Do you need lunch ideas? Try this meatless Chickpea Feta Salad with Celery.
I like lunches that I can make ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator. From the time I get up until early afternoon is my most creative time during the day and I hate the interruption of making lunch.
This chickpea feta salad is perfect. I make it the night before so the flavors can meld together and I slice the celery in fairly large pieces so I’ll have some crunch. If you commute to an office, it would be a great portable lunch.
This salad is a bit high in sodium, but you can take care of that by cooking your own chickpeas in a slow cooker. If you don’t have that kind of time, cook them in a pressure cooker like an Instant Pot (affiliate link).
How to Cook Chickpeas in an Instant Pot
- Rinse 1 pound dried chickpeas and place them in an Instant Pot along with 8 cups water, 2 bay leaves, and sprigs of fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, etc. (You may want to tie the herbs together so they are easier to remove later.)
- Close and lock the lid, make sure the valve is set to “Sealing,” and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes (firmer) or 40 minutes (softer).
- Do a natural pressure release for 20 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure.
- Unlock and remove the lid. Discard the bay leaves and herb bundle.
- Freeze in 1½-cup portion sizes for later use. (This is roughly equivalent to a 15-ounce can of chickpeas.)
Chickpea Feta Salad with Celery
Make-ahead meatless salad that's loaded with protein and fiber
FOR THE DRESSING
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic pepper
FOR THE SALAD
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 2 stalks celery sliced
- 5 ounces small tomatoes (grape, cherry, etc.) halved or quartered
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
- 4 (3-inch) sprigs thyme
TO MAKE THE DRESSING
In a small glass jar with a screw-top lid, combine the vinegar, oil, and pepper.
Shake until well combined.
TO MAKE THE SALAD
In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, celery, and tomatoes. Add the feta and dressing and mix well.
Run your thumb and index finger down the length of each thyme sprig (top to bottom) to remove the leaves. Add the leaves to the salad and discard the stems. Refrigerate, covered, if not eating right away.
Spoon the chickpea salad into serving bowls.
Watching sodium? You can cut the sodium in this recipe by about half if you cook your own chickpeas without any added salt.
Don't finely chop the celery, leave it in larger (but still bite-sized) pieces for lots of crunch.
Any tomatoes will work, but I especially like the small, long marzano tomatoes cut into quarters.