Chickpea & Chicken Salad 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

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 (2014 update, now 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 it 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!
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. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


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 chickpeas in running water and drain in colander. While chickpeas drain, mix all the remaining ingredients except the chicken in large bowl. Add chicken and chickpeas and combine well. Taste, then season as needed with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 90 minutes for 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 for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Peach-Pie Pudding How to Cook Popcorn in a Microwave in a Paper Bag Easy-Easy Pear Sauce

Chicken Salad: So Convenient, So Good For Us!

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Lemon Chive Chicken Salad Mango Chicken Salad Asian Chicken Salad
~ more cold suppers ~

~ more salad suppers ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog

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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 ...


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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