My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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Quinoa Chickpea Veggie Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

Welcome to my new favorite meal. 

A meal that is suitable for lunch or dinner, hot or cold, and easily packed to-go.

Quinoa Chickpea Veggie Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing |

This 5-ingredient, lemony-basil dressing is about to become your new go-to dressing.  It’s easy to whip up at the beginning of each week and pour over meals like this or traditional leafy-green salads.  It’s a simple dressing that can be adapted with your favorite fresh herbs or no herbs at all.

Once you start making dressing at home you will never go back to store-bought.  I can guarantee you that.

Pro tip: If you don’t want to dirty a blender smash 1 garlic clove [with the flat side of your knife] and set it aside.  You want the garlic clove to still be somewhat held together so it’s easy to remove.  Smashing the clove will help release the flavor into the dressing without overpowering it.  Shake all other ingredients in a jar until fully combined.  Place the smashed clove in the jar and give it a few shakes.  Let sit for 15-20 minutes and then remove the clove.  Use as directed below.

Quinoa Chickpea Veggie Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing |

I was recently hired by Earthbound Organic to create and photograph a recipe suitable for dinner and easy to pack up for lunch the next day.  I immediately thought of making a hearty salad packed with protein from quinoa and chickpeas and loaded with green veggies. 

The bright + flavorful dressing is what really makes this meal pop and will keep you coming back for more.  The olives and sun-dried tomatoes add an extra layer of flavor and chew.

Quinoa Chickpea Veggie Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing |

Print this!

You can find easy lunch packing tips on the Organic Bound blog!

Quinoa Chickpea Veggie Salad gluten-free, vegan // yields 4-6 servings

  • 1 cup raw quinoa, rinsed well and drained
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 broccoli heads, chopped
  • 2-3 cups lightly packed baby kale, or chopped lacinato kale
  • 1, 15z can [1 3/4 cups] garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, blotted
  • 1/3 cup pitted and halved kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil, melted ghee/safflower/sunflower/etc.
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • feta or goat cheese, optional

Lemon Basil Dressing

  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1 medium garlic clove, chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey/agave
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400* F. 

Place 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Once hot place quinoa in the pot and stir for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Slowly pour in the water and stir occasionally. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to simmer and cover with a tight fitting lid. Simmer for 15-18 minutes until water is absorbed. Keep the quinoa at a constant simmer but do not stir or uncover while cooking. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Cover to keep hot.

While quinoa cooks toss broccoli with 1 tablespoon of oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper on a large baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Add garbanzo beans to the broccoli pan in the last 5-7 minutes of roasting to warm. 

While the quinoa and broccoli are cooking place all dressing ingredients in your blender, starting with 1/3 cup olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Blend until fully combined. Taste and add more olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time if it’s too acidic. Add more salt and pepper if desired and be sure honey is combined [shake in a jar if needed]. Let sit on the counter for flavors to develop. Shake well before using.

Combine quinoa, roasted broccoli, garbanzo beans, kale, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add desired amount of dressing and toss to coat.  Kale will wilt from the warmth of the other ingredients. Top with cheese if desired.

notes: Use agave instead of honey in the dressing for a vegan version. Store leftover dressing store in a sealed jar in the fridge for 3-4 days. Refrigerate quinoa leftovers for 3-4 days in a sealed container. Add more dressing if desired as some will absorb as it sits. To add more flavor to the quinoa cook in 1 cup of water and 1 cup of low-sodium vegetable broth. 

Quinoa Chickpea Veggie Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing |

It’s so easy to find reusable lunch boxes nowadays.  From the stainless steel varieties [just found this one + love it!], to cloth bags for sandwiches + snacks, to plastic containers like the one you see here.  I found this container at World Market for FIVE bucks.  It’s BPA-free and dishwasher/microwave safe.  I love the having 3 compartments in 1 container.  There’s less cleaning, less juggling of containers, etc.

