Yam, Zucchini, and Chickpea Salad

September 30, 2010

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: After reading a great post by Heidi at 101cookbooks about a lemony chickpea-zucchini salad, early last year, I set to work to make something similar. Armed with yams, zucchini, chickpeas, and tahini, I cobbled together a salad that was so, so much more than the sum of it parts, it practically shocked me. No sooner had I made the salad and begun to post about it, something weird happened: I started seeing similar combinations popping up all over the place. This is a salad that needs to be known, needs to be made, needs to be eaten. - RivkaRivka

Food52 Review: This is a dish that could easily be weighed down with starch, but Rivka keeps it fleet of foot by dropping zucchini into the mix of yam and chickpeas and by dressing it all with a zippy lemon and tahini vinaigrette. You can eat it warm or cold, in your packed lunch or as a side dish for roasted chicken. We'd be happy with all of the above. - A&MThe Editors

Makes: lunch for a few days


For the salad

  • 2 yams or sweet potatoes, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 zucchini, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 sprigs parsley, leaves finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced on bias
  • olive oil

For the dressing

  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
In This Recipe


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment or silicone.
  2. Spread diced sweet potatoes in a single layer on prepared baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Roast 35-40 minutes, then add zucchini and roast an additional 10-15 minutes, until both vegetables are softened inside and caramelized in spots. If vegetables haven't caramelized at that point, pop them under the broiler for 3 minutes, and they'll brown plenty.
  3. In a small frying pan over medium heat, saute chickpeas and whole garlic cloves in 1 tablespoon of olive oil (just enough to moisten) for about 3 minutes, until the chickpeas dry out a bit and are warmed through. Remove garlic cloves, chop finely, and reserve for dressing.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix chickpeas with yams and zucchini. Add parsley and scallions, and toss to combine.
  5. In a small bowl, combine tahini, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, and half of chopped garlic. Add water by the teaspoon until the dressing is smooth and runny. Taste, and add additional chopped garlic if necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over vegetables, toss to coat, and serve warm or room temperature.

More Great Recipes:
Salad|Bean|Chickpea|Clove|Green Onion/Scallion|Parsley|Potato|Sweet Potato/Yam|Zucchini|Vegetable|Make Ahead|Serves a Crowd

Reviews (72) Questions (1)

