chickpea salad with roasted red peppers

I know, chickpea salad? What a letdown, right? Well, what can I say except that there is simply no way to chase cookies with bits of tangy toffee and bitterish walnuts in a cookie that is pure brownie awesomeness in the middle, replete with the shiny crackled lid…

I’m sorry. I just had to get one more. I can stop anytime. (Also, we’ll be out soon, anyway.)

roasted red peppers

But there must still be a place in our hearts and gullets for chickpea salads, lest I wish to be a story on evening network news about the crane that had to come and extract me from our walk-up when Alex could no longer roll me down the stairs. And this one–yet another great find from Deborah Madison–is no bad place to start: fresh roasted pepper strips, capers, a little mint and a little garlic, it was just another salad in a spread that has turned out to be one of my favorite thrown-together dinner parties in ages. Almost everything made in advance, I actually got to (get this) sit down and hang out with my friends! Revolutionary, I tell you.


Chickpeas, previously: Bulgur Salad with Chickpeas, Roasted Red Peppers and Spiced Cumin Dressing, Couscous and Feta-Stuffed Peppers, Paula Wolfert’s Hummus and Spaghetti (Fideos) with Chorizo and Almonds

One year ago: Brussels Sprouts and Chestnuts in Brown Butter
Two years ago: Tomato and Sausage Risotto

Chickpea Salad with Capers and Roasted Red Peppers
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Now, I know not everyone has time to soak their own chickpeas, and I know that there are canned ones that aren’t bad at all. But. I think that in chickpeas almost more than anything that comes dried, the flavor pops when they’ve been cooked fresh in a way that it doesn’t when they’ve been in their canning liquid for ages. Buy a one pound bag, and you’ll have plenty left over to make a nice batch of hummus

2 large red peppers, roasted and skinned (great directions over here, if you’re new to this)
3 cups of cooked chickpeas, rinsed if canned (about 2 15-ounce cans)
1/4 cup of parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons of chopped mint
3 tablespoons of capers, rinsed
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice or red wine or sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Cut the peppers into half-inch wide strips and put them in a large bowl together with the chickpeas, herbs and the capers. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, salt, garlic and oil. Pour over the chickpea mixture and combine.Serve immediately, or refrigerate it for a day to get the flavors to mingle fantastically.

This is a great make-ahead dish for weekday lunches. It would also be wonderful on a pile of torn lettuce, served with toasted pita wedges.

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91 comments on chickpea salad with roasted red peppers

  1. yjfromphilly

    Oh my. Something that can *almost be made out of the cupboard. And a nice recovery from sugar shock.

    Oh, and a good percentage of my law school reads you, so hello!

  2. Susan

    This is a great looking salad. I love chickpeas. Thanks for the review of dry vs canned beans as well. I never thought to look for dried ones before. How hard can it be to soak your own?

  3. as always the photographs are gorgeous. i love chickpeas too – in india we use the dry beans/ soak them overnight method, but we make it far spicier and cooked to death. love the freshness of this salad.

    1. Shaz

      I’m South Asian and think you’ve been eating the wrong chickpeas (channa) if you think they’re cooked to death. Both dishes can be great! And the care and expertise that goes into our spice blends should not be short- changed (why do you think it takes so long to cook it?!) I think too many of us immediately think something foreign must be better. Maybe that’s not you, but I’ve come across it.

  4. no such thing as a ‘letdown’ with this…for some reason (I don’t know what) I think most people like chick peas (garbanzos/cece beans) and these are so colorful plus they have the flavor of those freshly roasted peppers and the fresh herbs.

  5. Kate

    Great photo of great colors on this salad.
    Just took the food survey for the Yaler.
    What a great economical way to bring the lowly bean to new heights.

  6. I’ve never soaked my own beans. For some reason I’m intimidated. I know, right? Who’s intimidated by beans? This guy. Well, this girl. But whatever. I’ll have to try them out. And I’m the president of Roasted Red Peppers Are Amazing Club, so that addition is super easy. Beautiful photos and actually a nice digression from the butter and sugar of late. Not that I’m complaining. I’m SO not. It’s just that none of my pants are fitting. Unfortunate.

