A gorgeous from-the-pantry Mediterranean artichoke salad sits right in that sweet spot where healthy meets delicious!
We adore gutsy pantry friendly Mediterranean salads like this for quick lunches and side dishes that seem to go with everything from sandwiches and burgers on the grill to baked salmon and roasted chicken. This chunky antipasto style artichoke salad is packed with the sunny flavors of Italy ~ but most of the ingredients come out of a can or a jar!
Mediterranean artichoke salad ingredients
Hint: So many of these ingredients can be grabbed from a good supermarket olive bar. That way you can take only what you need.
- marinated artichoke hearts
- if you don’t find them in an olive bar, they also come in jars. Artichokes are naturally bland, so buying them already marinated is a smart move.
- canned are fine for salads, just be sure to rinse them well to remove any canned flavor, and drain well so you don’t add water to your salad.
- I like to use at least 2 varieties, and make sure they’re pitted! I slice them unless they’re very small.
- marinated peppers
- silky marinated peppers come in lots of varieties, I used Biquinho Peppers, aka “Little Beak” which are sweet Brazilian peppers I find in my supermarket olive bar.
- bell peppers
- raw bell peppers add color and crunch.
- small cherry tomatoes
- always slice cherry tomatoes in half for better eating experience. Since tomatoes get mushy when refrigerated I always try to add them just before serving.
- marinated sun dried tomatoes
- I use these in the artichoke salad and in the dressing ~ they’re flavor bombs!
- red onion
- I’ve never met a salad that didn’t need a little red onion 🙂
- feta cheese
- I find that a little cheese can make even the healthiest salad feel just a little bit indulgent. Use whatever variety you love.
Sun-dried tomato and basil dressing
The dressing is chunky and gutsy, just like the salad.
- olive oil
- marinated sun dried tomatoes
- lemon juice
The dressing/marinade can be as simple as a plain olive oil vinaigrette, but I decided to pack in more flavor with sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil. To do this you’ll need a small food processor, which comes in so handy for this kind of thing.
Artichoke salad is part bean salad, party marinated vegetable salad; both staples of the healthy Mediterranean cuisine. There’s so much interest, so much going on with this salad that your main course can be super basic and your meal will still have plenty of pizzaz. It works with burgers and sandwiches, broiled chicken, salmon, steak…and any leftovers double as lunch the next day.
the health benefits of eating Mediterranean style
My artichoke salad is just one example of the many Mediterranean recipes I share here, mostly because I think they’re delicious, but also because I can feel good about eating them. The American Heart Association (among many others) recommends the Mediterranean diet as a sustainable way of eating for a long and healthy life:
- focus primarily on plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.
- use healthy fats such as olive oil instead of saturated or trans fats.
- limit red meat and other sources of saturated fat.
- choose fish or poultry as a protein source.
- enjoy moderate amounts of red wine (if you choose to drink at all).
Artichokes are native to the Mediterranean ~ they’re a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and are also low in calories. They’re particularly high in antioxidants, which may help protect against heart disease and cancer.
variations on artichoke salad
- Any canned bean can be used in this artichoke salad. Cannellini or small white beans would be especially appropriate for the Italian theme.
- If you need to use canned artichokes ~ drain them well and toss them with some of the dressing first, they’ll need an extra dose of flavor.
- Cucumber, fennel, or celery can replace bell peppers for that fresh crunch.
- Thick shavings of Asiago or Parm can stand in for the feta cheese. You might also use small mozzarella pearls.
- Turn your artichoke salad into a meal by adding grilled shrimp, tuna, shredded chicken, or thin ribbons of salami or prosciutto.
- Serve the salad on a bed of greens such as baby arugula, kale, or spinach.
- Toss with shaped pasta for a pasta salad or a hot pasta dish.
more Mediterranean salads to try
Mediterranean Artichoke Salad
- 15 ounce canned chickpeas, well drained and rinsed*
- 1 cup (heaped) marinated artichoke hearts
- 1/4 small red onion, slivered
- 1 cup assorted olives, sliced or halved
- 1/2 cup bell pepper, julienned
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup diced feta cheese
- 1/4 cup marinated sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup marinated peppers
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
- fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- Put the dressing ingredients in a small food processor and process until combined but still a little bit chunky. Taste to adjust any of the flavors and set aside.
- Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with enough of the dressing to moisten but not drown the salad.
- Chill the salad until ready to serve. Can be made up to several hours ahead.