Good morning! I’m headed to Boston today to hang out with Sarah for a few days before we depart to Europe. Seriously feeling exciting, anxious and thankful to have this experience. I’ve always wanted to go to Europe, but even better when it’s on a small cruise ship hitting up Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal.
Bucket list item, for sure.
In preparation for my trip and since launching the Summer Sweat Series, I’ve been focused on cleaning up my diet (because who doesn’t want to look a little bit better in a swimsuit?). Today I’m partnering with Blue Diamond Almonds, the Official Snack Nut of the Team USA Swimming who asked me to share a recipe that helped me to feel inspired to live a healthy lifestyle and follow my “Lane to Greatness“.
For me, living a healthy lifestyle is so much about balance and walking the line between greens and fruits to nut butter and chocolate. Really, that’s what my personal lane to greatness is. I enjoy being able to eat a salad for lunch and then nosh on a low sugar treat later on. I look forward to my morning toast slathered with nut butter, fruit and sometimes a few chocolate chips. I adore finding ways to make food and recipes nutritious but also tasty. I suppose it’s just kind of my thing.
As a result I decide to create this wonderful, easy to make pesto chickpea salad to inspire you in the kitchen. The salad is full of vegetarian protein, mediterranean flavors, fiber and flavor. It’s one of my go-to salads because of the goodness it fuels my body with.
BONUS! This recipe only takes about 15 minutes to whip up.
Now I know you’re in.
Before you run to grab the ingredients, I HAVE to tell you about the pesto, because it really could be the best pesto of all time. There’s spinach, basil, Blue Diamond Roasted Almonds, parmesan, garlic and fresh lemon juice. Really simple stuff and I highly recommend whipping it up yourself! You just might find yourself pouring the pesto on everything.
If you make this pesto chickpea salad, be sure to tag #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram so I can see your creations! xo.
More healthy lunch ideas:
Avocado Tomato Chickpea Pasta Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
Vegan Curried Broccoli Chickpea Salad
Street Corn Pasta Salad with Cilantro Pesto & Goat Cheese
Roasted Veggie, Chickpea & Pesto Quinoa Salad
Healthy Pumpkin Seed & Avocado Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Easy Mediterranean Pesto Chickpea Salad
- For the pesto:
- 3 cups organic spinach
- 5 large basil leaves
- juice from 1 large lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Roasted Salted Blue Diamond Almonds
- 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1-2 tablespoons water, to thin pesto
- Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
- For the salad:
- 2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta
In the bowl of a food processor or a high powered blender add in pesto ingredients: spinach, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, almonds, parmesan cheese, garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon of water. Process for 1 minute until pesto is smooth, add another tablespoon of water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Next make the salad by adding chickpeas, tomatoes, diced onion, and olives to a large bowl. Fold in pesto to evenly coat. Sprinkle crumbled feta on top and serve. Garnish with fresh basil ribbons. Serves 4 as a meal, or 6 as a side salad.
To make vegan/dairy free: Leave out the parmesan cheese!
This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. Blue Diamond Almonds understand what it takes to be the best. That’s why we’re proud to be an official sponsor of USA Swimming. Visit www.LaneToGreatness.com for a chance to win $5,000 to fuel your dreams of greatness (whatever they may be), get a Blue Diamond Almonds coupon plus recipes, and more!
This is some seriously dreamy pasta. Have fun in Europe!!!1
I meant pesto not pasta but I guess I haven’t had enough coffee today 😉
This looks absolutely amazing! Pesto is one of my favorite things!
Nom nom. I likey. SEE YOU SOON
ooh, love the spinach in the pesto! i have a tiny basil plant at home, and feel silly going out to buy more basil for pesto, so this sounds like the perfect way to still have pesto, but beef it up with spinach.
OMG looks so delicious Monique!! I love your friendship with Sarah too, it’s so awesome that you guys are able to go together. You’re gonna hate America when you come back lol but I’m sure Millie and Tony will miss you lots! <3
This looks fantastic! It has everything that I love!
Pesto is my BFF. Never though of using salted and roasted almonds! Good Call!
So easy and perfect for lunch! Love!!
Love pesto and love chickpeas, so this sounds like a dream! x
Ariadna || RAWR BOWS
This is one stellar recipe. I love that you used almonds for the pesto. Plus that you used the pesto in a chickpea salad, it’s such a great recipe. Not only is it gorgeous, but I bet the flavour is out of this world.
I’m thinking I need to make a mashed version of this to spread on sprouted bread for lunch.
Need. So so good!!
Oh yessss. Europe is definitely a must! But I have always wanted to travel to Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and even Taiwan! They would be so much fun too!
This salad just screams European flavors. I adore the chickpeas with the pesto–made so simple but there are so many incredible parts of this recipe!
I love the idea of making pesto with salted almonds! Bet it adds such awesome flavor to all those fresh herbs. ps – so jealy of your trip!!
I made this recipe over the weekend, and it was fantastic!
This looks absolutely amazing!
Not Vegan! I was looking for vegan recipes and clicked the links on your blog to your “vegan” recipes. This one sure looks delicious, but I think it is miss-filed under “vegan”. Seeing that it called for cheese (Parmesan, and Feta) was a disappointment.
To make it vegan, simply leave it off, or use a vegan cheese sub such as Go Veggie’s Vegan parm!
This is good! I used pesto I already had, and served it on some greens and brown rice. I did not use the feta. I also served it with carrots; the next time I think I’ll grate some and include them in the salad. Yummy!
The best way to make it vegan is actually to use nutritional yeast instead of parmesan — you won’t even taste the difference! Thanks for the pasta-free recipe – I think I’ll try it!
I’ll have to try it with nutritional yeast! Hope you enjoy this one!
Absolutely Fantastic! Followed directions as is. Delicious! Made Jasmin rice. Paired well! I’m hooked. Thank you for this recipe!
So happy to hear that, Stacie!