Green Salad with Chickpeas and Spicy Honey Tahini Dressing

5 from 2 votes

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A crunchy salad studded with garbanzo beans is tossed with a creamy, nutty, savory dressing that has a tiny kick of heat.

Bowl of Green Salad with Chickpeas and Spicy Honey Tahini Dressing topped with sesame seeds.

This Green Salad with Chickpeas and Spicy Honey Tahini Dressing is a terrific change of pace from the vinaigrette-dressed salads we have on the table most nights. It is quite satisfying for a green salad. The chickpeas (AKA garbanzo beans) offer a lovely amount of protein and fiber. It features a creamy, nutty, tahini dressing, with a hint of sweetness from the honey and a bit of spiciness from the harissa. It would be perfect with any Middle Eastern-themed dish such as Lebanese Couscous with Sautéed Kale and Lemon Dressing or Chicken Kawarma.

I love a tahini dressing and I love chickpeas (two of the main ingredients of hummus!), and this garbanzo bean salad hits all of those good notes. Also, check out Mixed Green Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing and Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing.

Green Salad with Chickpeas and Spicy Honey Tahini Dressing on a green plate.

Green Salad with Chickpeas and Spicy Honey Tahini Dressing: A crunchy salad studded with chickpeas is tossed with a creamy slightly sweet dressing with a tiny kick of heat.

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What Is Tahini?

Tahini is a wonderful ingredient, a thick sauce or paste made from sesame seeds. It’s used often in Middle Eastern cooking to add richness and nuttiness to different dishes, and it’s one of the core ingredients in hummus. (However, you can make hummus without tahini if you don’t have it on hand.) In this recipe, it is used as the base of a smooth, creamy dressing for a salad with chickpeas and greens.

Spicy Honey Tahini Dressing pouring over a Green Salad with Chickpeas.

Ingredients for Green Salad with Chickpeas and Spicy Honey Tahini Dressing

For the Spicy Tahini Dressing:

  • Tahini – Adds creaminess and substance to the dressing.
  • Olive oil – The olive-y flavor goes super well with the tahini.
  • Lemon juice – Brightens it all up.
  • Honey – Adds sweetness which balances the spice of the harissa. Feel free to swap for agave if you want a vegan salad.
  • Harissa – A North African chili pepper paste, which also makes appearances in other cuisines, such as Middle Eastern food, Israeli in particular. You can buy it at well-stocked markets or also make your own harissa sauce! Add more to the dressing if you want it spicier.
  • Minced garlic – You want to make sure it blends into the tahini dressing, and a few tips on how to mince garlic will surely help.

For the Salad:

  • Baby arugula – The pepperiness of the arugula adds a little bite to the salad.
  • Baby spinach – A nice, soft lettuce to serve as the base for this flavorful salad.
  • Chickpeas – Or garbanzo beans, if you prefer, add protein and toothsome texture.
  • Red onion – Provide color and a spicy bite.
  • Cucumbers – Offer a fresh crunch to this salad.
  • Sesame seeds – The toasted sesame seeds are optional, but they add a toasty layer of flavor and are really easy to make and help the salad feel very polished.

How to Make Toasted Sesame Seeds

Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of raw sesame seeds and cook, stirring or shaking the pan occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, until they start to turn a deeper golden brown and smell nutty.

Watch carefully as sesame seeds go from toasted to burned fairly quickly. Take them from the heat as soon as you get them to the color you like, and remove them from the pan.

Bowl of Green Salad with Chickpeas and Spicy Honey Tahini Dressing topped with sesame seeds.

How to Make Green Salad with Spicy Tahini Dressing

  1. Make the dressing: It’s super simple — just add all the dressing ingredients to a food processor and blend.
  2. Assemble the salad: Toss together the arugula, spinach, chickpeas, red onion, and cucumbers. Add the dressing and toss again to combine. Sprinkle over the toasted sesame seeds before serving.

Make Ahead Spicy Tahini Dressing

Because the arugula and spinach are super delicate lettuces, it’s not a good idea to assemble this salad ahead of time. However, making the dressing in advance is a great idea! Blend up the dressing up to 1 to 2 days in advance, then toss with the lettuces, cucumbers, and other salad ingredients right before serving.

Woman using spoons to toss Green Salad with Chickpeas and Spicy Honey Tahini Dressing.

What to Serve With Green Salad and Tahini Dressing

More Salad Recipes with Garbanzo Beans

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5 from 2 votes

Green Salad with Chickpeas and Spicy Honey Tahini Dressing

A crunchy salad studded with garbanzo beans is tossed with a creamy, nutty, savory dressing that has a tiny kick of heat.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 People
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Ingredients 

For the Spicy Tahini Dressing

  • ½ cup tahini
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon harissa (or more to taste)
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)

For the Salad

  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 small red onion (halved and thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup sliced cucumbers
  • Toasted sesame seeds (optional; see Note)

Instructions 

  • Make the Dressing: Place the tahini, water, olive oil, lemon juice, honey, harissa, garlic, salt, and black pepper into a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
  • In a large bowl, place the arugula, spinach, chickpeas, red onion, and cucumbers. Drizzle over the dressing and toss to combine well.

Notes

  • How to Toast Sesame Seeds: Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of raw sesame seeds and cook stirring or shaking the pan occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes until they start to turn a deeper golden brown and smell nutty. Watch carefully as sesame seeds go from toasted to burned fairly quickly. Take them from the heat as soon as you get them to the color you like, and remove them from the pan.
  • You can use agave if you want a vegan salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 259kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 34mg, Potassium: 387mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1680IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 84mg, Iron: 3mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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2 Comments

  1. Carole Lee says:

    How long does this last in the ‘fridge?

    1. Katie Workman says:

      if you don’t dress it a couple of days – if you dress it, and then refrigerate leftovers it will get a bit soggy, but I would still eat it the next day!