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Lentil Salad Recipe

Lentil salad recipe on a plate with a fork

This Lentil Salad recipe is nutritious, delicious, and easy to make!

  • Author: Maryea
  • 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

Ingredients

Scale
  • 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.

Dressing:

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!

Notes

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

Nutrition

Keywords: lentil salad recipe