Chickpea & Chicken Salad Recipe

The Recipe: No more boring chicken salad! Notch up chicken salad with chickpeas, olives and Indian-style spices in a yogurt dressing. Hearty and delicious with tons of protein, this is definitely a "savory" chicken salad. For Weight Watchers? It's very Freestyle SmartPoints friendly, all the ingredients except one (olives) are zero points!
Chickpea & Chicken Salad ♥ with Indian-style spices in a yogurt dressing. Very Weight Watchers Freestyle friendly!

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  • "... love the spice combination, 'different' but not weird, if you know what I mean ..." ~ Anonymous
  • Add yours, leave a comment, below!

Health Guidance from the USDA

The new food pyramid unveiled last spring by the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers, well, modest improvement. It does include daily exercise and emphasizes vegetables by separating them from fruit.

But (update, now called ChooseMyPlate) is filled with useful tips about food choices and portion sizes.

Vegetables are sorted into easy-to-remember groups including green vegetables (broccoli, spinach, leafy greens), orange vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, squash) and starchy vegetables (corn, peas, potatoes).

Dried beans crop up twice, first with vegetables and then as a protein source under "meat and dried beans".

Beans are a great meat extender, especially if your aim is to limit cholesterol and increase fiber.

Me, I’m happy to have an unusual mélange of flavors and textures that makes up easily, "tastes" good to me and is good "for" me too.

That's because while food advice may change, what doesn't change is the need for quick, healthy and economical suppers made from common pantry ingredients. Chickpea & Chicken Salad? In spades, people, in spades.

All that and when the entrée is so virtuous, feel free to tempt you and your family with a dessert of what the USDA calls "discretionary calories"!

SERVING SUGGESTION Funny thing, I do like to serve this salad with hummus on the side! Usually it's the wonderful Roasted Eggplant “Hummus" (Eggplant & Chickpea Dip & Spread) but some times it's my Crazy-Smooth Crazy-Good Hummus. I do love-love-love good hummus!

On the Lookout for Weight Watchers Freestyle Recipes

There's a special magic to Freestyle-friendly recipes. You don't need to actually count points. You just need to check the ingredient list, whether the recipes are here on Kitchen Parade or another food blog or a magazine or a cookbook or a friend ... or even your own recipe box!

Take Chickpea & Chicken Salad. Save one, every single ingredient qualifies for Freestyle!

Here's what to know:

  • Does "every" ingredient need to qualify for Freestyle? NO
  • Do more Freestyle ingredients than non-Freestyle ingredients help? YOU BET


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: about 2 hours
Makes 6 cups
  • 15 ounces canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1 cup (246g) non-fat yogurt (Greek or plain either one)
  • Zest & juice (about 2 tablespoons) of fresh lemon or fresh lime
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed or ground caraway
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (key ingredient, don't skip or skimp!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 cup (132g) good olives, pitted and halved
  • 3 cups (375g) cooked chicken, chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Rinse the chickpeas in running water and drain in colander. While the chickpeas drain, mix all the remaining ingredients except the chicken in large bowl. Add the chicken and chickpeas and combine well. Taste, then season as needed with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 90 minutes for the flavors to meld.

ALANNA's TIPS For cooked chicken, use leftover grilled chicken breasts, leftover Fast Roast Chicken or my favorite, a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. A whole rotisserie chicken usually yields exactly three cups of cooked chicken. If the yogurt is a little wet, drain it in a strainer first. I love to cook chickpeas from dried chickpeas (it makes especially good homemade hummus, see How to Cook Dried Chickpeas Especially for Hummus aka "Jerusalem Chickpeas") but for this salad, I prefer the firmness (to say nothing of the convenience) of canned chickpeas.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup: 217 Calories; 6g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 46mg Cholesterol; 622mg Sodium; 16g Carb; 4g Fiber; 3g Sugar; 23g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 4 & PointsPlus 5 & SmartPoints 5 & SmartPoints Freestyle 1 CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving = 2/3 cup (8g protein). This recipe has been "Alanna-sized".

Plate or Platter, Either One.

Chickpea & Chicken Salad ♥ with Indian-style spices in a yogurt dressing. Very Weight Watchers Freestyle friendly!

Chickpea & Chicken Salad makes for a great buffet salad too, here I've spread it on arugula on a platter with slivers of pickled red onion.

Ready for Some of Those "Discretionary" Calories?
But Stayin' on the Healthy Side

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Peach-Pie Pudding How to Cook Popcorn in a Microwave in a Paper Bag Easy-Easy Pear Sauce
~ more dessert recipes ~

Chicken Salad: So Convenient, So Good For Us!

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Lemon Chive Chicken Salad Mango Chicken Salad Asian Chicken Salad
~ more cold suppers ~
~ more salad suppers ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog

Shop Your Pantry First

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous5/06/2009

    We made this for supper last night, love the spice combination, 'different' but not weird, if you know what I mean ...

  2. Anonymous3/27/2019

    This is a great recipe and I've been making it for a few years now. Wanted to mention that last year during Lent on a certain Friday when I was too exhausted to cook, I made this but used solid white albacore in place of the chicken. It was also very tasty. This Lent if I have another 'too exhausted to cook' Friday, I will make this again using albacore.

    I certainly prefer the chicken, but the albacore was a good swap out to meet the Fish Friday requirement of Lent.
    Thanks so much for all your terrific recipes.

    1. Anonymous ~ The tuna idea is brilliant! Thanks for sharing that idea! I bet it inspires other Kitchen Parade readers as well! PS Your note totally made my day! Thank YOU ...


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna