Pesto Chickpea Salad

$3.14 recipe / $0.79 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.88 from 25 votes
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I love quick fixes because I am busy and if something takes me more than 15-30 minutes to prepare, chances are I’m not going to do it, especially if it’s not my day off. So this Pesto Chickpea Salad was the perfect answer to lunch this week. It only takes about 10 minutes to make, it’s so creamy and delicious, and you can eat it a number of ways. Everything about this chickpea salad is my style! 

Originally posted 12-5-2012, updated 6-3-2021.

Pesto Chickpea Salad in a bowl surrounded by crackers

How to Serve Pesto Chickpea Salad

This super simple chickpea salad can be enjoyed several ways. You can serve it as an appetizer with crackers for dipping, like in the photo above, it can be a side dish with dinner, or you can use it as a filling for a sandwich (toasted whole grain bread, a hearty bun, or in a wrap). …Or, if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself just digging into the bowl with a fork. ;)

What Kind of Pesto is Best?

There are a lot of different types of pesto on the market, offering a little something for everyone. If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly, ALDI makes a super affordable basil pesto that I use in a lot of recipes. Today I happened to be shopping at a different store, so I went with Filippo Berio Classic Pesto, which was still pretty affordable and it had a really incredible flavor. Barilla also makes a very affordable pesto. And since pesto is the main flavor in this recipe, you definitely want to go with a pesto that you know you like. 

How Long Does the Salad Keep?

This Pesto Chickpea Salad will stay good in the refrigerator for about four days, making it great for meal prep! 

Soak Your Onions for a Softer Flavor

If you’re sensitive to red onions, here’s a trick that will make life so much more enjoyable. Soak your sliced onions in cold water for about five minutes before adding them to your recipe. The water pulls out that super sharp flavor, leaving a nice mild hint of red onion that will flavor your dish without hurting your stomach. :)

side view of pesto chickpea salad in a bowl, surrounded by crackers

Pesto Chickpea Salad

4.88 from 25 votes
This creamy and tangy Pesto Chickpea Salad is a quick and easy lunch. Enjoy with crackers, on a sandwich, or on top of a bed of greens.
Pesto chickpea salad in a bowl surrounded by crackers
Servings 4 ¾ cup each
Prep 10 mins
Total 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise ($0.40)
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto ($1.30)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice ($0.06)
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked pepper ($0.01)
  • 2 15oz. cans chickpeas ($1.10)
  • 1/4 cup red onion ($0.10)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley ($0.17)

Instructions 

  • Stir together the mayonnaise, pesto, lemon juice, and pepper in a bowl.
  • Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Roughly chop the parsley. Finely dice the red onions (soak the red onions in cold water for 5 minutes for a milder onion flavor). Add the chickpeas, parsley, and onion to a large bowl.
  • Pour the dressing over the chickpeas, parsley, and onion. Stir to combine. Serve as is or slightly mash the chickpeas for a thicker consistency. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 363kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 12gFat: 19gSodium: 245mgFiber: 10g
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @budgetbytes or tag #budgetbytes on Instagram!

Love chickpea salads? Check out my Scallion Herb Chickpea Salad, Curry Chickpea Salad, or Sriracha Chickpea Salad Wraps

Pesto chickpea salad on a bun with greens

How to Make Pesto Chickpea Salad – Step By Step Photos

Creamy pesto dressing in a bowl being stirred
Start by making the creamy pesto dressing. In a bowl, stir together ¼ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup basil pesto, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and ⅛ tsp freshly cracked pepper. 

Chickpeas, parsley, and red onion in a bowl

Rinse and drain two 15oz. cans of chickpeas, then place them in a bowl. Roughly chop about 1/4 cup fresh parsley. Finely dice about ¼ cup red onion (soak for 5 minutes in cold water if you want a milder onion flavor). 

Dressing added to chickpeas in the bowl

Add the dressing and stir to combine. You can either serve the salad just like this, or…

Slightly mashed chickpea salad in the bowl

Or you can slightly mash the chickpeas in the bowl to make it hold together a little more like a potato salad. You can use a potato masher to do this, or just mash some of the beans with a fork against the side of the bowl.

Pesto chickpea salad in a bowl with a cracker dipped into the side

Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat!

close up of pesto chickpea salad on a cracker

So much flavor, so little effort. ;)

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Comments

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  1. Thoughts on freezing this? It is one of my absolute favorite recipes!! I’ve made it probably 3 times in the last month and it lasts me a few days. So delicious on sourdough bread!

    1. Hi Emily, We haven’t tested freezing it. However, I do have a few suggestions. The fresh herbs won’t do well, so I’d recommend keeping that component out and adding it after thawing. Freeze in individual portions; you shouldn’t thaw it more than once. XOXO -Monti

  2. Saw this post last night and had to make for lunch today. Absolutely delicious, as are all of your recipes I’ve tried. Will be making this often this summer. Couldn’t be easier!  Thank you!

  3. This is delicious, filling, *so* easy to make, and gets even better after letting the flavors meld in the fridge for a couple of days. So, basically, it’s the perfect lunch prep meal.

  4. I was amazed at how good this tasted. It was light, bright an refreshing on a hot summer day. 

  5. With shortages still going on this was very scary to make, but I took a chance a made it an was pleasantly surprised. It was so refreshing on this hot day here in New Jersey. 

  6. I didn’t expect this recipe to so so good. I elevated it by taking half the mixture and putting it into a food processor to mince smaller and mix it back into the whole chickpea portion. This makes it more cohesive as a filling.

  7. I made this and then almost didn’t eat it because it did not look appetizing to me. But I didn’t want to waste the food so I took a bite and wow it is so delicious! Seriously addicting, and so cheap. I mashed half of the chickpeas and left the other half whole for a bit of textural variety.
    My go-to snack while I’m working away – it goes great on some whole wheat crackers.

  8. Beth! This is amazing! It has been on my list to try for a while and finally did. I made pesto with basil from my herb garden and also have fresh parsley from it. We ate it on Greek pita bread with sliced tomato from the garden and even my “where’s the meat” husband liked it and was full after eating it. Thank you so much for all your great recipes!

  9. This is so easy to make and is delicious. Perfect for a summer day because there’s no cooking needed. I was going to half the recipe because I only had one can of beans, but totally forgot to half the sauce when making it. It was still really great and just ended up a bit saucy. My husband and I loved it! We it in a wrap with lots of greens inside.