Mediterranean Chickpea Salad (Balela)

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad (Balela) is a delicious bean salad with Greek flavors, is a snap to make and it’s very healthy for you!
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad (Balela)

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad (Balela)

by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

I have been known when I am out running errands and happen by a Trader Joe’s to pick up a tub of Balela and have it for a snack instead of choosing fast food on the road.
But at home it is really quite easy to make. The ingredients don’t have to be exact when making salad so that makes it easy.
Of course, TJ’s recipe doesn’t have any feta in it (and why not?) and also includes a little vinegar.
But I admit I wasn’t really out to copycat their recipe because I think this one is actually better.
I did use lemon-infused olive oil in mine which I buy at specialty grocers or spice shops and I am pretty sure you can get it online. But fear not- you can make it with a good extra-virgin olive oil as well, which is available everywhere.
I used fresh herbs in this too, which most grocers have, but you can substitute 1/3 of the amount in dried form (even though I am not really fond of dried mint). But you could probably also use a bit of fresh basil (and not the dried kind in this case).
This goes excellently with grilled pita bread. Just spray your pancake griddle up with nonstick spray and warm the bread on either side until it is aromatic and flexible. You can split the pita and stuff it with this if you like, or eat it with the pita cut into wedges. This is also good spooned over lettuce for a tasty salad which you could also add grilled chicken to with perhaps a bit more of the dressing made.
I think it’s really healthy, and low-glycemic (diabetic friendly) and I am pretty sure it is gluten-free. The stuff Trader Joe’s sells may not be, depending on what kind of vinegar they used to make it.
Balela Salad with Seekh Kebab

I do hope you enjoy, We really love these kind of healthy and hearty salads and they make a really exceptional dinner when served with something like lamb Seekh kebabs on top. ~Sue

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad (Balela)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad (Balela)

Marinate time: 2-3  hours

Yield: 1 quart


  • 15 ounce can cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 15 ounce can cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion (about half a small one)
  • 2 ripe Campari tomatoes, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves (may use fresh basil)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley (flat leaf)
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • Juice of one lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup lemon-infused olive oil (may use regular extra-virgin olive oil)
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed with salt into a paste


  1. Stir together the chickpeas, black beans, onion, tomatoes, herbs and cheese in a bowl.
  2. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper.
  3. Gently stir dressing into salad.
  4. Refrigerate salad several hours or overnight to meld flavors.

From the kitchen of

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad (Balela)

Balela Salad with Seekh Kebab

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20 responses

  1. I just prepared your quick and delicious chickpeas salad and I can’t wait to eat this for dinner.
    I tried it now and I can really say that this is a winner because the combinations of taste is amazing …I love the fresh mint so much!
    For this recipe I used dates tomatoes and white cheese (similar to feta). A few month ago I got some lemon infused olive oil, I’m really glad I had this on hand for my recipe.
    I think this salad wouild be a great addition to many summer parties. Will make it again for sure,

  2. This looks really good. I’m always looking for delicious ways to use chick peasand I have to try this salad. Love all the bright colors. I’m a sucker for presentation. #bloglove

  3. I love chickpea and bean based salads. I personally don’t use feta as I’m vegan, but it’s a nice way to serve it 🙂

  4. Love this salad..i prefer cilantro over parsley..olive oil and vinegar with sun dried tomato..tangy!

  5. Great flavorful salad! This was easy to prepare and had lots of texture and color that made it very appealing. Thanks for sharing! SWT18

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