The BEST Lentil Salad Recipe!


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My favorite lentil salad recipe is made with French lentils, cucumber, sun-dried tomatoes, onion, fresh mint and a zippy lemon dressing.  Super simple to make, and so light and refreshing!

Lentil Salad Recipe

I didn’t know I could love a lentil salad so much until I met this one. ♡

Like, seriously.  It’s just about the simplest salad in the world to make, but something about the combination of cool, zesty, healthy ingredients here just works.

We’re talking lots of tender protein-packed lentils, refreshing cool cucumber, zesty red onions, rich sun-dried tomatoes, lots and lots of chopped fresh mint, and a bright and zippy lemon dressing that brings it all together.  It’s easy to make in the time that it takes you to simmer a batch of lentils.  It’s naturally vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.  It works great as a side salad or main dish (especially for healthy meal prep lunches!).  And it tastes so refreshing and delicious!!

Barclay and I keep saying that it tastes like springtime in a bowl, and it’s making me seriously happy right now.  We’ve been making it on repeat around our house and can’t get enough of it lately.  So if you’re also craving all things light and healthy and spring-y right about now, trust me — you’re going to love it!

Healthy Lentil Salad with Lemon Dressing

Lentil Salad Ingredients:

To make this easy lentil salad recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Lentils: I recommend using either brown, green or French green lentils in this salad, as those varieties each have great flavor and hold their shape well once cooked.  (I used French green lentils in the photos above.)
  • English cucumber: Or traditional or Persian cucumbers, finely diced (also peeled and/or seeded, if you prefer).
  • Red onion: Feel free to briefly rinse and drain the diced red onion in running water, if you would like to cut the onion-y flavor a bit.  Or if you love red onion as much as I do, just add it straight to the salad!
  • Fresh mint: I adore the burst of fresh mint flavor in this salad, which pairs beautifully with the bright lemony dressing.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes: Love the rich flavor of sun-dried tomatoes in this salad.  But if tomatoes happen to be in season, feel free to sub in your favorite ripe fresh tomatoes if you prefer.
  • Lemon dressing: I just used my favorite everyday salad dressing here, made with an extra squeeze lemon juice.  It’s easy to whip up with olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic, salt and pepper.

Cold Lentil Salad with Cucumber, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Mint

How To Make Lentil Salad:

To make this easy lentil salad recipe, simply…

  1. Cook the lentils. Combine the lentils in a saucepan with 3 cups of water (or veggie broth) and stir to combine.  Cook over medium-high heat until the broth reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and maintain the simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20-25 minutes depending on the type of lentils used.  Use a strainer to drain and rinse the lentils in cold water for 1 minute until they are chilled, and set aside.
  2. Mix the dressing.  Meanwhile, as the lentils are cooking, combine all of the lemon dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until combined.
  3. Combine. Add the cooked and chilled lentils, cucumber, red onion, mint and sun-dried tomatoes to a large bowl.  Drizzle evenly with the lemon dressing and toss until evenly combined.
  4. Serve. Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3-4 days.

Healthy Lentil Salad Recipe

Possible Variations:

There are endless ways that you could customize this lentil salad recipe, so have fun and get creative with it!  We also love to…

  • Add cheese: Some crumbled goat or feta cheese is absolutely delicious in this lentil salad.
  • Add olives: Also, kalamata olives or any other Mediterranean olives you love.
  • Add some heat: I also love chopping up some pepperoncini peppers and adding them in for extra tang and heat.
  • Add protein: If you would like to add some extra protein, feel free to mix some cooked chicken, tuna or salmon into this salad.
  • Cook the lentils in broth: To give the lentils extra flavor, I highly recommend cooking them in veggie broth (perhaps with a sprig of herbs or bay leaf added in) instead of water.
  • Use different herbs: If mint isn’t your thing, this lentil salad would also be absolutely delicious with fresh basil, parsley or dill.
  • Use quinoa or farro: This recipe came about as a riff on my favorite Mediterranean farro salad, so feel free to swap in farro or quinoa in place of the lentils anytime too!

Lentil Salad Meal Prep Recipe

More Favorite Lentil Recipes:

Looking for more lentil recipe inspiration?  Here are a few of my faves…

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Description

My favorite lentil salad recipe is made with cucumber, sun-dried tomatoes, onion, fresh mint and a zippy lemon dressing.  Super simple to make, and so light and refreshing!



Scale

Ingredients

Lentil Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked lentils (either green, French green or brown lentils), rinsed and picked over
  • 1 English cucumber, finely diced
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup diced and drained sun-dried tomatoes

Lemon Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook the lentils. Combine the lentils in a saucepan with 3 cups of water (or veggie broth) and stir to combine.  Cook over medium-high heat until the broth reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and maintain the simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20-25 minutes depending on the type of lentils used.  Use a strainer to drain and rinse the lentils in cold water for 1 minute until they are chilled, and set aside.
  2. Mix the dressing.  Meanwhile, as the lentils are cooking, combine all of the lemon dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until combined.
  3. Combine. Add the cooked and chilled lentils, cucumber, red onion, mint and sun-dried tomatoes to a large bowl.  Drizzle evenly with the lemon dressing and toss until evenly combined.
  4. Serve. Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3-4 days.



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