Dinner Salads with Marinated Chickpeas & Cilantro Vinaigrette

For some reason, when I think about dinner I rarely consider salads. I think I have this idea in my head that when I’m making dinner for my husband it has to be a “thing” and a salad isn’t a “thing.” I usually think of it as needing to make a protein and a vegetable – but hello! Dinner salads are a protein and a vegetable!

I made this salad to be served along side the Turkey & Candied Bacon Paninis from yesterday, so I opted to use marinated chickpeas instead of a steak, chicken or shrimp. You can totally add an animal or fish protein to this salad to up the ante for an actual dinner salad! You do you boo, right?!

It’s hard to keep things fresh and new, especially when you’re talking about weekday cooking. Usually, I go to my go-to vinaigrette recipe, but it really can get a little old. There’s only so many times I can eat salad without getting bored, let alone salad with the same mustard-vinegar-lemon-olive-oil combo. So, for this salad I whipped up a cilantro vinaigrette (which I served with roasted potatoes, too!) – and I’m a better woman for it.

OK, maybe I’m not a better woman for it, but 100% a better home cook because of it. Like, duh, throw some fresh herbs in a blender with olive oil, vinegar and garlic and BAM – a magically delicious new dressing for salad. Plus, it’s going to be delish on roasted veg and for marinating beef or chicken. Definitely worth swapping with the hummus dressing now and again on some roasted veg.

For this vinaigrette, I took one bunch of cilantro with the stems torn off, a few cloves of garlic, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and salt & pepper, tossed them in the food processor and then drenched everything in the kitchen with it.

The marinated chickpeas are a nice-to-have, but if you’re short on time, just skip them! I just soaked them in a few smashed garlic cloves, some chopped parsley and cilantro, salt, pepper and of course olive oil. They’re nice to have to just toss onto salads! 

Cilantro Vinaigrette Dressing

Trade in that go-to balsamic vinaigrette for a bright, fresh pop to everything from salads to sandwiches to roasted veggies
Prep Time 6 mins


  • 1 bunch of cilantro, stems cut off
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. 
    Taste for salt, pepper and olive oil. 

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