BBQ Watermelon Chickpea Feta Salad (Vegan Gluten-Free)

A fresh, vibrant and wholesome BBQ Watermelon Chickpea Feta Salad packed with good-for-you vegan and gluten-free ingredients and high in protein. This is great for meal prep and quick easy lunch and dinners.

Summer may be over, but if you can find some watermelon, this is the perfect salad to make to bring the sunshine to your plate. Don’t worry if you can’t find any watermelon, though, you can easily swap the fruit for another fruit. If you are still wary of fruit in savoury salads, this is your sign to try it and you won’t regret it.

BBQ Watermelon Chickpea Feta Salad with two forks in a bowl
BBQ Watermelon Chickpea Feta Salad

Why will I love this feta salad?

This watermelon chickpea salad is delicious for a few reasons, it’s:

  • Fresh, fruity and vibrant
  • Wholesome, filling, hearty yet light
  • Tossed with a delicious watermelon vinaigrette
  • Topped with crispy BBQ chickpeas
  • Nutritious and made with simple ingredients
  • Spiced and warming with a homemade BBQ seasoning
  • Easy and quick to prepare
  • Naturally vegan, gluten-free, nut-free and high in protein
  • Great for meal prep, quick and easy lunches and dinners

If you already love the sound of this fruity savoury nourish bowl, skip ahead to the recipe card. Or, let’s discuss the recipe in more detail.

What ingredients do I need?

This recipe is divided into a few components: the BBQ chickpeas; the watermelon vinaigrette and the main salad base.

For the BBQ chickpeas:

  • Chickpeas: the obvious ingredient for the crunchy chickpeas. I love these on top of salads and nourish bowls as they add protein, fibre and delicious crunch. You can swap these for lentils, cannellini or butterbeans, if you prefer.
  • Homemade BBQ seasoning: this is made of hot smoked paprika, chilli powder, garlic powder or granules, onion powder, salt and pepper.
  • Olive oil: for tossing into the chickpeas so they crisp up.
  • Maple syrup: this makes the chickpeas so deliciously crunchy and slightly sticky sweet too, just like the best BBQ flavour.

As for the watermelon vinaigrette:

  • Fresh watermelon: this adds so much juiciness and sweetness to the dressing. Blitz the fresh watermelon to a juice and then strain it before adding into the dressing. For tips on using another fruit, see below. Or you can use watermelon juice form a carton.
  • Lime: for tang and you can use lemon if you prefer.
  • Maple syrup: for sweetness and you can use other syrups like agave or vegan honey.
  • Apple cider vinegar: this is also for tang and I love using it as well as it’s good for gut health.
  • Olive oil: for richness and texture. Use an extra virgin olive oil, if you can as the flavour is richer.
  • Garlic: for flavour and a warming flavour.
  • Salt and pepper: for seasoning.
Two works tossing a BBQ Watermelon Chickpea Feta Salad
BBQ Watermelon Chickpea Feta Salad

As for the rest of the buddha bowl, we need:

  • Couscous or another grain: any wholegrain is great to use here like couscous (gluten-free, where needed), quinoa, buckwheat, bulgur wheat or rice.
  • Salad leaves: any salad is great like lettuce, spinach, watercress or rocket.
  • Cucumber: for crunch.
  • Watermelon: to keep the watermelon theme going and it works so well with the feta and the vinaigrette. See below for other fruit options.
  • Vegan feta cheese: this adds a savoury salty tang on top with contracts so well with the sweet watermelon and the crunchy chickpeas. I like the Violife one or KindaCo also do a vegan feta-style cheese, too.
  • Crunchy seeds and pulses: I used the BBQ Crunch snacks from Natures Heart for these bowls and they are a delicious blend of peas, beans and pulses roasted till super crunchy and flavoured with BBQ seasoning. You can use any other seeds on top, too.
  • Fresh herbs: like coriander or mint.
  • Lime wedges: to squeeze over just before serving.

How do I make this delicious meal?