  7. Deb,
    Ceci are the best!
    I make Michael Chiarello’s ceci and celery salad w/ herbs in the summer as part of my antipasto spread.
    This week I baked chickpeas (ceci) with tomatoes and onioins from Peter’s recipe on Kalofagas Greek blog. It was odd to bake them, but it came out excellent!
    Your salad looks so refreshing! and who doesn’t love hummus??????
    Stacey Snacks

  8. I agree that cooking your own chickpeas is the way to go, but it is usually not the way I go. Also roasting your own peppers is highly preferred. The ones in the jar have a funny deli-counter taste to them.

    Bean salads are a favorite of mine – if only a few other family members would indulge in them.

  9. Victoria

    Oh perfect! I just bought capers, and I have a red pepper in the fridge. And a lemon! It’s like you went through my fridge! (I know, most people have all of these things normally, but I’m in college. Gotta cut me some slack.)
    I think I’ll substitute parsley for the mint, because I have that as well. Nom nom nom. I’ll get those chickpeas a-soakin’.

  10. Victoria

    Well, the chickpea quick soak resulted in disaster (I thought the beeper was my roommate using the microwave…), so I’m going to use the half can of kidney beans in my fridge after all. Sigh.

  11. Jan

    I think you should post a warning before you put a photograph like that…I almost shorted my keyboard out with drool!

    I love salads like this…if only my family loved them as much! I only make them for myself very rarely and run to the local Lebanese market the rest of the time. I may just try this one, though!

  12. Connie

    OK, I’ve been reading your blog for a long time but have never posted before. This looks amazing. I’ve been buying sundry beans from Rancho Gordo in Napa Valley for some time now and just received my latest batch, complete with 2 pounds of garbanzos! I’ve never cooked dried chickpeas before though. How long do they need to soak? And cook? I loaned my sister my copy of Deb Madison’s book so I can’t reference it. Thanks :) I love your blog!

  13. JW

    OK, so this has nothing to do with this post, but I want you to know that, thanks to your wedding cake-related posts, I, too, have conquered Swiss buttercream! I had used the recipe from Williams-Sonoma’s Essentials of Baking, only to find, after two days of effort, the whole thing collapsed. (From what I can tell, the recipe is an odd combination of Swiss and German buttercream, so I think it was doomed from the start.) Discouraged, I turned to Google and found my way here. Armed with your posts, I tried again and rejoiced! Thanks! (Love the blog!)

  14. I love bean salads and I certainly don’t eat enough chickpeas. And I have a new fascination with roasting peppers. This would be an excellent snack for me!

  15. I know I ought to be soaking my own beans–those cans of mushy lumps aren’t all that inspiring. I assume chickpeas can be soaked overnight? That would make the whole process seem less onerous.

    Pretty salad, by the way!



  17. cs

    I’ve just started soaking the last of my Rancho Gordo chic peas for this. I’ll bet this will showcase their best! Will post results:-). Thanks.

  18. We are whipping this up in our kitchen right now… it’s going to be paired with some great wine, cheese and bread tonight. We had a lucky day of beautiful weather here in Carmel and spent most of the afternoon on the beach. This is a perfect meal to cap off the gorgeous day. Thanks!

  19. Tate

    I :heart: Chickpeas…. right out of the can, in Hummus, little salted and limed, in a chili or soup – anyway.

    Thank you Thank you for another delicious way to enjoy these delicious morsels of goodness!!!

