Crunchy Broccoli and Chickpea Salad

I had two things I wanted to accomplish during maternity leave: sew Frances new curtains and organize our family photos. When I set these goals for myself both seemed so doable and, of course, without kids I could tackle them in a long weekend. But before getting too bummed about the fact that the curtains just aren’t happening, I hear my friend Kelsey’s voice in the back of my head: don’t should all over yourself. There’s so many things we should do in our own minds but really there’s other priorities, too: planting flowers with Oliver in the backyard, walking for vegan ice cream cones after dinner, and getting to bed early. Because how good does it feel to SLEEP?! I’m willing to bet it feels way better than new curtains.

I’d wanted to get this recipe out to you before Memorial Day weekend so you could all tote a simple potluck winner with you to your barbecues but that didn’t quite happen. This month our house has been hit with the flu and pink eye and just about everything in between, so the recipe had to wait a few weeks. The good part about that is I had more time to test and tweak it, and man it’s good. While most broccoli salads are drenched in mayonnaise, this is a dairy-free version and I added chickpeas for protein, toasted pine nuts for crunch and sweet little currents to round out the flavors. The honey mustard dressing is simple and subtle and would be great on other green salads or veggies this time of year, too.

It’s one of those recipes that’s even better the second day, and once he picked out the parsley (heaven forbid anything resembling lettuce land on his plate), Oliver enjoyed it, too. That’s a real ringing endorsement these days, let me tell you. I hope you all have a restful long weekend and are easy on yourselves, leaving all those “shoulds” behind.

Crunchy Broccoli and Chickpea Salad

Crunchy Broccoli and Chickpea Salad

  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Prep time: 25 mins
  • Cook time: 5 mins
  • Total time: 30 mins

This crunchy broccoli salad is packed with flavor but without the heavy mayonnaise-laden dressings that typically accompany similar recipes. The trick is not to overcook the broccoli: you’re really just giving it a quick blanch to soften it slightly – it should still have some snap! If you’d rather not use pine nuts, walnuts, almonds or sunflower seeds would all be great here as well.


For the Salad:

1/2 cup (60g) pinenuts
1 pound broccoli florets, roughly chopped (from about 1 1/2 pounds broccoli)
1 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup (30g) chopped red onion (about 1/4 onion)
1/3 cup (45g) currents (or regular raisins)
1 cup (45g) chopped Italian parsley

For the Dressing :

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon brown spicy mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Toast the pine nuts: In a small dry skillet over medium heat, toast pine nuts until fragrant and just golden, about 4 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.

Quickly blanch broccoli: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook broccoli until slightly tender but still quite firm, 3-4 minutes. Toss broccoli into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain well.

Mix up the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, honey, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Assemble the salad: In a large salad bowl, toss together the drained broccoli, chickpeas, onion, currents, parsley, and toasted pine nuts. Fold in the dressing and stir well to coat. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.


  1. Rachel

    Just made this for dinner after a too-long day at work and commute home. Delicious! Thanks for keeping up with this site among all your other obligations. I always love checking in and haven’t had a recipe fail yet from your site. I made this with raisins, almonds, not enough chickpeas and no garlic but still tasted awesome and should be good for lunch tomorrow as well.

    1. megang

      Hi, Rachel! Thank you so much for the comment! I'm so glad you're enjoying the site, and that you loved the salad. I love this one, too! So great for easy lunches. Raisins and almonds sound great - I was thinking that sliced almonds would be really good here, too. Thanks again and have a great weekend :)

  2. irene

    I have had these recipe before, but without the broccoli and raisins, can't wait to taste with the broccoli and raisins.. thanks for sharing.

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