Chickpea Spinach Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

351/365 Chickpea & Spinach Salad #mostly365

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably already know that I LOOOOVE chickpeas.
But that’s not all… I don’t think I’ve said this before, but I also really, really like spinach.
The thing is, I like most greens – I’m lucky like that… spinach, kale, basil, watercress, etc I can’t get enough of them!
I made pesto with dandelion greens recently and I quite enjoyed that, so add that to the list, would ya!
I wanted to make this salad the minute I found it; it embodies everything I love in a salad.
Chickpeas and finely chopped spinach with a cilantro lime vinaigrette.
What’s not to like? Plus it’s healthy!


When you make it ahead of time, and allow the ingredients to marinate, you get this refreshingly vibrant and delightful dish.
A wonderful joining of tart, sweet and savoury flavours… and the kick from the cilantro really makes it shine!
This is the kind of food I want to eat all summer long; when I don’t want to turn on the stove.
Another thing with this salad is… and I wonder if this happens to anyone else, I always end up with too much spinach and cilantro, so I usually make a spinach and cilantro pesto to go with it.

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Serve it over rice or bulgur with a side of pesto or some other sauce, and you have a quick no-fuss weeknight meal.


Chickpea Spinach Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

(recipe adapted from mind over batter)


  • 4 cups of loosely packed fresh spinach
  • 4 cups cooked chickpeas (or two 15-ounce cans)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • A pinch of salt to taste
  • 3 oz of lime juice (juice from about 3 limes)
  • 1 cup of loosely packed fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon honey (or maple syrup)
  • 2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 gloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
  • A pinch of salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Pulse the spinach in a food processor for about 4 – 5 times (or chop very finely)
  2. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, chickpeas, chopped onions and red pepper flakes
  3. Toss together and set aside
  4. In a food processor (or blender), add the lime juice, cilantro, honey, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, pepper flakes and salt
  5. Processes for a few seconds, adding the olive oil in bit by bit letting the dressing emulsify
  6. Check for salt & pepper and adjust to taste.
  7. Pour about 3/4 (or more) of the dressing onto the chickpea salad and mix well to combine (save the rest and use as dressing when serving the salad)
  8. Let the salad sit for about 20 minutes at room temperature (or overnight in the fridge) to let the flavours meld.
  9. Enjoy!
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  • Reply Lindsay

    So beautiful!

    15 March, 2012 at 7:20 am
    • Reply Elsa

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

      15 March, 2012 at 7:52 am
  • Reply Digintobooks

    Saw this on Tastespotting and HAD to click! Beautiful pictures and awesome recipe. I am a huge fan of these flavors and ingredients-I’ll have to put this on my dinners-to-make list. Thanks for a great recipe!

    15 March, 2012 at 12:34 pm
    • Reply Elsa

      You’re welcome, and thanks – make it soon… you’ll love it!

      15 March, 2012 at 12:49 pm
  • Reply ratedkb

    Way to play with colors ! Chick peas always have this certain nutty flavor to them and it is so delicious !

    15 March, 2012 at 12:50 pm
  • Reply OrangeLatte

    I personally don’t like chickpea much but I don’t know why your dish make so hungry even I already had lunch! I guess run to the market and get all of the ingredients and start making them for dinner … Beautiful photos..^___^

    15 March, 2012 at 2:38 pm
  • Reply Melissa

    This looks amazing! Do you know how many it serves?

    15 March, 2012 at 4:22 pm
    • Reply Elsa

      Thank you! It’s about 4 – 5 servings

      15 March, 2012 at 5:00 pm
  • Reply Cookingcollegechick

    Yum! This looks spectacular. This is great for Meatless Monday! I love incorporating chickpeas into dinner since they are so filling and a great source of protein and fiber. Thanks for the great recipe. 

    15 March, 2012 at 5:56 pm
  • Reply Ambika Viswanathan

    OMG!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this salad. Such vibrant color and flavors, I HAVE to make this. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!

    15 March, 2012 at 5:58 pm
  • Reply Neesha

    I’m a chickpea fiend! This looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it. 

    16 March, 2012 at 9:17 am
  • Reply Kimberfish

    Do you drain the chickpeas????

    16 March, 2012 at 3:01 pm
    • Reply Elsa

      Hiya, Yes, Please drain the chickpeas. Cheers πŸ™‚

      16 March, 2012 at 3:11 pm
  • Reply Erin

    Hi! πŸ™‚ This sounds great – however, can you please provide the nutrition facts?

    7 April, 2012 at 8:19 am
  • Reply Jguentn5

    Added a box of couscous to this and some left over salt potatoes which were chopped up in the  blender….mixed it altogether.  Very Good.  Tooo much onion and garlic for me, so that took it down a notch.

    2 June, 2012 at 1:34 pm
  • Reply Nam

    This does look rather scrumptious! I really feel for the fodmap dieters out there who can’t happily tolerate chickpeas… πŸ™

    A question though: would frozen chopped spinach be ok as a substitute? It wouldn’t be quite as fresh as intended, but I don’t have a food processor or stick blender- only my buddy the whisk.

    25 January, 2013 at 3:53 am
    • Reply Elsa

      Hi and thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚ I don’t see why frozen chopped spinach wouldn’t work, just thaw it, drain it of excess water and go at it with your trusty whisk! Good Luck πŸ™‚

      25 January, 2013 at 2:05 pm
  • Reply Stephanie Moram

    Just made the salad and it is very tasty! I had to half it because I was lacking in chickpeas, but I wish I could have made the full recipe! I didn’t have spinach so I added some parsley and it turned out great. Next time I will try it with spinach granted I have some. πŸ™‚

    11 July, 2013 at 12:33 pm
    • Reply Elsa

      Oooh, I’m so glad it turned out well for you and you love it! I really, really love this salad, can’t tell you how often I make it πŸ™‚ I think I’m going to try parsley next time!

      11 July, 2013 at 2:36 pm

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