Lentil Salad

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Quick Summary

This healthy Lentil Salad is made with green lentils, crunchy cucumber, sweet red bell pepper, onion, herbs, and a simple lemon dressing. It’s packed with flavor and a favorite for lunch or dinner.

lentil salad in bowl with spoon

Okay, I know a Lentil Salad doesn’t sound all that exciting, BUT hear me out. Lentils are GOOD…if you’ve tried our Lentil Soup, you know of their goodness:)

This Lentil Salad is one of my very favorites. Seriously! I make it all of the time and eat it for days because it’s so good!

Lentils are really easy to cook and they absorb flavor wonderfully, making them the perfect base for the salad. I also love how nutritious lentils are. They are full of protein, iron, and fiber. This is a filling salad, but it still feels light thanks to the fresh vegetables, herbs, and lemon dressing.

How to Cook Lentils

I love lentils because they are affordable, easy to keep in the pantry, and super easy to cook.

For this salad, I like to use green lentils. First, make sure you give them a good rinse and pick out any debris or stones.

Did you know that you don’t have to soak lentils before cooking them? Another reason to love them! They only take about 15 to 20 minutes to cook. Just put them in a pan with water or vegetable broth (I also add a bay leaf for more flavor) and bring them to a boil. Simmer until they are tender, but not too soft. You don’t want them to be mushy in the salad.

Rinse them quickly with cold water and that is it! The lentils are ready for the salad.

Simple Lemon Dressing

While the lentils are cooking, you can make the salad dressing. I love this simple dressing because it is light and refreshing. Plus, I always have the ingredients on hand.

  • Olive oil
  • Lemon zest
  • Lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard
  • Honey or pure maple syrup
  • Minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl or you can put the ingredients in a sealed jar and shake, shake, shake!

lentil salad recipe

How to Make

Once the lentils are cooked and the dressing is made, it is time to assemble the salad!

  • In a large bowl, combine the lentils, cucumber, red pepper, red onion, parsley, and mint. Drizzle with the dressing and toss until well combined. The flavors are SO fresh!
  • You can serve the salad immediately, but I like to let it sit for 30 minutes so the flavors can meld.
  • If you want to add in crumbled feta cheese, you certainly can. It adds a nice creaminess. You can also add tomatoes, olives, or artichoke hearts.
  • For extra protein, feel free to add in grilled chicken, tuna, or salmon.

Serving Suggestions

You can eat this salad alone as a meal or serve it in smaller portions as a side. If you want to bulk up the salad a little, you can serve it over a bed of greens, I personally love arugula with this salad.

You can also serve it with pita bread or my Homemade Pita Chips. I love stuffing a warm pita with lentil salad or using the salad as a dip with pita chips.

How to Store

This lentil salad will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. I always love having this salad in the fridge for an easy lunch, dinner, snack…and I have even enjoyed it for breakfast. It really is good anytime of the day!

lentil salad with cucumber, pepper, onion, and herbs

More Salad Recipes

Lentil Salad

This healthy Lentil Salad is made with green lentils, crunchy cucumber, sweet red bell pepper, onion, herbs, and a simple lemon dressing. It’s packed with flavor and a favorite for lunch or dinner.
4.48 from 152 votes


For the salad:

  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils, rinsed well and picked over
  • 3 cups water (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 English cucumber, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeds removed, and finely diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese, optional

For the dressing:


  • In a large saucepan, combine the lentils, water or broth, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then turn to low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until lentils are soft, but still slightly firm. Do not overcook or the lentils will be mushy.
  • While the lentils are cooking, make the dressing. In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey or maple syrup, garlic, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  • When the lentils are done cooking, use a colander to drain the lentils. Discard the bay leaf. Rinse quickly with cold water. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add the cucumber, red pepper, red onion, parsley, mint, and feta cheese, if using, to the bowl. Stir. Drizzle with dressing and toss until well combined. Serve immediately or let sit for 30 minutes so the flavors can meld.


Calories: 217kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 21mg, Potassium: 448mg, Fiber: 11g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 897IU, Vitamin C: 35mg, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 3mg
Keywords lentil

Have you tried this recipe?

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Photos by Molly from Yes to Yolks

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. This salad has me looking forward to spring! I agree lentils might not look like much… but that doesn’t mean they aren’t tasty!

  2. 5 stars
    This is so bright and tasty. I made it as written, except I swapped cilantro for the parsley (because that’s what I had) and added celery for extra crunch. Delish!

  3. 5 stars
    Yummy recipe, we skipped the honey/syrup in the dressing and it still tasted delicious! We might put chopped apple or even raisins next time. Thanks for all your recipes….much appreciated 🙂

  4. Discovered your blog a few months ago and have tried several of your recipes. They have inspired me and my family to shift toward a more vegetarian lifestyle. As an RN working in this crazy Pandemic world I really appreciate the simple ingredients and easy recipes that are so easy to throw together that my 11 year olds can handle the prep and some of the cooking when I am on my way home from work exhausted. We have definitely added several of your recipes to our monthly rotation of faves. Thank you so much and looking forward to trying the lentil salad!!

