This Lentil Salad Recipe is one of the most delicious and refreshing dishes ever! Sweet tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, juicy oranges, lentils, garlic, crunchy almonds, crumbled feta cheese, and homemade dressing result in one of the best summer salads.
You can eat this salad any time of year, but I often reach for it in the summertime. I love to go to a farmer’s market and pick up lots of fresh veggies and fruits. This salad is FULL of them, so I love to prepare and eat it.
I think you are going to love all the different flavors because they go together beautifully. It’s basically the perfect marriage of ingredients, so head into the kitchen and whip one up! You won’t regret it.
- Lentils – Eating lentils is a fantastic way to boost your fiber intake. They are also a great source of iron, potassium, zinc, vitamin B6, folate, and more.
- Bay Leaves – If you don’t already eat foods with bay leaves, now is a great time to start! Not only are they incredibly flavorful, but they are also aromatic too.
- Salt – A little bit of salt will help tie all the ingredients together beautifully.
- Garlic – Of course, I love the flavor of garlic in many of my dishes, but I also like that it gives me nutrients too. It’s actually filled with all sorts of good stuff like iron, potassium, vitamin B, and vitamin C.
- Red Onion – Another fantastic source of vitamin C, potassium, and folate, plus it makes the lentil salad taste even better.
- Cucumber – Besides being light, cool, and refreshing, cucumbers also provide you with antioxidants, vitamin K, and vitamin C.
- Cherry Tomatoes – If you ask me, adding cherry tomatoes is a must! They are sweet and delicious. Plus, they also have antioxidants, folate, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
- Orange – Yum! Oranges are the perfect citrus fruit to include in this lentil salad. They will also give you plenty of sweetness too.
- Almonds – I feel like adding some almonds is a great way to get a little bit of a crunch. It’s an added bonus that they are packed with vitamin E, fiber, and riboflavin.
- Fresh Herbs – You’ll need a variety of fresh herbs, including mint, cilantro, and parsley. Chop them very fine, so they are well blended into the salad.
- Crumbled Feta Cheese – Adding feta takes this salad to the next level. The tangy flavors of the feta make this a well-rounded dish.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes – Looking to boost your antioxidants? Sun-dried tomatoes are another great answer. So eat up!
- Sesame Seeds – I prefer to toast the sesame seeds before adding them to the salad. You can omit them completely if you don’t like them.
- Dressing – The homemade dressing is made with a mixture of olive oil, orange zest, lemon juice, orange juice, tahini, garlic, salt, and chili flakes. It’s so good; I could practically eat it with a spoon.
HOW TO MAKE THIS LENTIL SALAD RECIPE
Take a look at these easy-to-follow steps!
1. Soak the lentils in water and remove any debris. Dried lentils often have little tiny rocks, so you will for sure want to remove them. After they have been cleaned, soak them for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
2. Cook the lentils in a medium saucepan with just enough water to cover them. Add in salt, bay leaves, and crushed garlic. Let it boil, then lower the heat and continue to cook according to the packaging directions.
3. After the lentils are done cooking, drain and let them cool off. If you are using canned lentils, drain them in a mesh colander and rinse them with water. Drain well.
4. While the lentils are cooking, prepare all of the rest of the ingredients and set them aside in a bowl.
5. Remove the seeds from the cucumber with a teaspoon. Scoop the seeds out and dice the cucumber into small cubes. Carefully mince the fresh herbs, cut the tomatoes, dice the onions, chop the sun-dried tomatoes and dice the orange.
6. Chop the almonds and toast them in a small pan with a little bit of olive oil. Use low heat and frequently toss so they don’t burn.
7. Prepare the dressing by mixing together the olive oil, orange juice, orange zest, lemon juice, tahini, salt, garlic, and chili flakes until there are no lumps. It should be creamy when done.
8. Combine the lentils with the veggies in the bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss gently until combined.
9. Add extra salt if needed, then sprinkle with feta cheese, sesame seeds, and chili flakes. Serve and enjoy!
LENTIL SALAD RECIPE FAQS
HOW DO YOU STORE LEFTOVERS?
