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Balela salad recipe

Balela salad recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Salad
  • Bean salad
  • Chickpea salad

This is a Middle Eastern-style chickpea and black bean salad that is full of flavour. Chunks of feta cheese make a nice addition.

7 people made this

IngredientsServes: 10

  • For the bean salad
  • 2 (400g) tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (400g) tins black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15g freshly chopped mint
  • 30g freshly chopped parsley
  • 80g finely diced onion
  • 300g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • For the dressing
  • 1 chilli pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

MethodPrep:25min ›Ready in:25min

  1. In a salad bowl, lightly stir chickpeas, black beans, mint, parsley, onion and cherry tomatoes together.
  2. To make the dressing: Place chilli pepper, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and cider vinegar into a blender; process until thoroughly combined. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to mix. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(107)

Reviews in English (79)

by Kevin Andrews

Like Lori, I came on here looking for Balela salad after trying it at Trader Joe's. I agree that this is far better, although theirs was good enough to inspire me to find a recipe!I'm not normally an ingredient snob, but this recipe demands the best ingredients possible. Grape tomatoes generally have more flavor than typical store bought tomatoes, so that is not an area I would skimp on by using diced tomatoes (or egad! canned!). It takes a few extra minutes to half those grape tomatoes, but well worth it, in my view.Use the best olive oil you can find. I might roll my eyes at that suggestion in another recipe, but for this one, your choice of oil is going to make a difference. Trader Joe's California olive oil was my choice for this. It has a strong, fresh, peppery flavor that complements the other ingredients perfectly.I suggest you make it exactly as written before changing anything. The feta cheese suggestion sounds tempting, but this recipe is so well balanced I would hesitate to modify anything. Perhaps offer it on the side?-21 Aug 2012

by Debbie

This is a great and quick recipe with lots of flavor. When I make it again, I will use red onions for more pop in flavor. I added an additional tablespoon of lemon juice and feta cheese this time around. Yum!-14 Aug 2011

by Angie O

Yum! This dish was fantastic. The flavors tasted so fresh and blended with each other perfectly. I used all fresh veggies and herbs from my garden and it was so easy and fast to throw together.-19 Aug 2011


2 oz (57g) Parsley (1 Bunch) 1 oz (28g) Mint (1/2 Bunch) 15 oz (425g) Garbanzo Beans (1 Can) 15 oz (425g) Black Beans (1 Can) 2 Limes 1 Red Onion 1 Garlic Clove 2 Bell Peppers Red Wine Vinegar (Approx. 1 Tbsp) Olive Oil (Approx. 2 Tbsp) Salt, Black Pepper Preparations: 1- Grill and dice the bell peppers. 2- Dice the red onion. 3- Mince parsley and mint. Directions: 1- Transfer diced onion to a large bowl. 2- Mash a garlic clove into the bowl. 3- Stir in minced parsley and mint. 4- Stir in grilled bell peppers, one can of garbanzo and black beans. 5- Add salt and pepper (as much as you'd prefer). 6- Pour in red wine vinegar and olive oil to the bowl. 7- Squeeze two fresh limes into the bowl and stir until well combined.

Balela Salad (Mediterranean Chickpea Salad)

Today my 11 year old and I are flying back to Colorado. We have spent the last week and a half in Wisconsin visiting family, which has been a lot of fun! But I am ready to get back home. My husband couldn’t make the trip with him, so it has been a long time a part. Tomorrow my son starts his first band class. He missed last week, so we will see how far behind he is. But for the next 2 weeks he goes for an hour a day to get ready for band once school starts. He is playing the trombone, which is what I played as well, so we will see how much of it comes back to me when he brings it home to practice. I hope he loves it!

Costco sells a Balela salad in the dip section of their store. My husband was eyeing it for months before he finally decided to try it. Not sure why it took him so long, he liked everything in it. He loved it, and it disappeared very quickly. He has tried it a couple other times when he sees that a store sells it.

Finally he asked if I would just make it for him at home. (Not the first time we have switched to a homemade version of a Costco favorite – Jalapeno Artichoke Dip). Balela Salad is really just a Mediterranean Chickpea Salad. It is black beans and chickpeas as the base. Then you add in lots of fresh parsley and mint, and make a lemon dressing to pour over the top. Very easy!!

