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Simple and easy to make, this green lentil salad is made with chickpeas and fresh veggies for one delicious side dish. It’s perfect for meal prep and is full of healthy and natural ingredients. Tossed in a zingy lemon dressing, it’s absolutely fresh and bright in flavor.
Ingredients & substitutions
- Green lentils: Look for the small ones for the best consistency. When they cook, they have a nice bite to them without being too soft. You can substitute with other types of green lentils, but don’t use red lentils since they tend to become too soft when boiled.
- Chickpeas: Drain and rinse the chickpeas well before using them. If you don’t like chickpeas, you can think about using white beans instead for a similar type of taste and texture.
- Red peppers: Use roasted red peppers rather than raw, which you can buy in jars at your local grocery store. Roasted peppers are sweeter and have a softer texture. You can substitute with raw if you’d like though.
- Cucumbers: This recipe uses Persian cucumbers as they have thinner skin and less seeds than English. They are interchangeable though if you can’t get Persian.
- Red onions: Red onions are milder than white or yellow so are great to use raw in salads. Dice them finely so that they aren’t too overpowering.
- Parsley: For a burst of herby fresh flavor.
- Dressing: Olive oil, lemon juice, zaatar, cumin, garlic salt and pepper.
How to make this lentil salad
- Cook and drain the lentils. Make sure they’re al dente and not too soft.
- Rinse in cold water and place in a large bowl.
- Add the rest of the chopped salad ingredients to the bowl on top of the lentils
- Pour over the dressing and toss to combine.
Tips for making the salad
- Don’t overcook the green lentils. They should still have a slight bite to them, so give them a little test before draining. Overcooked lentils can become soft and mushy, so they’ll break up when you mix them with the other ingredients.
- Allow the lentils to cool before adding any other ingredients. If they are still warm, they will start to cook and soften the other salad ingredients. When you drain them, rinse them under cold water to cool them quickly and stop the cooking process.
- Chop everything finely. This will make all the ingredients easier to combine, so you get an even mix of everything.
- Customize it. This easy lentil salad is easy to make your own. You can swap the parsley for another fresh herb like cilantro or dill, and add in other salad veggies like raw bell peppers or tomatoes. Make it a fuller meal by adding in some cooked shredded chicken.
Frequently asked questions
This lentil salad is meant to be served cold. If the lentils are warm, the rest of the ingredients will soften so you don’t get all of those crunchy textures.
Yes, this is a great make ahead salad and it’s perfect for picnics and cookouts. The dressed salad will keep well covered in the fridge for 24 hours, but undressed it will keep for around 4 days. The dressing will keep for 1 to 2 weeks in a sealed jar or bottle.
The flavors in this simple lentil salad are so bright and fresh, and it’s loaded with fiber and protein so you can feel great about serving it. Simple, delicious and healthy.
More Mediterranean salads:
- Mediterranean Potato Salad
- Mediterranean Chopped Salad
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Mediterranean Hummus Bowl
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- 1 cup small green whole lentils
- 1 15 ounce can chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1-2 Persian cucumbers small diced
- ½ cup roasted red peppers small diced
- ½ cup red onion small diced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon zaatar
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 garlic clove pressed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, place the lentils and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Once cooked, drain the lentils and rinse in cold water to chill. Transfer to a large serving bowl.
- While the lentils are cooking, whisk together the salad dressing ingredients until well combined.
- Add the remaining salad ingredients on top of the lentils.
- When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to combine.