If you actually end up with leftovers and don’t eat them all right away, you can easily save them for another meal. The lentils salad will last in the fridge for up to 4 days. It’s great for any meal!
WHICH TYPE OF LENTILS DO I NEED?
It’s entirely up to you, but for most salad recipes, brown, green, or black are going to work best. They tend to hold up better and won’t get mushy like yellow or red.
I love cooking with lentils because they are so incredible! If you are looking for more recipes with lentils, be sure to give my Coconut Lentil Curry Bowl, Lentil Loaf, and Vegetable Lentil Soup a taste! If you make this recipe, share a picture on Instagram and tag me to be featured!Print
Lentil Salad Recipe
This Lentil Salad recipe is nutritious, delicious, and easy to make!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: recipes
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: mediterranean
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1/2 dry lentils or 4 cups of cooked lentils
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 finely chopped red onion
- 2 cups diced and seeded cucumber
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup diced orange
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped almonds
- 1/2 cup each fresh herbs: mint, cilantro, and parsley, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
- Optional: toasted sesame seeds.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 2 teaspoons tahini*
- 1 garlic, minced
- Salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon)
- Optional: chili flakes to add additional kick
- Clear the debris and soak the lentils in water: If you decide to use dried lentils, you’ll need to go through them to remove any tiny little rocks. This is a crucial step since you don’t want to find any tiny rocks in your salad! Once they’ve been cleaned, soak them in water for at least 30 min-1 hour.
- Cook the lentils: Once they’ve been soaked (you’ll notice they become fuller) cook them in a medium saucepan, with enough water to cover them, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a couple of bay leaves, and one crushed garlic. Once it boils, lower the heat and cook until tender. Don’t overcook! if you use small lentils they’ll cook very fast (15-18 minutes!) but it depends on their size. Cook according to package instructions. If you are not sure, is better to stay focused on them and try them at different times until you find the best texture for your liking.
- Drain and let them cool. If you prefer to use canned lentils, pour them into a fine mesh colander and rinse them under running water. In any case, drain them very well.
- Prep all the fresh ingredients: While the lentils cook, wash and prep the rest of the ingredients, and set aside in a medium-size bowl.
- Deseed the cucumber with a teaspoon, by scooping the seeds of the halved cucumber. and dice it in small cubes. Mince the fresh herbs, halve the cherry tomatoes, dice the red onion, chop the sun-dried tomatoes in strips or cubes, and dice the orange.
- Toast the almonds: Roughly chop the almonds and toast them in a small pan with a dash of olive oil on low heat, tossing frequently to prevent them from burning
- Prepare the dressing: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk them until well blended. Make sure the tahini has no remaining lumps and it’s well dissolved. If done correctly, the dressing should have a creamy consistency.
- Mix the lentils with the rest of the ingredients: Once the lentils have cooled down, add them to the rest of the ingredients in the bowl, pour the dressing and toss until well combined.
- Taste and adjust salt if you find it necessary. Serve with crumbled feta cheese, a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, and more chili flakes if desired. Enjoy!
Do I really need to soak the lentils?
While is not vital, soaking your lentils will make them more digestive and remove the compounds that cause gas, also you will reduce the cooking time, which is always a bonus. I’ve started soaking my lentils for these reasons. To make it easier, I like to let them soak while I prepare the rest of the ingredients. If I’m meal prepping I put them to soak first thing, so they’ll be ready when I am.
If I’m making a lentil stew I let them soak for longer, but for this particular recipe I prefer to just soak them for 30 min-1 hour, so they don’t lose their shape when cooking.
*If you don’t have or can’t find tahini, peanut butter or almond butter may be substituted
- Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
- Calories: 265
- Sugar: 3.7 grams
- Fat: 15.8 grams
- Saturated Fat: 3.5 grams
- Carbohydrates: 25.9 grams
- Fiber: 3.7 grams
- Protein: 8.8 grams
Keywords: lentil salad recipe