A salad made with cherry tomatoes, diced cucumbers and chickpeas.
A salad made with cherry tomatoes, diced cucumbers and chickpeas.

Recipe: Welcome Summer With This Tomato Cucumber Salad

Bring Healthy and Refreshing to Your Plate With This Simple Salad

This tomato, cucumber and chickpea salad is perfect for summer. It’s simple and versatile, and takes just seven minutes to make. It can be packed for lunch or served as a refreshing side dish at a picnic. “The ingredients pack a powerful nutritional punch,” says recipe creator Rachel Koroscik, a community education specialist at Northwestern Medicine Leishman Center for Culinary Health.

Prep Time: 7 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 1 (15-ounce) can of low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1.  Combine chickpeas, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers in a large salad bowl.

2.  Add olive oil and red wine vinegar, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. Stir gently, making sure all ingredients are mixed well.

Serve as a side dish or to accompany your favorite lean protein like chicken or fish.

Technique tip: A great knife choice when cutting tomatoes is a small, serrated paring knife. This type of knife helps cut the delicate, juicy fruit without smashing them.

Swap ideas: Instead of cherry tomatoes in this salad, use colorful chopped bell peppers or a finely cut carrot. You can also replace chickpeas with great northern beans (also called white kidney beans or cannellini beans) for a slightly different taste and texture.

Optional add-ins: For an even more flavorful salad, add fresh herbs, chopped Kalamata olives or feta cheese crumbles.

Ingredients That Make a Difference

Chickpeas: Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are a type of legume and are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Chickpeas are also gluten-free, which is beneficial for people with celiac disease. They have a low glycemic index (GI) as well, which is a measure of how quickly your blood sugar rises after eating food. This makes chickpeas a good choice for people with diabetes or prediabetes. The protein and fiber in chickpeas may help keep your appetite under control as they work together to slow digestion, leaving you feeling fuller longer.

Cherry tomatoes: The minis of the tomato pack, cherry tomatoes are rich in vitamin A (important for your vision and immune system) and vitamin C (an antioxidant that promotes healing and helps your body absorb iron). When the skin is left on, cherry tomatoes are also a good source of fiber. These little gems get their color from lycopene, which is an antioxidant that can help fight free radicals that damage cells and cause disease. Lycopene can also help protect your skin against ultraviolet (UV) damage from sun exposure.

Cucumbers: These green goddesses in the garden are made of about 95% water, helping you stay hydrated. Staying hydrated can improve your stool consistency, prevent constipation and help maintain regularity. Cucumbers are also a good source of vitamin K, which is important for bone health and helps your blood clot. Like chickpeas, cucumbers have a low GI, which can help keep your blood sugar level in check.

Olive oil: High in healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, olive oil also has anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is linked to many chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Olive oil is available in three grades: refined, virgin and extra virgin. Extra virgin olive oil, often referred to as EVOO, is the least processed, making it the healthiest choice.