I think most of us are ready for some lighter, healthy recipes this January. My falafel-inspired Herbed Chickpea and Quinoa Salad with Tahini Yogurt includes the components of a great falafel without all that frying oil. Oh and did I mention it’s gluten free and vegan friendly?
Let’s Talk Quinoa Salad
This Chickpea and Quinoa Salad may involve a few steps, but it’s very easy to put together. This salad is loaded with finely chopped parsley and cilantro, chickpeas, and shallots.
I decided to cook the shallot for a more mild, sweet flavor, but you can leave it raw too. I made a very similar salad to this with finely chopped raw red onion, which was delicious.
Once all of the ingredients are cooled, I toss the salad with lemon and olive oil for the perfect light dressing.
One key to making this salad great, is cooking the quinoa properly. Most of the time, I cook quinoa in an abundant amount of water, just as you would boil pasta. After about 10 minutes it should be perfectly cooked.
Then I drain the quinoa and spread it out on a baking sheet to cool. As it cools, any excess water evaporates and you’re left with light and fluffy quinoa.
How to Make the Best Crispy Chickpeas
Seeing as this Chickpea and Quinoa salad is falafel inspired, I was determined to add a crunchy component. I wanted to keep things healthy, so I went for roasted chickpeas instead of fried.
Crispy Chickpeas have been such a popular light snack, I knew I had to try making them for myself. I was actually surprised how little effort goes into preparing these chickpeas.
All I did was rinse, drain and pat dry canned chickpeas. I tossed them with olive oil, salt, paprika and cumin and baked them until they were dried out and crisp.
I have a few words of advice to make these chickpeas perfectly crispy. Use a thin sheet tray which conducts heat well. I found when using my thick sheet tray they took a lot longer to cook and didn’t get nearly as crispy.
Secondly, remember every oven is different. Your chickpeas might cook in a different amount of time than indicated on my recipe. Start checking for doneness after about 40 minutes.
All you have to do is take out a chickpea and allow it to cool for a couple minutes. Do a little taste test for crispiness and go from there.
Lastly, make sure your chickpeas are well-seasoned. After the chickpeas are cooked and still warm, you have the opportunity to add more salt. Give it another taste test and add an extra pinch or two of salt, if needed.
Don’t Forget the Tahini Yogurt Sauce
Tahini yogurt sauce is the perfect complement to this salad. It’s simple as could be to whip up, and can easily be turned vegan.
I like to use non-Greek, plain whole-fat yogurt for the optimal flavor and consistency. Soy yogurt is a great vegan substitute. The nutty flavor works really well with tahini.
To finish off the sauce, I mix in finely crushed garlic, of a few tablespoons of tahini and fresh lemon juice. For an easier to drizzle texture, add a couple teaspoons of water to thin things out.
To finish it off, I topped my salad with some beautiful mircrogreens, but this ingredients is entirely optional. Lemon wedges are another nice touch for an extra little squirt of brightness.
More Healthy Recipes
- Crispy Baked Falafel with Tahini Yogurt Sauce
- Thai Red Curry Lentil Soup
- Farro, Beets and Goat Cheese with Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Salmon Quinoa Bowls with Kale and Yogurt Sauce
- Orange and Fennel Salad with Radicchio
- Kale Caesar Salad with Polenta Croutons
- Maple Mustard Glazed Salmon
- Pear and Pomegranate Salad with Goat Cheese and Pistachios
- Kale Apple Salad with Blue Cheese and Glazed Walnuts
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My falafel-inspired Herbed Chickpea and Quinoa Salad with Tahini Yogurt includes the components of a great falafel without all that frying oil.
- 15 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed, drained & patted dry
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp cumin
- Kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups quinoa
- 1 shallot, finely chopped*
- 15 oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 cups loosely packed cilantro, finely chopped (½ cup chopped)
- 2 cups loosely packed parsley, finely chopped (½ cup chopped)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- 5 oz plain whole fat yogurt (not Greek)*
- 3 tbsp tahini paste
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, crushed in press or finely minced
- 1–2 tsp water, or as needed
- Kosher salt
- Lemon wedges
- Microgreens for topping (optional)
1. Roast chickpeas:* Preheat oven to 375°F. Place chickpeas on a baking sheet and toss with oil, spices and salt. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until dried out and crispy. Taste and season with additional salt while warm, if needed. Cool on baking sheet over a wire rack until room temperature.
2. Boil quinoa: While chickpeas bake, bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil. Add quinoa and cook about 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain and spread over a large baking sheet. Cool completely.
3. Sauté shallot and chickpeas: Heat a small pan over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of oil and chopped shallot. Season with salt. Cook 5-8 minutes or until translucent. Add chickpeas, season with salt and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Place in a large bowl and cool to room temperature.
4. Make tahini yogurt sauce: Combine yogurt, tahini, lemon juice and garlic in a bowl. Thin out with 1-2 teaspoons of water or as needed, to reach desired consistency for drizzling.
5. Toss salad: In the bowl with the cooled shallots and chickpeas, add quinoa, remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, chopped herbs and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Serve: Transfer chickpea and quinoa salad to serving bowls. Top with tahini yogurt, crispy chickpeas and microgreens, if desired. Serve with lemon wedges. Enjoy.
Use raw shallot or raw red onion in place of cooked shallot, if desired.
If vegan, use soy yogurt.
I found that thinner baking sheets work better to conduct heat than thicker ones, resulting in crispier chickpeas when testing this recipe.
- Category: Salad
- Method: Bake, saute
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern, New American
- Serving Size: 1/4 of salad, sauce + chickpeas
- Calories: 700
- Sugar: 4g
- Sodium: 680mg
- Fat: 34g
- Saturated Fat: 6g
- Carbohydrates: 80g
- Fiber: 16g
- Protein: 25g
Keywords: chickpeas, quinoa, tahini, yogurt