Our favorite Lentil Salad Recipe is made with French and black lentils, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, and a tangy cilantro lime dressing! We love keeping this fresh and simple recipe on hand as a healthy dinner and lunch option!
Lentil Salad Recipe
This lentil salad really changed the game for me. I always liked sneaking lentils into recipes where they played an undercover role, like this vegetarian chili, but never knew how well they could shine as the main ingredient. If you're like, "hold up, I know nothing about lentils", this post explains all!
This salad is extremely simple to make, but is so refreshing and full of healthy ingredients! It all comes together in the amount of time that it takes your lentils to cook and leftovers store in the fridge like a dream. It works as a side dish, main dish, or easy lunch. Speaking of lunch, it is the perfect recipe to make ahead of time when meal prepping lunches for the week!
Michael has been asking for this dish time and time again, so you know it's a good one!
What You Need For This Lentil Salad Recipe
To make this salad, you will need the following ingredients. See the full recipe card below for detailed amounts and instructions.
- Lentils - I recommend using either French green or black lentils for this recipe as they hold their shape and stay firm while cooking. As pictured, I like using half French green and half black in mine! For more on the different types, cook times, and how to best cook lentils be sure to read over this post.
- Cucumber - Any type works, just be sure to dice it finely for this recipe.
- Red onion - Feel free to adjust the amount in this recipe to your liking. I have found that either one small or half of a larger one works best for our taste.
- Bell pepper - I prefer using yellow or orange to add a pop of color to mine, but any will do.
- Jalapeño - You can omit this all together if you choose, but I love the extra zing a jalapeño adds to this salad! When you remove the seeds like in this recipe, you get hardly any spice, just amazing flavor.
- Cilantro - I love the herby flavor that fresh cilantro adds to the mix!
- Cilantro lime dressing - One batch (or about one cup) of this tangy recipe is what this recipe calls for.
How to Make This Lentil Salad Recipe
To make this salad, simply:
- Cook the lentils - Sometimes small pieces of debris can get mixed in with your dried lentils, so always rinse and look them over well before cooking. A fine strainer or mesh sieve is ideal for this. Fill a medium to large pot about halfway with water and bring it to a boil. Add the lentils, lower heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the remaining water using a fine strainer and rinse the lentils in cold water until they are chilled. Set aside.
- Prep the vegetables - While your lentils are cooking, finely dice the cucumber, red onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño. Roughly chop the cilantro. Add all to a large bowl and set aside.
- Mix the dressing - Combine all of the Cilantro Lime Dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until combined.
- Combine - Add the cooked lentils to the bowl with the rest of the salad ingredients. Drizzle with the cilantro lime dressing and toss until the salad is evenly combined and coated.
- Serve - Serve immediately, or refrigerate in an air tight container for up to 4 days.
See the full recipe card below for detailed amounts and instructions.
Variations To Try
One reason I love this recipe so much is that you can change it up in so many ways! Below are some of my favorites:
- Add cheese - Feta cheese is a great addition to this salad!
- Use a different dressing - Replace the cilantro lime dressing with about 1 cup of any of your favorites.
- Add extra heat - Red pepper flakes, pepperoncini peppers, or more jalapeños are all great in this recipe.
- Add pasta - Add in some farfalle, penne, rotini, or orecchiette to make this dish even more filling!
- Use on top of leafy greens - This makes for a great kale or spinach topping!
More Plant-Based Recipes To Love!
- Roasted Vegetable Salad
- Autumn Vegetable Minestrone
- Easy Vegetarian Chili
- Sweet Potato & Black Bean Bowls
- Oven Roasted Vegetables
- Creamy Salad Dressing
- Savory Herb Carrots