This hearty salad is a keeper! Filled with green lentils, spinach, cucumber, and crumbled feta cheese, drizzled with smooth Italian dressing, lentil salad is the best way to put a boost of flavor and nutrition into your day.
Salads don’t have to be boring! Wedge salad, Italian chopped salad, and blackberry blue cheese salad are just a few of my many favorites. They’re soooo good and bursting with flavor! Honestly, just as satisfying and delicious as a hearty meal!
Easy Green Lentil Salad Recipe
I’ve been a little obsessed with all of the Easter treats going up on the blog lately, so I decided I needed a little healthy balance. To me, there’s no better way to reset than with a tasty salad filled with flavor! This lentil salad is easily one of my new favorites. It’s fresh, flavorful, and loaded with the best texture! Lentils really are a great addition, and they’re super healthy to boot!
Each little lentil is filled with fiber and potassium. They’re also great for keeping cholesterol levels low! They taste absolutely amazing in soup, so I knew they’d be just as delicious sprinkled in a green salad! Next item of business- the dressing. Because what would salads be without them? This lentil salad is tossed in a homemade Italian dressing, made with tasty ingredients like olive oil, garlic, honey, and herbs. It’s the perfect way to complement fresh vegetables! This simple salad is the whole package and the kind of thing that makes you look forward to lunchtime. Let’s get started!
All Ingredients Needed
These are the ingredients I used to make this salad, but you can always mix and match with things you have in your fridge! That’s the beauty of salads- they taste good with so many different additions! Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact measurements.
- Baby Spinach: Baby spinach is one of my favorite greens to use as a salad base. It’s so soft and tender!
- Green Lentils: You can use either cooked or canned, whatever you prefer!
- Fresh Parsley: Adds an earthy, aromatic flavor.
- English Cucumber: Sliced cucumber is the best. It’s the perfect refreshing, crunchy addition to any salad!
- Grape Tomatoes: I used heirloom grape tomatoes!
- Feta Cheese: Feta adds a tangy pop of flavor! Not to mention, its crumbly texture is absolutely delicious in this lentil salad. You can swap this out for ricotta or parmesan, as well.
- Olive Oil: The foundation of the dressing! It adds an earthy, delicate flavor and helps the dressing ingredients stick together.
- Fresh Lemon Juice: Nothing complements greens like a pop of citrus!
- Garlic: Minced garlic adds the best savory flavor.
- Honey: Gives the dressing a smooth texture and sweetness.
- Italian Seasoning: You can buy this at the store or make your own blend at home.
- Kosher Salt: I like adding kosher salt because it has a chunkier grain and a more pure flavor.
- Pepper: Added to enhance the overall flavor of the lentil salad.
- Red Onion: Adds a bit of crunch and sharp flavor.
How to Make Lentil Salad
Lentil salad is so easy to make. It’s great for an anytime meal! It’s also the perfect side dish to accompany dinner. Your friends and family will love its fresh, delicious flavor! And if you’re looking for more easy, tasty salads, find my complete list of spring salads here.
- Prepare Lentils: If using canned lentils, drain and set aside. If using raw lentils, cook according to directions. Drain and set aside lentils to cool.
- Whisk Dressing Ingredients: To prepare the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, honey, seasonings, salt, and pepper. Then set it aside.
- Add Salad Ingredients to Large Bowl: To assemble the salad, add all the salad ingredients to a large bowl.
- Toss and Serve: Toss with the dressing and then enjoy!
Tips, Tricks, and Variations
Here are a few simple ways to perfect this hearty lentil salad. It’s also great for making ahead! There’s nothing better than a tasty meal that’s ready to be eaten right out of the fridge!
- Keep Lentils Firm: I always prefer to cook my own lentils as opposed to buying them canned. This way, I have more control over their texture. I like to cook them just until tender, still slightly firm. They will absorb dressing as the salad sits, making them soften. You don’t want them to be soggy.
- Flavor Additions: Because this salad is nice and fresh and has a light dressing, you can add just about anything to it. Fresh or dried fruit and chopped nuts are both great additions! Also, if you’re looking to add more protein, tofu and shredded chicken are great in it, too.
- Making Ahead: If you’re wanting to make lentil salad in advance, it’s best if you store the salad and dressing separately. It can be kept in the fridge for 3 days before it needs to be consumed.
Storing Leftover Salad
Like most green salads, this one is best served fresh so you can enjoy all the flavor the veggies have to offer! If, however, you have leftovers, lentil salad will keep in the fridge for a few days before it needs to be thrown out.
- In the Refrigerator: Store for up to 4 days in an airtight container or bowl covered with plastic wrap.
Note: If you want to keep your salad from becoming soggy, store salad and dressing separately.
For the Salad
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 1/2 cups green lentils (cooked or canned)
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 cup English cucumber, diced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (I used heirloom grape tomatoes)
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp garlic minced
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
If using canned lentils, drain and set aside. If using raw lentils, cook according to directions. Drain and set aside lentils to cool.
To prepare the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, honey, seasonings, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
To assemble the salad, add all the salad ingredients to a large bowl.
Toss with the dressing and enjoy!
The Recipe Critic