Are you in search of a quick and healthy dish? Look no further than our Easy Chickpea Cucumber Salad with Balsamic Dressing! This delightful salad combines the vibrant flavors of chickpeas, crisp cucumbers, and tangy balsamic dressing. Each bite offers a refreshing burst of freshness. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to make, taking less than 15 minutes to prepare. Whether you’re enjoying it for lunch, as a side dish, or preparing it for meal prep, this salad is a versatile and delicious choice.
Ingredients & Substitutions
The ingredients for this Easy Chickpea Cucumber Salad with Balsamic Dressing are simple and flexible, allowing for easy substitutions. You’ll need chickpeas, which can be conveniently sourced from a can. If you prefer, you can also cook dried chickpeas and use them instead.
Cucumbers add a refreshing crunch to the salad, but if they’re not your favorite, feel free to swap them out with another crisp vegetable of your choice, such as bell peppers or radishes. The red onion adds a subtle kick, but if you’re not a fan of onions, you can omit them altogether or substitute with thinly sliced shallots.
Fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, or basil provide a burst of flavor, but if you don’t have them on hand, you can use dried herbs instead.
Now let’s talk about the star of the show—the balsamic dressing. A high-quality balsamic vinegar is recommended to enhance the taste. However, if you don’t have balsamic vinegar, you can substitute it with red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar for a different flavor profile.
Extra virgin olive oil adds richness to the dressing, but you can use any neutral-tasting oil you prefer. Dijon mustard provides a hint of tanginess, but if you don’t have it, you can use regular mustard instead.
Italian seasoning adds a blend of herbs and spices, but you can create your own mix using dried oregano, basil, thyme, and a pinch of garlic powder. Lastly, don’t forget to season with salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to adjust the quantities of the ingredients and explore different flavors to make this salad truly your own.
- Mixing Bowl: A medium-sized mixing bowl will be perfect for combining all the salad ingredients. It should be spacious enough to allow for easy tossing and coating of the ingredients with the dressing.
- Whisk: A whisk will come in handy for emulsifying the balsamic dressing. It will help blend the ingredients together smoothly and ensure a well-combined dressing.
- Measuring Spoons: Having a set of measuring spoons will aid in accurately portioning the balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, dijon mustard, and Italian seasoning for the dressing. This will help maintain the desired balance of flavors.
- Sharp Knife and Cutting Board: You’ll need a sharp kitchen knife and a sturdy cutting board to chop the cucumber into bite-sized pieces and thinly slice the red onion. These tools will make the task quick and efficient.
- Can Opener: If you’re using canned chickpeas, a can opener will be necessary to open the can and drain the chickpeas. This tool ensures easy access to the main ingredient of the salad.
- Serving Bowl or Plates: When it’s time to enjoy your salad, having a suitable serving bowl or individual plates will allow you to present it beautifully. Choose a bowl or plates that are spacious enough to hold the salad and showcase its vibrant colors.
How to Make Chickpea Cucumber Salad
First, gather all the salad ingredients in a small bowl. Transitioning smoothly, mix the chickpeas, chopped cucumber, thinly sliced red onion, and fresh herbs together.
Now, let’s prepare the flavorful balsamic dressing. In a separate bowl, whisk together the high-quality balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Make sure to adjust the seasoning to your taste preferences.
To bring everything together, effortlessly combine the dressing with the salad ingredients. Mix them gently, ensuring that every component gets coated evenly.
With that, your Easy Chickpea Cucumber Salad with Balsamic Dressing is ready to be served.
Whether you’re enjoying it immediately or planning for meal prep, this salad is versatile and satisfying. Serve it as a light lunch, a refreshing side dish, or portion it out for convenient, on-the-go meals. The choice is yours!
Tips & Tricks
- Chill Before Serving: For optimal flavor, refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and gives the salad a refreshing chill.
- Customize the Ingredients: Feel free to customize the salad ingredients based on your preferences or what you have on hand. Add in other vegetables like cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, or even avocado for extra color and flavor.
- Experiment with Herbs: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different herbs to add unique flavors to the salad. Try using mint, dill, or chives in addition to or instead of the suggested herbs like parsley, cilantro, or basil.
- Make it Ahead: This salad is perfect for meal prepping or making ahead for gatherings. Prepare the salad and dressing separately, storing them in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Mix them together just before serving to maintain the freshness and crispness of the ingredients.
- Adjust the Dressing: Taste the dressing before mixing it with the salad and adjust the seasoning accordingly. If you prefer a tangier flavor, add a little more balsamic vinegar or dijon mustard. For a milder taste, reduce the amount of vinegar or mustard.
- Double the Recipe: Hosting a larger gathering or want to have leftovers? Double the recipe to accommodate more servings. This salad keeps well in the refrigerator for a few days, making it a convenient option for quick and healthy meals throughout the week.
- Serve with Crusty Bread: Pair this salad with some crusty bread or pita for a complete and satisfying meal. The combination of the salad’s fresh flavors and the bread’s texture creates a delightful dining experience.
FAQ: Chickpea Cucumber Salad Recipe
The salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. However, keep in mind that the texture of the cucumbers may soften slightly over time.
Yes, you can prepare the dressing in advance. Just store it in a separate container in the refrigerator and give it a good whisk before mixing it with the salad. This will ensure the flavors are well-incorporated.
Certainly! While balsamic vinegar is recommended for its tangy and slightly sweet flavor, you can substitute it with red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar for a different taste profile.
Yes, you can omit the red onions if you’re not a fan or prefer a milder taste. Alternatively, you can substitute them with thinly sliced shallots or even green onions for a different flavor profile.
Absolutely! Feel free to customize the salad by adding other vegetables that you enjoy. Cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, or even diced avocado can be wonderful additions to enhance the flavors and textures.
Definitely! This salad is great for meal prepping. You can prepare the salad and dressing separately, store them in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator, and mix them together when ready to serve.
Easy Chickpea Cucumber Salad with Balsamic
- 1 19oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- ½ cucumber, chopped into bite sized peices
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, or basil)
- 3 tbsp high quality balsamic
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the onion into thin slices. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, then chop into bite sized pieces. Finely dice the fresh herbs, and add all these into a bowl with the chickpeas.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the balsamic, olive oil, dijon, Italian spice, salt and pepper.
- Pour the balsamic dressing over the salad, and toss to combine. Serve, and enjoy!
This Easy Chickpea Cucumber Salad with Balsamic Dressing is a delightful and versatile dish that offers a burst of freshness in every bite. With simple ingredients and minimal preparation time, it’s a perfect option for those seeking a quick and healthy meal. Whether enjoyed for lunch, as a side dish, or prepared ahead for meal prep, this salad is a flavorful and satisfying choice. Feel free to customize the ingredients, adjust the dressing to your taste, and get creative with additions. So, gather your ingredients, mix them together with the tangy balsamic dressing, and indulge in the vibrant flavors of this refreshing salad. It’s time to savor the goodness and enjoy a dish that combines simplicity and deliciousness in the most delightful way.