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A Healthy Chickpea and Kale Salad With Avocado That Won’t Leave You Hungry
There are two types of salads…
Salads that fill you up. And salads that don’t fill you up.
This chickpea and kale salad is the latter.
Don’t get me wrong, A refreshing and light green salad is great. Especially served as a side dish next to something rich like a piece of meat. It serves as a nice palate cleanser.
But, that means cooking multiple dishes. I don’t always have the energy for that, especially on weeknights.
If you want to cook a multi-course meal every weeknight, then go for it. But, not all of us do.
Wouldn’t it be better if you combined all of those healthy dishes into a single bowl? Saving you time and hassle. That’s exactly what you’re going to do with this simple chickpea salad with avocado.
Filling, quick, easy, and perfect for meal prep, this chickpea salad won’t leave you feeling hungry after you eat it for lunch the next day. It is loaded with healthy ingredients like chickpeas, kale and avocado to give you the fuel you need for your busy day.
So, what type of salad are you in the mood for? Filling or not filling. If you’re looking for a filling one, then you’re in the right place.
Is This Chickpea and Kale Salad Healthy?
There are tons of healthy ingredients in this chickpea salad. Chickpeas, kale, and avocado will leave you feeling satisfied and healthy.
Chickpeas are a critical component in plant-based diets because of their relatively high protein content. According to Medical News Today, chickpeas are rich in folate, fiber, phosphorus, and iron to name a few. Chickpeas also have certain characteristics that may help defend against heart disease and cancer.
Kale is a popular “superfood” for its dense nutritional value. According to the Mayo Clinic, kale is packed with vitamins A, K, B6 and C, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese. Studies have even shown that it may decrease some forms of cancer.
Avocados are a health and fitness friendly fruit. According to Cedars-Sinai Academic Medical Center, avocados are packed with fiber, healthy fats, and a long list of nutrients like Folate, Magnesium, Potassium, Vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E, and K.
One of my favorite things about avocados? They make you feel full.
How to Make Raw Kale Less Tough to Chew
Raw kale is fibrous and tough. It isn’t very pleasant to chew. So, you’re going to loosen up that kale by salting and massaging it. This tenderizes and softens raw kale to make it more enjoyable to eat.
After you slice up the kale leaves, place them in a large bowl. Toss with 1/2 tsp kosher salt and massage the kale for 1 minute. While you prep the rest of your ingredients, the kale will softening up.
Variations to This Chickpea Salad With Avocado
- Top with chicken – For a higher protein and more filling meal, add some of this buttermilk marinated chicken. Make a whole chicken ahead and top your salad with its leftovers.
- Replace chickpeas with quinoa – Substitute 1 cup of healthy quinoa for the chickpeas to make a grain based salad.
- Make your chickpeas crunchy – Fancy up your chickpeas by roasting and seasoning them with cumin and paprika like in this crispy roasted chickpeas recipe. They will add a nice crunch to this salad.
- Serve with canned or smoked fish – Adding canned or smoked fish to a meal is a total cooking cheat code. I love it. Serve with a tin of sardines, mackerel, trout, salmon, or other healthy fish to make this salad more filling.
How Long Does This Chickpea and Kale Salad Keep?
This salad will last 3-4 days. In fact, this salad gets better after a day in the refrigerator. This allows the chickpeas to marinate and the flavors to meld. Make this salad for your next potluck or meal prep for the week. Happy lunches rule.
These OXO containers are the best reusable containers you can get. No leaking. And microwave, dishwasher, freezer, oven, and freezer safe.
What Type of Kale Should I Use?
You will most likely find several types of kale at your grocery store or farmer’s market. You want to use that dark green type with thinner, non-curly leaves (see the picture below).
It goes by several different names: Lacinato, Tuscan, Dinosaur.
This kale is more tender and easier to eat compared to curly kale (the other kale you see everywhere). When you’re going to be eating kale leaves raw, opt for this type.
Can I Use Dried Chickpeas?
You can pretty much always substitute dried chickpeas that you have cooked yourself for canned chickpeas. Canned chickpeas are just cooked chickpeas. One can of chickpeas is equal to 1.5 cups of cooked chickpeas.
I’m a huge fan of dried chickpeas. They are much more affordable than canned chickpeas. Want to learn how to cook dried chickpeas?
Check out this article on how to cook dried chickpeas.
How Can I Make This Chickpea Salad Vegan?
Simply omit the cheese from this salad to make it vegan. To replace the nutty and salty cheese flavor, add… you guessed it: nuts. Almonds, pecans, or pistachios would work great.
More Healthy and Simple Chickpea Recipes
- 15 Minute Marinated Chickpeas
- Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
- Easy Homemade Hummus
- Sauteed Chickpeas with Yogurt, Garlic, and Herbs
- Easy Weeknight Shakshuka With Chickpeas
- Chickpeas 101: Your Ultimate Guide to Chickpeas
Simple Chickpea and Kale Salad With Avocado
- 1 bunch Lacinto, Dinosaur, or Tuscan kale (about 4 oz.), leaves only, thinly sliced
- 2 15 oz. cans chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (or 3 cups cooked chickpeas)
- 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil (preferably extra virgin)
- 2 avocados, cut into bite sized chunks
- 3 oz crumbled feta (or ricotta, goat, or mozzarella)
- kosher salt
- Add kale to a large bowl. Toss with 1/2 tsp kosher salt and massage kale for 1 minute. This will soften and tenderize the kale. Let sit for 5 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Add chickpeas, onion, and vinegar to bowl with kale. Toss to combine. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
- Add olive oil and toss to coat. Taste again and add more salt, vinegar, or oil as necessary.
- Add avocado chunks and fold into the salad. Be careful not to mash the avocados. Top with feta. Serve immediately or store covered in refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Ready To Meal Prep Your Salads?
Just 15 minutes to make this salad and you’ll be eating healthy meals for days. Plus, you don’t even have to technically cook anything. Just prep and assemble.
You’re not just topping your salad with a can of rinsed chickpeas. You’re building flavor layers one ingredient at a time. No more just tossing a can of rinsed, kinda still wet chickpeas on raw kale.
This is next level cooking stuff to create one cohesive, flavor packed dish. Without the next level effort.
If you’re ready to take your salad game to even another level, download the salad challenge below.