  20. Jeff Winett

    Cooking websites, are a wealth of info, recipes, techniques, etc. Many famous websites are in my “favorites”. I have and will continue to visit them. That being said, I am embarrassingly new to “blog” sites. Let me tell you—-when you can resonate with the vibe of a particular “blogger”, all of the bedazzling “corporate” sites become moot for day to day inspiration. Smitten Kitchen feels so personal, and all I can say is “honey, I’m home”. Last night, I’m planning Sunday dinner at Camp Jeff and Owen. I see a recipe for a Chickpea salad with roasted red peppers. I even decide to cook the Chickpeas from their dried state, versus opening a can (thank you Deb). What a FABU first course for our dinner tonight! Deb, you done did good for sharing this one. ” We loved it”, is an understatement. In between mouthfuls of this salad, I get on the phone to call our best friend Denise—-Owen HATES when I do stuff like that while were eating dinner. I tell Denise that we need to connect tomorrow so she and her husband Alan can have the remaining half of what I made today. Now they can go nuts over this recipe too. To cook and not share—God that sounds so sad. Same goes for recipes—sharing ROCKS. Thanks Deb.

    Jeff Winett

  21. Here in out household, we use only dried chickpeas. In fact, it doesn’t take too much time to get it cooked. I set it out to soak before I sleep and boi/simmer them when I come home from work the following day. Both these actions are taking place while I take care of other things. It isn’t much trouble at all :)

  22. Hi Deb, just wanted to tell you I’ve got my first-ever soaked chickpeas in the pot right now and I just tasted one — WOW, were you right! My husband and I love chickpeas but we had no idea they were really this good! Thanks for the tip, I’ll be making this salad soon too! (just made the toffee cookies yesterday, too, YUM!) Love your site!

  23. Cindi

    This looks super good. I like the mint- red pepper – caper combo.
    I’m curious – what was the whole menu for your spread? this salad, the short ribs, the onion tart . . . .?

  24. Don’t EVER apologize for chickpeas! They are my favorite legume – I literally eat chickpeas (in one form or another) 6 days a week. And I’m using literally to mean literally, not just for emphasis. Love them.

  25. Well, that’s tomorrow’s lunch sorted out! I’m a total sucker for chickpeas and even if I wasn’t already seduced by their mere mention, the glorious colours of the salad would have sealed the deal.

    I wonder if a bunch of toddlers will eat this or just turn up their collective noses. It’s worth a try :)

  26. Erin

    I love this salad–it’s become a staple for lunch, and even my husband who doesn’t really care for anything deemed healthy loves it. My favorite part of it is that I can throw in whatever I have sitting around in the fridge–leftover calamatas from greek salad, whatever fresh herbs are laying about, red onion that needs to be used, etc. Thanks Deb!

  27. Rachel

    Thank you so much! As a passionate (albiet amateur) cook who’s just been diagnosed with coeliacs disease, I’ve been feeling rather down in the dumps recently. I came across your website by chance and have realised that with a little adapting, I can make most of your recipies – and some need no altering at all! I have the chickpeas for this salad soaking right now – for the first time in months, I’m looking forward to lunch tomorrow after 6 weeks of tuna salads! I’ll definitely be trying more of your recipies, thank you for cheering me up!

  28. Have you ever been to Sahadi’s in Brooklyn? I think they have the best tasting canned chickpeas ever! And I love chickpeas…this recipe looks amazing. I’m definitely going to try it.

  29. Jennifer

    I made this salad for Father’s Day and it was a hit! It was absolutely delicious. Thanks for posting this one. It’s a keeper.

  30. Eliina

    This was fabulous! I loved the interplay between the mint and the roasted red peppers. I think I’ll double the recipe next time, because I’m sure this is even better the next day (we ate it all in one sitting last night).

  31. Beth

    I just made this for the first time and boy is it good! I let it sit for a few hours which I recommend. I added a little red spring onion because the color was irresistible.
    It is so worth using dried chick peas!

  32. First, I have to say that the photo is amazingly tempting (and we’re talking about chikpeas!!) I’ve tried this recipe this week and my entire family fell in love. Great combination of flavors. Love the addition of roasted peppers, definitely adds a twist to this recipe. Thanks!

  33. Katherine

    Yumm! I spooned this into a whole wheat pita pocket with a handful of dark green lettuce. The only thing missing was a sprinkle of feta! Thanks for the recipe!