My husband loves to eat Balela with pita chips as a dip. But it is also a great side dish with grilled chicken or pork in the summer. It is super healthy with all the beans, herbs, and olive oil in the recipe. So it makes the perfect guilt free dip to bring to a get together. I have seen some recipes call for diced tomatoes, but I haven’t seen that in a store before, so I left them out in trying to recreate the Costco recipe.

So if you are looking for a fresh dip, an easy salad (make ahead and store in the fridge for up to a week), or just something healthy try this Mediterranean chickpea salad today! Or maybe this Southwestern Chickpea Salad is more what you are looking for.

Balela Salad

This versatile Mediterranean salad can be served as a salad, a side dish, in a wrap or as an appetizer with chips, pita bread or crackers. It's a delicious, healthy choice and is vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free!


2- 15 oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2- 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 c. chopped onion, from about half a small one
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped, optional
1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes from the ones in oil in a jar
1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in halves
1/3 c. fresh dill, chopped
1/3 c. fresh basil, chopped, or mint
1/3 c. fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped

1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
3 T. apple cider vinegar
salt and black pepper, to taste

Feta cheese, optional


In a medium bowl, mix together chickpeas, black beans, onion, jalepeno pepper, sun- dried tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and herbs.

In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Balela Salad Recipe

Head to a farmers market for the freshest, sweetest, juiciest tomatoes. Then whip up a favorite summer salad to tame hungry tummies.

2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped
½ small onion, finely chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
2 cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped fresh herbs (We like to use a combo of dill, parsley and mint.)
Juice of 2 lemons
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: goat cheese to taste (We use the cheese from Terrell Creek Farm.)

To Prepare
1. Mix together vegetables, beans and herbs.
2. Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
3. Toss the veggie mix with the dressing. Add optional cheese.
4. Refrigerate overnight (or at least for a few hours) before serving.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • chickpeas
  • chopped onion
  • sun dried tomatoes
  • grape tomatoes
  • fresh dill
  • fresh basil
  • fresh Italian parsley
  • lemon juice
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • garlic cloves
  • apple cider vinegar
  • salt and black pepper (optional)
  • medium bowl
  • small bowl
  • whisk

Sit your bowl on the kitchen counter, then add the black beans, chick peas, onion, jalapeno pepper, sun dried tomatoes, tomatoes, as well as the herbs. For the dressing add your lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, vinegar, and salt and pepper into the small bowl. Give everything a good whisk, before drizzling over your salad, and stirring ever so lightly.

In order to really enhance the flavors, it is recommended that you let the salad sit in your fridge overnight. Then you can add feta cheese before you serve it, if you like. This salad goes well in a wrap, sandwich, as a dip or side dish and even an appetizer. It’s 100% gluten free and vegan too.

You can follow step by step instructions on the Reluctant Entertainer blog, here…

Balela salad

Hello friends. Today, I am sharing a Middle Eastern dish called, “Balela” (bah-lay-la). This Middle Eastern-style bean salad is full of flavor, zest, and freshness. You can enjoy it on its own, serve it over a bed of greens, or wrap it up with some arugula and tahini dressing in lavash for a healthy, light meal. I especially love it after it sits for a little bit, because all the flavors have nicely melded together. The combination of the mint, parsley, and lemon, paired with the crunch from the cucumbers and the bell pepper just makes my tastebuds happy.

I think you will enjoy this recipe. It comes together quickly and stores well in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

Gather your veggies, remove seeds, and chop away. I like to chop them on the smaller side so they would be about the same size as the beans. Sometimes, I throw in a jalapeño for some heat.

In a large salad bowl, lightly mix together the garbanzo beans, black beans, mint, parsley, onion, bell pepper and tomatoes. Then drizzle with oil and lemon. Add sumac, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and toss.

Balela Mediterranean Bean Salad

Sitting down to write this, I can’t ignore the giant elephant in the room. As of today, it’s been exactly one year since I’ve posted anything on Former Chef.

It wasn’t intentional. Nothing overly dramatic happened to prevent me from posting. I wasn’t trekking across the Gobi Desert. I wasn’t kidnapped by pirates. Time simply got away from me. Life happened.

So why am I back now and why with this recipe? Can deliciousness be inspiring? I think so. This salad was so good I felt I finally had something worth sharing.

