This simple Cucumber Chickpea Salad is a quick and easy addition to any meal or a satisfying light lunch on its own. Great for BBQs, potlucks, picnics, and lunchboxes. It’s vegan, gluten free, oil free and ready in just 15 minutes!
This is one of my go-to salads whenever I need to bring a dish to a gathering. It keeps well and only gets more flavorful as it sits.
The fresh herbs and the balsamic tahini dressing really make this simple cucumber chickpea salad sing. Though I tend to reach for this dish in the spring and summer the most, it’s great all year round.
It only takes about 15 minutes to make and is gluten free, oil free, and vegan!
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Chickpeas ~ Chickpeas are full of healthy plant based protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They’re a pantry staple and we have several savory vegan chickpea recipes on rotation every couple of weeks, like my Vegan Chickpea Salad, Spiced Chickpea Stew, and Sloppy BBQ Chickpeas Sandwiches.
If you’re not a fan of chickpeas, you can use white beans, like cannellini or navy beans instead.
Cucumber ~ I prefer to use English cucumbers. They have very few seeds and don’t need to be peeled.
If you have regular grocery store cucumbers, I suggest you peel them first as they usually have a waxy coating on them. Their seeds also tend to be large and tough, so use a spoon to scrape them out first before chopping.
Small Persian cucumbers would be great in this dish. They small enough that you don’t need to cut them in half. Just wash them well and slice thinly.
Tomatoes ~ Grape tomatoes are my favorite because of their size. You can leave them whole, but I like to slice them in half lengthwise to make them easier to pick up with a fork and also release some of their juices into the salad.
Onion ~ Red onion adds an extra color contrast and has a mild taste even when eaten raw.
Green onions would be great, too.
Herbs ~ The lemony flavor of parsley works really well in this dish. Fresh dill or cilantro would work instead. Just be sure to use fresh herbs, not dried, as it makes a huge difference in flavor in this simple chickpea salad.
Extras ~ I love that this salad has just a few simple ingredients, but you can certainly add some extras if you desire. Sliced olives, vegan feta, scallions, avocado or fresh dill would all be great.
For the Dressing
You don’t even need to add a dressing to this Cucumber Chickpea Salad. A sprinkle of salt and squeeze of fresh lemon juice with the fresh herbs would be lovely on its own. But this easy balsamic tahini dressing adds an extra punch of flavor that is just so good!
Tahini ~ Tahini is a paste made from ground hulled sesame seeds and is always on my plant based grocery list. Think peanut butter, but made from sesame seeds instead of peanuts.
Balsamic vinegar ~ Balsamic vinegar had a rich, sweet taste and is the perfect complement to bitter tahini.
Lemon ~ Fresh lemon juice brightens everything up.
How to make the recipe
Chop the cucumber and add it to a bowl with the chickpeas (1). Halve the grape tomatoes and add them to the bowl (2). Throw in the diced red onion and fresh chopped parsley (3). Toss the ingredients well to mix (4).
Place all the balsamic tahini dressing ingredients, except the water, in a small bowl (5) and whisk until smooth (6). Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition, until the desired consistency is reached (7). Drizzle the dressing over the salad (8) and toss to combine.
You may not need to use all of the dressing.
Finish the cucumber chickpea salad with some fresh cracked black pepper, and an extra sprinkle of salt and squeeze of lemon, if desired.
Use as much or as little of the dressing as you desire. Leftover dressing will store in an airtight container (I like to use mason jars) in the fridge for a couple of days.
If you are making the salad ahead of time, I recommend storing the dressing separate from the salad, but either way, the salad will keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
I do not recommend freezing this cucumber chickpea salad.
Pro tips for success
~ Drain and rinse the canned chickpeas well.
~ Use an English cucumber or small Persian cucumbers to avoid the waxy coating on the skin that some grocery store cucumbers have.
~ Halve the grape tomatoes or quarter cherry tomatoes to make them bite size.
~ Use fresh herbs, not dried!
~ Finish the salad with fresh cracked black pepper and an extra sprinkle of salt and squeeze of lemon, if desired.
~ Add sliced olives, chopped avocado, or vegan feta for an extra punch of flavor, if desired.
~ If you don’t want to use the balsamic tahini dressing, sprinkle the salad with salt and pepper and squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top. Toss well.
~ Store the dressing separate from the salad if possible.
~ I do not recommend freezing this Cucumber Chickpea Salad.
Yes! This salad is perfect for meal prep! I suggest keeping the dressing separate from the salad ingredients until the day you plan to serve it. It will keep well for 3 to 4 days in the fridge in an air-tight container.
Canned chickpeas are cooked and ready to eat. I suggest draining them (but save the liquid, called aquafaba, and use it as an egg replace in vegan baking, like in my Vegan Date Bread!) and rinsing them well before eating.
While canned chickpeas may not have as many nutrients as those you cook yourself from dried, they can still be part of a healthy well-balanced diet. Be sure to rinse them to remove any excess sodium.
The skins of cucumbers are thin and can be eaten. I never peel English or Persian cucumbers. In fact, the skins have lots of fiber and vitamin A [source]. I do find that most regular store-bought cucumbers have a waxy coating on the skin, so I usually peel those.
Whether you peel them or not, make sure you clean them well before eating.
More simple vegan salads
- Vegan Quinoa Salad
- Lemon Artichoke Pasta Salad
- Raw Veggie Chopped Salad
- Herb Roasted Potato Arugula Salad
- Raw Corn and Radish Salad
- Kidney Bean Salad
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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Cucumber Chickpea Salad with Balsamic Tahini Dressing
- 1 English cucumber chopped, (or peel and de-seed a regular one),
- 1 pint grape tomatoes halved or quartered
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas drained and rinsed
- ¼ of a red onion diced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Balsamic Tahini Dressing
- ¼ cup tahini
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- juice of ½ small lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
- zest of 1 small lemon
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ¼ cup water to thin
- Place all salad ingredients in a bowl and toss well to combine.
- Make dressing by whisking all ingredients, except water, in a small bowl.
- Add water 1 tablespoon at a time to the dressing, whisking after each addition, until the desired consistency is reached.
- Pour dressing (as little or as much as you like) on top of the salad and mix again.
- Finish the salad with some fresh cracked black pepper and an extra sprinkle of salt and squeeze of fresh lemon, if desired.
- Eat immediately or chill until serving.
Storage/Freezing Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Store the dressing separate from the salad, if possible. If not, the salad will still keep well. I do not recommend freezing this salad.