Middle Eastern Bean Salad: A Delicious, Healthy Dish

Are you looking to add some Middle Eastern flair to your next meal? Look no further than this delicious Balela Salad recipe. With fresh herbs, lemony dressing, and a mix of chickpeas and black beans, this dish is sure to impress.

But what exactly is Balela Salad? Traditionally served in the Middle East, this salad typically stars chickpeas and a variety of other beans, fresh herbs, and a tangy lemon dressing. It’s a refreshing and healthy lunch or side dish option that’s perfect for any occasion.

In just 15 minutes, you’ll have this easy-to-make recipe ready to go. And with substitutions and variations listed, there are endless ways to customize this salad to your taste preferences. So why not try your hand at an authentic Middle Eastern-style salad today?

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Middle Eastern Bean Salad With Parsley and Lemon (Balela)
Middle Eastern Bean Salad With Parsley and Lemon (Balela)

Are you ready to dive into the flavors of the Middle East? Look no further than this Middle Eastern Bean Salad with Parsley and Lemon, also known as Balela. As a passionate chef, I assure you that this salad is not only easy to make, but also bursting with flavor.

First off, this salad is a nutrition powerhouse. It stars chickpeas, garbanzo beans, black beans, and red kidney beans – all excellent sources of protein and fiber. Not only does it fill you up for hours, but it’s also a great boost for your overall health.

But beyond its nutritional value lies its flavor. The lemony dressing adds a refreshing zing that brings out the rich flavors of the fresh parsley, mint, and chopped tomatoes. Oh, and did I mention the garlic? The combination of garlic and olive oil gives this salad an irresistible aroma that will surely whet your appetite.

Another reason you’ll love this recipe is its versatility. You can mix and match ingredients to suit your taste buds or whatever ingredients you have on hand. For example, feel free to substitute the parsley with cilantro or swap out the green onions with red onions. This salad recipe is as flexible as they come.

But don’t take my word for it – try it for yourself. This balela recipe can be whipped up in just 15 minutes and provides an easy, delicious lunch or side dish for your upcoming Middle Eastern feast. Plus, it makes a great meal prep option as you can store it in the fridge for up to four days.

In short, whether you’re seeking fresh lunch options or simply want to add more beans to your diet, this Middle Eastern Bean Salad will not disappoint. Trust me – each bite will leave you craving more!

Ingredient List

 Bursting with freshness
Bursting with freshness

Here’s a breakdown of the ingredients you’ll need for this Middle Eastern Bean Salad With Parsley and Lemon (Balela) recipe:


  • 1 can of Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
  • 1 can of Black Beans
  • 2 chopped Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped Green Onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped Fresh Parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped Fresh Mint (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped Red Onion (optional)


  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves minced Garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

Most of these ingredients are commonly available, but make sure to check your pantry to see if there is something you will need to buy. Gather them all so that you’re ready to go with this amazing salad recipe!

The Recipe How-To

 A wholesome way to indulge
A wholesome way to indulge

Now, let’s get down to business – making this amazing Middle Eastern Bean Salad With Parsley and Lemon (Balela) Recipe!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained.
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained.
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley.
  • 2 chopped tomatoes.
  • ½ chopped red onion.
  • 1 chopped green onion.
  • 2 minced garlic cloves.
  • Juice of 1 lemon.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil.

Step-by-step directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the chickpeas, black beans, parsley, tomatoes, red onion, green onion and garlic.

  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, salt and pepper, and olive oil.

  3. Pour the dressing over the bean mixture in the large bowl.

  4. Toss everything together until all ingredients are well coated.

  5. Serve in bowls or plates with extra parsley garnishing if desired.

  6. ENJOY!

Note: If you want to get that extra eastern flavour for your salad, sprinkle some sumac on top before serving it – It will give it a tangy and slightly citrus flavour that you will love!

Substitutions and Variations

 A colorful mix of beans
A colorful mix of beans

This Middle Eastern bean salad is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit your personal taste. Here are some substitutions and variations that you can try:

– Beans: You can use any combination of beans for this recipe like red kidney beans, cannellini beans, or navy beans. Don’t worry if you don’t have chickpeas or black beans, the salad will still turn out delicious.

