Mediterranean Lentil Salad is the best way to eat lentils with a lot of veggies, greens, herbs soaked in a flavorsome dressing. It is a wholesome, nutritious, fulfilling salad perfect for the summer season. Keep it simple or make it sexy, either way, you are going to love this gluten-free salad.
Lentils are packed with protein when combined with vegetables they make an excellent meal in a bowl. This gluten-free lentil salad, in its most familiar guise, is a cool, refreshing, protein-packed collection of colored vegetables tossed in a homemade dressing.
The possibilities, however, don’t end here, there is an endless combination of vegetables and dressings (pick from my favorite 6 salad dressing recipes) for this lentil salad.
You can easily carry this lentil salad to work in a jar. It is a perfect meal-prep salad recipe.
Lentil: I have used dried green lentil or mung bean for making the salad. They are easy to cook, inexpensive, readily available, and taste excellent in the salad. Here are my favorite 21 ways to eat lentils.
Apart from dried mung bean, you can use black beluga lentils, brown lentils, chickpeas, red kidney beans, or any other local variety of lentil/legume.
I highly recommend using dried uncooked lentil and cooking it from scratch for making the salad. Trust me, the lentils will not be bland, mushy, or full of artificial flavor. And it takes less than 20 minutes to boil lentils at home for the weekly meal prep.
Vegetables: Apart from the salad usuals – onion, tomato, cucumber, feel free to add colorful olives, sun-dried tomato, kale, baby spinach, roasted bell peppers, or any other vegetable of your choice.
Herbs: Fresh parsley, Italian basil, cilantro, mint, or chives are a great choice for flavoring the salad.
Cheese Choice: From feta, brie, ricotta, to goat cheese, any variety of soft cheese is ideal for making this salad more delicious.
Salad Dressing: A classic vinaigrette of olive oil, citrus, garlic, and mustard is the best choice for this hearty lentil salad.
Meal Prep For Lentil Salad
Boil Lentils: For making the salad, lentils need to be cooked beforehand. Wash, and soak lentils in water for 30 minutes. Next, boil water with salt in a saucepan on a stovetop. Add soaked lentils. Cook lentils till they are al dente and not mushy or overcooked.
Transfer boiled lentils to a sieve or metal colander. Allow to cool down completely before storing or making the salad. You can store boiled lentil for 2 – 3 days in the fridge.
Prepare Dressing: Combine olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper in a jar with a lid. Close the lid of the jar. Shake well to combine the ingredients. Keep the salad dressing in the fridge until ready to use. Shake once again before adding in the salad.
You can serve lentil salad with a variety of side dishes such as:
Roasted Herb Potatoes – oven roasted garlic and herb potatoes.
Creamy Mushroom Soup – a light and hearty warm mushroom soup.
Grilled Chicken/Seafood of your choice.
Garlic bread, sourdough bread or toasted artisanal bread slices.
FAQ’s Related To Lentil Salad
Is lentil salad healthy?
Lentils are high in protein, rich in fiber, and low in fat. It makes a great source of protein for vegans/vegetarians. They’re also packed with folate, iron, phosphorus, and potassium. These are the essential nutrients one needs on a daily basis. A cup of lentil salad during lunch or dinner will help you manage your nutrients intake well.
Can I use canned lentils for making the salad?
Yes absolutely! Using canned lentils will cut the prep time as they are already pre-cooked. But the only thing you have to deal with is the extra salt in the can. You can thoroughly wash the canned lentils to remove all the excess salt. Do not add the liquid in the can to the salad along with lentils.
Do you have to soak lentils before cooking them?
Lentils can be cooked without soaking as well. But soaking them reduces the cooking time to almost half.
How to cook lentils in an Instant Pot?
Dry lentils will take about 15 minutes to cook in an Instant Pot, whereas the pre-soaked lentils for the salad will need 5 – 6 minutes. Wash the dry lentils thoroughly to remove dirt or stones. Once done, add them into the inner pot with enough water to submerge the lentils and salt to taste. Set the IP to pressure cook mode for 5 minutes. Once done, release the pressure manually, and check lentils for doneness.
How to store cooked lentils?
Store cooked lentils in an airtight container for 2 – 3 days in the fridge.
More Salad Recipes For You
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Gluten Free Lentil Salad Recipe
- 1 Cup green lentil (mung bean)
- 1/2 Cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/2 Cup finely chopped tomato (deseeded)
- 1/2 Cup finely diced cucumber
- 1/4 Cup sliced olives
- 1/4 Cup ponegranate
- 1/4 Cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 Cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 1/4 Cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon crushed or minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Wash and soak the green moong lentils in enough water for 30 minutes.
- In a saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to boil. Season with salt to taste. Add soaked lentils, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 15 minutes. Lentil should not over cook or turn mushy.
- Drain boiled lentils in a metal colander and allow them to cool completely
Prepare Salad Dressing:
- To prepare the salad dressing, whisk all the ingredients of dressing in a bowl or a jar with a lid until well combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly.
- Combine chopped vegetables in a bowl. Add boiled lentil, chopped parsley, and walnuts.
- Pour dressing over the salad. Toss the salad gently in the dressing. Sprinkle feta cheese before serving.
- Serve lentil salad with toasted bread slice.