Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Garbanzo, Tomato, Avocado, and Cilantro Salad with Lime and Chile Dressing (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan)

Avocado adds the perfect creamy touch to this Garbanzo, Tomato, Avocado, and Cilantro Salad with Lime and Chile Dressing.

Garbanzo, Tomato, Avocado, and Cilantro Salad with Lime and Chile Dressing found on KalynsKitchen.com.

I first made this recipe as Garbanzo, Tomato, and Cilantro salad in 2006, right before I went to my first-ever Blogher conference (and how little I realized at the time how attending that conference would enrich my life!)  Now I'm getting ready to go next month to what will be my eighth BlogHer sponsored event, and this recipe is ready for a little makeover.

My fondness for cilantro has been well documented on the blog, and I got the idea of combining it with garbanzos and tomatoes from a blog called Imagnifique, but after I made the salad from the recipe I printed back in 2006, the blog had disappeared.  Then in 2007 I spotted another version of the salad with Avocado, which I thought was an inspired addition. Thanks to Mooncrazy from Peanut Butter Etouffee for that variation.  If you like cilantro, garbanzos, and tomatoes, I bet you'll love this simple Garbanzo, Tomato, Avocado, and Cilantro Salad with Lime and Chile Dressing.

(Garbanzo, Tomato, Avocado, and Cilantro Salad with Lime and Chile Dressing was revisited July 2011 and updated with better photos and the idea of adding avocado.)

Rinse the chickpeas well (until no more foam appears) and then let them drain.

Combine the lime juice, olive oil, ground Chipotle powder (or hot sauce), chile powder, ground cumin, onion powder, and lime zest to make the dressing.

Then mix the dressing into the drained garbanzo beans, using a bowl that's big enough to hold all the salad ingredients.

Cover the beans and let them marinate in the flavorful dressing for at least one hour.  If you can leave them for a few hours, even better.

When you're ready to make the salad, if you're using avocado dice it and toss with 2 teaspoons of lime juice.

Cut up one cup of garden tomatoes, or if you're using grape or cherry tomatoes cut them in half lengthwise.

Chop up a generous bunch of cilantro (about 1 cup chopped cilantro.)  I used to be more picky about getting out the cilantro stems, but these days I like the flavor of the small thin stems, so I leave them in.

Toss together the marinated garbanzos, diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro, and green onion.

Then gently mix in the diced avocado and the salad is ready to serve.

And just for fun, here's the original photo of this salad from back in 2006!

Garbanzo, Tomato, Avocado, and Cilantro Salad with Lime and Chile Dressing
(4 servings, recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from a blog that no longer exists)

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed well and drained
4-5 tomatoes or 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup green onion, sliced
1 cup (1 large bunch) cilantro, washed, dried, and chopped coarsely with chef's knife or food processor
1 avocado, diced (optional, but good)

Dressing Ingredients:
2 T fresh lime juice (plus 2 tsp. more for avocado, if using)
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. ground Chipotle chile powder (I used Penzeys, you could substitute hot sauce if you don't have ground Chipotle)
1/2 tsp. chile powder (mild)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. onion powder
zest from one lime
salt, fresh ground pepper to taste

Drain beans into colander and rinse until no foam remains. Let drain well. Mix together the lime juice, olive oil, ground Chipotle powder (or hot sauce), chile powder, ground cumin, onion powder, and lime zest to make the dressing, then put beans and dressing into a plastic container with a snap-on lid and shake a few times to combine. (Use a bowl that's big enough to hold all the salad ingredients.) Let beans marinate in dressing one hour or longer.

If using avocado, peel and dice the avocado and toss it with 2 teaspoons of lime juice. Dice tomatoes, place in colander with a small amount of salt and let tomatoes drain 10 minutes while you dice onions and chop cilantro. (You can skip that step if using cherry tomatoes or if your tomatoes aren't that juicy.)  Thinly slice the green onions and wash, dry, and chop the cilantro. 

Combine marinated beans with dressing, tomatoes, green onion, and cilantro and stir gently until well combined, then gently stir in the avocado (if using.) Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

South Beach Suggestions:
This colorful salad is loaded with low-glycemic ingredients, which makes it a great choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet. Remember that beans are limited to 1/3 to 1/2 cup for phase one, so eat a small portion for that phase.