  34. This looks good. I was thinking of a quick meal when I don’t have the time to cook the chick peas, as I have some canned chick peas.

    I might put some parsley and finely chopped onion instead of the mint, as I am not a big fan of anything but peppermint.

  35. Ana

    Oh my… I just made this for my midnight snack while writing my dissertation! It was a perfect idea! Quick and easy! I had it with a bit of pita bread and I’m going to try it with rice for lunch tomorrow. Thanks!

  36. EastWestCoast

    This is great for Recovery after vacation!

    Didn’t have any mint but it didn’t seem anything was missing. Upped the garlic and sprinkled a little red chili pepper over it. That seemed to do the banish the bland trick. I bet marinated artichoke hearts might be a nice addition.

  37. SarahBC

    In a major hurry for a Montessori picnic, I used canned chick peas and the roasted red peppers from the deli and it was awesome. Little pricier… but that’s what I get for not planning! Thanks!

  38. minik

    This is the second time I made this. I doubled it to feed a crowd because I’m bringing it to a barbecue up in the mountains. It will be very appreciated after a long day of hiking. The first time I made this was for a picnic by the sea with a veganese (hihi) friend of mine. I love how food brings up memories…
    I added some toasted cumin seeds which I pulverized with a mortar and pestle. I used a combination of dill and parsley for the mint. This is a great make ahead piece! Thanks Deb.

  39. Dusty

    Cannot find a way to send an Email.

    I’m an old man cooking for one. Sometimes a [mini] Slow Cooker pot roast with 18-24 hour cook times can make wonderful food.
    Usually it is my Microwaves. Two big 1100 Watt microwaves.
    Backed up with an Induction countertop unit & cast-iron pots and pans.
    Rarely crank up the ovens. The cooktop is last-gasp if it comes to that.

    Paper plates and bowls are great in the microwaves. Cook for one; divide cooked food into multiple paper bowls for homemade “TV Dinners” slipped into Zip Locks for the freezer.
    Or make a single one-paper-bowl dinner at a time. Could make several if there were more mouths to feed.
    Microwave ovens and paper plates are super-quick prep/cooking and instant clean-up.
    Need more suitable recipes.

    Matzo Cracker snacks & meals– expanding your Chocolate cookies: Manischewitz makes a plain Matzo cracker. Streight’s makes a “lightly salted” Matzo cracker. Not in my Kosher Supermarket. It was at WalMart. ????

    I use lightly salted Matzo crackers as a base for– a layer of hummus OR fat-free refried beans; guacamole; salad [dice tomato, dice onion, spinach leaves, sliced black olives; sprinkle salsa on top. All of this or pick & choose. I hesitate to name it. “Israeli Tex- Mex” comes to mind? :-) [12% of my DNA is Ancient Israel Judean.]

    “Grilled Cheese”: Matzo cracker covered with shredded cheese of choice. On a (paper ?) plate. Microwave (double click the 4) 44 seconds. Yellow or Dijon mustard? The cracker will be elevated on the rim of the plate and will sag in the center. Keeps spill/melt on the cracker (mostly).

    Matzo cracker Microwave pizza– I used a small cutting board under the cracker with a couple layers of paper towel to keep the cutting board clean. Pizza sauce on the cracker, then shredded Mozzarella, Oregano to taste, toppings (?) (I use pepperoni); nuke for 40 seconds to 1 minute. One cracker is about equal to 2 slices of Pizza Shop pie. With practice, from “Lets try Pizza” to starting to eat in under 3 or 4 minutes.

    The lightly salted Matzo crackers are [sufficiently] edible and are filling. [Light snack: a lightly salted Matzo cracker and a glass of chocolate milk– “mixed drink” is half chocolate milk & half 2% white milk. Not as strong chocolate taste but richer because of the milkfat in the white milk.] As a foundation Matzo crackers work well. Break into small pieces with silverware or as finger-food nibble carefully around the edges. :-)

  40. Emily

    This is one of my go-tos but I think it’s best with a nice savory-salty punch. I’ve done it with feta cheese and with kalamata olives and it’s soooo yummy with either addition.

