This ensalada de garbanzos is a Mexican take on chickpea salad. It is packed with authentic Mexican flavor, protein, and nutrients, and it is super easy to make! Aside from chickpeas, it has nopales, avocado, tomato, cilantro, Mexican chili oil, and lime juice for a yummy vibrant flavor.
Ensalada de Garbanzos
This ensalada de garbanzos is a perfect springtime chickpea salad that will become your go-to for carne asadas (barbecues), picnics, family gatherings, and protein-packed meal prep. Aside from being super flavorful and vibrant, this chickpea salad packs lots of protein, fiber, and a variety of nutrients that will leave you feeling great all around. It’s one of those meals that leaves you feeling energized instead of sluggish after eating it.
Ingredients and Tips
- Chickpeas: I use canned chickpeas most of the time to keep it a no-cook/no-heat recipe for hot days. However, if you cook your chickpeas at home you save even more money and they can be a little yummier. To reduce sodium in canned chickpeas just make sure to drain and rinse before adding them to the salad.
- Cabbage: You can use the cabbage of your choice but I love using red cabbage as it adds a nice color. Fun fact: Red cabbage also has 10 times more antioxidants and vitamins than green cabbage. I highly recommend shredding the cabbage into thin slices pieces for texture.
- Tomatoes: I like to use Roma tomatoes here but you can use your favorite kind!
- Jalapeno pepper: You can also use Serrano pepper if you want a spicer salad. I like using jalapeño to add more for less spice. Be careful though, some jalapeños can surprise you!
- Chili oil: Adding Mexican chili oil or salsa macha gives this salad that perfect authentic flavor. I typically just fry garlic, peanuts, and Chile de arbol in canola or avocado oil. Click here for an easy recipe.
What are Nopales?
Nopales are also known as prickly pear cacti. They are one of the most nutrient-dense plants on this planet. You can find nopales at your local Mexican grocery store. If you don’t have one of those nearby, I recommend looking in big grocery stores such as FoodMaxx, Lucky, or Safeway.
You can find nopales sold in 3 ways:
- Fresh nopal leaves. This one is sold with thorns and all. This is my favorite way to buy them because they are the freshest and most authentic type.
- Cut and cleaned, possibly diced. This is my next choice. A lot of people like buying them this way to save time and avoid cutting off the thorns. If you’ve never cleaned nopales I recommend buying them this way to avoid pricking yourself.
- In a jar/can. Canned nopales are available year-round and I use them when I know that nopales are not in season. Doña Maria and La Costeña are the brands I would choose.