If you're looking for a great ensalada de bacalao, I got one for you. Whether served as a salad or a cold dish, this filling and satisfying chickpea and codfish salad is a fantastic summer dish with ingredients and flavors we love, and that can be served for Lent and Easter.
Why we ❤️ it
For us Dominicans, bacalao (codfish) is a Lenten (Cuaresma) and Easter staple, but we enjoy it throughout the year, and there are a few lunch and dinner bacalao recipes most of us love.
This ensalada de bacalao is a dish that I am going to put in our recipe rotation any time of the year. It is flavorful, light, easy to make, and perfect as a main dish, salad and even a whole meal.
This is a dish that you can adapt to your taste. You may want to add some diced avocado to it, or perhaps some chopped black olives, or diced tomatoes.
If you want to make it into a lighter salad, toss in some chopped iceberg lettuce.
If you do not have salted cod, you can make this salad with drained tuna or canned salmon. I have tried both and loved them.
Chickpea and codfish salad.
I would absolutely add some slices of avocado on the side if I am serving it as a main dish.
Some berenjenas fritas (fried eggplants), or berenjenas asadas (roasted eggplants) would make a great main dish, and very Lent-friendly. Some arroz blanco (white rice) and habichuelas guisadas (stewed beans) can go great with this dish, or serve alongside some guineítos en escabeche.
But if you want to serve it as a salad, I'd suggest you don't add a meat/fish dish, as the salad already has meat.
- The recipe serves four portions as a main dish. If you would like to serve as salad cut the ingredients by half.
- You can cut the time boiling the bacalao by using a pressure cooker or Instant Pot.
About this recipe
As a child, I don't remember chickpeas commonly being consumed in our home, except in the occasional cocido. I think it has something to do with chickpeas not being as well adapted to the climate and soil of the Dominican Republic as other types of beans and legumes, and having to be imported.
However, this dish would not feel out of place on the Dominican table, even if it's not a traditional dish. It takes inspiration from our cuisine, and uses ingredients we can find anywhere in the Dominican Republic.
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Ensalada de Bacalao [Recipe + Video] Chickpea and Codfish Salad
- 1 pound bacalao (salted codfish), [0.45 kg]
- 6 cups dry chickpeas, boiled soft
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cucharada apple vinegar
- 1 large red onion, cut into thin strips
- ¼ cup minced parsley
- 2 bell pepper, cut into small cubes
- 1 teaspoon salt, (or more, to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper (freshly-cracked, or ground), (or more, to taste)
- Rinse the codfish with running water to eliminate as much salt as possible.Soak the codfish in plenty of water for an hour, then discard the water. Remove from the water and rinse under running water again.
- Boil the codfish in plenty of fresh water until it is tender and starts to flake off.Remove from the water and cool down to room temperature.
- Once cooled, shred into small pieces and clean out of bones, cartilage, and scales.
- Mix the codfish, chickpeas, oil, vinegar, onions, parsley, and bell pepper.Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve chilled, or let it rest in the fridge overnight.
Tips and Notes
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.