Lentil carrot salad is tasty, aromatic, and inspired by Mediterranean flavors and aromas. It’s easy to make, and you can serve it as a starter, side, or main dish with warm pita bread and other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean recipes.
Lentils and carrots are seasoned with a delicious cumin, lemon, and olive oil dressing. As a result, they become tasty and aromatic, and they’ll make you fall in love with this simple dish.
Table of Contents
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Carrots: we use orange carrots, but you can also use carrots of different colors.
Lentils: use green or brown lentils. Canned ones are perfectly fine. Or you can cook dry lentils in salted boiling water until al dente. Substitute chickpeas for lentils.
Parsley: we recommend flat-leaf parsley for this lentil carrot salad. Substitute fresh mint or cilantro for parsley.
Raisins: you can use regular or golden raisins. They add a nice sweet touch that complements the carrot flavor and contrasts the tangy and garlicky flavor of the dressing.
Olive oil: we recommend extra-virgin olive oil.
Mustard: you can use Dijon mustard or standard yellow mustard. The mustard is essential because it binds the other ingredients together and makes them stick to the carrots. Also, it adds a slightly bitter flavor that’s delicious with the sweetness of the carrots.
Lemon juice: best if freshly squeezed.
Garlic: use fresh garlic; grated, or minced. Substitute garlic powder for fresh garlic, although it won’t have the same fresh and zesty flavor.
Paprika and cumin: regular paprika and ground cumin. Cumin is especially important in this dressing. Its flavor perfectly matches lentils and carrots, so don’t skip it.
Salt and pepper: sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Red pepper flakes: to add a touch of spiciness, they are optional.
Garnish and Toppings
Shaved almonds: garnish the salad with shaved toasted almonds. Substitute almonds for pine nuts, pistachios, or crushed and toasted hazelnuts.
Yogurt tahini sauce or tahini sauce: they are optional, and the salad is delicious without them.
However, you can complement this dish with a dollop of our terrific yogurt tahini sauce (greek or non-dairy yogurt, tahini, garlic, salt, min, and cumin) or with a drizzle of creamy tahini sauce (tahini, water, lemon juice, salt, garlic).
Peel and chop the carrot into small bite-size pieces. Boil them in lightly salted water for 20 minutes or until fork tender.
In the meantime, make the dressing by whisking together extra virgin olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, grated garlic, ground cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
To a large mixing bowl, add boiled carrots while they are still warm, drained lentils, raisins, finely chopped parsley, and the dressing.
Toss to combine. Taste and adjust for salt.
Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with your favorite toasted nuts. We love shaved almonds lightly toasted on a pan for a few minutes.
Our lentil carrot salad is inspired by this simple and delicious Moroccan carrot salad, an aromatic recipe with tender boiled carrots, fragrant ground cumin, minced garlic, fresh parsley, and a few other simple ingredients.
Check out our Moroccan carrot salad recipe.
We loved lentil carrot salad so much that we started making it with different vegetables. For example, this cauliflower lentil salad is another easy and delicious Mediterranean-inspired recipe packed with bold flavors and wholesome ingredients.
We make it with roasted cauliflower, lentils, parsley, and an aromatic cumin and lemon dressing.
Check out our cauliflower lentil salad recipe.
Or why not try lentils with sweet potato? This salad is nutritious, tasty, and aromatic, thanks to the same simple cumin and paprika dressing inspired by Moroccan cuisine.
This salad is the perfect make-ahead meal, and you can enjoy it as a quick and fulfilling lunch or wholesome dinner, bring it to potlucks, or serve it for brunch.
Check out our lentil sweet potato salad.
The tahini’s nutty flavor and creamy texture are just perfect with this lentil carrot salad.
You can also serve it on top of couscous (which takes 5 minutes to make) to turn it into a delicious main dish.
The salad is excellent as an appetizer (mezze) or as a main dish with other Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern-inspired dishes:
- Falafel (chickpea flour, dried chickpeas, cumin, parsley, garlic, etc.)
- Hummus (chickpeas, cumin, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, etc.)
- Muhammara (pomegranate seeds, bell pepper, tomatoes, onion, tomato paste, etc.)
- Baba ganoush (eggplant, tahini, paprika, parsley, lemon, tahini, garlic, etc.)
- Zaalouk (garlic, eggplant, tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, cumin, paprika, etc.)
- Shirazi salad (cucumber, tomatoes, dried mint, lime juice, olive oil, etc.)
- Tabbouleh (falt-leaf parsley, tomatoes, bulgur, mint, scallions, olive oil, etc.)
Make ahead & storage
Make ahead: this recipe is excellent to make ahead as it keeps well in the fridge for a few days, and the flavor melds as the salad sits with the dressing.
Refrigerator: store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 – 4 days.
Reheat: take out of the fridge 15 minutes before eating. Warm it up for 30 seconds to 1 minute in the microwave.
Freezer: this recipe is not suitable for freezing.
More carrot recipes
Here are some more ideas for cooking with carrots:
- Vegan carrot cake (flour, sugar, plant milk, raisins, walnuts, nutmeg, cinnamon, carrots, etc.)
- Roasted carrots (carrots, parsley, olive oil, salt, pepper, etc.)
- Carrot soup (ginger, carrots, onion, garlic, cumin, vegetable broth, etc.)
- Carrot salad (carrot, lemon, parsley, mustard, maple syrup, shallot, etc.)
- Raisin and carrot salad (mayonnaise, carrot, raisins, parsley, etc.)
More lentil recipes
Check out these easy and wholesome dinner recipes with lentils:
- Moroccan sweet potato salad (roasted sweet potatoes, maple syrup, lentils, cumin, etc.)
- Cauliflower lentil salad (roasted cauliflower, lentils, hazelnuts, mustard, parsley, etc.)
- Lentil tabbouleh (tomato, parsley, white onion, lemon juice, lentils, olive oil, etc.)
- 5-minute lentil hummus (lentils, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, parsley, paprika, etc.)
- Mushroom Wellington (leek, onion, carrot, garlic, lentils, mushrooms, puff pastry, etc.)
For many more salad ideas, check out our salads category page.
Lentil Carrot Salad
- 1½ pounds carrots cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 can (15 ounces) lentils or 1½ cups cooked lentils
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- 3 tablespoons shaved almonds lightly toasted on a pan
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 small clove garlic grated
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper or red pepper flakes
- Peel and chop 1½ pounds carrots into small bite-size pieces. Boil them in lightly salted water for 20 minutes or until fork tender.
- In the meantime, make the dressing by whisking together ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon mustard, 1 small clove garlic (grated), ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
- To a large mixing bowl, add boiled carrots while they are still warm, 1 can (15 ounces) lentils (rinsed and drained), 2 tablespoons raisins, ¼ cup parsley (chopped) and the dressing.
- Toss to combine. Taste and adjust for salt.
- Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with 3 tablespoons shaved almonds lightly toasted on a pan.
- Our recommendation is to serve this salad with a few dollops of our delicious tahini yogurt sauce or with a generous drizzle of tahini sauce.
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