Spicy Chickpea Salad with Cucumber, Cilantro, & Eggs
My Spicy Chickpea Salad is the perfect spring and summer side. Loaded with crunchy cucumbers and shredded cabbage, piquant red onions, herbaceous cilantro and mint, spicy citrus-marinated chickpeas, and protein-packed eggs, this colorful and flavorful garbanzo bean salad recipe is destined to become a festive favorite.
Why You’ll Love This Garbanzo Bean Salad Recipe
With this record-breaking heat, I’m yearning for all my favorite cold sides and salads. This easy chickpea salad with cucumber, cilantro, and eggs is my current obsession. Dressed in a spicy citrus-hot sauce salad dressing and loaded with colorful, crunchy veggies, this tasty and nutritious side is exciting enough to steal the spotlight.
Made with just a handful of fresh ingredients, a couple of cans of garbanzo beans, and some pantry staples, this chickpea and egg salad comes together in mere minutes. Better yet, using legumes as the primary ingredient means this garbanzo salad is extra easy on your budget.
It’s an ideal match for nearly any grilling season favorites (like my Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce or Veggie Torta with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms). It is also satisfying enough to hold its own as a packed lunch.
Aside from being easy to make and crowd-pleasingly tasty, this delectable dish (is also great for meal prep. The veggie-packed mix is even tastier after a spell in the fridge, so I recommend making this marinated bean salad sometimes called chana salad) at least a day before you plan to serve it.
Ingredients & Substitutions
As promised, you only need a handful of fresh ingredients plus some pantry staples to whip up this spicy garbanzo salad with eggs. Here’s what to grab:
- Spicy Brown Mustard – I love both the heat and slight texture of spicy brown mustard in this chickpea salad dressing but feel free to swap in either Dijon or stone-ground mustard instead.
- Lime & Orange – You’ll need both the zest and juice for the best flavor, so make sure to reach for fresh. To get the most from your fruit, wash it first, zest only the brightly colored exterior, then firmly roll it on the counter for 10-15 seconds before slicing it open. In a pinch, you can swap in bottled juice instead.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – When it comes to salad dressing, oil quality really counts. If you have it, now’s the time to break out the peppery cold-pressed EVOO you’ve been saving for a fancy occasion.
- Hot Sauce – I prefer a vinegary Mexican hot sauce like Tapatio or Cholula. Feel free to swap in your favorite (e.g. Tabasco, Sriracha, Crystal, Frank’s Red Hot).
- Garlic – Fresh is best, but you’re welcome to swap in minced jarred garlic in a pinch.
- Paprika – I used regular sweet paprika, but you can also use smoked paprika or hot paprika for added flavor.
- Tajin – This chile-lime salt is a favorite in our house. It’s great for everything from rimming your margarita glasses to sprinkling on fruit! Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Seasoning Salt is an acceptable swap.
- Crushed Red Pepper – For extra heat. Feel free to omit them if you prefer!
- Canned Chickpeas – I love the convenience of canned beans, but you’re welcome to soak and cook them from dried if you want to save a bit of cash.
- Celery – For crunch. Feel free to swap in chopped radish or fennel bulb if you prefer.
- English Cucumber – These thin-skinned, nearly seedless cukes are perfect for eating with little more than a quick rinse under cool water. If you swap in conventional cucumbers, I suggest peeling them and removing the seeds first.
- Red Onions – For a spicy bite. Feel free to soak them in cool water for about 10 minutes before draining and adding to the salad to remove some of the pungency. You are also welcome to swap in shallots or green onions instead.
- Red Cabbage – I love the bright color of red cabbage here, but you’re welcome to use any variety you prefer or serve over a bed of spinach.
- Serrano Pepper – For adding some zesty flavor to this simple chickpea salad. Feel free to swap in slightly milder jalapeños if you prefer.
- Cilantro & Mint Leaves – For a pop of freshness and herby flavor. You’re welcome to swap in parsley or Thai basil for the cilantro if you prefer.
