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This Vegan Chickpea Salad is a healthy make-ahead lunch filled with plant-based protein. I love how quick and easy it is to prepare!

vegan chickpea salad in lunch containers

This recipe comes from Lisa Leake’s latest book, 100 Days of Real Food: On a Budget. In it, Lisa shares practical secrets for saving money in the kitchen, along with easy recipes that are $15 or less to help you cut out processed foods.

100 Days of Real Food On a Budget

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It’s a great option for people who might be new to healthy eating, particularly if they are looking for recipes using whole wheat flour and no refined sugar. I love how Lisa breaks down the price of each recipe so you can plan ahead.

When I spotted this easy chickpea salad in the “Packed Lunches” chapter of the new book, I asked Lisa if I could share it here. I love how you can make it ahead of time, so you’ll have an easy lunch that’s ready to eat, straight from the fridge. It’s packed with fiber and protein from the chickpeas, to help keep you full throughout the afternoon.

how to make vegan chickpea salad

How to Make Vegan Chickpea Salad

Making this salad is just about as easy as it gets. Most of the effort is simply chopping a few veggies! I cook my chickpeas from scratch in the Instant Pot (because I love how easy it is), but you can grab of can of prepared chickpeas if that’s more convenient for you. Either way should give you the same results.

I like to mix the simple red wine vinaigrette for this salad directly in the bottom of a large bowl, so I can add the chickpeas and veggies and toss them together without dirtying too many dishes. You can divide the salad right away into individual servings for a packed lunch, or simply store it in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.

chickpea salad with red wine vinaigrette

I thought I might want to add cheese to this salad (because I love a sprinkling of feta on most things), but I am pleasantly surprised by how satisfying and flavorful it is. No cheese necessary, if you ask me! I tend to use dried basil because that’s what I always have on hand, but you could use any fresh or dried herbs you love. I imagine fresh dill would be nice, too.

glass lunch containers filled with salad

I packed my lunch using these cute glass storage containers (mine came as a set of 3).

vegan chickpea salad in lunch containers

Vegan Chickpea Salad

4.91 from 10 votes
This Vegan Chickpea Salad is an easy make-ahead meal, filled with plant-based protein. I love how quick and filling it is!
prep15 mins total15 mins


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (or 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (one 15-oz. can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cucumber , finedly diced
  • 1 red bell pepper , finely diced
  • 1/2 red onion , finely diced


  • In a large bowl, stir together the oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, salt and pepper.
  • Add in the chickpeas, cucumber, bell pepper, and onion, and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • Serve right away, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.



Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 427mg | Potassium: 364mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1315IU | Vitamin C: 55.9mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1.8mg
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chickpeas, lunch, make ahead, salad
Per serving: Calories: 233; Fat: 15g, Carbohydrates: 18g, Fiber: 5g, Protein: 5g

Recipe Notes:

  • If you’d like to use less oil or another type of vinegar, I think that would be fine in this recipe. You can taste it as you go and adjust the seasoning. This entire recipe is pretty adaptable to use what you have on hand!
  • For a properly combined lunch, you could choose sliced carrots and guacamole on the side to keep this a starch based meal.

As always, if you make any modifications to this recipe, please leave a comment below and let me know how it worked for you. We can all benefit from your experience!

Reader Feedback: Do you have a favorite make-ahead lunch? Please feel free to share recipes or links in the comments below.

This recipe is reprinted with permission from 100 Days of Real Food: On a Budget, by Lisa Leake. I received a complimentary copy of this book, but I’m under no obligation to promote it. I just wanted to share Lisa’s work and this tasty recipe!

Megan Gilmore leaning on her white countertop.

Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned best-selling cookbook author. I create healthy recipes made with simple ingredients to make your life easier.

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  1. This salad is a great and filling lunch. I did add feta crumbles and they gave it a nice kick. Easy lunch to take to work.

  2. I subbed 3 carrots for the cucumber and cut the dressing in half. I added it to a bed of mixed greens.

  3. Hi Megan

    You mention adding cheese like feta. Does that satisfy the food combining lists?

    Also, another question… can I combine animal proteins like cheese and meat? Thanks!!!

  4. This was super quick and delicious. My 11 year old helped me with it. We used balsamic vinegar instead, which is perhaps a bit too sweet, but we didn’t have the other. I would double the recipe next time.