This BBQ Watermelon Chickpea Feta Salad is easy to make in a few steps and can be made in advance:

  • Toss together the ingredients for the chickpeas: and bake or air fry till crispy.
  • Cut up the watermelon and blitz some to make the juice: strain this so it’s smoother.
  • Shake together all the vinaigrette ingredients: to mix it all up.
  • Cook the grains and chop up all the vegetables: for the salad.
  • Plate up with all the components: tossing with the watermelon vinaigrette.

How long will this last?

You can prepare the components in advance making this a great choice for meal prep. Toss it all together just before eating for the best textures and flavours or it will keep for 1-2 days once prepared. The chickpeas will keep for 2-3 days in a sealed container in the fridge, the vinaigrette will keep for 1 week in a sealed jar and you can also prepare all the other components 2-3 days before, keeping them fresh in the fridge. Save the salad leaves till just before serving so they don’t wilt.

I cannot find watermelon, what can I use instead?

Do not worry it watermelon is out of season:

  • Use orange juice instead of watermelon for the vinaigrette.
  • In the salad, opt for slices of orange, fig, grapes, apples or berries instead.

Is this gluten-free and nut-free?

Yes, this is fully gluten-free, as long as your grain is gluten-free (regular couscous for example does contain wheat) so choose quinoa, buckwheat, gluten-free couscous or rice, for example. This is free from nuts as the crunchy topping is made from seeds.

Close up of a BBQ Watermelon Chickpea Feta Salad
BBQ Watermelon Chickpea Feta Salad

I love this salad, what else can I make?

I hope you are going to love this fresh BBQ Watermelon Chickpea Feta Salad and for more ideas, how about my:

BBQ Watermelon Chickpea Feta Salad with two forks in a bowl

BBQ Watermelon Chickpea Feta Salad

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

A fresh, vibrant and wholesome BBQ Watermelon Chickpea Feta Salad packed with good-for-you vegan and gluten-free ingredients and high in protein. This is great for meal prep and quick easy lunch and dinners.


For the BBQ Chickpeas:

  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained (240g drained weight)
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • ¼ - ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

For the Watermelon Vinaigrette:

  • 150g fresh watermelon (about ¼ of a medium watermelon)
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Salt and pepper

For the Salad:

  • 70g couscous, or other grain
  • 2 handfuls salad leaves
  • 100g cucumber
  • 200g fresh watermelon
  • 40g vegan feta cheese
  • 1 pack (50g) BBQ Crunch flavoured seeds and pulses
  • Fresh coriander, or mint leaves
  • Lime wedges, optional


  1. For the BBQ Chickpeas: preheat the oven or air fryer to 180*C and line a tray with parchment paper. Pat the chickpeas dry and add to a bowl and toss with all the spices. Now add in the olive oil and maple syrup and toss to coat well. Tip into the tray and roast in the air fryer for 15 minutes or in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until really crispy.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the couscous or other grain and leave to one side.
  3. For the Watermelon Vinaigrette: chop the watermelon and blend until smooth. Strain the watermelon juice through a fine sieve and then measure out 60ml (4 tbsp) of the liquid (you can drink the rest!) and add to a jar along with all the other vinaigrette ingredients. Place a lid on the jar and shake to mix.
  4. For the Salad: chop the cucumber into small pieces, cube the watermelon and crumble the feta cheese.
  5. Assemble the salads: divide the salad leaves between two bowls and top with the couscous, cucumber, BBQ Chickpeas, watermelon, BBQ Crunch, crumbled feta, lime wedges and fresh coriander. Drizzle over the dressing and toss together.
  6. Enjoy straight away or keep in the fridge for 1-2 days in a sealed container. Best stored without the salad leaves and chickpeas and reserving the dressing until just before serving.

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I look forward to hearing what you think of this BBQ Watermelon Chickpea Feta Salad so please let me know in the comments below and please leave a star review above. If you do make this salad, I’d love to see so please tag me, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With BBQ watermelon feta love x

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