Tangy lentil salad with sun-dried tomatoes and green onions has vibrancy and bite. Protein-packed lentils make it satiating, while red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard give it a punch of flavor.
Keep a batch in your refrigerator for easy lunches alongside a salad or in a wrap. Vegan and gluten-free.
I especially love salads that eat like a meal.
Ones that come to mind?
Oh She Glows Every Day
This lentil recipe is from Angela Liddon’s second cookbook, Oh She Glows Every Day.
You may know Angela from the popular Oh She Glows blog.
Oh She Glows Every Day is gorgeous with large, inviting color photos. And the recipes had me marking page, after page, after page.
(Don’t miss the crowd-pleasing Caesar salad! It was a big favorite around here.)
The cookbook includes over 100 recipes.
The ingredients are ones that can easily be found in any grocery store or farmers market.
Oh She Glows Every Day is filled with the kind of food that lets plants take the center stage and shine.
One recipe that I’ve made again and again from this cookbook is the marinated lentils.
This lentil salad is light but filling.
It includes sun-dried tomatoes, green onions, and fresh parsley.
Red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard give it tang & bite.
Great for meal planning, potlucks, and picnics
Lentil salad is a terrific meal planning recipe, because it will last throughout the whole workweek.
Make it on Sunday. Then add it to salads, spoon it into lettuce cups, add it to wraps or toasted pita.
Because it is best served cold or at room temperature, it’s also a good option for potlucks, and picnics.
Two kinds of lentils
This salad is made with two kinds of lentils – standard brown or green lentils, and French lentils du Puy.
French lentils du Puy are my favorite because they really hold their shape.
That makes for a nice, toothsome bite that doesn’t get overly soft in marinating liquid.
Do you need to soak lentils?
No, lentils don’t have to be soaked before cooking.
That’s one of the many things I love about them!
Unlike dried beans, you don’t have to think about soaking them for hours before you’re ready to cook.
That makes them super convenient and easy.
Can I use pre-cooked or canned lentils?
For this recipe, you’ll have the best results if you make the lentils from scratch. You want them to still have some firmness.
Al dente is best!
With canned lentils, there’s no guarantee that they won’t be overly soft.
That being said, I have made this recipe several times using the vacuum packed steamed lentils from Trader Joe’s.
(They’re one of my favorite Trader Joe’s vegan products.)
When doing this, I have replaced all of the lentils (including the French lentils du Puy) with a package of pre-cooked lentils.
That makes this recipe incredibly weeknight friendly. The whole thing is ready to go in about fifteen minutes.
One thing to note is that the package of Trader Joe’s steamed lentils contains 2 ½ cups of cooked lentils, while the full recipe listed here requires 3 ½ cups of cooked lentils.
So to easily follow the instructions, buy two packages. Or halve the recipe, and then use 1 ¾ cups of the pre-cooked lentils.
Step by step instructions
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this marinated lentil salad.
Start by putting all of the lentils in a fine mesh sieve.
Run water over them. And run your fingers through the lentils in search of any debris to remove.
Then put the lentils in a pot of water.
Bring to a boil. Then lower the heat & cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
Once they are tender but still have some bite to them, drain them.
Whisk the following in a large bowl:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Red wine vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Dijon mustard
- Maple syrup
Then stir in:
- Green onions
- Sun-dried tomatoes
Stir in the drained lentils.
Serve warm. Or pop the salad into the refrigerator to serve cold.
Make it your own
You can make this salad your own with a few easy substitutions or swaps.
- Add diced avocado for extra creamy, fatty goodness. (Keep in mind that avocado will brown over time. If necessary, add it to your own personal serving when you’re ready to eat.)
- Add crumbles of vegan feta cheese for briny bite.
- For more tomato-y goodness, add halved cherry tomatoes.
- For crunch and salt, add a handful of chopped roasted pistachios.
- If you don’t have red wine vinegar on hand, replace it with brown rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
- If Dijon mustard is too nose clearing intense for you, use stone-ground mustard instead.
- Don’t have maple syrup on hand? Swap it out with agave syrup.
- Don’t like parsley? Me either! Use cilantro instead.
What to serve with lentil salad
I often serve the lentil salad with a simple kale salad.
Because the lentils are vinegary, you don’t need too much dressing on the kale. Simply massage the kale with extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and pinch of salt. Then add pistachios for crunch.
Not a fan of kale?
Pro tip: I think a salad with lentils is a lot more fun when there’s a pile of baked fries on the side!
Lentil salad can also be eaten on its own, straight out of the refrigerator, as a snack.
How long will it keep?
Lentil salad will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for about a week.
Can you freeze lentil salad?
According to Angela, the cookbook author, you can put this salad into a freezer-safe zip-top bag with the air pressed out.
It will keep for up to a month in the freezer.
When you’re ready to use it, move it to the refrigerator to thaw.
Before serving, add extra dressing and salt to liven it up again.
Tangy lentil salad (The best marinated lentils)
- 1 cup French green lentils uncooked
- ½ cup brown lentils or green, uncooked
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 ½ teaspoons red wine vinegar or to taste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 1 ½ cups thinly sliced green onions about 1 medium bunch, dark and light green parts only
- ⅓ cup fresh parsley leaves minced
- ½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes drained and finely chopped
- Pick over the lentils, discarding any debris. Rinse and drain the lentils and put them in a medium saucepan along with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium to high heat, then reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Stir in the green onions, parsley, and tomatoes.
- Drain the lentils very well. Spoon them into the bowl with the other ingredients (it’s okay if they are still warm) and stir well. Season with additional salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately, or let cool slightly and then cover and marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. Stir well before serving.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Oh She Glows Every Day for review. The thoughts & opinions are totally my own.
Content and photos updated August 2020. Originally posted September 2016.