This easy chickpea feta salad is the perfect weeknight dinner that's ready in around 20 minutes. It stars protein-packed chickpeas tossed in spices, and features cherry tomatoes and slabs of feta cheese roasted under the broiler, and briny olives.
This delicious salad can be served as a vegetarian main dish or a great side dish for the meat eaters at the table.Jump to Recipe
Want to make this recipe perfectly the first time? I want to help with that. So, check out this Table of Contents to see which sections of this post will help you the most.
Hearty chickpeas make some of the best dinner, IMO. If I have a stash of cooked chickpeas in the refrigerator or freezer, or a can of chickpeas in my pantry, I'm seriously only minutes away from sitting down to a great dinner.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- This easy chickpea salad is a sheet pan dinner, so there's minimal clean up.
- Super easy and fast meal prep.
- If you're using canned chickpeas, or you've already cooked them from dried, this dinner is ready in around 20 minutes.
- Flavor packed.
- High in fiber to make you feel full longer.
🧅 Main Ingredients + Notes
The secret to faster and easier meals often lies in the ingredients. For example, store-bought items and ingredients you make ahead and store in the refrigerator (or freezer) can turn a 60-minute recipe into a 30-minutes meal or less.
For the all of the ingredients, measurements and directions for making this chickpea feta salad, go to the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post.
- Cherry tomatoes - I do not recommend grape tomatoes in this recipe, as they don't hold up as well under the broiler for the fire roasting. But you can substitute 2 - 3 large tomatoes sliced into ¾" thick slabs.
- Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) - either canned or freshly cooked chickpeas from dried using the stove, slow cooker or Instant Pot.
- Ground cumin
- Smoked paprika - my favorite is Pimenton de la Vera. You can find it in the spice racks of most grocery stores.
- Feta cheese - purchase in a block, not already crumbled, if possible. I prefer a goat and sheep feta cheese.
- Arugula - or other peppery kind of leafy greens is best in this recipe. Some stores may carry mazuna, a type of early mustard green, which is great in this salad too.
- Olives - a combination of green olives and kalamata olives is ideal. Or you can choose just one type of olive.
- Sherry wine vinegar - you can substitute red wine vinegar, but sherry wined vinegar is much better in this recipe.
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📝 Instructions Overview
Detailed instructions for making this warm chickpea feta salad recipe are in the recipe card below, but here's an overview!
Cook the chickpeas. You can use canned chickpeas, but if you want to cook your own from dried, do this first. This post outlines four ways to cook chickpeas from dried, and shared tips for success.
Fire roast the tomatoes. Fire roast the tomatoes. It's so easy to make your own fire roasted tomatoes, and I recommend using cherry tomatoes for this recipe. If you want to use large tomatoes, slice 2 - 3 tomatoes into ¾" slices, lightly oil, salt and pepper, and fire roast under the broiler.
Roast the chickpeas and feta. Add the cooked chickpeas to the baking sheet with the fire roasted tomatoes, and tuck in the little slabs of feta cheese. Slide under the broiler until the chickpeas are lightly toasted and the feta cheese is soft and toasted on its edges.
Finish. Add the olives, arugula, and sherry wine vinegar. Lightly toss. I typically do this right on the sheet pan, or you can add everything to a large bowl and toss it in there. Keeping everything on the sheet pan keeps the feta, tomatoes and chickpeas warm.
Serve. I usually serve this from the sheet pan, so that the salad is kept warm, and serve with torn pieces of na'an bread or pita bread.
🎯 Why This Recipe Works
The combination of flavors is unbeatable:
- The fire-roasted tomatoes add a savory charred flavor to the dish.
- Feta cheese adds a salty flavor, along with the briny olives.
- Arugula adds a peppery flavor.
- Sherry wine vinegar brings in a little acid.
⏰ Tips to Simplify and Save Time
- Use canned chickpeas to save time. I prefer to cook my own from dried, but I always have a couple of cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in my pantry for last minute dinners like this.
💡Ideas for Possible Variations
- Add red onion, or better yet, pickled red onion.
- Feta cheese is particularly good in this dish because of it's briny salty flavor. Halloumi is another cheese that would go well, and hold up well under the broiler. But if you prefer, add some Pecorino or Manchego cheese, both of which are cheeses made from sheep's milk. As a final cheese option, add goat cheese in place of the feta.
- Add fresh herbs such as fresh oregano, flat parsley, fresh basil or fresh mint.
- Roast, peel and seed one - two large red bell peppers and add to the mix with olives and arugula.
- Sprinkle on some red pepper flakes for a little heat.
🥬 Make it Vegan
- Use a vegan feta-style cheese.
Warm Chickpea Feta Salad with Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes left whole
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 15.5 ounce cans of chickpeas (3 cups freshly cooked chickpeas)
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (see Ingredients Notes in the post)
- 6 ounces feta cheese, cut into ½"-thick slabs (see Ingredients Notes in the post)
- 4 cups fresh arugula
- ½ cup pitted green olives and kalamata olives
- 2 tablspoons sherry wine vinegar or to taste
- Cook up dried chickpeas if you prefer to use freshly cooked chickpeas instead of canned. I have a great post on ways to cook chickpeas here.
- Turn on the broiler in your oven, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the cherry tomatoes on the baking sheet and drizzle with a very small amount of olive oil, approximately 1 tablespoon. Slide under the broiler until they begin to char, about 5 - 6 minutes.
- Toss the chickpeas in a large bowl with the remaining olive oil, salt, cumin and smoked paprika. Spread on the baking sheet around the fire roasted tomatoes.Tuck the slabs of feta cheese into the chickpeas and tomatoes.Slide under the broiler until the chickpeas and feta slabs are light toasted and the feta cheese is soft, about 7 - 10 minutes.
- Using the same large bowl you used for add the spices to the chickpeas, toss the arugula with the olives to pick up any remaining oil and spices in the bowl.
- When the roasting is done, remove the pan from the oven, but keep the chickpeas and feta warm by leaving them on the pan until ready to toss the salad. Note: You can also serve this chickpea feta salad at room temperature, but it's best slightly warm.When ready to serve, add everything to the large bowl to lightly toss. Serve with additional olive oil and sherry wine vinegar, and torn pieces of na'an or pita bread.