For a fuss-free, five-minute meal for one, try this no-cook Summer Strawberry Salad with chickpeas, mozzarella, and fresh basil tossed in a tangy balsamic dressing.
The best summer meals are simple, colorful, and don't require turning on the oven. Bonus points if lunch and dinner are ready in less than 15 minutes. (Nobody wants to spend all day in the kitchen when you could be out on the patio!)
This Summer Strawberry Salad checks off all of the above boxes for a convenient and crave-worthy seasonal meal.
The salad itself is a simple mixture of four satisfying ingredients: juicy strawberries, creamy mozzarella, protein-packed chickpeas, and fresh basil. It's tossed with a quick and pantry-friendly balsamic dressing (just olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and black pepper) that you could always prep in advance if you want to further uncomplicate things on the day of.
The recipe is short on ingredients but still packed full of flavor and nutrients. Make this Summer Strawberry Salad with balsamic dressing for a quick and easy solo meal, or split it up into a couple of portions for an easy, breezy side dish to serve with bean burgers or grilled tofu.
Looking for more plant-forward salad ideas? Download my PDF guide with tips and recipes for vegetarian salads that aren't boring here.
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make this strawberry salad at home.
- Canned chickpeas
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Maple syrup
- Fresh mozzarella balls
Time needed: 5 minutes.
How to Make a Summer Strawberry Salad with Chickpeas and Mozzarella
- Whisk the balsamic dressing.
Mix together the dressing ingredients.
- Combine the salad ingredients.
Mix the strawberries, chickpeas, mozzarella, and basil.
- Toss the salad with the dressing.
Pour the balsamic dressing over the salad and toss.
This strawberry salad starts with a homemade balsamic dressing. Don't feel intimidated if you're used to bottled dressings from the store. This balsamic vinaigrette is super simple to make and you probably already have all of the ingredients in your pantry.
To mix the dressing, add extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and a little black pepper to a bowl or jar. Whisk the ingredients with a fork or a whisk until they're evenly combined. If you're making this in a jar, you can also just screw on the lid and shake the jar to mix the ingredients.
The best thing about homemade salad dressings is that you can taste and adjust the ingredients until your tastebuds are satisfied. Feel free to add more vinegar if you want a little more zippiness, pour in another splash of maple syrup to make the dressing sweeter, or toss in some salt if you think it needs it. (Keep in mind that the strawberries naturally add some sweetness and the mozzarella provides some saltiness to the salad once it's all complete.)
Next, set aside the dressing and start combining the salad ingredients. Mix together the sliced strawberries, chickpeas, mozzarella, and basil.
Finally, drizzle the balsamic dressing over the salad and gently toss until the ingredients are evenly coated.
Meal Prep and Storage
To make this recipe ahead of time, prepare the salad as directed and transfer it to an airtight container. You can keep this Summer Strawberry Salad in the fridge for up to five days. It's great for an easy meal prep lunch during the week!
- This vegetarian salad is high in protein, with 19 grams per entree serving.
- Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and they also contain fiber.
- Chickpeas are a member of the pulse family, which is rich in fiber and plant-based protein.
Best Recipes to Serve With:
If you want to make this strawberry salad as a side dish, try it alongside one of these easy summer meals.
- Chimichurri Grilled Tofu Skewers
- Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Burgers
- Grilled Poblano Corn Mac and Cheese
- Tomato Mozzarella Sandwiches with Blueberry Balsamic Reduction
- Crispy Eggplant BLT with Harissa Mayo
Frequently Asked Questions for This Summer Strawberry Salad with Chickpeas and Mozzarella
This recipe is naturally gluten-free. As always, check all packaged ingredients to confirm they don't contain gluten if necessary.
This salad can be prepped up to five days in advance.
Try this salad with lemon tahini dressing or another vinaigrette if desired.
To make this recipe vegan, omit the mozzarella or substitute it with tofu or nut-based cheese instead.
Because this salad is made with filling ingredients like chickpeas and mozzarella, you can easily serve it on its own for lunch or dinner. Alternatively, you can also break it into two or more portions and serve it alongside grilled tofu or fish as a side dish.
Summer Strawberry Salad with Chickpeas and Mozzarella
- Mixing bowls
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- ½ cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 ounces fresh mozzarella balls, halved
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, torn if large
Prepare the dressing:
- Whisk extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and pepper. Set aside.
Prepare the salad:
- Mix strawberries, chickpeas, mozzarella, and basil.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and gently toss until the salad is evenly coated.