Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Roasted Tomatoes

5 from 1 vote

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Dressed in a garlicky red wine vinaigrette, this quinoa chickpea salad has a mix of roasted tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, Kalamata olives, walnuts and feta. This is a recipe where it is easy to multitask. While the tomatoes are roasting in the oven, you have time to simmer the quinoa on the stove and make the dressing.

Quinoa chickpea salad in a small bowl.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

A really wonderful salad has variety in each bite. This chickpea quinoa salad has a combination of savory and salty flavors along with soft and crisp textures with quinoa, chickpeas, roasted tomatoes, cucumbers and so much more.

Since this salad has quinoa as a base instead of lettuce, it won’t wilt. That makes it great for potlucks and picnics if you’re planning to feed a crowd. Also, it’s a good choice for meal prep like a week of work lunches.

This salad can be a main dish or a side dish. It’s important to have salad recipes in your rotation that don’t rely on lettuce because there are so many ways you can enjoy them. You can serve the salad, warm, at room temperature or cold.

What is Quinoa?

Even though we often refer to it as a grain, quinoa is actually a seed that’s native to the Andes in South America. It is full of nutrition with fiber, protein and amino acids. Quinoa is gluten-free and is lower in carbohydrates than white rice. Another great thing is that cooking quinoa is quick and easy.

Before you start simmering, you need to rinse off quinoa to remove saponin, which is a coating on it that can make it taste bitter. You can do this in a fine mesh strainer over the sink. Quinoa is available in white, red and black and is sold in blends of all three colors.

The Ingredients

Ingredients including quinoa, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, red onions, olive oil and red wine vinegar.

This is what you need:

  • Quinoa: You can see in the photos that I used a quinoa mix that includes multiple colors. This was all for looks. You can use a single color in this salad recipe. It doesn’t matter. Because of its small grains, couscous would be a good substitute.
  • Chickpeas: The recipe calls for canned chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans). After I drain them from the can and rinse them, I like to put them on a towel to roll them around to dry them and then pull off any loose skins, so they don’t end up scattered throughout the salad.
  • Tomatoes: Either grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes will work.
  • Cucumbers: Because they have less seeds and their skin is thinner, I prefer either English cucumbers or Persian cucumbers more than regular ones.
  • Olives: Pitted Kalamata olives add a salty accent.
  • Red onions give the salad sharp bites here and there. If you like something more mild, then use sliced green onions instead.
  • Walnuts add nutty crunch. You can substitute with chopped almonds or pine nuts.
  • Feta: With ingredients like cucumbers, tomatoes and olives, crumbled feta makes sense. Goat cheese is fine for a substitute. Grated Parmesan will also work, but it will have a different consistency in the salad. If you need the recipe to be vegan, then leave out the cheese.
  • Parsley is my choice for fresh herbs. You can also include basil or chives.
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper are needed for roasting the tomatoes. They are also in the dressing.
  • Red wine vinaigrette: This dressing is very simple with plenty of garlic, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Optional Additions

I love the salad as the recipe is written, but you can make any of these additions:

  • Leafy greens: It’s fine to add lettuce to your quinoa salad. Try chopped kale, arugula or baby spinach. This is also an easy way to stretch the salad into more servings.
  • Bell peppers: To add more vegetables, you can include a diced red, yellow or orange bell pepper.
  • Hard-boiled eggs: You can chop them and stir them right in. 
  • Chicken, shrimp or another protein: The mediterranean flavors of this salad lend themselves to roasted or grilled chicken or shrimp.

How To Make This Quinoa Chickpea Salad

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

1. Toss the tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. You can do this right on the baking sheet. Just make sure to spread out the tomatoes, cut side up, in a single layer.

2. Roast the tomatoes until they are wrinkled but still juicy. This will take about 25-30 minutes.

Tomatoes on a sheet pan before and after they are roasted.

3. Simmer the quinoa on the stove. When it finishes cooking, pull the pot off the heat and wait 5 minutes before fluffing it with a fork.

4. Make the vinaigrette. Whisk together the garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar and oil.

Cooked quinoa in a pot. Vinaigrette whisked in a small bowl.