72 Reviews

b P. June 6, 2017
Added a little bit of leftover grilled chicken for the meatatarians here. And added a squirt of Sriracha to mine, I will make this again and again and again!
kdanyko September 20, 2015
This is fantastic!
Peony May 24, 2015
Replaced the zucchini with an avocado and added some fresh dill, very good!
K N. September 10, 2014
What a tasty and filling lunch! I made this with a combination of zucchini and yellow squash I had on hand. I didn't realize I was out of parsley and it was good with just the green onion. The next day I realized I had fresh mint and it turned out to be a lovely addition. I think this is a keeper!
ChefJune May 11, 2014
made this again today. Now I have lunch for the week, and what fantastic lunches they will be. This is one of my favorite things ever to come off this site. A true gem. Many thanks, Rivka!
Author Comment
Rivka May 12, 2014
So glad you enjoyed, ChefJune! Serves as a good reminder that the zucs will be coming back into season here and I should get on making this again.
madleine January 3, 2014
I didn't have tahini but LOVED this anyway! Really great, thank you!!
EmFraiche September 24, 2013
We replaced the sweet potatoes with beets and it turned out great! Thanks for the recipe.
MrsK July 29, 2013
This is a very simple dish, but the flavors just make it an amazing experience. I don’t have words enough to describe it—especially since English is not my mother tongue! The sweet potatoes melted in my mouth, the zucchini was crispy, sweet and I never knew a can of garbanzo could taste THAT good when everything was put together. Even my husband, who’s really a meat-and-potato guy (but who also LOVES Indian cuisine) was amazed. Thank you so much for making our tête-a-tête dinner last night absolutely perfect! (I might have cut the potatoes too small, so when it was time to add the zucchini, they were already done—which was not really a big deal.)
Loredona July 24, 2013
We ate this for dinner last evening after letting it sit overnight. The flavors are certainly there but again, the next time I prepare it I will certainly lessen the cooking time for the yams!
Loredona July 23, 2013
It has good flavor but something is lacking. We are having it for dinner this evening so will comment more later on.
Loredona July 23, 2013
I made this yesterday and my comment would be that the timing on the yams is way too long. They became a bit mushy. Next time I would add the zucchini to the yams after about 20 minutes of cooking. I think adding them after 30 minutes and than cooking another 10-15 minutes is too long.
MrsK July 23, 2013
What about the taste?
MrsK May 22, 2013
Oh, jeez, this looks so good! I love American sweet potatoes--in Brazil they are SO different. Beautiful pictures and, boy, what a lovely kitchen!
sashimi January 21, 2013
Such an excellent recipe! A very refreshing take on a salad. I particularly love the dressing. Can't wait to try it on other dishes! Only thing is that it wasn't quite as good the second day as it was when it was fresh.
hakim54 October 29, 2012
Love this recipe..
thomasc October 23, 2012
delish - had this tonight, really enjoyed the texture of the yams. This will be lunch tomorrow.
Author Comment
Rivka October 24, 2012
So glad you liked it!
Jeeves06 September 4, 2012
Delicious (and nutritious!!)
Jeeves06 September 4, 2012
Delicious (and nutritious!!)
Erin B. June 29, 2012
This was so delicious and healthy. I made it for my Mom and we loved every bite. <br />Nice work.
Purple K. May 24, 2012
Looks fantastic! I must try this:)
BoulderGalinTokyo March 29, 2012
This dish was delicious and very filling--I could see becoming vegetarian just to eat more wonderful combinations of flavors. Thanks Rivka!
erinrae December 20, 2011
I just made this and had to stop myself from eating it all at once. Seriously, double this! Also, I would cut the vegetables into smaller pieces, maybe 1/2-3/4 inch. I recommend letting the dish sit for a bit, as the warm vegetables take a minute or two to soak up the dressing.
Karlyn December 27, 2017
I just made this for the first time tonight and agree with your suggestions!
foodieinthemaking May 16, 2011
Yummy!! Love this warm salad. Now that I've tasted the flavors, I can easily see subbing out these veggies for a number of others. I think any root veggies would work great. Thanks for this one.
allinonepot April 16, 2011
so delicious! I also added some roasted acorn squash. Yum!
Skinnyfatkid March 7, 2011
Skinny Fat Kid loves sweet potatoes. This looks perfect as a side dish for the first grilling nights!
nicci February 28, 2011
I made this yesterday with some locally grown sweet potatoes. It turned out delicious (though I forgot to line the baking pan w/ parchment) and is even better today. I try to cook mostly vegan/vegetarian, so this was a perfect recipe to try. My boyfriend loved it too. Thank you for sharing!
ChefJune January 29, 2011
Made this recently and we had trouble not eating it all at once! The mouthfeel of the roasted sweet potato chunks was so seductive. Since we don't care for tahini, I subbed Dijon mustard in the vinaigrette. It will be a staple at Chez Julia. Milles mercis!
Author Comment
Rivka January 30, 2011
Thanks, ChefJune! Glad you enjoyed it,
amandam1 April 5, 2011
I did that as well. SO GOOD!!! And I just had the leftovers for lunch, I swear it got better. A great new Meatless Monday recipe in my file. Thanks Rivka!
james_edward_cole January 28, 2011
This was sooo delicious, and relatively filling! I Am out in the middle of nowhere for school and couldn't get my hands on Tahini, so instead I used the pasty part of some coconut milk. Worked out great and made the dressing extra rich!
Author Comment
Rivka January 30, 2011
ooh, interesting substitution -- I like that idea. Bet you could add some red chili and give the dish Thai-inspired flavor.
thallium520 January 5, 2011
OMG! I made this last night and it was amazing! I substituted cilantro for the parsley and it was delicious!
GSmodden December 11, 2010
I just made this. It's absolutely delicious. I went with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, b/c I started off with one, but chickpeas seemed to soak that up pretty fast and I wanted it to be creamy for my leftover bag lunch. Thanks for this recipe. I enjoyed it very much.
LiveToEat1960 October 29, 2010
The combination of flavors in the recipe is wonderful! Thanks so much for posting it.
likestocooklovestoeat October 27, 2010