- Eggs – For added protein and a touch of richness.
- Pepitas – For crunch. You’re also welcome to use spiced roasted pepitas for extra flavor, or swap in hulled sunflower seeds in their place.
How To Make Spicy Chickpea Salad
This tasty chickpea salad with cilantro and mint comes together in a flash. Here’s how:
Step 1: Make Dressing. In a mason jar, combine the dressing ingredients, cover, shake, and set aside.
Step 2: Toss. In a large mixing bowl, add all the salad ingredients except the eggs and pepitas. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.
Step 3: Finish. Add the sliced eggs and pepitas, gently tossing to incorporate. Taste and adjust with salt or Tajin if needed.
Step 4: Chill. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. The longer this salad marinates the better the flavor.
As much as I love this recipe as written, there’s plenty of room for you to make your own ideal garbanzo bean salads by switching things up. Here are a few variations to consider:
- Vegan – Omit the eggs. Feel free to swap in pressed and diced extra firm tofu for a plant-based alternative.
- Try Different Beans – This spicy cucumber garbanzo bean salad is also delicious using white beans like Great Northern or Cannellini beans instead.
- Extra Protein – Feel free to add chicken breast or shrimp to turn this into an entrée salad.
- To remove the stringy part of the celery, use a veggie peeler. The strings are only in the first layer or two!
- To save on prep time, consider using a bagged cole slaw mix in place of the cabbage.
- If you’re not a spicy food lover, make sure to remove the inner ribs and seeds of your serrano or jalapeño before chopping and adding to the salad. You can also omit the chile altogether if you prefer.
- Make sure to drain and rinse the chickpeas before adding them to the salad.
The spicy citrus salad dressing can be mixed up in a mason jar and kept in the fridge for up to a week.
The assembled chickpea and egg salad will keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days in the fridge. To extend the shelf life to about a week, marinate only the chickpeas in the dressing, then add the eggs and remaining veggies when you’re ready to serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! I recommend giving them a quick rinse before you do, though — this will help to remove the starchy liquid known as aquafaba and cut down on the added salt.
While you don’t necessarily have to rinse canned garbanzo beans, I suggest you do for this recipe. Doing so will give you a better texture, remove some added salt, and can also make the legumes easier to digest.
Why, by tossing them with a deliciously spicy vinaigrette and a bevy of chopped veggies, of course!
More Easy Summer Side Dish Recipes
- Garbanzo Bean Salad
- Waldorf Salad with Yogurt (No Mayo!)
- Ensalada de Coditos (Macaroni Salad)
- Mango, Jicama, and Cucumber Salad
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ If you’ve made and loved this recipe, please leave a 5-star rating and review (it helps my recipes be more visible in search results and reach more Mexican food lovers). Gracias!
Spicy Chickpea Salad with Cucumbers, Cilantro, & Eggs
- 2 (16-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 large English cucumber, diced
- ¼ chopped red onions
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced or shredded red cabbage
- 1 serrano pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 5 Nellie’s Free Range Eggs, hard boiled, peeled, and sliced
- Pepitas for garnish
- In a mason jar, combine the dressing ingredients, cover, shake, and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add all the salad ingredients except the eggs and pepitas.
- Pour dressing over salad and combine. Add the sliced eggs and pepitas, and gently toss. Taste and adjust with salt or Tajin if needed.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. The longer this salad marinates the better the flavor.
- Salad will keep well for 2 to 3 days in the fridge in a tightly-closed container.
- I recommend you use farm fresh eggs for this recipe. Not only do farm fresh egg yolks have a deeper color, their yolk is creamier and doesn’t break as easily when cooked.
- The spicy citrus salad dressing can be mixed up in a mason jar and kept in the fridge for up to a week.
- The assembled chickpea and egg salad will keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days in the fridge. To extend the shelf life to about a week, marinate only the chickpeas in the dressing, then add the eggs and remaining veggies when you’re ready to serve.
Photography by Jenna Sparks
Originally published: June 2019.