Fresh Lentil Salad

[Total: 18    Average: 4.6/5]
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Summertime is all about barbecues, dinner parties, and light and fresh meals. This fresh lentil salad is a perfect make-ahead meal for a crowd, and also a unique variation of traditional salad.

With a protein-rich lentil base, this salad is heartier and more satiating than lettuce-based salads, but still has the flavours that we all love in a fresh salad-sweet cherry tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, sweet red bell peppers, carrots, all tossed in a refreshing olive oil and lemon vinaigrette.

Fresh Lentil Salad

I love lentils. In fact, I love all legumes.

It’s a good thing I have such an appreciation for them because ever since I became vegetarian, they are practically all I eat.

Why do I love lentils so much?

For starters, they are healthy for you. They have a high nutritional value, help reduce blood cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels, and they are an excellent source of protein, which makes them an ideal meat substitute for vegans and vegetarians

Secondly, they are a blank canvas, in terms of condiment options. Just like rice, this tiny legume soaks up flavours like it’s nobody’s business, lending a rich punch of flavour to any dish.

 

Fresh Lentil Salad

The most important tip I can give in terms of preparation is to ensure that the lentils are cooked al dente-meaning they should still have a little bite to them. No one wants a mushy lentil salad, do they?

This recipe lends well to interpretation so if by chance you’re not a fan of lentils, you can substitute them with navy beans, chickpeas or another legume. Use your imagination and add a combination of your favourite ingredients, such as arugula, kale, spinach, avocado, celery, and fresh herbs such as parsley, basil or cilantro.

This fresh lentil salad makes a great dinner party salad since it appeals to vegans and non-vegans. Just prepare a large batch ahead of time then separate into two portions, throwing in some extras for the non-vegans, such as tuna, mozzarella, or feta cheese.

On a side note, if preparing a large batch for the week, I recommend adding the tomatoes and cucumbers right before serving. They tend to release water the longer they sit and this result in a somewhat soggy salad.

Fresh Lentil Salad

If you try this recipe (and love it!) be sure to snap a pic and tag me onInstagram with #bitesforfoodies so I can see your creation!

Prep time
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Total time

Ingredients:

Yields: Serves 4
1 1/2 cups dried green lentils
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium cucumber (about 1 1/2 cups), peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tbs. capers, finely minced
2-3 tbs. fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2  tsp. dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2-3 tbs. good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. lemon zest
sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Directions:

Bring lightly salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add the lentils and cook for 25-20 minutes or until al dente. The lentils should be soft on the outside with a slight bite on the outside.

Drain the lentils in a large colander then set aside to cool. In the meantime, chop the cucumbers, carrots, scallions, capers, and tomatoes.

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Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl then add the olive oil and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning before serving, if desired.

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Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days (minus the tomatoes and cucumbers).

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  • Lizzy Graham

    looks soooo yummmm!

  • This salad looks amazing! I love lentil salads so I’m going to have to try this soon! Thanks for showing it to me!

  • SwaRai

    My grandmother is obsessed with lentils, I’m going share this recipe with her.

  • NutriFit Mama

    We are big lentil fans over. Lentils are one thing that we can all agree on in this house :) I will have to try this recipe, thanks!

  • Kristen

    I could see my 16 month old stuffing his face with this! he LOVED lentils!

    • Mine went through a phase too where he would eat them all the time, then of course, he got turned off of them! He’s four and just starting to like them again!

  • chubskulit

    Wow, this looks very healthy and tasty. I have only cooked lentils once, during the Easter. I might give it a try again and make your recipe.

    • Since I started following a mainly vegetarian diet I’ve begun incorporating them into my recipe rotation…I eat them at least 3x a week!

  • Tiffany Cutcliff

    You have the best recipes! What a great recipe idea and super easy. Thanks so much!

  • April @ Everyday Fitness and N

    I’ll have to give this a try. I’m not a huge fan of lentils and my husband is. I really want to like them so I’ll keep looking for a recipe that I do enjoy.

    • I really do think it all depends on the condiment you use and/or the cooking method. I hope this recipe changes your mind about them!

  • I’d love to make this! This would actually make a really nice lunch for me. I love vegetables.

  • My husband would love this! I’m not that big of a fan of lentils, but he adores them. Maybe I will fix this for him.

