The Best Lentil Salad – Nora Cooks

This is the BEST lentil salad! Loaded with plenty of ingredients that are not only good for your body, but also your taste buds. A beautiful blend of fresh vegetables and lentils are all tossed in a delicious lemon vinaigrette.

Summer may be salad season, but let’s be honest: salads are delicious all year round! Keep things fresh in your meal routine with vegan salads like Kale Caesar Salad, Chickpea Quinoa Salad, Jennifer Aniston Salad (Bulgur Salad), or my Classic Chickpea Salad!

The best lentil salad recipe

I admit it, I am in love with lentils! There’s a lot to like about them, after all. They are economical, high in fiber and a good source of plant-based protein. Oh, and when served in salads like this, they’re downright delicious too!

Although lentils are the main ingredient here, they’re complemented flavorfully by a range of bold ingredients like cucumbers, red onions, peppers, parsley and feta cheese. All these ingredients mixed with my homemade vinaigrette make it impossible to take a single bite of this lentil salad!

dried green lentils in a saucepan, without waterdried green lentils in a saucepan, without water

Why should you make this lentil salad?

  • The dressing is SO good! Store-bought salad dressings are good, but none of them can compete with homemade ones. Olive oil is topped with lemon juice, agave, Dijon mustard, and more in this easy (and oh-so-tasty) salad dressing recipe.
  • It’s perfect for lunch. Next time you go to work, pack this lentil salad. This recipe really hits the mark and keeps you full until dinner!
  • It is filled with fresh vegetables. If you need a way to get more vegetables into your diet, here you go! Lentil salad is packed with fresh, crunchy cucumbers and peppers that will help you hit your daily vegetable quota.

Ingredients needed (with substitutions)

For the salad:

  • Dried green lentils – You can also use 4 ½ cups of cooked or canned lentils instead.
  • Water
  • Cucumber – I prefer to use English cucumbers as they tend to have fewer seeds than others. However, you can use any type of cucumber you want.
  • Red onion – Red onions are preferred for this salad more than any other onion because of their bold and powerful onion flavor.
  • Bell pepper – Although any pepper flavor can be added to this simple salad, red peppers are preferred because of their vibrant color and slight natural sweetness.
  • Parsley – Use fresh, undried parsley for a delicious herbaceous note.
  • Feta cheese – Crumbled Feta cheese is an optional ingredient, but highly recommended! It complements the salad perfectly. I use a dairy-free, homemade version, Violife or Trader Joe’s brand.
  • Green vegetables – I like to serve my lentil salad with arugula or baby spinach for an extra touch of fresh flavor.
lentils, red peppers, parsley, red onion and cucumbers in a glass bowllentils, red peppers, parsley, red onion and cucumbers in a glass bowl

For the dressing:

  • Olive oil – Avocado oil can be substituted if desired.
  • Lemon juice – For this vinaigrette, it is imperative to use only freshly squeezed lemon juice!
  • Agave – Agave brings a touch of natural sweetness to this dressing that helps balance the other salty/spicy flavors.
  • Dijon Mustard – Do NOT substitute this ingredient for regular yellow mustard.
  • Garlic – You’ll want to mince a fresh garlic clove for the best flavor and aroma. Don’t use pre-chopped here!
  • Salt – Be careful not to be too heavy handed with the salt. It can easily overpower the other ingredients in this dressing.
  • Black pepper – For best flavor, use freshly ground black pepper.
the dressing is shaken in a mason jarthe dressing is shaken in a mason jar

How to make lentil salad

Find the complete printable recipe with measurements below in the recipe card.

Add the lentils and water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender but not mushy. Drain them and rinse them under cold water so they stop cooking and cool quickly. Add them to a large bowl.

Chop the cucumber, red onion, red pepper and parsley and add to the bowl with the lentils.

Whisk all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. You can also add all the ingredients to a mason jar and shake until well mixed.

Pour the vinaigrette over the lentils and vegetables and mix everything together. Stir in feta, if using, and serve on a bed of arugula or baby spinach, if desired. You can also just mix greens into the salad. Appreciate!

Frequently asked questions

  • How long will vegan lentil salad stay fresh? In an airtight container in the refrigerator, this salad will stay fresh for about 2-3 days.
  • What else can I add to this lentil salad recipe? You can easily add quinoa, farro or bulgur.
  • What lenses can I use? If you can’t get your hands on dried green lentils, canned lentils will work just fine! You can use green, brown, or black lentils, but don’t use red lentils as they become mushy.
close-up of lentils and vegetables with crumbled cheese on a plateclose-up of lentils and vegetables with crumbled cheese on a plate

Want to incorporate more lentils into your routine?

Try one of these delicious recipes using powerhouse lentils:

  • Add the lentils and water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender but not mushy. Drain them and rinse them under cold water so they stop cooking and cool quickly. Add them to a large bowl.

  • Chop the cucumber, red onion, red pepper and parsley and add to the bowl with the lentils.

  • Whisk all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. You can also add all the ingredients to a mason jar and shake until well mixed.

  • Pour the vinaigrette over the lentils and vegetables and mix everything together. Stir in feta, if using, and serve on a bed of arugula or baby spinach, if desired. You can also just mix greens into the salad. Appreciate!

  1. The salad will keep for 2 to 3 days covered in the refrigerator.

  2. Can add quinoa, farro or cooked bulgur.

  3. Canned lentils work great. You can use green, brown, or black lentils, but don’t use red lentils as they become mushy.

Portion: 1of 8 servings | Calories: 235kilocalories | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: teng | Fat: 9g | Saturated fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated fats: 1g | Monounsaturated fat: 5g | Sodium: 387mg | Potassium: 458mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 657UI | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 3mg

Course: salad

Kitchen: Mediterranean

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *