crunchy chickpea salad with orange vinaigrette

Crunchy Chickpea Salad with Easy Orange Vinaigrette

By Dana Angelo White, R.D.N.
January 11, 2024

Salads don’t have to be boring! Using colorful and playful ingredients can make a salad beautiful and boosts the amount of inflammation-fighting antioxidants in every bite.

Instead of croutons, this salad gets a nutrition upgrade from protein-rich chickpeas that are seasoned and roasted in the oven until crisp. Be warned: They’re totally craveable!

Canned mandarin oranges are the budget-friendly star of this salad, adding brightness, flavor, and texture to the salad, and their juice adds sweet tang to the dressing. Vinaigrette dressings are a healthy choice, providing fats that are good for you and help you absorb the vitamins you need during pregnancy.

Optional: For extra protein, you can add grilled chicken, tofu, or shrimp.

This recipe is: gluten free, vegetarian (includes dairy)

Start to finish: 45 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients for the chickpeas:

  • 15-ounce can chickpeas,* rinsed, drained, and patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Ingredients for the salad:

  • Mixed greens or 1 head large-leaf lettuce*
  • 11-ounce can juice-packed mandarin oranges, drained, ¼ cup juice reserved*
  • ½ red onion, sliced thinly*
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled*
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped*

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • ¼ cup reserved mandarin orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (rice or apple cider recommended)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano

To roast chickpeas: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Toss the chickpeas with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the chickpeas on the sheet pan and roast for 10 minutes.

chickpeas on a sheet pan

Remove from the oven. Drizzle with maple syrup and season with salt and smoked paprika.

roasted chickpeas on sheet pan and seasoned with smoked paprika

Return to the oven and bake until golden, about 25 minutes more. Set aside to cool. While the chickpeas are roasting, prepare the salad and dressing.

To make salad: In a large salad bowl, add the lettuce and top with the oranges, red onion, feta, cucumber, and roasted chickpeas.

chickpea salad in a bowl with a small bowl of orange vinaigrette

To make dressing: In a small jar, combine the reserved orange juice, vinegar, ½ cup olive oil, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, and oregano. Cover the jar and shake well to combine.

Pour half the dressing over the salad, toss, and serve. Store the remaining dressing covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Nutrition per serving: 382 calories; 29 g total fat (7 g saturated fat); 25 mg cholesterol; 410 mg sodium; 25 g carbohydrate; 6 g fiber; 11 g total sugar (0 g added sugar); 10 g protein.

Price per serving: About $3.33

*WIC-eligible ingredient

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