This salad is bursting with summer flavors! Roasted sweet peppers are an easy and delicious way to make this salad soar, paired with creamy mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and tangy feta. Crunchy chickpeas add protein to round it up to a full meal. You can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes!
A salad that can legitimately be your full dinner is one of life’s great gifts. Easy, one bowl, but with lots of variety. I try to strike the balance between salads being achievable at home, and being interesting and varied, so while I won’t have a zillion different things going on like you might expect from a restaurant salad, I try to make sure we tick as many boxes as we can without the overwhelm in the kitchen.
The star ingredient here is sweet mini peppers. I’ve always found sweet peppers easy to overlook during peak tomato season when I am in constant pursuit of heirloom tomatoes, but this year they are really turning my head. They’re tasty raw or roasted, they’re easy to prep, they’re quick to cook, they’re versatile and they deserve to star in a recipe here or there.
So without further ado, let’s talk about this salad and walk through your shopping notes:
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
- Sweet Mini Peppers are what we’re after. They may just be called “mini peppers”. If you want to use full sized sweet peppers, cut down into strips, that will work too!
- Italian dressing: I’ve not included the dressing recipe here, but I can point you in the right direction. I’m using a bottle of Newman’s Own, but I love this recipe from Love and Lemons, which is really simple to mix together from scratch. You could also swap in a honey mustard dressing here if you wish.
- You want the kind of fresh mozzarella that is stored in water. For ease, you could buy bocconcini balls, but I’m happy enough to chop it up. While mozzarella is a headline ingredient, you could definitely swap it for avocado if you wish.
- Crumbled feta adds a lot of tastiness to each bite, so I highly recommend using it, but some grated parmesan style cheese, or even shaved manchego, could work nicely too.
- Green olives are what I used but kalamata olives would be a great swap.
- I love a handful of chopped chives in my salads, rather than onion. But if you wanted to use diced red onion or sliced green / spring onion, go right ahead!
How to make it in 30 minutes
This can be on the table in 30 minutes, but it’s tight. You’ll need to ignore absolutely everything else until the peppers and chickpeas are roasting. So first you’d start the oven preheating, then you’d prep the chickpeas and peppers and get them cooking, and only then do you start gathering and prepping your other ingredients. You’ll have 20 minutes to get all the cold ingredients in the bowl before the hot ones come out and get thrown in. Make sense?
Serving Suggestions & Variations
Half of this recipe would be a large, piled-high kinda bowl of salad. With somewhere in the region of 650 calories for half of the recipe, it’s a reasonable dinner for two. If you’re looking for a lighter meal than this, you could even set aside a lunch portion for tomorrow.
But if you have more people to feed, or want to stretch the salad a little further, here are some thoughts:
- For some additional carbs, pick up some nice bread to have on the side.
- For a protein boost, add some boiled eggs or a spoonful of hummus.
- If you just want all the veggies in the world, add some baked sweet potato to your plate, roast some portobello mushrooms alongside the peppers and chickpeas, or serve alongside soup.
More Summer Salad Ideas
If fresh meal-worthy salads are on your wishlist, I do have a few more ideas for you:
Sweet Pepper & Mozzarella Salad
- 300 g (10 oz) mini sweet peppers, sliced in half and deseeded
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 4 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 100 g (3.5 oz) lettuce or mixed salad leaves, chopped or torn
- 250 g (9 oz) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 50 g (⅓ cup) feta cheese, crumbled
- 125 g (4.5 oz) fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 10 green olives, sliced
- 4 Tbsp Italian dressing
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 360F.
- Prepare the peppers. Slice them in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place in a bowl and drizzle with two teaspoons of the olive oil (saving the other two for the chickpeas), balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.300 g mini sweet peppers, 4 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Prepare the chickpeas. Drain, rinse, and add to a bowl with two teaspoons of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.4 tsp olive oil, 1 can chickpeas
- Lay the prepared peppers and chickpeas on a baking tray (they can share a large baking tray, with one ingedient on each side) and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Grab a salad bowl and add in all your cold ingredients: the lettuce, tomatoes, feta, olives and herbs. (You can add the mozzarella now but I like to save it to add on top, at the very end)100 g lettuce or mixed salad leaves, 250 g cherry tomatoes, 50 g feta cheese, 10 green olives
- Once the peppers and chickpeas are done, remove from the oven.
- Add the peppers and chickpeas to the cold salad. Add the mozzarella on top.125 g fresh mozzarella
- Add dressing to taste and serve.4 Tbsp Italian dressing