Chipotle Chickpea Salad ♥

Chipotle Chickpea Salad ♥, beans mixed with summer-fresh vegetables and a smidgin of heat. WW Friendly. Rave Reviews. Gluten Free.
One of my favorite salads from the first year of A Veggie Venture, canned garbanzo beans mixed with summer-fresh vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and corn plus a smidgin of heat from a pantry ingredient, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Lots of rave reviews!

Fresh & Seasonal. A Summer Classic. Great for Meal Prep. Easy Weeknight Supper. Low Carb. Low Fat. Scales from Small Plates to Large Platters. Weight Watchers Friendly. Easily Vegan. Naturally Gluten Free.

Learning to Love Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce

Who else trips over recipes raving about chipotle peppers in adobo sauce? Me too. This particular recipe was published more than three years ago but chipotle peppers seem to be trendy right now. Last week I found a small can in my everyday supermarket and snatched it up. I should have bought more!

This make-ahead salad feels both familiar and surprising. The dense creaminess of the chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) contrasts with the bright coolness of the tomatoes and cucumber which in turn are deepened by the dark, smoky chipotle pepper. What IS that undertone? you'll wonder. Very yummy – and very open to variation, what's on hand, what inspires. Consider sun-dried tomato, mango, pineapple or avocado.

This is a great summer salad and a true "concept recipe", one begging for variation and creativity. The key sauce ingredients are mayonnaise, lime and chipotle. The key salad ingredients are some sort of bean, onion and cilantro. Some times I use black beans instead of chickpeas. I also bulk it up with corn for color contrast and bell peppers for crunch. Even with more bulk, 1 tablespoon of chipotle, with NO adobo sauce, creates plenty of heat. This salad gets rave reviews from adults and kids alike.

As it turns out, since 2005, this has become one of my very favorite summer salads on all of A Veggie Venture, one which returns to the table again and again because it's so easy to adapt, it's 100% "real food" and, well, people really love it! I have refined my own favorite variations of the salad but it is, truly, a concept salad for you to make your own. I think you'll love this!

Summer Easy, a special collection of Less Cookin' and More Livin' recipes especially for summer ♥ all summer long.
This recipe is so quick and easy that I'm adding it to a growing collection of easy summer recipes published all summer long ever since 2009 at Kitchen Parade, my food column. With a free Kitchen Parade e-mail subscription, you'll never miss a one!


NOTE: Be sure to read all the comments for many personal adaptations!
"This was great! ... Thanks for the yummy and flexible recipe!" ~ Zoe
"Yum!" ~ Melissa
"I LOVED it! ... I took it to a potluck and it was a hit." ~ Debbi
"I come back to [this recipe] again and again!" ~ Anonymous
"My vegetarian self and my meat & potatoes-centric husband both enjoyed this so much..." ~ Anonymous
"I found this recipe back in 2007 ... I still am making versions of this delicious salad today." ~ Anonymous

Just updated. First published way back in 2005!


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes
Makes 5 cups

1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise (my favorite is Hellman's Light)
Zest and juice from a lime (about 2 tablespoons juice)
1/2 teaspoon cumin (key ingredient, no skipping or skimping!)
1 or more chipotle chiles (from a can of "chipotle peppers in adobo sauce", see TIPS)

2 15-ounce cans of beans, rinsed well and drained (my favorite combination is one can of chickpeas and one can black beans)
1 or more good summer tomatoes, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped (use any color for crunch, use a green pepper for color contrast)
1/3 cup chopped red onion (some times I skip this)
1 cup chopped cilantro (don't skip cilantro or another fresh herb)

Raw sweet corn (How to Cut Corn Off the Cob, Keeping All Ten Fingers, Capturing Every Delicious Kernel and Every Drop of Sweet Corn "Milk")
Chopped cucumber

2 - 3 tablespoons adobo sauce (from the chipotle can) to taste or entirely optional (see TIPS)
Salt & pepper to taste

DRESSING [For efficiency, rinse and drain the beans before starting the Dressing.] Mix the mayonnaise, zest, lime juice and cumin in a large bowl. Scrape the seeds from the chipotle chilies and discard (the real heat resides in chili membrane and then seeds, not chili flesh). Mash the chilies with the back of a spoon, add to bowl.

BEAN & VEGETABLE MIXTURE Add these ingredients and any optional additions, stir together.

TO FINSH Taste and add adobo sauce if using and salt and pepper to taste.

CHIPOTLE CHILES What are chipotle chiles? They are such a favorite pantry ingredient for me, here's a description of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. They're hot! For this salad, I usually use just one chile, mashed well with the back of a spoon and mixed into the dressing. That provides the right amount of heat for my taste. If you'd like more heat, spoon in a little of the adobo sauce, a small smidgin at a time.
MASHING CHIPOTLE IN ADOBO SAUCE For a couple of years now, whenever I open a new can of chipotles in adobo sauce, I give the whole canful a quick whiz in a mini food processor, then store it in a glass container in the fridge. It keeps for months! And it's already mixed, just the right amount of heat and flavor, right there for the taking.
ADAPTATIONS To show how flexible this salad is, let me share a 2005 e-mail from an adventurous cook: "Couldn’t find the chipotle with adobo sauce. However, I DID use your recipe as an outline for a really wonderful salad. Instead of the adobo, I used chipotle salsa. Also added a can of black beans (rinsed); added about half a chopped cucumber and a small red bell pepper. Also used a little can of mild chopped peppers from the Mexican food section. And I did use the Caesar ranch dressing. It was probably the best salad I have ever made!" And then later: "Finished the leftovers today. But made additions. All good. Cut leftover steamed broccoli from Friday night into bite sized chunks. Added another tomato that demanded it be used TODAY. Wonderful!"

