This is the BEST Lentil Salad! Loaded with a lot of ingredients that are not only good for your body, but for your tastebuds, too. A beautiful medley of fresh veggies and lentils is all tossed together in a mouthwatering lemon dressing.
Summer may be the season of salads, but let’s be honest – salads are delicious all year long! Keep things fresh in your meal routine with vegan salads like Kale Caesar Salad, Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas, Jennifer Aniston Salad (Bulgur Salad), or my classic Chickpea Salad!
The best lentil salad recipe
I’ll admit it – I’m in love with lentils! There’s a whole lot to love about them, after all. They’re budget friendly, high in fiber and a good source of plant protein. Oh, and when served in salads like this, they’re also downright delicious!
While lentils may be the main ingredient here, they’re complimented in a tasty way by an array of bold ingredients like cucumbers, red onions, bell peppers, parsley, and feta cheese. All of those ingredients tossed together with my homemade dressing makes it impossible to have just one bite of this Lentil Salad!
Why should you make this lentil salad?
- The dressing is SO good! Store bought salad dressings are fine, but none of them can hold a candle to homemade concoctions. Olive oil is all dressed up with lemon juice, agave, dijon mustard, and more in this easy (and oh so flavorful) dressing recipe.
- It’s perfect for lunch. Next time you’re headed to work, pack this Lentil Salad. This recipe actually hits the spot and keeps you full until dinner!
- It’s loaded with fresh veggies. If you need a way to fit more veggies into your diet, here you go! Lentil Salad is packed with fresh, crunchy cucumbers and bell peppers that’ll help you meet your daily veggie quota.
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
For the salad:
- Dry Green Lentils – You can also use 4 ½ cups of cooked or canned lentils instead.
- Cucumber – I prefer using english cucumbers because they tend to have less seeds than others. However, you can use whatever kind of cucumber you want to.
- Red Onion – Red onions are preferred for this salad more than any other onion because of their bold, potent onion-y flavor.
- Bell Pepper – While any flavor of bell pepper can be thrown into this simple salad, red bell peppers are preferred because of their vibrant color and slight natural sweetness.
- Parsley – Use fresh, not dried parsley for a delightful herbaceous note.
- Feta – Crumbled Feta Cheese is an optional ingredient, but highly recommended! It compliments the salad perfectly. I use a dairy free version, either homemade, Violife or Trader Joe’s brand.
- Greens – I like to serve my Lentil Salad with some arugula or baby spinach for an extra touch of fresh flavor.
For the dressing:
- Olive Oil – Avocado oil can be substituted if desired.
- Lemon Juice – For this salad dressing, it’s imperative to use freshly squeezed lemon juice only!
- Agave – Agave lends a touch of natural sweetness to this dressing that helps balance out the other savory/tangy flavors.
- Dijon Mustard – Do NOT substitute this ingredient with regular yellow mustard.
- Garlic – You’ll want to mince a fresh garlic clove for the best flavor and aroma. Don’t use pre-minced 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 the best flavor, use freshly ground black pepper.
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 pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until tender but not mushy. Drain and rinse under cold water so they stop cooking and cool fast. Add them to a large bowl.
Chop the cucumber, red onion, red pepper and parsley and add them to the bowl with the lentils.
Whisk all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Alternatively, add all ingredients to a mason jar and shake until well combined.
Pour the dressing over the lentils and vegetables and stir everything together. Stir in the feta, if using, and serve over a bed of arugula or baby spinach, if desired. You can also simply mix the greens into the salad. Enjoy!
Frequently asked questions
- How long will vegan Lentil Salad stay fresh? In an airtight container in the fridge, this salad will stay fresh for about 2-3 days.
- What else can I add to this Lentil Salad recipe? You can easily toss in some quinoa, farro, or bulgur.
- What lentils can I use? If you can’t get your hands on any dried green lentils, canned lentils will work just fine! You can use green, brown or black lentils, but don’t use red as they just become mushy.
Want to incorporate more lentils in your routine?
Try any of these delicious recipes featuring the mighty lentil:
The Best Lentil Salad
For the salad
- 1 1/2 cups dry green lentils or 4 1/2 cups cooked/canned
- 5 cups water
- 1 medium english cucumber, diced
- 1 cup diced small red onion
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta, optional I used Violife vegan feta
- 3-4 cups arugula or baby spinach, optional
For the dressing
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons agave
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- few shakes ground black pepper
- Add the lentils and water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until tender but not mushy. Drain and rinse under cold water so they stop cooking and cool fast. Add them to a large bowl.
- Chop the cucumber, red onion, red pepper and parsley and add them to the bowl with the lentils.
- Whisk all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Alternatively, add all ingredients to a mason jar and shake until well combined.
- Pour the dressing over the lentils and vegetables and stir everything together. Stir in the feta, if using, and serve over a bed of arugula or baby spinach, if desired. You can also simply mix the greens into the salad. Enjoy!
The salad will keep for 2-3 days covered in the refrigerator.
May add in some cooked quinoa, farro or bulgur.
Canned lentils work just fine. You can use green, brown or black lentils but don’t use red as they just become mushy.