Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan Balela Salad Recipe

This delicious Balela Salad is perfect for a gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan side, salad or dip option to serve to Game Day guests!

This next week we have a Downton Abbey party, the Ducks are playing tonight–Go, Ducks! (our 2 sons go to University of Oregon), and we’re hosting another dinner party!

‘Tis the season for parties! I’ll be sharing some of my lighter recipes that I’ve been cooking. Actually, I love winter and cooking up a storm, delicious, healthy recipes!

Being social can take a toll on your body, if you let it, or, you can make wise choices, cook healthy dishes, and enjoy food and friends! That is the way I like to do it.

Balela Salad |

Balela Salad.

In the meantime, I’m bringing this salad to the game tonight. I want to make sure there is a healthy option at the party. (I’m going to stay out of the chips, because once I get started, I cannot stop.)

Balela Salad

What is Balela Salad?

What is Balela Salad: Balela is a Middle-Eastern chickpea (garbanzo bean) and black bean salad drizzled with an oily, spiced vinaigrette.

Gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan.

I’ve made this delicious, scrumptious salad before, which is perfect for gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian guests.

It’s also nice to serve as a side dish, as an appetizer (serve in small shot glasses, with mini forks), eat in a wrap, or add to a salad.

I really love the versatility of this salad. Oh, and you can even serve it as a dip, perfect for crackers or chips!

Game Day Balela Salad in Shot Glasses

How to serve:

  • As a side dish
  • As an appetizer (small shot glasses)
  • In a wrap
  • Mashed, on a sandwich
  • As a dip, with crackers and chips

Dig in, enjoy and are you ready for the game tonight?

Who are you rooting for in tonight’s Big Game – University of Oregon Ducks or Ohio State Buckeyes?

Balela Salad

Balela Salad

Balela Salad is perfect for a gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan side, salad or dip option to serve to Game Day guests! You can also add feta cheese!


  • (2) 15 ounce cans Bush’s chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • (2) 15 ounce cans Bush’s black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (about half a small one)
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes (best if use the ones in oil in a jar)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped (or mint)
  • 1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley (flat leaf), chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Feta cheese (optional)


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the chickpeas, black beans, onion, jalepeno pepper, sun dried tomatoes, tomatoes, and herbs.
  2. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, vinegar, and salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad mixture; lightly stir.
  4. Refrigerate salad several hours or overnight to meld flavors.
  5. Optional to add feta cheese.
All images and text ©

So easy to serve in these shot glasses!

Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan--Game Day Balela Salad

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61 comments on “Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan Balela Salad Recipe”

  1. I remember seeing this on Instagram and thinking how marvelous that looked! So many of my favorite ingredients… and it’s so refreshing to eat healthy and hearty salads this time of year.

  2. AHH this looks amazing!! Saving this recipe for sure. What a great thing to serve at a party. LOVE IT! Thank you for sharing!

  3. I am all about healthy options at parties, especially this time of year!! This salad looks amazing Sandy, I would devour it! Go Ducks! :)

  4. Just made this for lunch with stuff I had on hand and it’s fabulous! I can tell it’s going to get better with age too. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. LOVE the flavors in this salad – can’t wait to enjoy it myself!

  6. There isn’t a mention of Feta Cheese in the list of ingredients, but it’s listed under Directions in 1. Is that an error? Or option?

  7. THis looks PERFECT, thank you!
    Sorry about the Ducks’ luck…..yes, I am in O-H-I-O!

  8. Love the presentation in shot glasses. Unique healthy snack alternative loaded with great flavors!

  9. I can’t wait to make this as it is posted, but what do you think about roasting the tomatoes and onions? Or even using small pieces of sun dried tomatoes? Thanks so much for posting – looks incredible!

  10. Oh gosh, so embarrassed. Just noted the sun dried tomato listed in the ingredients. Very sorry. :)

  11. I also love the idea of modifying to remove the beans, but use chicken for those not eating beans/grains, etc. Looks delicious!!

  12. Do you use sun dried tomatoes that come packed in oil, or the dried kind for this recipe?

  13. This salad was amazing as a wrap. I “accidentally” chopped 1/2 cup amounts of all the herbs and it was absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing; I’m going to make it for a potluck at work this Friday to see how many more people I can expose it to! I love that it’s a salad that doesn’t have dairy too!

  14. What a great base recipe. I had all the ingredients except for the parsley and black beans. I substituted a can of white beans and also used chopped celery, leafy tops and all, instead of parsley. It tastes amazing. I also added some chopped kalamata olives. Their tanginess pairs well with the sweet sun dried tomatoes. The salad tasted even better the next day. I threw in some chopped cucumbers before serving. Delicious!

  15. Just made this and it’s already delicious! I added chopped artichoke hearts as well. I love the ideas above of adding feta, kalmata olives, chicken, and cucumbers! It would be great paired with tatziki sauce on pita too! What a wonderfully healthy and versatile dish!

  16. It sure looks like there are olives (calamata?) in the photos but I don’t see it listed in the ingredients. 

  17.  This was absolutely delicious as is, and also very good when I mixed what was left the next day with leftover quinoa and a bit of canned tuna.  After a very hard run on a hot day, it gave me all the nutrition I needed for a solid recovery without making me feel weighed down. And did I mention it was delicious? 

  18. Do the sun-dried tomatoes get drained?

  19. Are they Kalamata olives in the salad?

  20. What is the recipe for the Balela Salad?? Watched the whole video. But no recipe afterwards. 

  21. This looks so good! All my favorites! Do you know the nutritional values/calories or serving size? How many servings in this recipe? Thank you so much for sharing!

  22. How do you pronounce this salad?

  23. i love salads like this! looks so good!!

  24. You will have to leave out the feta to make it vegan 


  26. I’m trying this tonight. I don’t have the fresh basil or parsley but I do have the fresh Dillard some cilantro too. I can’t wait!

  27. Hi, Absolutely love it! Can I freeze this?

    • Julie, I have never frozen this recipe, so I’m not sure. If you try it, come back and let me know if it’s as good (I’m thining it would not be).

  28. Can you recommend a cheese to replace the feta?

  29. I am having a hard time finding the actual recipe? Where do I find the written ingredients?

  30. After scrolling to bottom, see recipe and hit print, still unable to get recipe to come up on iPhone. 

  31. This looks so yummy! I plan on making it very soon, but I’m thinking I shall add some chopped up artichoke hearts as well. If it doesn’t work, I guess I’ll be tasked to pick them out one by one and eat them myself! ha! win/win situation there!

  32. Many thanks for the recipe. I just made this and it is delicious. I did put Greek yogurt instead of Feta, and added some pomegranate molasses, which is native of the Middle East cuisine. Definitely a keeper

  33. Sandy, do you mince the two cloves of garlic ( as per video) or literally just press them (per recipe)?  Thanks!

  34. I’m going to be making this on Monday to have for lunches this week. I’m going to put the salad on top of some greens. Do you think kale, spinach, or arugula would go best with it?

  35. It tastes pretty good..kind of like 3 bean salad

  36. I just made this and it’s delicious. It was easy so that’s another plus!

  37. This is probably a silly question … How do you make this as a dip? Seems too chunky, as-is.

  38. This looks delicious.  I’m not a fan of chickpeas and thought I could substitute with corn or another can of black beans….what do you think? 

  39. Great recipe! We added Trader Joe’s lentil pasta. So hardy!

  40. I made that salad a couple of years ago. It’s really delicious.

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