This Lentil Salad makes a satisfying Mediterranean style side dish to the main meal. It is made with a combination of lentils, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and a lemon dressing. It is a nutritious and delicious recipe that is great for summer barbecues, picnics, family reunions and more.
The Versatile Legume
I love lentils. I grew up eating lentils on a regular basis. With my mom as a vegetarian, they became a staple in our home. Their meaty texture and makes any recipe feel filling and satisfying.
Dried lentils. These are a powerful legume. They are low in calories, rich in iron, and high in fiber. They are super easy to cook and don't require to be soaked prior to doing so. When cooked, they offer up a slightly spicy flavor and meaty texture. They are an excellent way to get in a healthy meal without adding meat.
Cucumbers, offering up that fresh cool addition to the salad. They are 95% water and great food to consume making you feel refreshed.
Tomatoes bring Vitamin C, A, and K into this recipe with a naturally sweet fresh flavor.
Fresh Oregano is loaded with antioxidants and has nutrients that help fight off infection.
Red Onion is rich in antioxidants and adds flavor and color to the salad.
Kalamata Olives are rich in antioxidants and healthy fats. They also have 5 grams of protein per 5 olives!
Feta Cheese adds more briny flavor to this salad. It is lower in calories and fat and a good source of calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamins.
Lemon juice compliments all of the flavors in the salad, it especially pairs well with the fresh oregano!
- Rinse the lentils and then cook according to packaging. Once cooked, drain, and rinse. Set aside.
- Make the vinaigrette: In a large glass measure, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper until combined. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together the cooled lentils, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onion, oregano, and feta cheese.
- Pour the lemon vinaigrette over top of the lentil mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate any leftovers.
- Add other fresh vegetables to expand the salad. Good ones to use are diced celery, bell pepper, and carrots.
- Substitute fresh chopped mint for the oregano.
- Give it an extra boost of flavor and use sun dried tomatoes in place of the grape tomatoes.
- Use the same amount of maple syrup in place of the honey in the lemon vinaigrette
💭 Top Tips
- Slightly undercook the lentils to prevent them from sticking together and becoming mush in the salad. They should be toothsome, not mushy.
- Make sure to rinse the lentils before and after cooking. Rinsing after cooking will remove the starch and allow the lentils to mix into the salad without becoming mush.
More Recipes with Lentils
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Lentil Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
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FOR THE SALAD
- In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together the cooked lentils, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, red onion, feta cheese, and oregano.
- Pour the lemon vinaigrette over top of the lentil salad and toss to coat.