    • You could always mix all the veggies together with the vinaigrette then add the lentils to his portion only!

  • Diana Villa

    wow, that lentil salad looks amazing and yummy! Thanks for the great post and recipe :D

  • I love how this recipe is a good source of protein. This is something that I could easily do at home and it would also be the perfect lunch for me because it’s healthy and packed with protein.

    • It is! It is very light and healthy but also filling. The second time I made this, I added avocado and tuna for some additional omega 3’s!

  • Jeanine

    I have never had lentils before! This looks really great! I wonder if my kiddos would try this! I hope so!

    • I hope you try it! You might want to check out all the other lentil recipes on my Blog too!

  • Mmm! I wouldn’t have thought to cool lentils off and make a salad out of them. SO healthy too.

  • Alison Freisz-Steward

    I’ve been on the lookout for new vegan options and this looks delicious. I’m not a fan of cucumbers but everything else I could totally devour!

  • I’ve never had anything like this, but it looks delicious! I really need to try this out! Thanks for sharing!

  • Fiona Naughton

    I really love the look of this, I’d love to have this for dinner. I love your food styling, makes it look so appetizing.

  • I could really do with a good healthy salad now! I was never a big salad eater but this pregnancy changed me. I’m eating things I hated before.

  • TheNewClassy

    I love a good veggie salad, and I love legumes of all types! This recipe looks so tasty and healthy! I will have to try it!

  • Ourfamilyworld

    I am a huge fan of lentil salads. I never thought of adding potatoes in them. This is a great idea

  • Ann Bacciaglia

    I love learning new vegan recipes. I will have to try this on the weekend.

  • CourtneyLynne

    This recipe sounds delicious!!! I may not be a vegan myself, but I have to many vegan friends so it’s nice to have good recipes on hand to serve them when they come over :)

    • You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy this…it would be a great side dish too!

  • My youngest is weaning at the moment and I think he would love to try this, he is into everything at the moment so I am not wasting my chance to have him try as much as possible!

  • Jennifer Juro

    Oh I think my youngest would love this! She is only one of my kids that will eat lentils.

  • Adrienne

    What a yummy looking salad! I really like that it’s so colorful and different from traditional salads.

  • I never thought of making a lentil salad. i normally make lentils and quinoa or just a lentil soup. I definitely have to try this recipe. Looks so yummy ♥

    • Me too…and I make those recipes quite often, especially during the winter months. This is perfect for the summer!!

  • This is simple enough for me to do. It’s also a really healthy meal too and looks delicious.

  • Michelle Hwee

    Yummy! This looks so good :) I love lentils but have never really made it into a salad before.

  • Jen

    This Looks really good! I would have never thought of this! Yummy!

  • Rebecca Swenor

    I have never tried eating or making a salad like this one before which has a lot of healthy foods in it. This looks and sounds so good and I will have to try this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Lynn Dee

    I love me a good salad but I’ve never tried a salad with lentils. It looks so good especially that it has cucumber and tomatoes in it. Yum!

  • I’ve only tried lentils in a few different dishes for my son and this looks like a good way to try it in another way. Thanks for the recipe!

  • I like lentils and enjoy a good salad but have never had a lentil salad. It looks delicious! I need to try it.

  • Gimmee some lentils! My family isn’t big on eating them so I will be making this for my lunch.

  • I’ve never tried lentils but this looks great. Will definitely have to give it a try. Thanks!

  • Manu Kalia

    This is perfect for a post workout meal! First time I’ve seen a lentil salad.

  • Stephanie Alo

    This looks soooo tasty! I am definitely going to be whipping up a big batch of this.

  • Erin Shebish

    This looks amazing and healthy. I’m adding this to my menu this weekend!

  • Interesting! I’ve heard of lentil soup, but not salad. I’m going to have to make some some night or maybe for lunch. That might be real good. Thanks for sharing and I’m going to pin it. Thanks.

    • I love lentil soup! I hope you do make it! You might want to try some of my other lentil recipes from the Blog!

  • I have never really had lentils or chickpeas! It’s an entirely new dish for me. Looks like a good blend of flavor.

  • This looks very tasty and flavorful. I can’t remember the last time I had lentils, though.

  • Mommy Levy

    I think I haven’t tried lentil before. This looks yummy though.

  • This looks really healthy and yummy! Great Salad choice!