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Still Hungry?

More Favorite Recipes for Chickpeas & Other Canned Beans

~ Fresh Three-Bean Salad ~
~ Quick Radish & White Bean Salad ~
~ Homemade Black Bean Burgers ~
~ more vegetable recipes with beans, peas & legumes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Chickpea & Chicken Salad ~
~ Quinoa & Black Bean Salad ~
~ Broccoli Rigatoni with Chickpeas & Lemon ~
~ more recipes for canned & dried beans and peas ~
from Kitchen Parade

Cooking in Season: The Height of Summer Produce

No-Cook Tabbouleh (< a summer staple in my kitchen) Eggplant Sandwiches with Cilantro Hummus Summer Orzo with Radicchio Chipotle Chickpea Salad (< reader favorite!) Avocado Salad with Hearts of Palm BLTs with Avocado King Hill Farms Simple & Sublime Beets (< for beet lovers) Amaranth Greens More Matters: The New Fruits & Veggies Campaign Grilled Eggplant with Balsamic Honey Syrup Romano Beans in Butter-Braised Garlic (< watch for romano beans at the farmers market) Seared Radicchio Weight Watchers Italian Zero Points Soup Tomato & Onion Salad Stacked Ratatouille (< totally versatile!) Sautéed Cucumbers How to Cut Corn Off the Cob: Keeping All Ten Fingers, Capturing Every Delicious Kernel and Every Drop of Sweet Corn "Milk" Corn & Cucumber Salad with Fresh Blueberries Succotash Salad with Green Beans, Lima Beans, Corn & Tomatoes Raw Tomatillo Salad with Blueberries (< lovin' this year's blueberries!) Pretty Ways to Serve Summer's Best Tomatoes Loaded Iceberg Steaks with Homemade Thousand Island Dressing Quick Summer Squash & Tomato Saute Mexican Scrambled Eggs (Huevos Revueltos a la Mexicana)

Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005, 2006, 2010 (repub), 2013, 2015 (repub) & 2019

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. This was great! Made with 1 can chickpeas, 1 can black beans, 1/2 small red onion, 1 small red bell pepper, a bunch of cilantro, 1/4 cup light mayo, about 1/8 cup light sour cream, about 1/8 cup lime juice, about 1 tbsp pureed chipotle pepper with adobo sauce (quite spicy with this amount!), 1/2 tsp cumin. I also chopped up a bunch of grape tomatoes for my husband to add in himself (I don't like raw tomatoes). Thanks for the yummy and flexible recipe!

  2. Can't tell you how many times I use recipes from your blog. This is probably kinda sad, but as a foodie you'll probably understand... I literally squealed in delight as I read the e-mail form your blog of the chipolte chick pea salad recipe. I have everything for it at home- not straying or improvising!!! Woo hooo!!! I usually begin doing that on the 3th or 4th time I make something from a recipe. I can actually copy it word for word this time!! Yeah me!!

    PS- My family and I send a huge Thank You in advance for the deliciousness that will happen in our kitchen tonight! :-)

  3. yummy, but if you don't like mayo like I do, you can sub it with cream :)

  4. This looks good!

  5. This looks really good, I just bookmarked it. I LOVE chipotles and I love chickpeas!! Thanks!

  6. I made this last night with a few tweaks. I used a dried chipotle pepper (locally grown and smoked, courtesy of Paul Krautman at Bellews Creek Farm outside of StL) because I didn't have any canned. It would have been nice to have the extra flavor of the adobo sauce, but it was still delicious. I subbed some extra veggies (yellow squash and cabbage) for some of the beans, because I didn't have many cooked beans on hand. Yum!

  7. sounds like a fabulous salad! I love the chipotle peppers.

  8. I finally made this and I LOVED it! I don't know why it took me so long. I took it to a potluck and it was a hit. Thanks!

  9. I know this is an old posted recipe, but I wanted to let you know that it's one I come back to again and again! I don't eat much meat, so I often bring a bean salad of some sort to BBQs. This is my favorite to bring with me. The first time I made it, I didn't have a pepper, so I just don't typically add it in anymore. It's still delicious that way!

  10. This is soooo delicious! My vegetarian self and my meat & potatoes-centric husband both enjoyed this so much...

  11. I just thought I would come back here to mention that I found this recipe back in 2007 or so, and I still am making versions of this delicious salad today! Thanks for the recipe and inspiration!

  12. Anonymous ~ Aiii, you warm my heart, thanks for taking the time to let me know how this recipe has become a staple in your house! It’s a good one, for sure!

  13. Can't wait to make this and I also only use Hellmans Light.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna