A Healthy Bean Salad

I have been pleasantly surprised, nay, shocked, at how much my family has been liking the semi-endless stream of bean salads that have been gracing our table.  Inexpensive, yes, sure, but I’ve also been making them because they are colorful, protein-filled, nutritious, easy, and fast, and because (probably like you) I have a whole lot of beans in my pantry and I need to use them (and not feel like an idiot for buying so many).

Bowl of chickpea and fava bean salad

In this salad, I picked a combo of chickpeas (which are probably my favorite bean), and fava beans, which I happened to have, and don’t use all that often.  You can and should use whatever beans you have.

Fava Beans

Fava Beans, also known as broad beans, horse beans, fava beans, and more, are a bean some people are very familiar with, and some people not at all.  They have a firm texture and a slightly nutty flavor.

They are available canned (and also peeled and steamed, which is what I used in this salad), but they can also be found fresh, and you can cook fava beans yourself.  Young fava beans can be cooked straight out of the pod, but more mature fava beans have to be peeled, which is a bit tedious, but they are a seasonal treat. Fava beans are available fresh in the spring, from late March to early May.

Table setting featuring chickpea and fava bean salad with wine

Fava Bean Intolerances

Some people can’t eat fava beans, so if you mention that they are in this salad if you are unsure of people’s dietary restrictions: some people of African, Southeast Asian, and Mediterranean descent can have an enzyme deficiency that causes a severe reaction. If you don’t have this deficiency (and most of us don’t), these beans are just as delicious, healthful, and versatile as any other bean.  But the possibility of a reaction is worth noting.

Chickpea and Fava Bean Salad: This colorful, high protein salad is extremely flexible, so don’t be afraid to swap around ingredients!

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Flexible Bean Salad Recipe

Like all bean recipes, there is just endless flexibility here.  Yes, swap out the beans for whatever you have.  Zucchini instead of cucumber, any color olives (or no olives, or a tablespoon of capers), whatever vinegar, whatever mustard you have…great.  Whatever color onions, or maybe shallots.  Pinch of red pepper flakes or another hot pepper instead of the jalapeño.

Bowl of chickpea and fava bean salad

What to Serve With Chickpea and Fava Bean Salad

Chickpea and Fava Bean Salad in bowl

Other Bean Salads

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Chickpea and Fava Bean Salad

This colorful, high protein salad will make any table look cheerier, and it's extremely flexible, so don't be afraid to swap around ingredients!
Yield: 6 People
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (any kind)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1 can (15.5 ounce) chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 cups shelled cooked fava beans (canned, steamed, or cooked from fresh)
  • 2 cups sliced cucumber (preferably baby but whatever)
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 jalapeno (seeded and minced)
  • 1 cup halved olives (any kind)


  • In a large bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add the chickpeas, fava beans, cucumber, onion, jalapeno, and olives. Toss well. That’s it!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 496mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 89IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 3mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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