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This Lentil Salad is bright, lemony and fresh, made with tomatoes, cucumber and feta cheese. It makes a lovely side dish or delicious vegetarian meal. I love it for lunch!

Lentil salad in a white bowl with a serving spoon.

This Lentil Salad is Just So Good!

With me and this lentil salad, it was love at first bite. 💛

There’s just so much goodness going on in this salad, I don’t know where to start! The salad itself is filled with flavor and crunch, with crisp cucumber, red onion, bell pepper, tangy feta cheese and fresh cilantro. It’s fresh and healthy, not to mention incredibly tasty, packed with both protein and fiber to keep you full.

When I set out to create this lentil salad recipe, I knew I wanted to dress it with a bright lemony dressing, to complement the earthy, peppery flavor of the lentils. To really make the flavors pop, I use both lemon juice and lemon zest in the dressing, along with a little squeeze of Dijon for some kick and a tiny bit of honey to balance out the tangy elements.

Pouring dressing over salad ingredients in mixing bowl.

I’m going to be making this lentil salad on repeat all summer long, and I’m confident that you’ll love it too! It’s a great meal prep salad, so you can make it on a Sunday and enjoy it for lunch over the next few days. For lunch, I usually serve it with a slice of crusty sourdough or whole wheat toast. I also see this lentil salad making an appearance as a side dish at many future summer BBQ’s. It’s delicious alongside grilled chicken, pork and fish.

Lentil Salad Ingredients & Substitutions

Here’s what you’ll need to make this lentil salad recipe:

  • Lentils: You’ll need 1 cup of dry lentils. I used French green lentils; regular green or brown lentils also work well.
  • Cucumber: I recommend using an English cucumber because they have fewer seeds and a less bitter flavor than American cucumbers, plus their thin skin doesn’t require peeling.
  • Bell Pepper: I used yellow to incorporate another color into the salad. You could also use a red or orange bell pepper.
  • Red Onion: The sharp, sweet flavor works well in this salad.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: Sweet and juicy, they’re so good in here!
  • Fresh Cilantro: If you don’t care for cilantro, fresh parsley is a good substitute.
  • Feta Cheese: You could also use goat cheese.
  • Dressing: For the dressing you’ll need lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, garlic, salt and pepper.

You’ll find the full recipe with ingredient measurements and instructions in the recipe card below.

Ingredients for lentil salad recipe.

What Type of Lentils to Use

Choose a type of lentil that holds its shape well after cooking. My favorites for lentil salads are these French green lentils (also called Le Puy lentils), and this brand of brown lentils, because they retain their texture and a bit of a bite to them after cooking. Black lentils would also work well in this salad. What you don’t want is for your lentils to break down or turn mushy, so check them often and early when they’re simmering to avoid overcooking them.

If you’re interested in learning more about the different types of lentils, check out my post on How to Cook Lentils.

Lentil salad ingredients in mixing bowl.

Making the Salad

To make this lentil salad, start by cooking the lentils. You can even cook them a day ahead of time if that works best for your schedule. Then, while the lentils cool, chop the other salad ingredients and mix up the dressing. The last step is to combine everything together.

Kristine’s Tip: This salad tastes best after the flavors have had time to meld together, so I recommend making it at least a few hours before you plan to serve it. It can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

What to Serve with Lentil Salad

Like I mentioned above, this lentil salad is one of my favorite easy lunch ideas. Since I’m a carb lover at heart, I usually eat it with a slice of toasted sourdough or avocado toast. You could also pair it with a sandwich or a bowl of soup.

If you’re making this salad as a side dish, it goes with just about any protein. Try it alongside juicy grilled pork chops, grilled salmon or baked chicken breast. This lentil salad is a great dish to take to a potluck or barbecue!

Close up of lentil salad in a bowl with a spoon.

More Salad Recipes

Salads are some of my favorite recipes to create. Here are a few more salad recipes that I think you’ll enjoy!

Lentil salad in a bowl with a serving spoon.

Amazing Lentil Salad with Lemony Vinaigrette

Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
This lentil salad is bright, fresh and easy to make! Enjoy it for lunch or as a side dish with grilled salmon or baked chicken.

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 cup French green (Le Puy) lentils, or regular green or brown lentils*
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 small English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and then chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, or red or orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 6 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (1 cup)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, or fresh parsley
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Dressing

  • zest of one small lemon
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey, or pure maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

Instructions
 

  • Cook the lentils: Use your hands to look through the lentils, removing any small rocks or other debris. Place lentils in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water. Combine the lentils and the 4 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to a very low simmer. Cover the pot and cook until lentils are tender yet still have a bite to them (taste one to check), 15-25 minutes. Drain lentils well and place them in a large bowl; set aside to cool.
  • While the lentils cool, make the salad dressing and chop the remaining salad ingredients.
  • Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Set aside.
  • Assemble the salad: To the bowl with the lentils, add the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, tomatoes and cilantro (or parsley). Pour the dressing over and gently stir to combine. Add the feta cheese and gently stir them into the salad.
  • Taste salad and add more salt and/or pepper, as needed, to taste.
  • Salad may be served immediately or chilled in the refrigerator before serving.

Notes

  • French green (Le Puy) lentils are my favorite for this salad since they hold their shape well after cooking.
  • Lentil salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Calories: 245kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 272mg, Potassium: 231mg, Fiber: 11g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 473IU, Vitamin C: 48mg, Calcium: 106mg, Iron: 3mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Course: Side Dish
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