crisping on one side.

After about 3-5 minutes, the chickpeas will be ready. Remove them to a serving or mixing bowl and add the lemon juice and stir. The lemon juice adds a fun zing to the salad. You could also mix in a little hot sauce at this point if you’re looking for more spice.

Fried easy quesadilla with chicken on a plate

I split this recipe into 2 servings, but if you have a larger main course or don’t want to eat as many chickpeas, this could be divided into 4 as a small salad.

Enjoy 🙂

Recipe for Vegan Chickpea Salad

cooked chickpea salad in a bowl

Vegan Chickpea Salad

The perfect side salad: low cost, protein rich, and vegan.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Lunch, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 116 kcal


  • 1 Mixing bowl
  • 1 Frying Pan


  • 15 oz canned chickpeas 1 can
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • ½ Onion diced
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and black pepper


  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet.
  • Fry the diced bell pepper and diced onion in olive oil on medium high heat until softened.
  • Add the paprika, garlic powder, and cumin to the skillet and stir well.
  • Add the drained chickpeas to the skillet and fry with the veggies for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add salt and black pepper to taste.
  • When chickpeas have taken some color from the spices and are slightly crisp, remove to a serving bowl.
  • Sprinkle 1 tsp lemon juice and stir the chickpeas again.
  • Serve the salad hot.


Serving: 5ozCalories: 116kcalCarbohydrates: 19.5gProtein: 6.25g
Keyword chickpea, vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Chickpea Salad
Serving Size
5 oz
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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