This veggie packed lentil salad is the perfect summer salad. It’s full of crunchy raw vegetables and tastes wonderfully fresh. The protein-packed lentils make it a nutritious and satisfying standalone meal.
Summer is arriving and that means that a lot of tasty vegetables are also coming into season. And tagging along are the cravings for refreshing light summer recipes and salads.
On a hot sunny day we really enjoy cold lunches. In the summer months we often don’t have a hot meal all day. Roasts and stir fries make way for a lot of raw fresh veg and salads.
Fresh green lettuce and crunchy watery vegetables are amazing, but they are not quite enough to make a full meal. That’s where lentils come in!
Lentils are packed with protein and other good stuff, so they are a staple in most vegan’s diets. They also add a lot of flavour to this salad and make it a satisfying, filling meal.
Our lentil salad is:
And it’s perfect for many occasions such as:
- A great meal-prep lunch
- In a salad buffet
- Bring & share
- In a picnic
- As a BBQ side
- Or simply a chilled main meal
It doesn’t take long to chop the vegetables and toss them in a bowl with the lentils and marinade. The dressing is very simple – just olive oil, vinegar, a dash of lemon, salt and pepper.
We like to cook the lentils ourselves, but if you use ready-to-eat canned lentils, it gets even easier!
You can make it in advance, even the night before. Which makes it perfect to take out as a meal-prep lunch and for bring and shares like barbecues.
With no green leaves that can go soggy, the lentil salad stores well covered in the fridge for a couple of days.
We eat a lot of lentils of all different kinds. And because dried lentils keep well for a long time, it’s worth getting them in bulk and cooking them yourself.
We use black ‘beluga’ lentils when we make this lentil salad. Beluga lentils are a small variety of lentils with an amazing earthy and yummy flavour. They work especially well in salads because they don’t go mushy when cooked.
How to cook them
To cook dried black lentils :
- Rinse and check over to make sure there’s no stones
- In a saucepan, add the lentils and cover with 3 times the volume water
- Cover with a lid and bring up to a simmer and cook for around 20 minutes until tender
- Drain before using
You don’t have to soak black lentils, but if you do you can reduce the cooking time by about half. You can also cook them with vegetable stock, herbs or spices to add extra flavour.
Conversion tip: 1 can of lentils is approximately 1 ½ cups cooked lentils or ¾ cups dried lentils
If you don’t have black beluga lentils, there are other types of lentils you can use to make this lentil salad. French ‘Puy’ lentils, other green or brown lentils will be a good substitute. Don’t use red or yellow lentils. These have a totally different flavour and texture that won’t work well in this salad.
Try out different vegetables. We like those with a certain crunch, and would definitely keep the raw onions. Radishes, rocket, green beans or raw courgette (zucchini) might make a nice addition. Just go for it. Try to keep the lentils to vegetable ratio about equal.
Fresh herbs are optional. We’ve used coriander greens (cilantro), but parsley or basil are just as good, depending on what you like.
Bulk it up. Add some grains like couscous, quinoa or small pasta. For less carbs and more fibre, mix in some chopped lettuce or fresh spinach.
Other additions: You can always throw in some olives, fried tofu cubes or sun dried tomatoes. What other things do you fancy in a lentil salad?
More lentil recipes you might like:
Vegan Lentil Ragu – perfect with pasta
Lentil Risotto with Butternut Squash – a nutritious one-pot meal
Red Lentil Flatbreads – great with a curry
Colourful Lentil Salad
- 1 1/2 cups (265 g) black lentils cooked or canned
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 red pepper
- 1 stick celery
- 1/2 red onion
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 pinch pepper or to taste
- Drain the cooked or canned lentils.
- Dice or finely slice all the vegetables. Add them in with the lentils.
- Mix the dressing ingredients – the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. If your tinned lentils contain salt already, add extra salt only to taste.
- Pour the dressing over the lentils and vegetables and gently stir it in.