5. Combine the salad ingredients in a big bowl including the quinoa, roasted tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumbers, olives, onions, nuts, feta and parsley.

6. Drizzle the vinaigrette into the salad. Stir to combine. After you put it in a serving bowl, you can sprinkle on more chopped parsley and feta if you want. 

Salad ingredients assembled in a large bowl. Salad tossed with vinaigrette.

Serving

Since it has a quinoa base, this salad is filling enough to be a meal on its own. Serve it warm, at room temperature or cold. You can eat it as a side dish with Barbecue Veggie Tofu Skewers, Baked Zucchini Corn Fritters or another vegetarian main.

Make-Ahead Tips, Storage & Leftovers

You can make the quinoa, roasted tomatoes and vinaigrette up to 3 days in advance. Store them all in separate airtight containers in the fridge. I like putting the vinaigrette in a mason jar. Then I recommend letting them sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes before assembling the salad. This will give the dressing a chance to turn to liquid again if it hardens in the chill of the refrigerator.

Keep the salad leftovers in the fridge up to 4 days. After that and the cucumbers and other ingredients will start to soften. As mentioned, you can add leafy greens to leftovers to stretch them into another meal.

Recipe Tips

Use the time that the tomatoes are roasting to make the quinoa and the vinaigrette. There’s no rushing with this multitasking. You will have plenty of time to prep these ingredients in the 25 minutes or so that the tomatoes are in the oven.

Pull the loose skins off the chickpeas. This is optional, but I think you will prefer the overall look and texture of the salad if you remove them.

Serving bowl with roasted tomato, chickpea quinoa salad.

FAQs

Do you have to roast the tomatoes?

When you roast tomatoes, their flavor becomes more concentrated and strong. I think it’s worth taking the time to roast them, but you can use raw tomatoes as long as they are nice and ripe.

Can you substitute with store-bought Italian vinaigrette?

I always prefer the taste of homemade dressings, and they don’t have any unnecessary preservatives or ingredients. However you can make this substitution.

More Quinoa Recipes

Roasted Ratatouille Quinoa
Green Bean White Bean Quinoa
Roasted Broccoli Quinoa Salad
Butternut Squash Black Bean Quinoa
Herby Lemon Quinoa
Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Quinoa

Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Roasted Tomatoes

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
With a mix of Mediterranean flavors and ingredients, this quinoa chickpea salad is a hearty salad that can be enjoyed as a side or main dish.

Ingredients 

For tomatoes

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa rinsed
  • 1-3/4 cups water

For vinaigrette

  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

For salad

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup diced cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta plus more for serving
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley plus more for serving

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • Toss the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper on the pan. Arrange them in a single layer, cut side up. Roast the tomatoes for 25-30 minutes until they are wrinkle but still juicy.
  • Make the quinoa while the tomatoes are in the oven. Combine the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 12 minutes until the quinoa is cooked and has absorbed the water. Remove the quinoa from the heat. Let stand covered for 5 minutes. Then fluff it with a fork.
  • To make the vinaigrette, whisk the garlic, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, red wine vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil in a small bowl.
  • In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, roasted tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumbers, olives, onions, walnuts, feta and parsley.
  • Pour the vinaigrette into the salad and stir to combine. Transfer into a serving bowl and top with additional feta and parsley as desired.

Video

Notes

It is optional, but you can remove the skins from the chickpeas before stirring them into the salad.
Crumbled goat cheese or grated parmesan can be substituted for feta cheese.
Instead of walnuts, you can use chopped almonds or pine nuts.
The quinoa, roasted tomatoes and vinaigrette can be made up to 3 days in advance. Store them in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. Let them sit out at room temperature for 15 minutes before assembling the salad.
You can store leftovers in the fridge up to 4 days.
Optional additions: leafy greens (such as chopped kale, arugula or spinach), chopped hard-boiled eggs, roasted or grilled chicken or shrimp

Nutrition

Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 683mg | Potassium: 626mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 670IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
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Hi, I'm Paige.

Welcome to Last Ingredient where you will find simple seasonal recipes with plenty of fruits and vegetables, all for the home cook.

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