Balela Salad – A quick and easy Middle Eastern chickpea salad recipe featuring fresh flavors, herbs and spices and makes a healthy salad, dip or pita filler!
What is Balela Salad?
Balala salad is an incredibly easy Middle Eastern style bean salad featuring chickpeas and black beans, tossed together with diced tomatoes, cucumber, onion, garlic, parsley and mint. Add to that a bit of sumac, olive oil, lemon juice, mineral salt and pepper, and you’re in for a deliciously, nutrient dense and satisfying meal!
Trader Joe’s Copycat
If you’re an avid Trader Joe’s shopper, you may have already seen this salad in the refrigerated section by the prepared foods. Most of the time when I go to grab a tub, there’s only a few left. It’s a hot commodity at my local TJ’s so I set out to come up with my own version. Making it yourself is super easy and you’ll have much more than a little tub!
I used the ingredient list on the Trader Joe’s Balela Salad package and came up with my own version. The only thing I changed was adding diced cucumber, which lends a refreshing flavor to the overall dish. It tastes just as good, if not better, as the store bought!
Balela Salad Ingredients
- 2 cans (14 oz.) chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 1 can (14 oz.) black beans
- 2 firm roma tomatoes
- 1/2 red onion
- 1/2 English cucumber
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper
- 3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil
- juice of 1 large lemon
What if I don’t have sumac?
The sumac called for in the recipe is a uniquely flavored spice. It’s noted for being slightly sour and bitter, as well as sweet and salty. It’s a new addition to my spices and I can’t get enough of it. If you haven’t added sumac to your spice collection or don’t have it on hand, your salad will be fine without it. There is enough flavor from everything else for it to be satisfying.
How To Make Balela Salad
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas and black beans
- Dice the veggies. I diced them on the smaller side so they would be about the same size as the beans, or just slightly smaller. No need to skimp on the veggies, if you feel you’d rather use more of anything, by all means add as much as you like!
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the chickpeas, black beans, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, garlic, mint and parsley (shown above).
- Add the sumac, a good drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine (shown below).
This makes a large batch so you’re likely to have leftovers, unless you’re taking it to a potluck or gathering. If simply making it for yourself, you’ll be glad to have the extra for meals throughout the week or weekend. It may not even last that long!
How To Store Balela Salad
Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 – 6 days. I don’t recommend freezing this with the addition of the cucumber. If you plan on freezing omit the cucumber for best results.
How To Serve Balela Salad
- Balela salad can be served as is, chilled or at room temperature.
- Serve your Middle Eastern chickpea salad with a handful of arugula thrown in. The arugula pairs well and looks great in the salad!
- It also makes a great filler for pita sandwiches (shown below) and wraps. Slather a bit of creamy hummus inside the bread, add a little arugula and fill it up with the bean salad. It’s flavorful and delicious!
More Recipes You’ll Love
I love the flavors of the Mediterranean and Middle East! And they are always healthy and delicious too (or at least I make them that way). Take a look at these other recipes, you just may find a new favorite.
- Mediterranean Kale Salad
- Favorite Hummus
- Mediterranean Mashed Chickpea Salad
- See all Mediterranean recipe on TSV!
If you try this easy chickpea recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
BALELA SALAD RECIPE
A flavorful and nutritious Mediterranean chickpea & black bean salad! Pairs perfectly with pita bread, arugula and hummus.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: Serve - 6
- Category: Salad, Entree, Side
- Cuisine: Vegan
- 2 cans (14 oz.) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
- 1 can (14 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 firm roma tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/2 English cucumber, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- 3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil (I used a garlic infused olive oil)
- juice of 1 large lemon
optional ingredients to serve with
- pita bread
In a large mixing bowl, combine the chickpeas, black beans, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, garlic, mint and parsley. Add the sumac, a good drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.
Serve at room temperature or chilled. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
This salad is perfect in pita bread that’s been slathered with hummus and layered with arugula. Alternately, you can add a large handful of arugula to the salad and serve with pita bread and hummus on the side.
Try adding a dash of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes for a little heat.