– Herbs: If you don’t have parsley or mint on hand, try using cilantro or basil. These fresh herbs will give it a unique flavor that is worth trying.

– Garlic: Feel free to adjust the amount of garlic used in this recipe to your liking. Some people prefer more garlic for a bold aroma and flavor, while others like it more subtle.

– Tomatoes: You can also use canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones. Just make sure to drain them well before adding them to the salad.

– Onion: Red onion would be a great substitute for green onion. It gives a slightly stronger taste and adds vibrant color to the dish.

– Lemon juice: If you don’t have lemons on hand, feel free to use lime juice instead. It will give it a similar tart and tangy flavor.

– Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil is recommended for its rich flavor, but any high-quality olive oil would work well.

– Trader Joe’s copycat: For those who love the Trader Joe’s balela salad, this recipe can easily be transformed into a Trader Joe’s copycat by adding roasted red peppers or feta cheese.

No matter what substitutions or variations you choose to make, this Middle Eastern bean salad will be an easy and delicious healthy addition to your mealtime rotation.

Serving and Pairing

 Perfect for a picnic or potluck
Perfect for a picnic or potluck

Oh man, let me tell you about some of the ways you can serve and pair this Middle Eastern Bean Salad with Parsley and Lemon – it’s a flavor fiesta!

First of all, as a side dish, it’s perfect for nearly any dish on your menu. I love serving it with chicken skewers or grilled shrimp for a healthy lunch or dinner that’s filling but not heavy. The freshness of the parsley and lemon pairs really nicely with aromatic herbs like rosemary or thyme – so if you’ve got those on hand, use them to enhance the flavor even more.

One super quick meal in my house is just to take some warmed pita bread and scoop this tasty salad right into it – add some crumbled feta cheese and grilled halloumi cheese for an extra savory punch. It’s also killer as a topping for roasted sweet potatoes or a baked potato for a filling vegetarian option, or use it as a dip with your favorite corn chips.

But where this salad really shines is at potlucks or BBQs – this recipe makes enough for plenty of servings which means everyone can dig in together. Super easy to double or triple up too, just make sure you make enough because everyone will be asking for seconds!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A zesty blend of lemon and parsley
A zesty blend of lemon and parsley

One of the best things about this Balela Salad is that it can be prepared ahead of time! This recipe is perfect if you’re looking for something to bring to a potluck or picnic. To make it ahead, mix all the ingredients together except for the fresh parsley and lemon juice. Cover the bowl and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.

If you have any leftovers, don’t worry! This salad stores well in an airtight container. In fact, it tastes even better on day two! The flavors mingle and develop even further as the herbs and vegetables marinate in the lemony dressing.

To reheat, simply let the salad come to room temperature before serving. If you wish, you can add some more fresh parsley and lemon juice to give it that extra pop of flavor!

I recommend storing your leftover Balela Salad in a glass container so that you can see all the colorful ingredients. Plus, this recipe makes quite a lot so you’ll be happy to have leftovers!

Overall, this salad is perfect for meal preppers and busy folks who want a healthy lunch option for the week. It stays fresh for up to 5 days in the refrigerator and can be easily reheated or enjoyed cold right out of the fridge.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A Middle Eastern classic
A Middle Eastern classic

Okay, let’s talk about some tips to ensure that your Middle Eastern Bean Salad with Parsley and Lemon comes out perfectly. Here are some of my recommendations:

First off, be sure to rinse and drain the beans really well before adding them to the salad. This will help to remove any excess starch or salt that may have been used in the canning process.

Next, make sure that you’re using really fresh parsley and lemon juice, as these ingredients are key to giving the salad its bright, zesty flavor. You may also want to consider using a mix of parsley and mint, as this can add some additional depth and complexity to the salad.

When it comes to the dressing, I like to keep things simple with just olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. You can adjust the seasoning to taste as needed, but always remember that less is often more when it comes to dressings.

Another tip is to chop your tomatoes and onions fairly small, so that they mix evenly with the beans and other ingredients in the salad. You don’t want any one flavor or texture to overpower the others.

Finally, if you’re preparing the salad ahead of time for a party or potluck, be sure to give it a good stir before serving. Ingredients can settle and separate over time, so mixing everything together again right before serving ensures that every bite is perfectly balanced with all the flavors.

