If you’re looking for a side dish that can be made ahead and is great served at room temperature, marinated chickpeas are just the thing! Combined with colorful vegetables and a simple dressing, this dish is naturally vegetarian and gluten-free.
Summer is here. Well….summer-ish. Here in Kansas City, we’ve still got that warm days / cool nights thing happening that makes for great meals outdoors. We’ll surely be spending the next couple of months in the backyard while the kids play endlessly with this epic-ly fun monstrosity that Frank purchased back in February when we were dreaming of sun and warm weather. And we’ll need plenty of low maintenance dishes that can feed a crowd.
This side dish is about to be my go-to recipe of the summer. It can be made ahead, has tons of flavor, goes with just about any cuisine, and is friendly to nearly every allergy. It really might be the ideal summer dish! And it’s delicious too. Here’s everything you need to know…
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – The flavor of the olive oil really shines, so it’s worth using a decent extra virgin olive oil. Other neutral oils like avocado and grapeseed will certainly work, but don’t add the same pleasant savory flavor.
- Red Wine Vinegar – Any standard red wine vinegar works. You can certainly experiment with different vinegars to change up the flavor. White wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, and even apple cider vinegar would be delicious.
- Dijon Mustard – Adds tart flavor.
- Honey – Use your sweetener of choice if you prefer. Maple syrup, agave, or Stevia work.
- Italian Seasoning, Paprika, Salt and Black Pepper – These pantry staples build flavor as the chickpeas marinate. Feel free to mix up the spices and to adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
- Garbanzo Beans / Chickpeas – I just use regular canned chickpeas. Drain and rinse them well. I’m pretty partial to Bush’s. I think they have the best texture and a mild flavor. If using low-sodium or no-salt-added chickpeas, keep in mind that you may want to add some additional salt before serving.
- Bell Peppers, Cucumbers, Red Onion – Fresh vegetables for color and texture! Chop them fairly small so they are about the same size as the chickpeas. See below for some other ideas for vegetables that would work.
- Fresh Basil – Stirring in some fresh chopped basil really makes this dish feel special and taste fresh. Basil is great but most any other fresh herb would work.
How Long will Marinated Chickpeas Last?
Marinated Chickpeas can be refrigerated for up to three days. Because chickpeas are hold up well, they may be fine for even longer than three days, but may start to soften and lose their shape.
- Add / Change Vegetables – Try this salad with steamed and chopped green beans, tomatoes, roasted red bell peppers, or sweet peas.
- Add more fresh herbs – Stir in your favorite fresh herbs for a pop of summer flavor. Basil is my go-to, but parsley, cilantro, chives, or green onions / scallions would be great.
- Add cheese – This is great with crumbled feta or cubed cheddar folded in. Add the cheese at the same time as the basil – just before serving.
More Make-Ahead Side Dishes
- Creamy and Tangy Coleslaw
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Pasta Salad Skewers
- Pasta Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing
- Caprese White Bean Salad
- Sesame Noodle Salad
- Panzanella Salad Skewers
Marinated Chickpeas with Bell Peppers and Cucumbers
- Mixing Bowl
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tsp Honey
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 14 oz cans Garbanzo Beans / Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup finely diced Red Bell Peppers
- 1 cup finely diced Cucumbers (preferably a seedless variety like Persian cucumbers)
- 1/4 cup finely diced Red Onion
- Fresh Basil, chopped (optional)
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, Italian seasoning, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Stir in beans, bell peppers, cucumbers, and red onions until evenly combined.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 3 days (the flavors will continue to develop the longer the chickpeas marinate).
- Stir in basil right before serving. Serve chilled or room temperature.
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