Easy Mediterranean chickpea salad with feta, tomatoes, and cucumber is an excellent option for summer side dish recipes. Serve it for cookouts, backyard barbecues, and potluck parties.
What you’ll love about this recipe
- This Mediterranean chickpea salad works well for a summer cookout because it’s vinaigrette-based instead of cream or mayonnaise-based.
- This simple salad blends the classic flavors of the Mediterranean into a side dish that can be prepped ahead, or prepared for a last minute cookout.
- It’s an easy dish that travels well so you can take it to a party.
- It’s also unique enough that if you take it to a potluck party, it won’t be a duplicate.
- It can serve as a main course option for vegetarians.
PARTY TIP: Keep salad chilled during a party by filling a large bowl with an ice bath – not too watered down – sprinkled with rock salt. Place the salad serving bowl on top of the ice bath. The ice bath keeps things colder than ice alone, and the rock salt slows down the ice melting process.
What to serve it with
As we enter the summer party season, this is one side dish recipe that’s always a good fit for some of our favorite entrees.
- best juicy burgers,
- Greek burger with tzatziki sauce,
- hot dog roast
- grilled steaks or kabobs
- plank grilled salmon
- grilled chicken skewers
Potluck side dish recipe
This salad is a terrific side item for all types of occasions.
Serve it for a casual Greek theme dinner party.
It hits all the right notes for an easy backyard bbq. It’s light and fresh, it’s full of veggies, has tons of flavor, and pairs well with many grilled meats.
How to make it
This salad contains some of the most popular ingredients in the Mediterranean flavor profile.
- garbanzo beans
- black olives
- feta cheese
The garbanzo beans give it a nice meaty bite while the fresh vegetables add texture and crunch.
The vinaigrette is easy to make with just 4 ingredients, plus salt and pepper.
- white wine vinegar
- dijon mustard
- extra virgin olive oil
If you don’t feel like making the vinaigrette from scratch or you’re in a hurry, you can use a bottled dressing.
- Drain and rinse two cans of garbanzo beans.
- Cut cucumbers and tomatoes into bite size pieces.
- Add beans, vegetables, feta, and dill to a large bowl and mix to combine.
- Add dressing ingredients to a bowl, or a jar with a lid. Whisk or shake jar to combine well.
- Drizzle vinaigrette over salad and toss to coat.
- Refrigerate for two hours before serving.
You can read more about the Mediterranean diet here.
PARTY TIP: This makes a great vegetarian entrée too!
Menu planning tips
When I’m creating menus for a dinner party, there are a few things I consider.
- The dishes should complement one another rather than compete with each other.
- The flavors and ingredients should fit the occasion.
- There should be an overall representation of food groups.
Basically you don’t want too much of the same thing, nor do you want flavors that will overpower everything else.
- 2 – 15 ounce cans chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 1 large cucumber, sliced and cut into quarters
- 2.25-ounce can of sliced black olives, drained
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/8 cup of fresh dill
- vinaigrette dressing, recipe below
White wine vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Pinch of salt, and pepper, or to taste
- Pinch of sugar
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- To make vinaigrette add all ingredients except olive oil, into a bowl and whisk together.
- Slowly add in olive oil while whisking, until fully combined. You can also add all ingredients to a jar with tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously until combined.
- Add salad ingredients to a medium sized bowl, and mix to combine.
- Pour vinaigrette over salad and gently stir to cover.