Lentil salad is an easy and tasty recipe that combines flavorful and nutritious lentils with fresh, crunchy vegetables and a herby, tangy, and creamy mustard dressing.

The recipe is satisfying, colorful, and packed with plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Enjoy this lentil salad recipe as a standalone meal, with pita bread, in a wrap, or as a side dish to any meal. It’s also excellent for meal prep.

Lentil salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumber and olives

Dietary Note: this recipe is suitable for a vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diet.

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What is Lentil Salad?

Lentil salad on a white plate with a silver spoon and lemon wedges on the side

Lentils are a versatile legume you can use in various warm and cold dishes.

From lentil Mujadara to lentil vegetable soup; from lentil chili to Moroccan lentil soup; from lentil curry to lentil loaf, you’ll always find a lentil recipe to suit your mood.

When it comes to salads, we shared several lentil salad recipes with you.

Our readers love our cauliflower lentil salad and sweet potato lentil salad, both made with roasted veggies tossed with cooked lentils and a tangy dressing.

But in this blog post, we’ll show you how to make a quick and easy Mediterranean-inspired lentil salad with fresh, crunchy, and colorful vegetables.

Lentil salad with feta and lemons on the side

The freshness and crunch of this recipe will remind you of our lentil tabbouleh, while the creamy, aromatic lemon mustard dressing will remind you of our Moroccan lentil carrot salad.

Make this lentil salad vegan, or add crumbled feta, a delicious addition that makes us think of tasty Greek cucumber salad.

You can use dried lentils or canned lentils. Both have a pleasant earthy flavor, incredible nutrition, are rich in iron, potassium, B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc.

They are an excellent meat alternative as 1 cup of cooked lentils has about 18 grams of proteins and 15.6 grams of fiber; they have no cholesterol and low amounts of saturated fats.

Ingredients & Substitutions for Lentil Salad

Ingredients for lentil salad

Quantities are in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.

Lentils

You can make lentil salad with green lentils, brown lentils, black lentils, and French lentils.

Avoid split red lentils as they won’t keep their shape.

You can use dried lentils that you cook in boiling water with salt and, optionally, a bay leaf (steps below).

Dried lentils don’t require soaking, so you can cook them immediately.

Or you can use canned lentils, drained from their liquid and rinsed well.

Tomatoes

We recommend small tomatoes like cherry tomatoes or plum tomatoes.

Substitute a diced red bell pepper for tomatoes.

Cucumber

You can use American cucumbers, Persian cucumbers, or English cucumbers. We keep the peel on, but you can remove it if you like.

Substitute thinly sliced fennel for cucumber.

Red onion

Thinly sliced or diced red onion adds a pleasant tanginess.

Substitute a thinly sliced shallot or green onions for red onion.

Olives

We recommend good quality olives such as Taggiasche olives or Kalamata olives, which are best if pitted.

Substitute sun-dried tomatoes in oil or marinated artichokes for olives.

Feta cheese

You can use regular feta cheese or non-dairy feta cheese. Crumble it on the salad; it adds a delicious savory flavor and creaminess.

Fresh herbs

We use fresh flat-leaf parsley.

Substitute fresh basil, cilantro, dill, or chives for parsley.

Mustard Dressing

  • Extra virgin olive oil: healthy and aromatic olive oil is the best for this recipe.
  • Fresh lemon juice: substitute apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar.
  • Mustard: American mustard or Dijon mustard.
  • Garlic: we recommend grated fresh garlic.
  • Cumin: optional; keep it out if you don’t like cumin.
  • Salt & Black pepper.

Optional Ingredients

You can easily customize this lentil salad recipe by adding your favorite vegetables and grains.

We tried it with boiled quinoa and baby spinach, and it was delicious and even more nutritious, perfect for a wholesome and satiating lunch, dinner, and meal prep.

You can even add toasted nuts such as almonds and dried fruits like raisins.

Lentil salad with quinoa and a silver spoon

How to Make Lentil Salad

US cups + grams measurements in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.

1. Cook the lentils

Skip this step if you are using canned lentils.

Rinse the dried lentils under running water to remove dust and debris. Do a quick visual check to ensure no stones are hiding between the lentils.

Tip: Dried lentils don’t require soaking, so you can cook them right away.

dry lentils rinsed in water

Add the lentils to a pot with cold water. For each cup of lentils, you’ll need 4 cups of water.

Season the water with 2 bay leaves and 1 teaspoon of salt.

cooking the brown lentils in water

Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cook on a gentle simmer per package instructions, then drain them and add them to a large mixing bowl.

Tip: Depending on the variety, lentils can take 15 to 45 minutes to cook. For making salads, lentils should be tender but still hold their shape well.

rinsed and drained brown lentils in a white bowl

2. Prepare Vegetables & Dressing

While the lentils cook, you can chop the vegetables. Cut the tomatoes into quarters, the cucumber into small dice, and the onion into thin slices, and finely chop the parsley.

Add all vegetables, including olives, to the bowl with the lentils.

