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This Turkish Chickpea Salad is immensely satisfying and bursting with flavor thanks to the quintessential Turkish seasonings and a nice amount of fresh vegetables and herbs. It makes a great side dish for so many different types of meals.

I especially like it as a part of an outdoor menu, perhaps featuring some simple grilled dishes and maybe Imam Biyali (Turkish Stuffed Eggplants) It’s also highly portable and a terrific addition to a buffet. Plus, it’s not only vegetarian but also vegan, so a protein-filled main course option for everyone.

Table featuring Turkish Chickpea Saladin brown bowl with lamb kofkas and red martini cocktails.

Ingredients

Onion – You can use red or yellow onions; either works great. Slice the onion as thinly as possible — consider using a mandolin if you have one. The onion will be massaged with the spices and seasonings to tenderize the onion and really infuse it with flavor. The more thinly the onion is sliced, the more it almost melts into the salad. 

Ground sumac – Sumac is a berry and actually part of the cashew family, so take note if you have nut allergies in your household. The spice is made from dried and ground sumac berries, and the flavor is tangy and citric.

Cumin – another very popular spice in Turkish cooking, it adds an earthy, warm almost fruity flavor.

Aleppo pepper – Aleppo pepper is a nice blend of heat and an earthy warmth reminiscent of cumin with a slightly fruity flavor. It is not that spicy, which feels a little surprising because it kind of resembles red pepper flakes. 

Chickpeas – I used canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained. You can definitely use cooked dried chickpeas if you have the time and inclination to cook them yourself.

Sun-dried tomatoes – I like the ones jarred in oil for this recipe, which get drained and sliced. They are more pliable than the straight-up dried tomatoes. If you want to use dried sun-dried tomatoes, NOT kept in oil, you may need to soak them in some warm water for a bit to soften them up.

Chickpeas and other ingredients for Turkish Chickpea Salad on wood cutting board

Chopped spinach and parsley – for freshness and color.

Garlic – Just a touch for flavor. Mince the garlic very finely, or grate it on a Microplane (or another zester) if you want so it really blends into the salad. Try to use fresh, not jarred, for this, and no garlic powder, please.

Dressing – A simple combo of fresh lemon juice and olive oil, which is the dressing for so many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern salads. Plus salt and pepper, of course.

This simple, protein-packed vegan Turkish chickpea salad has so much flavor, color and texture – a great make ahead choice! Perfect with all kinds of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean meals. 

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Make Ahead

If you want to make this salad a day or two ahead of time, you can. Store in in the fridge for up to 2 days. Plan to add the parsley and the spinach shortly before serving so they don’t get too wilted. 

How to Make Turkish Chickpea Salad

  1. Season the onions. Place the onion in a large bowl. Sprinkle over the sumac, cumin, and Aleppo pepper. Use your hand to massage the spices into the onions for a few minutes, which both tenderizes the onions and infuses them with the spices. 
Massaging finely sliced onions for Turkish Chickpea Salad in glass bowl.
  1. Combine the salad ingredients. Add the chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, parsley, and garlic. Toss to combine.
Adding spinach to a glass bowl sitting on a wood cutting board while making Turkish Chickpea Salad.
  1. Dress the salad. Sprinkle over the olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine thoroughly. Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour and up to 2 days before serving.
  2. Serve. Finish the salad with an additional sprinkle of sumac, if desired, and serve with the pita bread.
Turkish Chickpea Salad on table with lamb kebobs and red cocktail in martini glass.

What to Serve With Turkish Chickpea Salad

Turkish Chickpea Salad in brown bowl with serving spoon and side of pita bread.

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Turkish Chickpea Salad

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 4 People
This simple, protein-packed vegan bean salad has so much flavor and texture, and and goes with all kinds of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean meals.

Ingredients 

  • 1 onion (red or yellow; halved and very thinly sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon ground sumac
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes in oil (well drained and chopped)
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ teaspoon finely minced or grated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

To serve (optional):

  • Ground sumac (for sprinkling)
  • Pita bread

Instructions 

  • Place the onion in a large bowl. Sprinkle over the sumac, cumin, and Aleppo pepper. Use your hands to massage the spices into the onions for a few minutes, which both tenderizes the onions and infuses them with the spices. Add the chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, parsley, and garlic. Toss to combine. 
  • Sprinkle over the olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine thoroughly. Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour and up to 2 days before serving.
  • Serve with an additional sprinkle of sumac, if desired, along with the pita bread.

Notes

If you want to make this salad a day or two ahead of time, you can. Plan to add the parsley and the spinach shortly before serving so they don’t get too wilted. 

Nutrition

Calories: 270kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Sodium: 44mg, Potassium: 555mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 1597IU, Vitamin C: 25mg, Calcium: 87mg, Iron: 4mg

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

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Comments

  1. I haven’t been able to source Aleppo Pepper locally (yet). I used chipotle powder instead. It was still very delicious!

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