This Mediterranean-inspired lentil salad recipe is easy to make and bursting with summer flavor! Cold and refreshing, it’s made with simple ingredients in just 30 minutes. Vegan and Gluten-free.

lentil salad with tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers, peppers, onion, and a wooden spoon in bowl.

Why You’ll Love This

  1. Quick & easy! A 30-minute recipe with simple, wholesome ingredients.
  2. Incredibly nutritious. Vegan, gluten-free, and full of vitamin-rich vegetables and herbs.
  3. A refreshing, colorful summer salad! Perfect for lunches on-the-go or for social gatherings.

Lentil Salad Recipe Ingredients

ingredients for lentil salad laid out in bowls - lemons, garlic cloves, spices, feta, herbs, lentils, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, red onion, cucumber.
  • Dry lentils: Use French green lentils, black lentils, brown lentils, or any whole lentils. Split lentils can get mushy so I would avoid them here.
  • Cherry tomatoes: Or sub-grape tomatoes, diced vine-ripened tomatoes, or heirloom tomatoes.
  • Cucumber: English cucumber, or substitute Turkish or Persian cucumbers. Add a cooling, refreshing crunch. Thin-skinned cucumbers work best here—no need to peel them!
  • Bell pepper: Yellow or red bell pepper, for extra vitamin C, a pop of color and crunch factor!
  • Red onion and fresh garlic: For that delicious texture and punchy “bite” – make sure it is very finely diced.
  • Fresh herbs: We used flat-leaf parsley and fresh mint, but fresh basil, dill or cilantro would be great substitutes!
  • Extra virgin olive oil: To give the salad richness and polyphenols.
  • Fresh lemon: We use the lemon zest and the juice here for extra brightness.
  • Seasonings: Salt, black pepper and cumin. We keep it simple here, but see the recipe notes for some optional additions (sumac, feta cheese, etc.).

Lentil Salad instructions

Step 1: Cook lentils. In a medium saucepan, add lentils and 3 cups water, bring to a boil. Lower to simmer, cover, and cook until tender. Check at 15 minutes, then every few minutes. Drain, then soak in cold water.

Step 2: Prep fresh veggies and herbs. While lentils cook, prep cucumbers, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, mint, and parsley. Place in a large bowl and add lentils when done.

Step 3: Add seasoning. Grate garlic over the bowl, then add lemon zest and juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and cumin. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust for salt and lemon.

Tip: As the salad sits, the lentils may soak up the salt and lemon, so add more as needed. This is especially important if prepping in advance!

lentil salad in large bowl with lemon half, topped with herbs and lemon zest.

Serving suggestions

Serve as is or over a bed of dressed baby arugula. Serve as a side dish or as a vegan main. Add feta cheese if you like. Pair with this Gazpacho, homemade Manoush bread or Pita bread!

Storage

Vegan lentil Salad will last up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. I do not recommend freezing.

Chef’s Tips

  1. Making-ahead. You can meal prep the whole salad up to a day ahead for an event, but toss in the fresh herbs right before serving.
  2. Adjust salt and lemon to taste once more right before serving as lentils can soak up the salt.
  3. Cook the lentils to al dente so they don’t fall apart in the salad.

FAQS

Are lentils healthy?

Lentils are full of plant-based protein and fiber, so yes, we think they are one of the healthiest things you can eat!

What do lentils pair with?

Lentils love to be paired with Mediterranean flavors like olive oil, fresh herbs, and lemon and Middle Eastern spices like cumin, coriander, and sumac.

wood spoon in bowl of lentil salad with herbs, lemon zest, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion.

More lentil salad ideas!

Print
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This Mediterranean-inspired lentil salad recipe is bursting with flavor! Cold and refreshing, it's made with simple ingredients in 30 mins!

Lentil Salad Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Category: salad, vegan salad, lentil recipes
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Mediterranean-inspired lentil salad recipe is bursting with flavor! Cold and refreshing, it’s made with simple ingredients in just 30 mins!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup uncooked lentils- French lentils, black lentils, brown lentils (2 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes- or grape tomatoes, sliced in half, about 2 cups
  • 1 English cucumber- or Turkish cucumber, diced, about 2 cups
  • 1 bell pepper- yellow or red, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, very finely diced
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/41/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin

Instructions

  1. Place lentils in a medium pot with 4 cups water and bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover and cook until al dente. Check at 15 minutes, then check every few minutes. Drain, soak in cold water.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, prep the cucumbers, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, mint and parsley and place in a large bowl.
  3. Add the drained, cooled lentils to the bowl.
  4. Grate the garlic over the bowl, add the lemon zest, olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin and fresh lemon juice. Give a good stir to combine well. Adjust salt and lemon to taste. As the salad sits, the lentils may soak up the salt and lemon, so add more as necessary- especially if making this ahead- always taste before serving.
  5. Store in an airtight container the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  6. Serve as is or over a bed of dressed baby arugula; add feta cheese if you like. Enjoy!

Notes

Optional additions: ½ teaspoon sumac, feta cheese, kalamata olives, arugula or baby spinach, splash red wine vinegar.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 176
  • Sugar: 3.7 g
  • Sodium: 301 mg
  • Fat: 7.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22.4 g
  • Fiber: 4.1 g
  • Protein: 7.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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Comments

  1. This salad is really refreshing and bright. The cumin was just the right touch. A true summer dish. Delicious!






  2. This was so perfect on a hot summer evening! Delicious, and bright! So glad we can have it again tomorrow. 🙂 Thank you!

  3. Excellent
    Finished between the two of us, with a heap of arugula beneath
    Definitely substitute/ad lib friendly recipe.
    Grilled salmon fillet, or chicken on top
    😋

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