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Middle Eastern Balela Salad

It sells out at Trader Joe’s all the time!

We first tried balela salad when we went to Trader Joe’s in search of a quick party appetizer that would tide people over until dinner time and found this little container with an assortment of beans and tomatoes in it. We saw it had plenty of fresh, yummy flavors packed in it, both from the salad ingredients themselves and from what’s in the dressing, so we picked it up and tried it out when we got back home.

It was so, so good! Filling and full of nutrients, from the black beans, chickpeas and tomatoes, this salad is also filled to the brim with refreshing, bright flavors from the garlic, lemon, dill, basil and parsley. This stuff is so good, plus, it’s great for you!

Balela, in Arabic, means “cooked chickpeas,” so really this is a pretty straightforward chickpea salad that can be dressed up with just about any flavors you like thrown into the dressing. As long as you’ve got your combo of beans, tomatoes, fresh herbs and citrus, with a healthy smattering of feta cheese to boot, you’re in business!

The dressing comes together easily and the rest of the salad mix is obviously a breeze to throw together, so you’re just about 10 minutes from having a show-stopping side dish that steals the show from anything else you end up putting on the table…it really is that good! Try it once and prepare to be hooked, just know that now you can skip the lines at the supermarket and make it yourself at home!

Serves 8-10

10 minutes

  • 2 (15 oz.) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed, minced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/3 cup basil, chopped
  • 1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled/small cubes
  1. In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, black beans, sun-dried tomatoes, jalapeño, grape tomatoes, onion and garlic and stir together.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil and apple cider vinegar, then stir in dill, basil and parsley, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Stir dressing over bean mixture and toss to combine.
  4. When ready to serve, top with feta cheese crumbles.

Recipe adapted from Reluctant Entertainer

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