This herby lentil salad is a great make-ahead salad for busy summer nights. Nutrient-dense black lentils are combined with fresh herbs, tangy roasted tomatoes and pickled red onion. This hearty lentil salad is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.
I make this salad weekly during the spring and summer and I almost always double the recipe so there will be leftovers for lunch.
I like to serve this salad with grilled salmon and asparagus for a quick summer dinner. This herby lentil salad is also delicious served on a bed of lettuce for a light plant-based meal.
Herby Lentil Salad Ingredients
Dried lentils are the base of this delicious and nutritious salad. I like to use small black lentils as they have a nice firm texture that is perfect for salads.
The star of this herby salad are the fresh herbs, quick pickled red onions, and oven roasted tomatoes.
All ingredients are pulled together with a mild vinaigrette that balances the earthiness of the lentils and brightens the flavors of the herbs and tomatoes.
- Dried lentils
- Cherry tomatoes
- Balsamic vinegar
- Red onion
- Red wine vinegar
- Olive Oil
- Fresh Parsley
- Fresh Dill
- Green onions
- Sea salt
How to make herby lentil salad
While this mediterranean inspired herby lentil salad is easy to make, there are several steps. However, the salad can be made in advance and there are a few short cuts you can use to
- Cook the dried lentils
- Roast the tomatoes
- Quick pickle the red onions
- Chop the herbs
- Combine all ingredients together in a medium salad bowl
How to cook dried lentils
Dried lentils are easy to cook. Unlike beans, lentils do not need to be soaked ahead of cooking. Just give them a quick rinse and then cook to desired firmness.
Pre-cooked lentils can be used in place of dried lentils. Simply substitute 3 cups of cooked lentils the dried lentils.
Oven roast tomatoes
While the lentils are cooking, prepare the oven roasted cherry tomatoes. Toss sliced cherry tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt.
Roast tomatoes in the oven for 20 minutes or until tops start to caramelize.
Quick pickle the red onion
Tossing thinly sliced red onion with red wine vinegar and sea salt quickly pickles the onions. Pickling softens both the texture and flavor of the red onion.
Pickle the onions in red wine vinegar for at least 10 minutes.
Herby Lentil Salad Recipe
- 1 cup small black lentils, dry (du puy lentils also work)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 medium red onion
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil (or avocado oil)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 bunch dill
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 bunch green onions, about 8
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
Cook the Dried Lentils
- Rinse dried lentils in colander
- In a medium pot, bring 1 quart of water to a boil on high heat. Add the lentils to the boiling water and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes or until cooked through but still firm
- Drain cooked lentils in a colander. Set aside to drain well and cool slightly
Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line baking sheet with parchment paper
- Slice cherry tomatoes in half and place on parchment paper
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Toss to coat and arrange tomatoes so the cut side is facing up
- Roast tomatoes in oven for 20 minutes until tops are just starting to caramelized
Quick Pickle the Red Onion
- While lentils are cooking, remove outer skin from red onion, cut in half, and thinly slice each half to create thin half circle slices of onion
- Place sliced red onions in the bottom of a medium salad bowl
- Add red wine vinegar and salt, stir to combine and set aside for 10 minutes
Assemble the Salad
- Add drained lentils, olive oil, and crushed garlic to the pickled onions. Stir to combine
- Roughly chop the entire bunches of washed parsley and dill (some stems are okay) and add to salad bowl
- Thinly slice washed green onions using the white and light green part of onions and add to salad
- Add oven roasted tomatoes (if using), stir to combine all ingredients and adjust salt as desired
- Either serve right away or store in the fridge until needed. Salad is best eaten at room temperature
Large bunches of fresh dill can sometimes be hard to find. If you find yourself without fresh dill, use two bunches of fresh parsley.
This herby lentil salad is best enjoyed at room temperature. If making ahead, remove it from the fridge approximately 30 minutes before serving. Don't worry - if you forget, it is still delicious.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 220Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 204mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 6g
Nutritional information calculated by Nutritionix on 5/18/2021
Tips and tricks for lentil salads
- Can I use precooked lentils? Yes! Substitute 3 cups precooked lentils for 1 cup dried lentils
- Can I freeze the lentils? Yes! Batch-cook dried lentils and freeze 3 cup portions for up to three months. Defrost the lentils before adding them to the pickled onions
- Can I double the recipe? Yes! This recipe easily doubles
- How long does the herby lentil salad last? You can store this herby lentil salad in the fridge for up to three days. It is a great make-ahead recipe and tastes even better the next day
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