Southwestern Chickpea Salad

4.75 from 4 votes
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Jam-packed with flavor and protein, Southwestern Chickpea Salad is a healthy side dish that’s great for barbecues and potlucks. Chickpeas, black beans, sweet corn, and creamy avocado come together with a spicy citrus dressing for a phenomenal salad.

A bowl of food, with Chickpea and Salad


As you may have noticed, I’m in love with Southwestern and Mexican flavors. They’re pretty much my go-to any night of the week. For this salad, I decided to get creative with one of my husband’s favorite Mediterranean salads: Balela. I wanted to put a Mexican spin on it, so I added avocado, corn, cilantro, and my favorite seasonings.

If you’re looking for more side dish recipes that are perfect for backyard gatherings, I’ve got you covered! Fresh and crunchy Mexican Coleslaw is scrumptious with tacos, burgers, you name it. And for a refreshing side that comes together in minutes, you must try my easy Cucumber Tomato Salad.

Why You’ll Love This Southwest Chickpea Salad

  • It’s speedy. You can assemble this filling salad in only 15 minutes.
  • It’s a versatile side dish. Serve this salad with fish, shrimp, or chicken for a protein and flavor-packed meal.
  • It’s vegan and vegetarian-friendly, nut-free, and gluten-free, so you can accommodate everyone at your next dinner or gathering. 
  • A simple ingredient list means you may already have everything you need on hand to make this recipe right now. 
  • You’ll love the perfect balance of textures and flavors from the creamy avocado and beans, sweet corn, and the tangy and spicy dressing.

What You’ll Need

  • Chickpeas – Chickpeas pack this salad with healthy protein. 
  • Black Beans – Black beans add extra protein and offer a color contrast to the chickpeas. 
  • Corn Kernels – Adds a pop of texture and sweetness.
  • Avocados – These add a delicious creamy texture and green color. 
  • Cilantro – This herb adds a fresh, citrusy flavor to the salad. If you don’t like cilantro, feel free to use parsley instead.
  • Green Onion – just a little adds great flavor
  • Olive Oil – Olive oil creates the base for the dressing, and helps to coat everything evenly. 
  • Lime Juice – Fresh lime juice brings a refreshing flavor you’ll love and also keeps the avocado from turning brown.
  • Cumin – This earthy spice adds a ton of savory flavor, so don’t skip it!
  • Chili Powder – Adds spice and savory goodness. 
  • Cayenne Pepper – Adds a bit of kick. Feel free to omit this if you’re sensitive to heat.
  • Salt 
  • Black Pepper
A plate of food on a table, with Chickpea and Salad

How To Make Southwest Chickpea Salad

  • Mix the beans and veggies together. Combine the black beans, chickpeas, corn, avocado, and cilantro in a large bowl. Mix well. 
  • Mix the dressing. In another bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together for the dressing. 
  • Toss and serve. Add the dressing to the bean mixture and toss until everything is coated. Store the salad covered in the fridge until it’s ready to serve.

Recipe Tips & Variations

  • Drain the beans and corn well. Ensure the beans, chickpeas, and corn kernels are rinsed and drained thoroughly before adding them to the salad. Excess liquid could make the salad mushy.
  • Add the avocados just before serving. Dice the avocados just before adding them to the salad to prevent them from turning brown. If you must prepare them in advance, toss them with lime juice to keep them fresh.
  • Let it marinate for great flavor. Let the finished salad sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to marry.
  • Add some crunch. To give the salad a bit of crunch, try adding roasted pumpkin seeds, Inka corn, or crushed tortilla chips just before serving. 
  • Make it a meat-free meal. For a hearty vegetarian meal, serve the salad with your favorite cooked grains.
Southwestern Chickpea Salad - chickpeas and black beans with corn and avocado in a Southwestern style dressing. A great healthy and fresh summer side dish. 
Can I use fresh or frozen corn in this recipe?

Yes, this recipe is delicious with fresh corn. Shuck it thoroughly to remove the stringy bits before cutting it off the cob. I always keep bags of corn in my freezer, so you can pull out what you need, and just let it thaw before using.

How long with it last in the fridge?

This salad will last 3-5 days in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container.

Can I use other veggies in this salad?

Absolutely! This salad would be tasty with other veggies such as tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumber, or small-diced jicama. However, you may need to adjust the flavors in the dressing after adding different ingredients

Serving Suggestions

  • Pan-Seared Salmon – Crisp on the outside and buttery tender on the inside, this easy salmon recipe pairs perfectly with chickpea salad.  
  • Cilantro Lime Shrimp – Zingy and refreshing cilantro and lime brighten up this shrimp dish, and it’s great with the Southwestern flavors in this salad.
  • Easy Fish Tacos – Make dinner easy by serving this chickpea salad with fish tacos. You can even put it in the tacos and skip the Mexican coleslaw.
  • Baja Shrimp Tacos – Enjoy these easy shrimp tacos with a creamy chipotle-lime sauce and a side of Southwestern chickpea salad.
close up chickpea salad for pinterest

More Easy Side Dish Recipes

Southwestern Chickpea Salad - chickpeas and black beans with corn and avocado in a Southwestern style dressing. A great healthy and fresh summer side dish. 
4.75 from 4 votes

Southwestern Chickpea Salad

By Erin
Southwestern Chickpea Salad – chickpeas and black beans with corn and avocado in a Southwestern style dressing. A great healthy and fresh summer side dish. 
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz can corn kernels, rinsed and drained
  • 2 whole avocados, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • In a large bowl mix together black beans, chickpeas, corn, avocado, cilantro and green onion until evenly combined.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together olive oil, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt and pepper until very well blended. 
  • Pour dressing over bean mixture and toss to coat.
  • Store in fridge until ready to serve.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Sodium: 203mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Side Dish Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 262
Keyword: chickpea salad
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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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