More Summer Salads with Garbanzo Beans:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) and Edamame Salad with Lemon and Mint from Kalyn's Kitchen

Mediterranean Garbanzo Salad from Poor Girl Eats Well

Arugula Chickpea Salad with Feta and Balsamic-Tahini Vinaigrette from Kalyn's Kitchen

Jicama Pepita Garbanzo Salad
 from Use Real Butter

Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Salad with Tomatoes, Olive, Basil, and Parsley from Kalyn's Kitchen

Curried Chickpea Salad from The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit
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More to Chew On:


  1. Garbanzo salad looks great and I just happen to have everything on hand. Have fun at the conference.

  2. Kalyn, that new camera is fabulous (I'm assuming you were using it). The colors look amazing!! Well, I'm getting very excited about Blogher--and I'm not even going there! :):)

  3. Mooncrazy, hope you like the salad. I am beyond excited about Blogher and I'm sure it will be so fun.

    Sher, thanks. I love the camera. I'm glad you're excited about Blogher, I wondered if anyone was even reading the things I was writing about it. I wish you were going!! Next year it's on the East Coast.

  4. Mmmm, can't wait to try this recipe!

    Count me as a cilantro-lover. Although when I first encountered it, I was almost 20 (not a very adventerous kid when it came to food), and in Costa Rica for the summer on a study-abroad program. We ate lunch at the same place almost every day and everything had this funny-to-me taste. At first, I didn't like it at all so I kept ordering something different, but all the dishes had this taste. I wouldn't call it soapy, but I thought it tasted like mildew smelled. Weird, right?

    I soon discovered it was cilantro and learned to love it. Now, mildew still reminds me of cilantro and I kind of like the smell :)

  5. I was going to make this tonight, but I didn't have garbanzos or lime, so I made it a bit more Italian and used canellini beans, basil and lemon. Next time I'll try it your way. BTW it was still good :-)

  6. Cherie, let me know if you like the recipe.

    Steven, I like the sound of your version too. Basil and white beans are made to go together.

  7. I love love love cilantro and tomatoes! Love it! I am going to have to try this when I get home from my business trip!

  8. kaylyn this sounds delish and you know my fondness for cilantro is about as high as gonzola ;) could you drizzle a bit of the cilantro oil I made for this as well as your dressing?

  9. This sounds great and is right up my alley this week with the heat! I think I even have all of the ingredients on hand. Thanks Kalyn!

  10. Looks really cool and delicious! Thanks for the clarification re cilantro and chinese parsley. Good to know.


  11. I will take mine with avocado:) Love this salad!

  12. Love your updated salad with avocado (and photo!). Bummed I won't be able to make it to BlogHer this year, but hope to next year, especially if it's on the East Coast. Hope you have fun!

  13. Maria, me too!

    Jeanette, hope I get to see you again soon!

  14. I added fresh boiled shrimp to this for some protein, and it was a HIT with the family...even the 6 yr. old. Thanks for the recipe!!

  15. It's so much fun to revisit old recipes and think of ways to improve them. This salad looks pretty and delicious.

  16. Karla May, I really like the idea of adding shrimp to this. Glad it was a hit.

    Lydia, I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I can take an old post I feel slightly embarrassed by and bring it up to current standards!

  17. You KNOW I gotta make this tomorrow, right! Can't wait for tomorrow. ;-D

  18. I'm hungry so I'd enjoy it. I will be making and enjoying.

  19. Kalyn, I just made this for lunch. Another fantastic recipe! Thanks so much.

    By the way, I noticed as I made it that you asked us to dice/slice the onion and chop the cilantro twice. Just thought I'd let you know in case you want to delete one of the places (both in same paragraph). I'm an editor/proofreader by trade, so I guess those things jump out at me. :-)

  20. This looks amazing. I'm going to have to make this asap! I can see this being a hit for a potluck as well. Thanks!


  21. Mama Delicious, hope you will enjoy!

    Julie, glad you liked it. I'm scratching my head though because I can't find a paragraph here or on the printer friendly recipe where I repeated that twice? (But thanks anyway; I hate it when I make mistakes!)

    Jenny, yes I think this would be great for a potluck!

  22. Made it! Loved it! Yum! Will make it AGAIN! Thanks, Kalyn! xox

  23. This looks absolutely delicious! I love avocado, too. Thanks for the great idea!

  24. Katrina, thanks. I liked it even more with avocado!

  25. First time visitor to your blog. I had cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and green onions left over from another recipe and just googled the ingredients. This came up and I'm in love with the salad! Such a light and breezy salad and the beans pack the protein punch I need to get through the rest of the work day. Bravo!

  26. Cameron, so glad you enjoyed it!

  27. I've been following your blog for awhile and finally made one of your recipes...this was delicious! Can't wait to make it again soon! Thank you!!!!


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