  41. smittycdm

    This is delish, as my mom would say. If your peppers are on the small side, IMHO, I would add an extra or two. One other thing, I was using Rancho Gordo beans & they are not like other dried beans (freshly dried? sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s true). Anyway, it took those beans a long time to cook, ok ok, coming to end of story.
    I FROZE the beans after cooking approx 1/2 to 2/3 until done. Guess what? No problem, my theory, nothing ventured nothing gained (I assume Deb tests her recipes the same way ;-) Then I put the frozen beans in my super large Le Creuset roasting/cooking pot, added water up to level of beans, and simmered gently. I admit it took almost 2 hours, but they turned out beautifully. That’s it.

  42. smittycdm

    Forgot to mention. I drained the partially cooked beans before freezing. Also rubbed them a bit in a cotton dish towel to remove the excess moisture. It also removed some skins, which I learned about in later Recipes. Thanks, this is a great recipe & I know Deb says ‘Serve Immediately’, it was excellent today for lunch!

  43. Kayla

    I was so shocked when I discovered this recipe here. This is my favorite salad that I buy at my gym cafe and I have been eating this for years! I followed the recipe to the t and it is the same salad. I used canned chickpeas this time but will try to cook my own beans next time. The canned chickpeas were a little on the hard side to my taste. I still can’t believe I just now found this recipe.

  44. Francesca Di poppa

    Made this yesterday, parsley instead of mint, and added a few chopped kalamata olives, one ounce of feta cheese, and a bit of cayenne for extra bite. Delicious. I’ll be enjoying leftovers today.

  45. Stacey B

    How is that this recipe was published 9 years ago and I just found it yesterday?! I stumbled upon it after your ‘how to make a pot of chickpeas’ post went up – also a great find. I made this recipe today, forgot to buy mint ( which is apparently fine because….)and this is officially my new favorite salad! I tend to just throw this type of stuff on greens and call it a green salad as well (maybe some raw cherry tomatoes on it too because i have them?) – I’m sure it will be amazing! I also learned how to roast red peppers on your site today….honestly, <3 you right now.

  46. Diana Wright

    Absolutely delicious! Also fast, & inexpensive. I’ve made it three times in the past week [I live alone, so no one cares].

  47. Marsha Day

    OK. This is good. . .really Really Good! Since I’m a bit on the lazy side, I used jarred roasted peppers so this went together in a flash. Place it on a bed of slivered radicchio for an addition pop of color. This is going into regular rotation at my house.

  48. Anna

    Lovely salad. I roast a big batch of peppers and keep them in a jar with some olive oil – they last for months. So, this is a nice recipe to add to my list. I also added some roasted chicken, which worked well.
    Thank you!

  49. I just love anything with chickpeas. My favorite is still slowly cooked in a roaster for 3.5 to 4 hours in the oven at low temperature.

    This chickpea salad would be a perfect fit for hiking food. I like your optimism when you say “Buy a one pound bag, and you’ll have plenty left over” :-)

  50. Deanna Lopreato

    These is so simple to make. It’s really delicious and fresh as well. I used lemon juice rather than vinegar and didn’t bother making the dressing separately. I threw it all into Tupperware and shook it around and ate it an hour later.

  51. Lisa

    My mom used to add chopped celery leaves to her chickpea salad. I can’t wait to try it with roasted red peppers and capers!

  52. Lisa

    This just got added to the favorites list. My peppers were red, yellow and orange, and I added large pieces of sauteed scallions, so it was beautifully colorful as well. Just had leftovers topped with an egg – so delicious, I can’t believe how simple it is.

  53. Iswari

    I usually love your recipes, but found the mint in this recipe way too strong. I’d make this again, but cut the mint drastically.

  54. Sarah Grant

    Just made this – absolutely love it and it’s not even had time to marinate yet. Will become a staple alongside the carrot, feta and harissa salad!

    Used 450g jar which = 350g of pre-roasted peppers rather than home roasting for laziness, and halved the oil for lightness.