Chickpea Spinach Salad (high protein & fibre in 7mins)
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This chickpea spinach salad is like the PR person of the salad world. Eating it once is enough to turn salad-haters into fans and to open up a whole new world of flavourful, filling salad possibilities.
Is it packed full of fibre, protein and loads of vitamins? Check. Does it look appealing and take less than ten minutes to prepare? Check. Finally, does it taste delicious? Check. This really is one of my favourite simple salads.
Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) are key in this salad for their buttery, nutty flavour, and fibrous nature that’s great for gut health.
Spinach brings a pop of colour and numerous health benefits to this salad; fresh baby spinach is preferable to frozen here as the texture works much better. However, if you only have frozen spinach it will still do in a pinch. You’ll need to leave the salad an hour or two before eating.
I recommend using low fat feta cheese but regular is also fine and tastes great too.
Raisins add sweetness and texture to this salad but you can leave them out if you’re not a fan. Cranberries also work really well.
Lemon juice gives the salad dressing an acidic kick but you can use vinegar if that’s what you have to hand.
If you’re vegan, agave or maple syrup would work as a sweet substitute.
I prefer to use olive oil for the taste, extra virgin olive oil is tastiest.
Cumin carries the flavours of this salad and complements the nutty chickpeas perfectly.
Only a pinch!
These are optional depending on your affinity for spice but do add a nice kick.
How many calories are in this chickpea spinach salad?
This spinach chickpea salad contains 579 calories per serving, and it contains 23g protein per serving.
This salad is also egg free and gluten free.
Salads are usually associated with ‘health’, but often in a dangerously low calorie, limp lettuce kind of way.
This chickpea spinach salad is an easy salad that will leave you feeling full, satisfied and energised.
Chickpeas are not a pea at all but in fact a legume that is high in both protein and dietary fiber. Chickpeas are particularly high in a type of soluble fiber called raffinose.
Raffinose is broken down slowly by gut bacteria, ultimately helping to maintain good gut health and regular bowel movements.
Chickpeas have also been shown to lower cholesterol and possibly even cancer risk.
This brilliant meal also contains spinach, which in itself is high in dietary fibre, protein, niacin, vitamins A, C and E amongst others. It really is the king of salads.
How to make the best Chickpea Spinach Salad
This great salad is ready in a grand total of seven minutes and the brevity of my instructions betrays its simplicity!
- Chop the feta and add to a large bowl along with the chickpeas and fresh spinach
- Mix olive oil, honey, lemon juice and raisins for the easiest of homemade salad dressings in a small bowl
- Add the cumin, salt and pepper to the dressing bowl and mix well
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve!
Chickpea Spinach Salad FAQs
Can I make them ahead?
This chickpea spinach salad can certainly be made ahead, just keep the dressing in a separate bowl or jug, and drizzle over the salad just before serving.
How to store and re-heat?
Store this spinach and chickpea salad in an airtight container in the fridge for several days. Keep the salad itself and the dressing separate until you’re ready to serve as this helps to prevent the spinach leaves from wilting. Serve the salad at room temperature.
What to serve with Chickpea Spinach Salad?
Chickpea spinach salad makes a great side dish to a larger meal, perhaps to accompany a chili sin carne. Alternatively, it is filling enough as a light lunch by itself, or as a main dish with some wholegrain bread or brown rice.
What can I do with a can of chickpeas?
Are chickpeas high in protein?
Chickpeas are very high in protein, since one cup provides 14.5 grams of protein. Chickpeas are a tasty and cheap source of protein for vegetarians, vegans and other people who don’t want to rely on animal products for their protein quotas.
Can you freeze chickpeas salad?
Chickpeas freeze well and keep for months, but the fresh spinach in this chickpea salad won’t be able to be served fresh when thawed, which is why we recommend keeping this salad in the fridge and eating it within a few days.
Chickpea Spinach Salad Variations and Alternatives
Once you’ve enjoyed this delicious spinach and chickpea salad once, you may be inspired to try it over and over again with a variety of toppings. Sunflower seeds or red bell peppers are great options.
You can also adjust the homemade dressing recipe to your tastes. Consider the recipe I’ve provided as a base and consider adding balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic powder or fresh herbs as you fancy.
If you have more time, and want to make this a warm spinach salad, try this salad with roasted chickpeas with olive oil, salt and paprika.
This salad can be made vegan is you omit the feta cheese or replace with a vegan version, and if you use maple syrup or agave instead of honey. Simple!
More salad recipes
Looking for more legume protein? Try this easy red kidney bean salad!
If you fancy something hearty and warm for dinner that is still, technically, a salad, try this sweet potato and broccoli salad bake.
More chickpeas? Yes please, with this roasted sweet potato and beetroot salad.
Finally, try this meal prep friendly chickpea salad sandwich for work tomorrow.
Fun Chickpea Fact
Did you know that chickpeas were first cultivated by humans over 11,000 years ago?
The wild chickpea (thought to be the ancestor of the domesticated chickpea that we eat today), still grows in southeastern Turkey and bordering Syria. Thinking about that kind of blows my mind. Chew on that while you’re enjoying this salad!
- 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)(1 can = 435g)
- 1 handful spinach
- 3.5 oz low fat feta cheese (use regular if you prefer)(3.5oz = 100g)
- 1 small handful raisins
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (white or malt vinegar is also good)
- 3 tsp honey
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ½ – 1 tsp cumin, ground
- 1 pinch salt
- ½ tsp chili flakes (or dried cayenne pepper will do the trick nicely)
- Chop the cheese and add with the spinach and chickpeas to a large bowl.1 handful spinach, 3.5 oz low fat feta cheese, 1 can chickpeas
- Mix the honey, oil, lemon juice and raisins in a small bowl.1 tbsp lemon juice, 3 tsp honey, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 small handful raisins
- Add the cumin, salt and pepper to the dressing bowl and mix well.½ – 1 tsp cumin, ground, 1 pinch salt, ½ tsp chili flakes
- Drizzle devilishly delicious dressing over the salad.
- Enjoy 🙂
I hope this chickpea spinach salad recipe has reminded you of the joys of a tasty salad or completely converted you to salads’ potential if you were previously a sceptic. Let me know in the comments!