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Chickpea Salad with Pesto is perfect for potlucks and working lunches alike. This colorful Mediterranean bean salad should be on any healthy meal plan.


serves 8

Total time

20 minutes




  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and well rinsed
  • 1 cup finely diced bell peppers, assorted colors
  • ½ cup thin sliced Persian cucumber (these are the small ones,) do not peel
  • ½ cup small mozzarella pearls
  • ½ cup halved or quartered cherry tomatoes, assorted colors
  • ⅓ cup quartered small radishes
  • ⅓ cup diced black olives
  • ¼ cup finely minced red onion
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • pesto dressing (this will make more than you need, use the rest on pasta!)
  • 2 large handfuls fresh basil leaves and part of the stems (I used my whole TJs basil plant)
  • 1 small garlic clove, smashed and peel removed
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • a good grating of fresh Parmesan (as much or as little as you like)
  • ¼ cup olive oil, give or take
  • salt to taste
  • garnish
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts (toast in a little olive oil in a skillet for several minutes, stirring constantly until they turn nutty brown.)
  • lemon wedges


  1. Put the drained, rinsed, and dried chickpeas in a large salad bowl along with the rest of the salad ingredients.
  2. To make the pesto dressing, process the basil, garlic, and lemon briefly until it breaks down into a thick paste. Add the cheese and enough olive oil to make a loose pourable consistency. Add salt to taste, and more cheese, and/or lemon if you like.
  3. Toss the salad with just enough pesto to thoroughly coat everything. Serve topped with the toasted pine nuts, a good grinding of fresh cracked pepper, and accompanied by a couple of lemon wedges.

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