This easy Za’atar Roasted Chickpea Salad features healthy, delicious Mediterranean ingredients like cucumbers, tomato, feta, and fresh herbs. Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend that’s the perfect complement to the other bright and earthy ingredients in this salad. You’re going to love this easy roasted chickpea salad that’s hearty enough for a main course and also perfect as a side dish, and it only takes 20 minutes to make!
This is the king of salads. It’s hearty, healthy, DELICIOUS, and all the ingredients work so well together. Every inch of this salad gets coated in delicious flavor, from the Za’atar spice blend to the salty, crumbly feta cheese. This is a salad that you’re going to actually want to eat – often!
I like serving it on a platter or large, shallow bowl so all the ingredients are featured prominently and everyone can serve themselves without feeling cheated out of the good stuff that often falls to the bottom of a deep salad bowl.
First, chickpeas are tossed with olive oil and za’atar in a bowl, then roasted. While they’re in the oven, the greens and other ingredients are tossed in the same bowl, along with any za’atar remains coating the bottom of the bowl, resulting in a flavorful mix that is sure to become your new favorite way to eat salad.
What is za’atar, you ask? It’s a delicious Middle Eastern spice blend that you can likely pick up at your local grocery store already mixed up, ready to go. In this post I’ll explain how to make this salad, some more about the wonder spice mix that is za’atar, and how to make the salad more hearty.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Canned chickpeas – you can use another legume such as white beans or lentils if you like.
- Za’atar – you can likely find this at your local grocery store with the other spices, or you can buy za’atar online. You can also make your own (more on that below). This salad works well with other kinds of spices too, so you can use what’s in your pantry if you can’t find za’atar (I think a mix of garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin would be great!).
- Spring mix – or other baby greens; a mix of any kind will do.
- Roasted red pepper strips – I used jarred roasted red peppers that I cut into strips, but you can make your own roasted red peppers too.
- English cucumber – or regular cucumber (English are sweeter and have fewer seeds).
- Crumbled feta cheese – I prefer to crumble it myself from block feta with a fork. You can also use a non-dairy or vegan substitute for feta, or another cheese like fresh mozzarella.
- Cherry tomatoes – or any other sliced or diced tomato
- Red onion – make sure that you slice them VERY thinly, otherwise they will overpower the salad.
- Chopped fresh herbs – I used a mixture of parsley and mint. You can use dill, basil, or any other favorite fresh herbs.
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper – OMIT the salt if your za’atar blend already has it included!
How to make Za’atar Roasted Chickpea Salad
- First, drain and rinse the chickpeas. Give them a good shake to get all the water off.
- Add the chickpeas to a large bowl along with the za’atar, salt, and olive oil.
- Stir the chickpeas together.
- Add the chickpeas to a baking sheet. I like to line mine with parchment paper so they don’t stick. Roast the chickpeas for about 10 minutes.
- While the chickpeas are roasting, add the spring mix/greens to the bowl, along with some more olive oil and salt. Don’t clean the bowl out before adding them! All the leftvoer za’atar spices will coat the greens, adding lots of flavor. Toss them together and add to a platter or shallow bowl.
- In the same bowl, mix the cucumbers, feta, tomatoes, onions, herbs, roasted red peppers, and roasted chickpeas with a little more olive oil and salt. Stir to coat everything and spread out on top of the greens.
- Serve with some fresh cracked pepper on top.
How to make the chickpeas crispier
10 minutes in the oven will soften the chickpeas, warm them up, and toast the spices, which I personally prefer for this recipe. For crispier chickpeas, roast for 15-20 minutes. Crispy roasted chickpeas are great added to a salad like this or just to snack on! Be sure to check out this post on how to make crispy roasted chickpeas.
What is in za’atar?
Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice mix that often includes toasted sesame seeds, sumac, oregano, and other spices and herbs.
I used Morton and Bassett Za’atar for this recipe – they’re my go-to spice company for really fresh, potent spices. McCormick also makes a za’atar that is widely available. The McCormick version includes salt, while the Morton and Bassett one does not. Make sure you know if yours includes salt, and if it does, omit any added salt in this salad recipe! You can find this in the ingredients list or if it says “salt-free” on the front.
But if you can’t find Za’atar in your local grocery store and don’t want to buy it online, you can always make your own!
How to make the salad more hearty
You can easily double the chickpeas or feta cheese in this salad to add a boost of protein.
Other Mediterranean Salad Recipes
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Cucumber Tomato Salad with Feta
- Egyptian Barley Salad with Pomegranate
- Beet Salad with Feta, Cucumbers, and Dill
- Panzanella (Italian Tomato and Bread Salad)
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Za’atar Roasted Chickpea Salad
- 15 oz. canned chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon za'atar (see notes)
- 4 oz. spring mix or baby greens – arugula, spinach, lettuce, a mix, etc. (about 4 cups)
- 1/4 cup roasted red pepper strips
- 1 cup sliced English cucumber (about half a cucumber)
- 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese (about 1 cup)
- 8 oz. cherry tomatoes halved (about 2 cups)
- 1/4 cup very thinly sliced red onion (about one quarter of a large onion)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, dill, basil, or mint
- fresh cracked black pepper to taste, if needed
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix the drained and rinsed chickpeas (15 oz. / 1 small can) with 1 tablespoon of the extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and the za'atar (1 tablespoon). Transfer to prepared baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.
- While chickpeas are roasting, add the spring mix (4 oz / about 4 cups) to the bowl you mixed the chickpeas in (do NOT rinse the bowl – leave any leftover za'atar and oil in there!). Add 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and toss to combine (the greens will wilt down a bit from vigorous tossing with the oil). Transfer to a large plate, platter, or shallow large bowl.
- In the same large mixing bowl, add the roasted red pepper strips (1/4 cup), sliced English cucumber (1 cup), crumbled feta cheese (4 oz. / 1 cup), halved cherry tomatoes (8 oz.), thinly sliced red onion (1/4 cup), and chopped fresh herbs (1/4 cup) along with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Add in the roasted chickpeas. Toss together and spread on top of the spring mix.
- Add some fresh cracked black pepper on top of the salad and serve immediately.
- This salad serves 4 as a side and 2 as a main course.
- Make sure your za’atar doesn’t include salt. If it does, omit the added kosher salt in this recipe.
- You can bulk up the salad by using more chickpeas and/or feta cheese, or adding another protein like seared steak, meatballs, grilled chicken, or turkey breast.
- You can make the chickpeas crispier by roasting them for longer. 10 minutes will soften and warm them up, as well as toast the spices. 15-20 minutes will yield crispier chickpeas. You can even double or triple the chickpeas and save half for snacking for later if you roast them so they are crispy!
- I really like serving this salad on a platter because all the ingredients are layered and showcased so well, but if you want to save a dish to wash you can just mix everything up in the same bowl to serve.