Barbecue Chickpea Salad with Cilantro Lime Ranch

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With spring finally here, I've definitely been craving more salads. They can be both satisfying and refreshing as long as you include the right mix of ingredients. Lunch has always been my least favorite meal, but I've finally realized that it doesn't have to be as boring as I once thought, and can actually be the perfect opportunity to combine some of your favorite ingredients into one big, healthy bowl!

This salad is exactly that, taking some of my favorite ingredients and flavors and making them just that little bit healthier. One of my favorite things to do for lunches is make them meatless. That being said, there's also nothing worse than having a protein-less salad and being immediately hungry after. This salad fixes that right up by taking an all-time favorite (barbecue chicken) and giving it a different kind of protein twist in the form of barbecue chickpeas!

And possibly the best part...

Another twist on a classic combination is to make your own cilantro lime ranch. The everyday ranch classic is one of my favorites that I'll always love, but this cilantro lime ranch is healthier, and in my opinion even better. All you'll have to do is quickly whisk up the greek yogurt, a couple spices, some fresh lime juice, and some chopped cilantro. The flavors from the lime juice and cilantro are so bright and make each bite of the salad cool and refreshing.

Next you'll want to make the barbecue chickpeas. Before recently, I had never been a huge fan of chickpeas. I loved the taste, but something about the texture has never been my favorite. That's why crisping them up in the oven is an absolute game-changer. I promise you once you try it once, you'll be so tempted to pop them in straight out of the oven.

Once they're tossed in a little olive oil and salt and pepper, and baked for just 15 minutes, you'll toss these with your favorite BBQ sauce and you've got the quickest and most delicious little protein-filled bites. They not only add some protein to the salad, but they also add a little necessary crunch.

Topping time!

After that, it's as easy as throwing the toppings together. In my opinion cherry tomatoes, red onion, and corn are all the perfect matches for anything BBQ. You can use fresh or frozen corn, and can totally adjust the amount of any of the toppings.

This is also the perfect opportunity to add in some sliced avocado. Between the barbecue sauce and homemade cilantro lime ranch, the avocado is truly a must. Sprinkle on some shredded cheddar and you've successfully completed the everything-that-should-be-included-in-a-salad challenge.

Add on your chickpeas, drizzle on the cilantro lime ranch, and top with lots of extra cilantro. Enjoy each flavor-filled healthy bite of this lunch or dinner-worthy loaded salad.

Barbecue Chickpea Salad with Cilantro Lime Ranch

The most satisfying 25 minute barbecue chickpea salad packed with crispy barbecue chickpeas, veggie toppings, a sprinkle of cheddar, and a drizzle of homemade cilantro lime ranch.

Author:
Jackie

Ingredients

Servings: 4

Cilantro Lime Ranch

  • ½ cup greek yogurt plain
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped, plus additional for serving

Barbecue Chickpea Salad

  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce
  • 8 cups romaine chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • ½ cup red onion thiny sliced
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 avocado thinly sliced
  • ½ cup cheddar shredded

Instructions

Cilantro Lime Ranch

1. In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients until combined. Refrigerate while you prepare salad.

Barbeque Chickpea Salad

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Spread chickpeas onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper. Using your hands, toss chickpeas and make sure they are spread out evenly. Bake for 10 minutes, toss with a spoon, and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven.

3. Transfer chickpeas to a medium sized bowl, add barbecue sauce, and stir to combine.

4. Add remaining salad ingredients to four bowls, top with chickpeas, drizzle with cilantro lime ranch, top with extra cilantro, and enjoy!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

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