Are you ready for the ultimate healthy, vegan, & gluten-free Chickpea Quinoa Arugula Salad? If so, you are going to love this vegan salad filled with fresh arugula, crispy chickpeas, avocado, quinoa, and chopped veggies. Plus, this quinoa salad has the easiest lemon garlic dressing to bring all the flavors together!
I can't believe it's taken me this long to bring this super simple vegan salad to SGTO. It's one of those recipes I eat weekly and know the ingredients by heart- so honestly sometimes I forget it's even a recipe I need to share here too!
The best part? This chickpea and arugula salad is perfect to prep ahead of time so it can be a great to-go lunch during the week. Plus, it's ACTUALLY filling. I feel like the main problem I have with vegan salads is that, sometimes, they are just full of lettuce and totally unsatisfying. That's why I created this easy recipe so you can eat healthy AND filling vegan food.
This recipe does have quite a few ingredients that give it the best flavor and perfect amount of crunch. However, when it comes to salads, every ingredient is totally optional. Can't find an ingredient? Just omit it or replace with another ingredient you love instead!
Let's dive into each ingredient with some easy substitution ideas too!
- Quinoa (can be subbed for any grain like farro or couscous or left out if you need to keep this salad grain free)
- Arugula (can be subbed for any green 1:1)
- Chickpeas (I used the recipe for my Roasted Sriracha Chickpeas in this recipe. However, any cooked chickpeas will work and it's not necessary to bake them until crispy)
- Pea shoots (Optional, but delicious! Could be subbed for more arugula, microgreens, or sprouts)
- Mini peppers (I prefer the mini peppers because they're sweeter, but any red or orange bell pepper works too)
- Cherry tomatoes (I use a heirloom variety)
- Snap peas (crunchy and SO good in salads. Snow peas, chopped carrots, and shredded purple cabbage are all great substitutions to give this salad a crispy bite)
- Pepitas (aka raw pumpkin seeds- for that perfect crunch. Can also be subbed for almonds, pistachios, hemp seeds or virtually any seed or nut)
- Avocado (there isn't a great substitute for avocado, it's just one of a kind!)
Lemon Garlic Dressing Ingredients:
This super simple dressing only has 5 simple ingredients. It's my go to dressing when I need something in a hurry that still tastes good. While I like the garlic raw, you can also roast it for 15 minutes in the oven at 400F for a sweeter and more mild dressing.
- 1 garlic clove
- Lemon juice
- Lemon zest
- Olive Oil
- Salt & pepper
Even though this recipe calls for a few steps- roasting the chickpeas, cooking the quinoa, and chopping the veggies- all of this can really be done simultaneously. First, add the roasted chickpeas to the oven. While they're roasting, cook the quinoa. In-between stirring the quinoa, chop the veggies & blend the dressing.
Once everything is prepped and ready, mix all the salad ingredients together (except the avocado) with the lemon garlic dressing. Then, layer with the sliced avocado on top and serve!
How to store leftovers + meal prep
I like to store my chickpea salad leftovers in several different containers and I only add dressing to greens once I'm ready to eat them. Otherwise, the salad will get soggy and the ingredients won't be as crisp.
Here's a breakdown on how to store each ingredient:
- Store cherry tomatoes unsliced on the counter. Tomatoes don't keep their flavor in the fridge, so I chop these up as needed.
- Store roasted chickpeas on the counter for 3-4 days. In the fridge they will turn soft. If that's your only option, they will still taste great, but storing them on the counter in an open container is the only way to keep them crispy as leftovers. Canned cooked chickpeas that are not roasted can be stored in a closed container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
- Arugula and peashoots can be stored together in the fridge. I like to add a paper towel to the container to make my greens last longer as it sucks up some of the extra moisture.
- Sliced peppers and snap peas can also be stored together in the fridge in a closed container. They usually keep for 3-4 days pre-sliced.
- Quinoa can be stored in a closed container in the fridge. Without anything else added in, it tends to keep for 4-5 days.
- Avocado, like tomatoes, should only be sliced right before eating. Otherwise, they turn brown and don't taste great. If you have a leftover half of an avocado, it does best wrapped in plastic wrap or tin foil to keep out any extra air.
- Lemon garlic salad dressing can be stored in the fridge for 1 week in a closed container.
- Last but not least, pepitas can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge in a closed container. I store all my nuts & seeds in the fridge as it helps them maintain their quality for several months.
For Meal Prep:
To prep this as a to-go lunch, I assemble my salads in the morning by adding the salad ingredients from their various storage containers into one large container to bring to work. Then, I add the dressing to a small container and bring that with me separately. Just pour on the dressing right before eating.
Pre-cooking the quinoa & chickpeas and pre-slicing the veggies makes the assembly of this salad take just 5 minutes in the morning! P.S- Here are a few of my favorite glass containers for storage.
I truly hope you love this easy Vegan Chickpea Quinoa Arugula Salad! Learning how to make a satisfying homemade salad is one of the best tricks I learned to stay healthy during the week AND save money doing it. If you're anything like me, this salad will help you to feel nourished and energized all week long!
Looking for more healthy vegan lunch ideas? Check out these SGTO favorites!
Lemon Garlic Dressing:
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (39 grams)
- ½ Tbsp lemon zest
- 1 garlic clove, skins removed
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (high quality olive oil matters for this dressing)
- ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
- ½-1 tsp salt (more or less depending on preference)
- 1 ½ cups cooked quinoa (½ cup dried quinoa cooked with 1 cup water)
- 2 cups Sriracha Roasted Chickpeas
- 6 cups loosely packed arugula
- 1 cup pea shoots (optional)
- 1 cup chopped mini peppers (or bell pepper)
- 1 cup chopped snap peas
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- ¼ cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
- 2 large avocado, sliced
- First, make the garlic lemon dressing. Blend together the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic clove, olive oil, pepper, and salt until creamy. Then, add to a small container and set aside.
- Next, preheat the oven to 375F and make the Roasted Sriracha Chickpeas. Again, roasting the chickpeas is optional but add a nice crunch to this salad. If not roasting, just use canned cooked chickpeas.
- While the chickpeas are roasting cook the quinoa. Add ½ cup dried quinoa to a sauce pan with 1 cup of water and stir together. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook covered for 10-15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed and quinoa is fully cooked. Remove quinoa from heat and set aside to cool.
- While the quinoa and chickpeas are cooking, chop the veggies including the mini peppers, snap peas, cherry tomatoes, and avocado.
- Next, assemble the salad. Add the arugula, pea shoots, cooked quinoa, chickpeas, peppers, snap peas, and tomatoes to a large bowl and toss. Next, add on the lemon garlic dressing and toss until everything is coated in dressing. As a final step, top the salad with the sliced avocado. Serve immediately!
- Dressing should only be added once salad is ready to eat. Otherwise, arugula and pea shoots will get soggy.
- Please view the blog post for instructions on how to store leftover salad ingredients.
- Lemon Garlic Dressing will keep for 1 week in a closed container in the fridge.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: ¼ recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 444Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 0mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 14gSugar: 9gProtein: 10g
ShortGirlTallOrder occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although shortgirltallorder.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.