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zesty lemony freekeh salad

A white bowl filled with lemon freekeh salad with herbs, chickpeas, celery, scallions, and cumin seeds.

Zesty lemony freekeh salad with cumin seeds and fresh herbs is a flavor vegan salad perfect for a quick meal that packs a punch of nutrition.


Units Scale
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1 cup freekeh
  • 1 1/2 cups of chickpeas, rinsed and drained (a 15-ounce/400-gram can)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1 cup celery
  • 5-6 scallions (green onions), green and white parts sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup mint
  • 1/3 cup of lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red chili flakes


  1. Heat a medium pot and then add the cumin seeds and toast them for about 1 minute until they become fragrant. Remove half the seeds and set them aside.
  2. Turn the heat back on if you turned it off and, In the same pot, add the freekeh. Over medium heat, toast the freekeh for a few minutes until it starts to brown just slightly. Use a wooden spoon or soft utensil to keep the freekeh moving so that it doesn’t burn.
  3. Add the chickpeas and broth. Bring the ingredients to a low boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cover the pot, then simmer for 20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the freekeh is tender. Be sure to consult the package directions for your particular brand of freekeh. Once the liquid is absorbed, take the freekeh off the heat. Keep it covered for 10 minutes.
  4. While the freekeh cooks, prep the veggies and herbs. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, garlic, and black pepper.
  5. When the freekeh is done, transfer it to a medium salad bowl, then add the contents of the lemon juice bowl. Mix well.
  6. Mix in the celery, scallions, mint, and parsley. Top with the remaining cumin seeds. Taste and add more lemon juice if desired.
  7. Serve the salad warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 


  • If you forget to add the chickpeas, add them after the freekeh is cooked. Toss them into the saucepan and cover them for the 10 minutes you need to set up the freekeh.
  • Freekeh can come as whole or cracked. For this reason, consult the cooking instructions on the back of the package, including liquid to grain ratio and cooking time. Cooking times will vary.
  • The best way to reheat freekeh is to place the desired portion in a steamer basket and give it a few minutes to steam. This dish is also delicious at room temperature.
  • Consult the common question in the post for instruction on how to cook freekeh in the Instant Pot.

Keywords: zesty lemony freekeh salad