This Middle Eastern salad recipe with homemade tahini sauce is the perfect fresh dinner for spring or summer. Also a great meal prep lunch!
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Are you a “salad for dinner” kind of a person?
For me it depends on the season…and of course, on the salad! In spring or summer (or let's face it, fall here in Texas…) when the weather is warm, sometimes a salad just hits the spot.
This particular salad features simple ingredients like romaine, tomatoes and chickpeas. Fresh parsley and a completely delicious homemade tahini sauce elevate it to an entree-level salad though.
It's vegetarian as written but if that's not your thing, you could easily add some chicken or even lamb. Make sure to check out my suggestions for variations below the recipe!
Middle Eastern Salad Recipe with Homemade Tahini Sauce
For the Homemade Tahini Sauce*
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
For the Middle Eastern Salad
- 5 oz chopped romaine
- 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- 1 cup chopped cucumber
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
For the Homemade Tahini Sauce:
- Blend all tahini sauce ingredients on high until smooth.
For the Middle Eastern Salad:
- Toss together romaine, chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes and fresh parsley. Drizzle about half of the tahini sauce over salad, or to taste.
What is the nutrition like in this Middle Eastern salad recipe?
You can probably tell just from glancing at the recipe that this makes for a nutrient dense meal. Personally though, I find it fun to know exactly what nutrients the food I'm eating provides. If you're like me that way, here's a run down of what the main ingredients from this middle eastern salad recipe offer, nutritionally speaking.
Tahini (Thiamine, Vitamin B6, Phosphorus, Manganese)
Tahini is made from sesame seeds, ground into a paste. Sesame seeds provide lots of healthy fats, which help make this salad filling enough to serve as an entree. An anti-inflammatory food, sesame seeds are particularly good for your bones as well as your brain.
Lemons (Vitamin C)
Just one lemon provides 51% of the daily recommended vitamin C. This is important not only to fight colds, but for long term health as studies show consuming produce with vitamin C helps prevent heart disease and stroke. Consuming lemons can also help protect against anemia and kidney stones.
Garlic (Beneficial Sulfur Compounds, Manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Selenium)
Garlic has been used in homeopathic remedies for thousands of years and is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol and some types of cancer. Eating garlic may also help prevent colds and other minor illnesses.
Scientists believe these substantial health benefits may stem primarily from garlic's sulfur compounds such as allicin, diallyl disulfide and sallyl cysteine.
Olive Oil (Monounsaturated Fats, Antioxidants)
Due to the type of fat it contains, olive oil may reduce inflammation. It also reduces the risk of Alzheimer's, stroke and heart disease. Make sure to get high quality extra virgin olive oil, as it retains more antioxidants and nutrients.
Romaine Lettuce (Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Calcium, Potassium)
Romaine lettuce is good for your bones, your immune system and your eye health.
Chickpeas (Calcium, Fiber, Iron, Folate, Phosphorus)
Cucumbers (Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Potassium, Manganese, Magnesium)
As with many fruits and vegetables, eating the peel is essential to get the most nutrition from cucumbers. Studies show that cucumbers may help with blood sugar control. Cucumbers also have a super high water content and can help you stay hydrated.
Tomatoes (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Potassium, Antioxidants)
Packed with antioxidants, tomatoes may help reduce the risk of several kinds of cancer. Combining tomatoes with healthy fats, like those in tahini, boosts absorption of tomatoes' phytochemicals!
Parsley (Calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K)
Parsley is great for your immune system, eye health, bone health, heart health and blood sugar levels – pretty much everything!
Can I meal prep this entree salad?
Yes! This entree salad came straight from our meal prep meal plans, specifically from our Super Fast menu. This means the meal prep will be minimal and quick!
To prep ahead, dice the cucumber and chop the parsley. Toss together the romaine, chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes and parsley and store in fridge.
Next, make the tahini sauce and store in the fridge.
When you're ready to eat, let the tahini sauce come to room temperature, drizzle it over the salad and enjoy!
Where can I get tahini?
Tahini is often found with the nut butters in the grocery store, though it may be on a Middle Eastern or international food aisle as well.
What else can I do with this homemade tahini sauce?
You will likely have leftover tahini sauce when you make this recipe. Personally, I'd always rather have a little extra than not enough!
You can use the sauce as an easy veggie dip, spread it on wraps or pita pockets, or use it as a salad dressing on salads throughout the week.
If you want another great recipe using tahini, try my quick and easy baba ganoush!
Variations – How can I vary this Middle Eastern salad?
This recipe provides a solid base that you can easily vary to make it your own. Here are a few suggestions:
- Add more herbs: Mint would be a delicious addition here, as would chives, fresh oregano or cilantro.
- Try it with nuts: Pistachios, walnuts and slivered almonds all work beautifully with this salad.
- Add kalamata olives for a briny twist.
- Pickled onions are super easy and make such a good salad topping.
- Add more protein: This salad is plenty satisfying as written, but if you want to add a protein punch, try it with grilled chicken or thinly sliced steak.
I want more vegetarian meal prep recipes!
I hear you! We get the request for more vegetarian meal prep recipes often. While we don't currently offer fully vegetarian meal plans, our super fast menu always includes one vegetarian dish and our gluten free menu often includes one as well.
In addition, we always include vegetarian substitution options in our weekly subscriber newsletters that go out to Prep Dish customers every Friday. Make sure to check out our free trial offer if you'd like to see if these meal plans work for you!
In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite vegetarian meal prep recipes to get you started:
Southwest Vegetarian Buddha Bowls: Similar to the Middle Eastern Salad recipe, the sauce makes this dish! These Southwest Vegetarian Buddha Bowls have an almond butter dipping sauce you'll want to put on everything.
Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese: This is the kind of dish that tastes at least as good, if not better, the next day. Perfect for meal prep! You'll find meal prep instructions below the recipe.
Vegetable Chowder w/ Almond Flour Biscuits: This dairy free chowder gets a decadent creaminess from cashew cream. I love to make a big pot of soup like this at the beginning of the week to enjoy all week long.
What are some more main dish salad recipes?
Shrimp Cobb Salad: With bacon, shrimp and hard boiled eggs, my shrimp cobb salad has tons of protein…and tons of flavor! Make it for dinner or use it for meal prep lunches throughout the week.
Super Food Salad with Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette: This is another hearty vegetarian main dish salad recipe for you. Blueberries add a sweet element that contrasts perfectly with the tangy lemon balsamic vinaigrette.
Greek Salad with Chicken: I can get into a rut with just using balsamic and olive oil for all of my salads. While that is a delicious combo, mixing it up with this simple Greek vinaigrette helps keep things interesting!