We made this the other evening as a side dish for chicken, and I took some for lunch the next day; I can't recommend it highly enough. Full of flavor, nicely balanced and completely delicious - it instantly won the "Best Side Dish of 2010" in our house. Thank you!
Author Comment
Rivka October 27, 2010
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I also made a big batch for lunches this week -- easy as pie.
SuzChef October 14, 2010
O.M.G.!! This is probably the best thing I ever ate!
Author Comment
Rivka October 15, 2010
I am so glad you liked it!
LeslieAnn October 14, 2010
I made this last night and it was amazing. I don't like scallions and I love cilantro, so I eliminated the scallions and parsley and generously included cilantro. I made a couple of other subtle changes too. I roasted the garlic with the sweet potatoes after I sauteed them with the chickpeas. I then just mashed them into the dressing rather than having to mince them. I also like to mix my veggies with the olive oil in a bowl before I roast them because I find they roast more evenly that way in my oven. Rivka's recipe was so satisfying and filling that I didn't have dessert last night. These bean dishes may be a real help in eliminating evening snacking. Fantastic recipe Rivka!
Author Comment
Rivka October 15, 2010
Thanks LeslieAnn! I bet the cilantro was a great addition. Maybe next time I'll try roasting the garlic -- I bet it gives the dressing a more mellow, nutty flavor.
lastnightsdinner October 12, 2010
Oh, Rivka, I am just not a fan of yams, but you have made them sound so good here, combining them with a bunch of my other favorite flavors, I'm just going to have to give this a try. :)
Author Comment
Rivka October 12, 2010
I've converted many a yam hater. Here's hoping!
Foodelf October 12, 2010
Could you confirm the amount of olive oil, please - 1 tbsp or 6 tbsps?<br /><br />Thanks - this looks like a delicious lunch.
Author Comment
Rivka October 12, 2010
I used 1 but A&M use 6 -- I tend to like my dressings uber tangy, but 6 would make for a more traditionally proportioned vinaigrette. Hope you enjoy!
gaelc October 11, 2010
A and M...I just made this salad! OMG, it's wonderful...thanks Rivka! I love the interplay of all the flavors...just the right balance. BUT...in the video you say to add 6 TBS of oil to the dressing and in the recipe, its calls for 1 TBS. I used 6, but I had to watch the video again to be sure. Well done!
coastal C. October 11, 2010
This sounds delicious and I'm looking forward to trying it tonight. What do you suggest I pair it with for dinner? As a vegetarian I'm always looking for good & healthy combinations. Thanks!
Author Comment
Rivka October 11, 2010
If you still have tomatoes in your area, I'd go for something tomatoy -- perhaps a simple bowl of soup. You could always marinate and bake off some tofu as well. Last idea, while I'm rambling: a breakfast-for-dinner omelet with cheese and mushrooms or tomatoes. Yum!
coastal C. October 12, 2010
Thanks so much for your suggestions. I had it tonight (with homemade veggie burgers) and it was great! One suggestion of mine is to let the veggies cool a bit before mixing it all together. One question though, how do you get non-mushy zucchini and/or yams? Thanks again!
Author Comment
Rivka October 13, 2010
I'm glad you liked it! This is where the size of the chunks is important. If you cut the zucchini and yams large enough (I recommend 1-inch pieces), the cooking time should be about right to yield tender, but not mushy, vegetables. If you found your vegetables were softer than desired, you might consider shortening the cooking time on either or both the yams and zucchini. Hope this works!
susita October 11, 2010
delicious and nutritious and easy and pretty and keeps well for lunch the next day. can that combination be topped for a worknight meal?
CamsKitchen October 10, 2010
Wow that is delicious! I too ended up using only half the dressing, which is great, because it'll be that much faster to make it again in a few days!
Kitchen B. October 9, 2010
Yay Rivka........I am GLAD to see your recipes featured. I loved your Fattoush and this sounds right up my street, loving yams as I do. Congratulations
Author Comment
Rivka October 11, 2010
Thanks, kitchen butterfly! I also love the fatuous (and, coincidentally enough, bring it as a bag lunch all the time.)
Author Comment
Rivka October 11, 2010
Err, fattoush. :)
bistro_gal October 9, 2010
I just made this today for lunch and everybody, including my super picky 6 year old, loved it! The only change is that I increased the heat to 425 and made sure I kept the potatoes in until they were no longer soft, but rather caramelized to the point where they hardened a bit. I did not want them to get mushy once I tossed them with the dressing. It was just so, so good and also so healthy, I felt I had a glowing ring around my head for feeding this to my family :-) Thank you for posting it!
Waverly October 11, 2010
This salad sounds wonderful. If your "super picky" child enjoyed it, perhaps mine will as well. I know I will. Nice recipe, Rivka!
Author Comment
Rivka October 11, 2010
I bet the sweet potatoes were great caramelized -- glad you liked the salad!
Author Comment
Rivka October 11, 2010
Err, fattoush. :)
drbabs October 7, 2010
This looks like the most delicious salad, and so easy. Congratulations on being a finalist!
Author Comment
Rivka October 11, 2010
Thanks drbabs!
ChefJune October 7, 2010
Ohboy! This is right up my alley. I love making salads like this for dinner, and then taking the leftovers for lunch the next day. Can't wait to try this.
Author Comment
Rivka October 7, 2010
Thanks everyone! So glad you all like this salad.
TiggyBee October 7, 2010
Congrats on your lovely salad being a finalist!!
MrsWheelbarrow October 7, 2010
Yummy! I've got all the ingredients here. And it's lunchtime. Am I lucky, or what? Thanks, Rivka!
Author Comment
Rivka October 7, 2010
hooray --- hope you like it!
lacerise October 7, 2010
can't wait to try this one!
gingerroot October 7, 2010
What a delicious mix of flavors and textures. Can't wait to try it.
gingerroot October 13, 2010
I made this last night with purple sweet potatoes (what I had on hand) and it was so so good. The contrast of the sweet roasted zucchini and caramelized sweet potato with the nutty chickpeas and garlicky tahini dressing - what a fantastic combination!
mrslarkin October 7, 2010
Sounds very tasty! I love these autumnal colors.