How To Make A Delicious, Vegetarian Potluck Salad in Five Minutes


Got home from work at 5:30 and the block party / potluck was called for 6:00. Two crazy kids meant I had about 5 minutes to put something together, but I wasn’t about to settle for bland. Last year I brought empanadas, so we have a reputation to uphold! Easy potluck recipes are a dime a dozen, but the challenge here was to deliver one with big flavors.

I raided the pantry and refrigerator and made this chickpea-based salad with a Mediterranean approach. I think it went over well, since it was all gone quickly. As you toss it, the crumbled feta dissolves a little bit and makes a creamy dressing.

This recipe really shows why it is such a good idea to keep your pantry stocked with things like cans of chickpeas, roasted peppers, and good olive oil. When you don’t have time to do much cooking, you can still get something great on the table. Or in this case, on the street.

You could easily add or substitute other herbs (tarragon or dill would be nice), olives, green beans, artichoke hearts, or just about any vegetable.

Chickpea Salad With Feta Cheese
Vegetarian and gluten-free; not vegan
Serves 12 as a side dish

  • 2 small (15 ounce) cans chickpeas
  • 1/2 red onion, fine dice
  • 1/2 english cucumber, fine dice
  • 1 jar roasted red or yellow peppers, roughly chopped
  • 8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed and minced
  • handful of fresh basil, torn
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • black pepper to taste
  • salt to taste
  1. Combine all of the ingredients except the salt, and toss well.
  2. Taste and add salt as needed. Depending on how salty your feta is, you might not need any.
  3. Serve right away, or it can be refrigerated for a few hours.
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Posted by Michael Natkin on Sunday, August 17th, 2008 in Recipes, Salads.

11 Responses to “How To Make A Delicious, Vegetarian Potluck Salad in Five Minutes”

  1. Reply
    August 17, 2008 at 12:38 pm #

    I make a very similar salad all the time – healthy & delicious! I should add feta more often, it makes it much more savoury 🙂

  2. Reply
    August 17, 2008 at 9:30 pm #

    Oh mannnnnnnnn… my last love before going to the vegan dark side was absolutely feta cheese… (though the ice creams posted previously could almost tempt me, I swear…). I may make a version of this though because it has all the flavours I love. I wonder about a wee bit of fresh oregano… just a speck.

  3. Reply
    August 18, 2008 at 12:49 am #

    This is such a pretty salad! And easy + flavorful always wins in my book 🙂


  4. Reply
    August 20, 2008 at 8:53 am #

    great inspiration for keeping a stocked pantry- I feel like mine is quite deficient

  5. Reply
    November 16, 2008 at 8:52 pm #

    hey man, i made this recipe for a potluck and it was great. Thanks for the idea!

  6. Reply
    March 17, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    That was tasty. Paired well with fresh green grapes and bar-b-qued chicken on an unseasonably warm spring day. Thanks!

  7. Reply
    Patrick B.
    June 15, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    My wife needed a last minute recipe for a potluck and this came together quickly and deliciously. Thanks! It was a big hit.

  8. Reply
    September 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    It’s been rather warm the past few days and there was no way I was going to heat up the house with more stove/oven heat, so finding this recipe was the perfect answer. I used french feta, which is creamier and dissolved into pure heaven. I topped with some fresh pea sprouts, and it was a perfect lunch on a hot day. Thanks!

    • Reply
      September 2, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

      Sounds like you’ve been cooking up a storm! I really appreciate you taking the time to come back and comment.

  9. Reply
    May 22, 2016 at 5:36 am #

    This was big hit at last night’s potluck. I added half a small jar of sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped up, and some fresh parsley, because I had it growing outside. At first I thought “hunh…not as tasty or well-blended as I expected.” Then my wife pointed out that I’d failed to add the feta. After that, it improved a lot. I might salt and drain the cukes for a little while if I made it again — after an hour’s sitting around, it was getting kind of soupy/watery at the bottom of the bowl. Of course, that’d kind of mess up the “5 minute salad” thing. Speaking of which, you obviously chop stuff a lot faster than I do — this took somewhat longer than 5 minutes for me to throw together. 🙂

    • Reply
      May 22, 2016 at 7:25 am #

      The sun-dried tomatoes sound like a tasty addition! Glad the feta got noticed :).

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