Last weekend we had some family members come into town with only enough time to stop for a visit at lunch. I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare and I knew that they ate mostly vegetarian. I made this salad, along with my favorite quinoa and butternut squash salad, a platter of grilled vegetables (asparagus, red peppers, zucchini), and some grilled eggplant with lemon thyme yogurt. The best part was that all of it was done before they arrived, maximizing the time we could spend together.

The meal was a hit, especially the balela salad. There were 5 adults at the table and there were little leftovers. Plus, it’s always nice to hear, “this was the best lunch I’ve had in years!” I was just happy to see the family, cute toddler included.

The rest of the meal butternut squash and quinoa, grilled vegetables, and grilled eggplant with lemon thyme yogurt.

Balela is a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern salad, typically made with garbanzo beans and black beans, fresh herbs and a vinaigrette. I’ve taken some liberty here and added white beans as well as the red bell pepper (yellow would look nice too).

There’s not much other history or information as to the origin of balela available online, which is a bit surprising. You might recognize it if you shop at Trader Joes or Costco as they often have it there. If anyone knows anything, please share in the comments.

Mediterranean Balela Salad

Mediterranean Balela Salad is a bright and healthy chickpea salad made with tons of fresh flavors like parsley, onion, tomato, garlic, and fresh lemon juice. It’s a wonderful, light side dish or a tasty vegetarian meal alongside hummus and pita bread.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Mediterranean Balela Salad was originally published 9/23/2016 and updated on 6/6/2020

Balela is a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern salad that contains chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), tomato, onion, garlic, lemon, olive oil, and parsley. I’ve eaten a version of this with black beans in addition to the chickpeas, but even though I like black beans, I prefer this salad without them.

What’s great about Mediterranean Balela Salad is how fresh and bright it is. It’s a perfect accompaniment to grilled kabobs, gyro sandwiches, and other tasty Mediterranean dishes. Whenever I make Greek chicken pita sandwiches at home, I serve it with homemade hummus, tzatziki sauce, and this balela salad for a light, healthy dinner.

Not only is this chickpea salad delicious, it’s a cinch to make. There is a lot of chopping involved, but it only takes about 10-15 minutes and it’s ready. You could serve it right away, but it gets better and better the longer it has rested in the fridge. We like it best the day after I make it!

Mediterranean Balela Salad

Love chickpeas? Here are some more of my favorite chickpea recipes:

Recipe :: Balela Middle Eastern Bean Salad

I'm not one for diets. I prefer to just take a full on healthy approach to eating all the time - well, as much as I can. But with the new year comes resolutions, and for January we're getting pretty serious about our nutrition around here as we prep for wedding and hit the restart button after all those holiday treats!

One recipe I've been wanting to try and recreate for a while is Trader Joe's Balela Salad.

The mix of beans make for a nice filling protein salad, but the best part is it's healthy andflavorful. It also keeps really well - in fact, I think it's better on the second day after the flavors have soaked into the beans and cucumber even more! So you can make a big batch and eat it stuffed into a pita, or over a big bowl of greens, cous cous, or quinoa.

Balela Bean Salad // serves 8

  • 1 can Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large Cucumber
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes
  • ¼ cup red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup Parsley
  • 2 tbsp Mint
  • 1 tsp Sumac
  • 1 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup Lemon Juice (typically one lemon)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine the chopped beans, cucumber, tomato, and onion. You can play with the ratio of ingredients here. I love cucumber, but don't need much red onion, so I adjusted accordingly.

Finely chop the garlic, mint and parsley, and add to the mix. In a separate small bowl combine the sumac, vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice, whisking together with salt and pepper to taste. Sumac is a spice I had to hunt down at my local grocery - I wouldn't say you need it for the recipe, but it adds a unique flavor. Now that I have some in my pantry, I'll be hunting for other dishes to use it in!

While I eat this for a whole meal at lunch, I think it makes for a great side dish for larger meals as well! And, as I mentioned above, there are many ways to switch it up. My favorite is adding a bit of feta or avocado!

What healthy dishes have you been trying out this new year? If you test this one in your own kitchen, be sure to tag us and share on instagram with the hashtag #ckrecipes!

Watch the video: Balela Salad Recipe (January 2023).