  5. 5 stars
    We love this salad. My in-laws brought back huge amount of lentil from Turkey and I could cook it only so many times in soups or curry… And this salad came just in time. My husband loooves it. We had it for dinner last night and he praised so many times that I decided to share this with you. I made it as it is, only last night we had only hard goat cheese (instead the feta that is from cow milk) and it had this extra punch that I loved so much! Thank you for the amazing recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    Wonderful, easy recipe for lentils. I did not have all of the veggies and herb ingredients on hand and it was still delicious with substitutions. I did not have red bell pepper or an entire cucumber, so I threw in a carrot and tomato. I gathered little bits of different herbs I had on hand and used them instead of just mint and parsley. I had all of the other ingredients. The dressing and feta cheese really make this salad delicious. Thank you for sharing!

  7. I made this salad a few weeks back with some grilled chicken and naan bread for a lunch with my daughter in law. It was delicious! I added the olives, feta and tomatoes and we loved it. I am making it for a family bbq tomorrow (doubling the recipe!) Thank you for this recipe I’m sure it’s going to be a hit tomorrow! And to any who haven’t tried it… TRY IT…. So good, cold and refreshing!

  8. I’m wondering if red lentils would work? Love your blog and all the recipes I’ve tried. Thank you!

    1. Sure, if you like red lentils, go for it! Thanks! I am glad you are loving our recipes!

    2. I tried red lentils and they didn’t work. Yhe red lentils don’t hold their shape they were mush

  9. Hello! Can’t wait to make this, just wondering if you can use tinned lentils if you have to…….?

    1. I disagree. There are like 4 ingredients to chop and the dressing to stir – I was done in 15 mins. max and I’m by far not a professional chef. Honestly, this salad is as easy as it gets.

  10. Delicious, fresh and textural as written. Love the mint in it! I did use basil instead of mint once when I didn’t have any mint and it was also very good. Dressing is bright with the lemon zest and juice! I do add feta cheese, and dried cranberries for a pop of sweet tartness! Made this salad several times this summer. Use French lentil as they hold their shape and bite well.

  11. 5 stars
    We put this together as a last minute dinner dish. What a hit! The whole crew loved it, which can be a trick sometimes. Thanks for the share!

  12. 5 stars
    Thanks for the great recipe! I use beluga lentils because I can get them locally. Made a great meal prep salad for the work week!

  13. 4 stars
    Thanks for this recipe Maria! I added a can of black beans to the mix for an extra bite. Could also top it with a crispy fried egg too

  14. 5 stars
    Made a vegan version and it was one of the nicest salads I’ve had in a while. I used mixed peppers for extra colour. The vinaigrette is gorgeous also

  15. 5 stars
    This was easy to make. Lots of flavour and freshness.
    My teenage daughter loved it and asked me to make it again!

  16. 5 stars
    Salad was delicious rolled in a tortilla. Easy to prepare but the 5 minute prep time is way off. The recipe calls for dicing cucumbers, onions, peppers, mint, parsley, mincing garlic, zesting and juicing lemon. Maybe if you had someone dicing, chopping, mincing, zesting and juicing for you it would take 5 minutes to add all the ingredients to the lentils and mix it. This was a fantastic recipe and I will definitely use again.

  17. 5 stars
    Super good! Our vegan daughter is here for awhile, so I’m looking for veggie-heavy meals, things that can modified if necessary but that appeal to my husband, a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy. He loved this recipe just as much as the rest of us did. Thank you!

  18. 5 stars
    Loved this salad. Easy to make and very refreshing! Added some toasted pine nuts and used grilled halloumi instead of feta. Will deffs be making this again. Yum!

  19. This is 10 out of 10 and absolutely my new favorite recipe. I’ve been looking for a way to use up my lentils and this is amazing

  20. I love lentils or…super lentils!

    I tried your suggestion posted here today and simply you made my day…

    Having a set of precious raw ingredients is crucial, that to say: freshness (The veggies) and quality (The grain itself, the Olio de oliva and ground pepper). We did not try it adding the kind of cheese specially good for salads, but did not miss it at all…lol

    I personally shared this w/ my closest friends asap

    Thank you!!!

  21. 4 stars
    A really good recipe as a starting point. We love flavor so I added 2 to 3 times as much lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, and mint, just a touch of honey and a can of black olives. Was a great salad to take on a camping trip! Thanks!

  22. 5 stars
    This recipe is ridiculously delicious! I made it last weekend and had it all week for lunch. I will likely do the same this weekend but plan to also have it one night with pan seared salmon and a salad. Thanks for a fabulous recipe!

  23. 3 stars
    I made this Lentil Salad for friends last night, but did not get the rave reviews I was hoping for. Although the recipe looks and sounds wonderful and has many ingredients and herbs, I thought it fell short on flavor. I did not want to waste it so the next day I ate for lunch, but added some store bought Vidalia Onion dressing I had in the fridge and this did add a little more something-something. For my tastes, I must give 3 stars.

  24. 5 stars
    I made this with brown lentils, keeping them just cooked, not mushy! Then putting them straight into cold water to stop them cooking :). It is divine! I made a big batch of nine portions putting each with a portion of potato salad. Really great for meal prep, thanks!

  25. I made the lentil salad and added some Avocado to it and it was really great, creamy and satisfying,
    The only other additions I would recommend would be Celery finely chopped, and chopped olives,
    Your choice, Kalamata, black, or green, and maybe a few capers, I’m sure either would work well because the salad is great to start with and tasty additions would only enhance the flavors

  26. 5 stars
    I love lentils in any shape or form and this salad is an easy dinner – I love to serve it with some chicken breast and naan. It’s super easy and quick to make and so healthy. I will make this one quite a lot in different variations. This will go with fruit like apples, grapes etc. as well, which I love to add especially in the summer.