This crunchy lentil salad recipe is packed with lots of fresh veggies, fruity mango, vegan feta and a slightly sweet and tangy refreshing dressing – It is quick and easy to make, very healthy, incredibly delicious and simply the best!
The Best Lentil Salad – simple, refreshing, delicious!
Whether you call it lentil salad in English, insalata di lenticchie in Italian, salade de lentilles in French, or Mercimek Salatası in Turkish, this popular legume salad is not only refreshingly delicious in summer, but also fills you up. It is a great source of plant-based protein, complex carbohydrates, fibre, folate, iron and more nutrients and vitamins.
The lentil salad is perfect as a side dish for grilling and barbecue parties in summer or birthdays and also goes well with other dishes like veggie patties, roasted potatoes and more. Of course, you can also serve it as a main meal for a light lunch or dinner. Since it keeps fresh for several days in the fridge, you can make the salad ahead and eat it throughout the week!
Even though the range of vegetarian and vegan ready-made salads is tempting, homemade salad is still the best! The combination of protein-rich lentils, low-calorie cucumber, crunchy peppers, aromatic onions, juicy tomatoes, sweet mango, pickled tofu feta, and fresh herbs just tastes insanely delicious! Plus, it’s also much cheaper to make the lentil salad yourself instead of buying a ready-made product.
Which lentils should I use?
Brown lentils, green Puy lentils or black Beluga lentils are perfect for making lentil salad, as they hold their shape when cooked. Yellow or red lentils, which are used for lentil dal or lentil bolognese, are not recommended for crunchy salads because they break down and become mushy when cooked. To make the preparation faster, you could also use canned brown lentils, but I think they taste better when freshly cooked.
What is lentil salad made of?
This easy vegan lentil salad recipe is very versatile, as you can swap out the ingredients to your liking to whip up your own creation. Whether you prepare it oriental, Mediterranean or classic, this salad recipe is also great to use up leftover vegetables.
- Brown lentils: or green Puy lentils or black beluga lentils.
- Red onion: or a regular yellow onion. However, you could also use scallions, leeks or chives.
- Cucumber: alternatively you can use grated zucchini, radish, kohlrabi or celery. If you like you can also add a few chopped pickles from the jar.
- Red bell peppers: or yellow or green peppers. If you don’t like peppers, you can leave them out or use carrots, peas, corn or beans instead.
- Parsley: fresh from the garden or frozen from the supermarket. Other herbs like basil and mint are great too!
- Mango: or apple, oranges or tangerines. Fruits and berries like blueberries, strawberries, grapes, pomegranate seeds or watermelon are also very tasty.
- Cherry tomatoes: or other tomatoes you have on hand,
- Arugula: or other lettuce. Fresh baby spinach, chard or kale are also good choices.
- Vegan feta: or avocado or both.
- Optional: If you like, you can sprinkle the lentil salad with seeds or chopped nuts. I like walnuts, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or toasted pine nuts best as toppings on my salad.
- Apple cider vinegar: or balsamic or white vinegar.
- Agave syrup: or maple syrup or vegan honey.
- Mustard: medium hot or Dijon.
- Olive oil: or canola, hemp or avocado oil.
- Salt and pepper: or other seasonings to taste.
How to make the best lentil salad
As always, I recommend checking out the recipe video and these step-by-step instructions first. Then you’ll find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Cook the lentils
First, rinse the lentils thoroughly in a fine-meshed sieve. Then drain and cook in twice the amount of water according to package directions for about 15 minutes until al dente. Then drain the lentils and let them cool in the sieve.
Step 2: Make the dressing and salad
In the meantime, rinse and cut the vegetables as shown in the video. Also, combine all the ingredients for the dressing.
To assemble the salad, in a large bowl place the lentils, chopped onions, cucumber, bell pepper, and parsley. Drizzle with the dressing and give it a gentle toss to make sure all the ingredients are coated with the dressing. Lastly, gently fold in diced mango, halved tomatoes, arugula and vegan feta cubes.
Step 3: Serve the lentil salad!
You can eat the salad immediately or let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving for even more flavor. Garnish with fresh mint or seeds and nuts as desired and enjoy!
How long does lentil salad last in the fridge?
As already mentioned before, this lentil salad is perfect for making ahead, because it has a long shelf life. Furthermore, the salad tastes even better the next day when all the flavors have combined. Stored in an airtight container, it keeps for 5 days in the refrigerator.
This easy vegan lentil salad recipe is:
- Quick and easy to make
- Loaded with veggies
- Low in calories
- Fresh and crunchy
- Very delicious!
- Perfect as a side dish, main course or snack for birthdays, parties, buffets, grilling, Meal Prep, and every day!
More vegan salad recipes to try
- The Best Pasta Salad
- Grandma’s Potato Salad
- Vietnamese Noodle Salad
- Mexican Pasta Salad
- Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
- Green Goddess Salad
- Turkish Bulgur Salad (Kisir)
- Chinese Cucumber Salad
- Korean Rice Noodle Salad
- Chickpea Tuna Salad
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Thai Peanut Noodle Salad
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Broccoli Salad with Yogurt Dressing
If you try this best lentil salad recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you take a photo of your delicious salad and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka so I don’t miss your post! Enjoy! 🙂
The Best Lentil SaladAuthor:
- 7 oz (200 g) brown lentils or green Puy lentils or black beluga lentils
- 1 red onion finely diced
- ½ cucumber finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper finely diced
- 1 bunch parsley chopped
- 1 mango diced, or apple or orange
- 1 cup (150 g) cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 cups arugula
- 3.5 oz (100 g) vegan feta or 1 avocado, diced
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or balsamic or white vinegar
- 2 tsp agave syrup or maple syrup
- 1 tsp yellow mustard medium hot
- 4 tbsp olive oil or canola, hemp or avocado oil
- salt and black pepper to taste
For garnish (optional)
- seeds or chopped nuts
*Note: Check out the recipe video + step-by-step instructions above!
- Rinse the lentils thoroughly in a fine-meshed sieve. Then drain and cook in twice the amount of water according to package directions for about 15 minutes until tender. Then drain and allow to cool in the sieve.
- In the meantime, wash and cut the vegetables as shown in the video.
- For the dressing, stir together apple cider vinegar, agave syrup, yellow mustard and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To assemble the salat, in a bowl place the lentils, chopped onions, cucumber, bell pepper, and parsley. Drizzle with the dressing and give it a gentle toss to make sure all the ingredients are coated with the dressing. Then gently fold in the diced mango, halved tomatoes, arugula and vegan feta cubes.
- You can eat the salad immediately or let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving for even more flavor. Garnish with mint (or seeds/nuts) as desired and serve with veggie patties and guacamole on the side if you like.
- Enjoy! 🙂
- Helpful tips and more information about the recipe, like ingredient substitutions, shelf life, and storage instructions, are mentioned in the blog post above!
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