Quinoa Chickpea Veggie Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing |

And the portable utensil set??  I’m kind of in love.  Even though I work at home this will come in handy for car meals, camping trips, mountain adventures, etc.  It even includes chopsticks [!!] and was also $5 and BPA-free.

[Both are shown as sets of 4 on the World Market website but I was able to buy singles in-store.  You can also find them on amazon for a few extra dollars.]

Quinoa Chickpea Veggie Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing |

Be sure to head over to the Organic Bound blog to read all of my lunch packing tips, including how to easily wrap this salad up in a collard leaf.  Extra crunch, extra veggies, win-win!

[not a sponsored post]

Quinoa Chickpea Veggie Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing |

Happy Wednesday!


Reader Comments (23)

This look perfect! I also have all the ingredients on hand, so that's a win win!
February 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAbby @ The Frosted Vegan
Love the pro tip. And love the dressing recipe - I am always completely uninspired when it comes to salad dressing and just go for olive oil and lemon so this is a real help!
February 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSkye
this is just a perfect substantial salad. thanks!
February 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdixya
Mouth. watering. This looks so good!!
February 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarie @ Little Kitchie
I LOVE quinoa salads! This looks so hearty and delicious...especially with that lemon basil dressing...yum! :)
February 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjulie@thesimpleveganista
Yum! With the weather warming up I am starting to crave salads again, can't wait to try it!
This sounds like such a nice meal! I love the wraps you made out of it too...totally trying this! xx
February 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKatrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
I am adding this recipe to my food mix for next week. It looks quite delicious and not too difficult to make!
February 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey
Wow! Just wow! This looks like one awesome salad. It reminds me of one at my local grocery store's salad bar. I'm looking forward to making this!
February 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
This looks fantastic, though the kiddos may insist on subbing spinach for kale, which is fine by me. Yum!
February 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Hi Ashley! I'm a HUGE fan of your blog, I've been following for yearsss! Your such an inspiration to me thank you so much for everything seriously! I was wondering if you have ever tried the alive radiant brand Kale Krunch quite cheezy kale chips?!?! I found mine at Whole Foods and they are soooooo delicious! I was throwing an idea at you to try and make a version of your own? They seem pretty complicated to make but I love them so much and was wanting to try making them myself. Maybe you could try and make your own with an easy spin on them? Just an idea! Keep the awesome posts coming, there such a highlight in my day!
February 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAvery Hudson
I could eat food like this every single day! And just add some grilled chicken for my guy. Perfect!
February 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAbby
I love new takes on quinoa- this looks awesome!
February 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLivi
Hearty but fresh and spring-like! Exactly the kind of food I'm wanting right now.
I have the same portable cutlery set as you in green! (love the chopsticks addition)
February 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEmma
YUM. This look delicious and like the perfect salad and totally gonna make this tonight! Nom-nom.
February 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria
@Avery - Hi Avery! Your kind words are so appreciated. Thanks for being a follower for so long! I believe I have a cheezy kale chip recipe from way back when but I think the real trick to creating the store bought kind is having a dehydrator. I know that Gena from Choosing Raw most likely has a stellar kale chip recipe or three on her blog. :)
February 20, 2014 | Registered CommenterAshley
I made this tonight and we loved it! Thanks so much for a wonderful and healthy recipe. We have lots of leftovers that I am looking forward to this week! :)
This salad looks delicious! I think I will make it very soon! Great to find your blog today--I am from Charlotte and still live here!
February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
Made this tonight and it was phenomenal! Super healthy and filling. Thanks so much for the recipe!
February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
@Mary - Awesome! You are most welcome! Enjoy lunch. :)

@Sarah - So glad to hear you loved it. Thanks for letting me know!
February 26, 2014 | Registered CommenterAshley
Oh my goodness, I just made this. It was soooooo good. Thank you, thank you for always having the best recipes on the internet!
March 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
This was so yummy!!!!! Mmmmm!!
August 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKelsey
This looks great! Are you supposed to chop the basil leaves?
August 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

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