Easy Lentil Salad
Naturally vegan and gluten free, this Easy Lentil Salad makes an easy packed meal! It’s loaded with both protein and veggies, so healthy and refreshing!
Along with my Chickpea & Black Bean Salad, this 5 ingredient Lentil Salad is one of my favourite summer meals. I often make it for several meals in a row, which makes it perfect for meal prep AND it’s loaded with nutrient-rich veggies and protein-packed lentils. It’s awesome to eat by itself or accompanied with a grain such as rice or quinoa for a gluten free meal, or couscous, bulgur, freekeh or even pasta. You call it!
This vegan salad is incredibly easy to throw together: ultra-filling, and can be customized to use what you have in your fridge.
This lentil salad also makes a perfect make-ahead lunch or dinner for the week, or to bring to summer gatherings and parties! The flavour and variety of textures makes it a total crowd pleaser!
Just adjust the number of servings according to your needs in the recipe field below and leave the app do the math for you.
Are Lentils Healthy?
Lentils contain high levels of soluble fiber, which may help to lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease, and they are a great source of magnesium and folate, which happen to be especially important during pregnancy.
Many people also find that lentils are easier to digest than beans, which can be a perk for anyone with sensitive digestion, and they are an affordable source of vegetarian protein, providing 18 grams of protein per cooked cup, which is super awesome!
What Type of Lentils Work Best for this Lentil Salad?
I usually use brown lentils, but green or puy lentils are also a good alternative, while the red and yellow varieties tend to be too soft and mushy, so I’d recommend saving those for something like my for my Savoy Cabbage Rolls, this Dahl Makhani or Gluten Free Vegan Sausages. If you prefer the easy train, you can also use canned or jarred lentils, drained and rinsed before use.
Do I Need to Soak Lentils Before Cooking?
Unlike beans, we don’t have to soak lentils before cooking them. Soaking them ahead of time can shorten their cooking time, but it’s not necessary and I personally never do it. Brown lentils cook in about 20 to 30 minutes. For this recipe 20 minutes will be more than enough as they will need to hold their shape for the salad.
How Long to Cook Lentils For?
When you’re cooking lentils for salad, you want them to be on the firm side, rather than too soft and mushy. I recommend taste-testing them around the 20-minute mark to see if they are easy enough to chew. I like mine to have a little bit of a bite to them still, so I think between 15 to 20 simmering is usually perfect.
When I boil the lentils I usually add in the water a clove of garlic (crashed), some celery and a bay leaf. Sometimes I also use tomatoes and kombu seaweed for extra flavour and nutrients, but you can simply do it in water instead. Flavouring the cooking water is a good practice mainly for soup or other wintery dishes.
How Long can I Store this Salad For?
A great pro of this super nutritious salad is that even with the seasoning it doesn’t tend to go soft and watery, which makes it perfect as I stated before for meal prep as it keeps fresh and fragrant very well. If you want to make this recipe far in advance, you can cook the lentils and store them in the fridge for up to a week. You can then decide to add the veggies fresh upon use, or mix it all together and keep in an air-tight container for 4 days.
The only think I do not recommend you to do is to freeze it. Although cooked lentils can be frozen for around 2-3 months, freezing raw vegetables to be used in a salad is not a good idea as they can get mushy when they thaw.
How to Make the Perfect Lentil Salad
First we obviously need to cook our lentils in abundant water (and some optional flavours – see the section above). According to the variety used cooking times can vary, so please check their softness after 20 minutes and decide if they’ll need longer.
Once your lentils are cooked, making this salad is as easy as chopping a few vegetables and stirring together with a pinch of salt and extra virgin olive oil. As simple as that.
This salad can be enjoyed right away or it can be stored for up to 4-5 days in the fridge.
Easy 5 Ingredient Lentil Salad Recipe
125 g Brown Lentils (dry – approx 250 g cooked)
60 g Salad Tomatoes (pulp, cubed)
80 g Cucumber (deseeded, cubed)
40 g Red Onion (cubed)
15 g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1. Bring to the boil the lentils in abundant water then simmer for around 20 minutes (check after the first 15 minutes if they are soft enough). Once the lentils are soft but carry still a bit of a bite drain the water and rinse under cold water for a minute. Set aside.
2. Wash and cubes the veggies (I’d recommend to deseed both the salad tomatoes and the cucumbers) and add it to a bowl with the lentils.
3. Season with olive oil and salt to taste.
4. Mix thoroughly and enjoy straight away or transfer to an air-tight container to be stored in the fridge.
Easy Lentil Salad
- Bring to the boil the lentils in abundant water then simmer for around 20 minutes (check after the first 15 minutes if they are soft enough). Once the lentils are soft but carry still a bit of a bite drain the water and rinse under cold water for a minute. Set aside.
- Wash and cubes the veggies (I'd recommend to deseed both the salad tomatoes and the cucumbers) and add it to a bowl with the lentils.
- Season with olive oil and salt to taste.
- Mix thoroughly and enjoy straight away or transfer to an air-tight container to be stored in the fridge.