Lentil salad ingredients in a white bowl before mixing

Make the dressing by whisking extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, mustard, grated garlic, ground cumin, salt, and black pepper.

Cumin and honey mustard dressing in a bowl with a whisk

3. Toss until combined

Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss until well combined. Taste and adjust for salt.

Lentil salad with hands mixing the ingredients

Serving Suggestions

Lentil salad is excellent as a standalone meal or as a side dish. Serve it from the mixing bowl or transfer it on a large platter.

Lentil salad after mixing on a white plate with parsley on the side

You can keep this lentil salad vegan or top it with crumbled feta cheese.

We like serving it with warm pita bread and creamy yogurt tahini sauce or tzatziki sauce.

It’s also delicious next to our whole roasted cauliflower or as a filling for a microwave sweet potato.

Lentil salad with feta and lemons on the side

Variations

Lentil salad with quinoa

Lentil salad with quinoa and a silver spoon

Add 1/2 to 1 cup of boiled quinoa to this delicious lentil salad to make it even more protein-packed and nutritious.

Tips

No Soaking: Dried lentils don’t require soaking, so you can cook them right away.

Cooking time: usually, the cooking time is written on the package. If not, know that the cooking time of lentils can vary greatly depending on the variety and age of the lentils.

Some dried lentils cook in just 15 minutes; others need up to 45 minutes. We advise tasting the lentils at the 15-minute mark and cooking them longer if required.

Texture: for salads, you’ll want tender but not mushy lentils. They should keep their shape well as you toss them with the other ingredients, so don’t overcook them.

Double dressing? You can double the dressing for extra flavor. If you do so, don’t double the amount of salt in the dressing.

Lentil salad on a big white plate with hand holding a silver spoon

Storage & Make Ahead

Make ahead: Lentil salad is a good recipe for meal prep as it keeps well for 3 days.

Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Freezer: Lentil salad is not suitable for freezing. However, cooked lentils are. They keep in a freezer-friendly container for three months. Thaw them in the fridge for several hours.

More Lentil Recipes

More Salad Recipes

Lentil salad with tomatoes, feta and red onions

Lentil Salad

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 3 votes
Lentil salad is an easy and tasty recipe that combines flavorful and nutritious lentils with fresh, crunchy vegetables and a herby, tangy, and creamy mustard dressing.
The recipe is satisfying, colorful, and packed with plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Dried lentils cooking time (optional): 30 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Course: Main Course, Side dish
Cuisine: International

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) lentils green, black, brown / sub 3 cups cooked lentils / or 1 cup dried boiled in 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt as per package instructions.
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes ½ pound, quartered
  • cups cucumber 1 medium, diced
  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced or diced
  • cup olives Kalamata or Taggiasche
  • 3 tablespoons parsley chopped
  • ounces feta cheese or non-dairy feta, crumbled

DRESSING

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice fresh
  • 1 tablespoon mustard American or Dijon
  • 1 small clove garlic grated
  • ½ teaspoon cumin ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • teaspoon black pepper

Instructions 

  • CANNED LENTILS: Drain and rinse 2 cans (15 ounces each) lentils and add them to a large bowl.
    DRIED LENTILS: Rinse 1 cup of dried lentils, add them to a pot with 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt and simmer gently as per package instructions or until tender. Drain and add to a large bowl.
    Cooked and rinsed lentils in a sift
  • SALAD: To the same bowl, add 2 cups cherry tomatoes (quartered), 1½ cups cucumber (diced), 1 small red onion (thinly sliced), ⅓ cup olives, and 3 tablespoons parsley (chopped).
    Lentil salad ingredients in a white bowl before mixing
  • DRESSING: In a small bowl, whisk 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon mustard, 1 small clove garlic (grated), ½ teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper.
    Cumin and honey mustard dressing in a bowl with a whisk
  • Pour dressing over salad and toss until well combined. Taste and adjust for salt before serving.
    Lentil salad on a white plate with hand holding a silver spoon
  • MAKE IT A MEAL: Serve as is, or with 3½ ounces feta cheese crumbled on top. Side with warm pita bread.
    Lentil salad with feta and lemons on the side

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate for 1 serving of lentil salad out of 4.
STORAGE & MAKE AHEAD
Make ahead: Lentil salad is a good recipe for meal prep as it keeps well for 3 days.
Refrigerator: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezer: Lentil salad is not suitable for freezing. However, cooked lentils are. They keep in a freezer-friendly container for three months. Thaw them in the fridge for several hours.
ALSO ON THIS PAGE

Nutrition

Calories: 350kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 22mg, Potassium: 746mg, Dietary Fiber: 11g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 760IU, Vitamin B6: 0.4mg, Vitamin C: 27mg, Vitamin E: 3mg, Vitamin K: 64µg, Calcium: 183mg, Folate: 252µg, Iron: 5mg, Manganese: 1mg, Magnesium: 69mg, Zinc: 3mg
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Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    This Lentil salad looks fabulous. I cannot wait to make this and taste it. I already know it’s going to be delicious!! Thanks so much, your recipes are always the best! 👍🏻💚