Hopefully these tips will help you create a delicious and satisfying Middle Eastern Bean Salad with Parsley and Lemon that will be a hit at your next gathering!


Now that we have covered all the aspects of this Middle Eastern Bean Salad With Parsley and Lemon (Balela) Recipe, it’s time to answer any lingering questions you might have. Here in this FAQ section, I will try to address some common concerns and queries about the recipe. So, without further ado, let’s dive in and remove any doubts that might be preventing you from trying this delicious salad.

What is in Trader Joe’s Balela?

Looking for a quick and delicious salad that is perfect for lunch or as a side dish to your dinner? Look no further than Balela Salad, a dish which showcases the delightful flavors of chickpeas, black beans, and a mouth-watering lemony dressing. Inspired by the popular Trader Joe’s version, this salad is incredibly easy to make and will be ready in just 15 minutes. As a fan of Middle Eastern cuisine, I quickly became enamored with this hearty and flavorful salad.

What is balela salad Wikipedia?

In Middle Eastern cuisine, a popular salad called Balela is prepared by combining chickpeas and black beans with tomatoes, parsley, herbs, and tart lemon juice. Another variation of bean salad commonly called the South American bean salad, utilizes poroto beans combined with tomatoes, parsley, and dressed with oil and vinegar. A staple dish in the United States, this traditional creation of mixed beans is recognized as the “three-bean salad”.

What is mixed bean salad made of?

When it comes to making a delicious three bean salad, the go-to beans are usually garbanzo beans, red kidney beans and green beans. Black beans could also be added in as an alternative. For the perfect blend of flavors, you’ll want to include some red onions, shallots or white onions, as well as some green onions or chives. I personally used red onions in this recipe, but don’t be afraid to mix it up and use whatever you have on hand or what suits your taste buds.

What do you serve with bean salad?

Looking for a light and refreshing salad to complement your meal or to serve as a standalone lunch? Look no further than the Mediterranean Bean Salad! Packed with fresh produce, simple ingredients, and vibrant flavors, this salad is perfect for those warmer days spent enjoying backyard bbqs and picnics. Serve it alongside grilled chicken, fish, or shrimp, or savor it on its own as a quick and easy lunch option.

Bottom Line

So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to experience the taste of the Middle East with this flavorful and healthy Middle Eastern Bean Salad with Parsley and Lemon (Balela). With its chickpeas, black beans, fresh herbs, and lemony dressing, this salad is sure to impress even the most discerning foodies out there.

Not only is this balela easy to make, but it also requires only simple ingredients that can be found in any grocery store. You can enjoy it as a quick and healthy lunch or as a delicious side dish. It is perfect for parties, potlucks, barbecues or simply when you want to indulge in some Middle Eastern cuisine.

So why not try it today? Trust me; it’s worth it! Enjoy the rich flavors of this middle eastern style salad and impress your guests with this balela middle eastern salad recipe. Add it to your salad repertoire today and enjoy a flavor-packed meal in no time!

Middle Eastern Bean Salad With Parsley and Lemon (Balela)

Middle Eastern Bean Salad With Parsley and Lemon (Balela) Recipe

I got this recipe from kalynskitchenblogspot.com A simple bean dish that is great to make ahead. The star of the recipe is chopped fresh parsly.
No ratings yet
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Calories 375.6 kcal


Salad Ingredients

  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed well and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed well and drained
  • 1 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Dressing Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic puree or 1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground black pepper


  • Pour chick peas and black beans one at a time into colander placed in sink, rinse well until no more foam appears and let drain.Blot dry if they seem too wet.
  • While beans are draining, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and let the flavors blend.
  • Mix the salad ingredients together and let it marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  • Chop green onions, tomatoes and parsly and add to bowl. Combine this with the beans.
  • Whisk dressing ingredients and gently add dressing to bean mixture.
  • Add salt and pepper.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 316gCalories: 375.6kcalCarbohydrates: 48.7gProtein: 13.6gFat: 15.4gSaturated Fat: 2.2gSodium: 625.5mgFiber: 13.4gSugar: 2.8g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Beans, Inexpensive
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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