Crispy Chickpea Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Crispy Chickpea Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing- A simple chopped salad topped with roasted chickpeas and a sweet and savory homemade dressing.


March 29, 2022 by Nicole Collins


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Do you guys have any idea how hard it is to name recipes?



You’d think that would be the easy part of recipe creation.


Well, I’m here to tell you…it’s not.


Well at least it’s not, for me.



I feel like there’s a lot of pressure on finding the right name for a recipe. You have to make sure you highlight what’s special about the recipe. You have to make sure you appeal to the SEO gods by using trendy search words. You have to make sure you’re letting your reader know what to expect from the recipe. You have to give a general idea about the star ingredients in the recipe. And, you have to do all of this in as few words as possible.


That’s where it gets tricky.



Like, how many words is too many words in the title of a recipe? If I had my way, today’s recipe would’ve been called “sheet pan chopped salad with crispy chickpeas and lemon tahini dressing”. But ya’ll would’ve lost interest before you even finished the title, and you’d never even make it to the recipe.



And I have to say, I had a little bit of a hard time condensing down the title of this one. I just felt like there’s so much you need to know! But, I did it. So, let’s get to it.


Today, we’re making Crispy Chickpea Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing!



Here’s the how this is going to go down. We’re going to coat some chickpeas with some yummy spices then roast them until they’re crispy crunchy. Then, we’ll toss the chickpeas on top of a simple chopped salad. And, we’ll drizzle the whole think with a sweet and savory dressing. But, what makes this recipe extra fun is that we’re serving it on a sheet pan!



Let’s start with the chickpeas. Canned chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, come in a thick and viscous liquid that we want to drain off before working with the beans. So, we want to rinse the beans well. But, we also want to dry the beans really well with some paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. We’re going to coat the chickpeas in some yummy spices and pop them in the oven, so we want them to roast and get crispy, not steam and get soggy.



Once we know our chickpeas are nice and dry, we’re going to toss them in a bowl with some olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, regular paprika, and a bit of salt. We’re going to toss everything together until those chickpeas are totally coated, spread them out on a baking sheet, and send them to the oven for about a half hour to get nice and crisp.



While the chickpeas are roasting, we can work on our dressing. This dressing comes together so quick and easy with nothing other than a bowl and a whisk. No blenders needed for this one! So to the bowl, we’re going to add some tahini, lemon juice and zest, a little garlic powder, maple syrup for sweetness, and a pinch of salt and pepper. We’ll whisk it all together until everything is combined, then we’ll whisk in some water to thin out the dressing until we reach our desired consistency. If you like a thicker dressing, use less water. If you like it thinner, use more! If you’re prepping this in advance, the dressing does thicken a bit in the fridge, as well.



Once the dressing and chickpeas are ready, all that’s left to do is assemble the salad. Now, we’re using classic ingredients of a simple chopped salad: lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, and shallots. To add a little extra bite, I like to sprinkle on some crumbled feta at the end. But, you could leave that out and keep this salad totally vegan.



But, the fun part of this salad is how we’re serving it. I saw this trick on an episode of The Kitchen on Food Network, and I thought it was totally brilliant. We’re going to serve this salad on a sheet pan! The beauty of a sheet pan salad is that everything is spread out in an even layer making sure you 100% get one of everything in every bite. It also helps with even dressing distribution so you don’t have to attempt the messy salad toss or give up completely and eat dry salad at the bottom of the bowl. I think all of us has at least one sheet pan, but if you don’t, try serving this salad on a platter. Or, of course, you can always go the traditional route and serve it on a plate or in a bowl.



This salad is so light and refreshing but loaded with enough protein thanks to the chickpeas and tahini to keep us pleasantly full. The chickpeas are so savory and loaded with flavor while adding perfect little pops of crunch to each bite. Who needs croutons?!? And, that lemon tahini dressing is a little sweet, a little savory, a lot nutty, and totally delicious. The heavy duty carnivores out there won’t even miss the meat!



Ok, everyone. I think sheet pan salads are officially my new favorite thing (until the next shiny thing crosses my path). So, what kind should we make next?


I hope you all enjoy! And, let’s eat!



 



Crispy Chickpea Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Serves: 2 Print


Ingredients:

For the Crispy Chickpeas:

  • 1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp garlic powder

  • ½ tsp cumin

  • ½ tsp paprika

  • ¼ tsp onion powder

  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika


For the Lemon Tahini Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp tahini

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1/8 tsp lemon zest

  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • 1/8 tsp pepper

  • 1 tsp maple syrup

  • 1 ½- 2 tbsp cold water


For the Salad:

  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped

  • 1 cup baby spinach

  • ½ cup grape tomatoes, halved

  • 1 Persian cucumber, sliced

  • ½ shallot, thinly sliced

  • 1 oz feta cheese, crumbled


Directions:

  1. Make the Crispy Chickpeas: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, dry the chickpeas completely. Transfer chickpeas to a mixing bowl. Add olive oil, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp garlic powder, cumin, paprika, onion powder, and smoked paprika. Toss well to completely coat the chickpeas. Transfer chickpeas to a non stick sheet pan, and spread in a single layer, spacing out the chickpeas as much as possible. Roast for 15 mins, toss, and place back in the oven an additional 10-15 mins until the chickpeas are crisp. Set aside to cool slightly.

  2. Meanwhile, make the Lemon Tahini Dressing: To a small mixing bowl, add tahini, lemon juice, lemon zest, 1/8 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp salt, pepper, and maple syrup. Whisk to combine. Whisk in 1 ½ tbsp water until fully combined. If the dressing is too thick, whisk in an additional ½ tbsp water. Set aside.

  3. Assemble the salad: On a 9x13 sheet pan or a serving platter, arrange romaine, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, shallots, and feta in an even layer. Top with crispy chickpeas and dressing. Serve!

Recipe notes:

*Feel free to leave out the feta to make this salad vegan.

*If not serving this salad all at once, store the components separately, and assemble when you’re ready to eat. The chickpeas can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for 3-4 days, though they’re best served fresh.

*Serving the salad on a sheet pan is totally optional, but it’s a fun presentation and it allows all of the ingredients to be spread out so you can get a little bit of everything in one bite. This is the larger sheet pan and this is the smaller sheet pan that I used.

*This is the non stick sheet pan that I used to roast the chickpeas.



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