The ultimate Wedge Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing and Crispy Chickpeas. This wedge salad recipe is vegetarian, flavor-packed, and a hearty + healthy weekday lunch or dinner.
Why You'll Love this Wedge Salad with Ranch
This super-loaded salad epitomizes warmer weather cooking. It’s fresh, celebrates seasonal ingredients, and best of all, it requires very little ACTUAL cooking.
Avocado ranch dressing makes the salad feel luscious and creamy, tomatoes bring the brightness, and fresh herbs shower it with freshness. And in place of chicken or bacon, supremely-spiced chickpeas bring the meatiness and crunch. High in protein and fiber, chickpeas are an affordable, easy way to bump up the protein and fiber.
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions
- Iceberg Lettuce: The ONE application I always use iceberg for is a wedge salad. You just can't beat its crispiness and crunch when paired with a rich, creamy dressing.
- Chickpeas: Crunchy roasted chickpeas stand in for chicken or bacon in this wedge salad recipe. The key to achieving quintessential crunch is to roast the chickpeas at a high temperature (425ºF) for 20 to 30 minutes. After roasting, let them cool on the sheet pan for about 15 minutes to further crisp up.
- Tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes add juicy, fresh flavor to these salads. Plus, they're in season year-round, making this salad an evergreen option.
- Herbs: I love a mix of chives and fresh dill for this salad, which add onion-y, aromatic flavor. You can also use parsley, cilantro, or even tarragon instead.
- Avocado: You need one whole avocado, half of which goes into the dressing, and the other half for garnish. Just make sure your avocado is sufficiently ripe so that it blends into an ultra creamy consistency.
- Buttermilk: In honor of classic ranch dressings, buttermilk adds unrivaled creaminess and tang to the dressing. If making the dressing vegan/dairy free, you can use your favorite nondairy milk mixed with 1 extra Tbsp. of lemon juice.
- Spices: A mix of smoked paprika, garlic powder, and soy sauce (or tamari) elevate the chickpeas to make them extra savory.
Step 1: Roast the Chickpeas
Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Rinse and drain the chickpeas, and spread on a clean kitchen towel. Fold over the towel and gently rub the chickpeas to thoroughly dry them, and remove any loose skins. Discard skins, and transfer dried chickpeas to the prepared baking sheet.
- Combine olive oil, soy sauce or tamari, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl; whisk to combine. Pour mixture over chickpeas and toss to combine.
Roast the chickpeas for 20 to 30 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through, until golden brown and crisp. Let cool for 15 minutes while you prepare remainder of salad.
Step 2: Blend Avocado Ranch Dressing
To a blender, add half of avocado, buttermilk, lemon juice, garlic, onion powder, and salt. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a bowl and stir in black pepper and chives.
Step 3: Assemble Wedge Salad
Prepare the lettuce by removing the outer leaves, slicing the head of lettuce in half, and then in half again, making 4 wedges. Cut the tough end of the stem off each wedge.
Place one wedge of lettuce on each plate; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Next, spoon avocado ranch dressing overtop, sprinkle each wedge with crispy chickpeas, tomatoes, remainder of the sliced avocado, minced chives, and fresh chopped dill.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Why Won't My Chickpeas Get Crunchy?
The key to crunchy chickpeas is to make sure they are as dry as possible before roasting. After you rinse and drain the chickpeas, transfer them to a kitchen towel and to let them dry. I also like to wrap the towel around the chickpeas and gently massage them to remove excess moisture.
If some of the skins fall off, simply discard or compost them.
How Do You Cut Iceberg Lettuce for a Wedge Salad?
Start by removing the soft outer leaves of lettuce. Place the iceberg lettuce stem side-down on a cutting board. Use a large chef's knife to slice the wedge in half, starting at the top and working down to the stem. Then, slice each half in half again, creating 4 equal-sized wedges.
What to Serve with a Wedge Salad:
While this wedge salad with ranch is plenty satisfying on its own, it's also delicious with anything hot off the grill. For example, these Shrimp Skewers with Tahini Sauce or these Tofu and Peach Skewers.
Make-Ahead and Storage Tips:
- Make-Ahead: The avocado ranch dressing can be made up to 3 days ahead. Just stir it well before serving.
- Storage: This wedge salad with ranch is best enjoyed FRESH. However, if you have leftovers, just store the chickpeas separately so they retain some crunch. It's also a good idea to store the dressing separately so it doesn't make the iceberg lettuce soggy.
More Delicious Salad Recipes to Try:
If you give this wedge salad recipe a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.
Wedge Salad with Crispy Chickpeas and Avocado Ranch
- Large rimmed baking sheet
- Blender or food processor
- 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp. tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- ¾ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 1 medium head iceberg lettuce
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- Optional: crumbled feta cheese
Avocado Ranch Dressing
- 1 medium ripe avocado
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 3 tsp. minced chives, divided
- 3 tsp. finely chopped fresh dill, divided
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse and drain the chickpeas, and spread on a clean kitchen towel. Fold over the towel and gently rub the chickpeas to thoroughly dry them, and remove any loose skins. Discard skins, and transfer dried chickpeas to the prepared baking sheet.Combine 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil, tamari or soy sauce, smoked paprika, garlic powder, ¼ tsp. salt, and black pepper in a small bowl; whisk to combine. Pour mixture over chickpeas and toss to combine. Roast the chickpeas for 20 to 30 minutes, shaking the pan once halfway through, until golden brown and crisp. Let cool for 15 minutes while you prepare remainder of salad.
- Prepare Avocado Ranch Dressing: Slice the avocado in half, and discard pit. Place the smaller half in a blender (reserve remaining half for salad garnish), and add buttermilk, lemon juice, garlic, onion powder, and salt. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a bowl and stir in black pepper, 1 tsp. minced chives, and 1 tsp. chopped fresh dill.
- Assemble the salad: Remove the soft outer leaves of the lettuce, and place stem side-down on a cutting board. Use a large chef's knife to slice the lettuce in half, starting at the top and slicing down to the stem. Slice each half in half again, creating 4 equal-sized wedges. Cut the bottom of the stem off each wedge.Place wedges on a platter, and drizzle evenly with remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and lightly season with remaining ¼ tsp. salt. (Do NOT skip this step--it's important that the lettuce is seasoned before being dressed.) Spoon Avocado Ranch Dressing overtop, followed by crispy chickpeas, and tomatoes. Peel and slice remaining half of avocado, and top each wedge with avocado slices. Finish by sprinkling remaining 2 tsp. each of chives and fresh dill overtop. If desired, top with crumbled feta cheese.