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Easy Lentil Salad with a Lemon Maple Vinaigrette

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Packed with wholesome ingredients and bursting with flavors, this Easy Lentil Salad is not only delicious, but also incredibly nutritious. The lemon maple vinaigrette is a delightful combination of sweet, tangy, and savory flavors that elevates the taste of the lentil salad to a new level.

A large white bowl filled with easy lentil salad.

LENTILS 101

Although not new, lentils are quickly surpassing chickpeas as the go-to superfood in pastas, chips and even pet food.

Lentils are a a tiny, round-shaped legume that has long been a staple in Indian cuisine (daal). In addition, these protein-packed lentils play a huge role in vegan cooking as a plant-based source of protein. They are grown in pods and come in a variety of sizes and colors (green, brown, black, red, yellow and green). Also, lentils are gluten-free!

Health benefits of eating lentils

Lentils are a superfood, packed full of nutritious goodness. These powerful legumes contain 18 grams of protein in one cup. They are full of fiber and are generous in polyphenols. Polyphenols fight off harmful agents in the body.

Here are a few more recipes I think you will enjoy:

WHY THIS LENTIL SALAD IS A MUST-TRY!

A vibrant and nourishing lentil salad that’s as good for your taste buds as it is for your health. This recipe is not only a feast for your senses but also a nutritional boost to your day.

  • Balanced Nutrition: With a blend of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and a spectrum of vitamins and minerals from the vegetables, this lentil salad is a wholesome meal that fuels your body.
  • Flavorful Fusion: The combination of tangy lemon maple vinaigrette with the earthy lentils and the vibrant veggies creates a harmonious medley of flavors and textures.
  • Effortless and Versatile: This salad is simple to prepare, making it perfect for busy weeknight dinners or meal prep. Plus, you can easily customize it to suit your taste preferences.
  • Nutritional Superstar: Lentils are renowned for their numerous health benefits, including promoting heart health, supporting digestion, and aiding weight management.

INGREDIENTS FOR EASY LENTIL SALAD

This lentil salad is a powerhouse of nutrients. Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein and dietary fiber, supporting digestion and providing long-lasting energy. Although I recommend cooking the dried lentils, store-bought can be substituted as a time saver.

The colorful vegetables add vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, while feta cheese contributes calcium and protein. The lemon maple vinaigrette provides healthy fats and a burst of tangy flavor.

In addition, this lentil salad is incredibly versatile and can be easily customized to suit individual preferences and dietary needs:

  • Protein Power: For a vegetarian version of this lentil salad, you can swap the chicken stock with vegetable broth or use all water. You can also add grilled tofu, chickpeas, or your favorite plant-based protein to make the salad even heartier.
  • Go Green: Enhance the salad’s nutritional profile by adding a handful of baby spinach or arugula. These leafy greens contribute additional vitamins and a burst of freshness.
  • Play with Herbs: While parsley is fantastic, feel free to experiment with other fresh herbs like mint or basil for a unique twist.
  • Colorful Veggies: Don’t hesitate to switch up the vegetables based on what’s in season, or what you have in your fridge. Bell peppers, grated carrots, or even roasted sweet potatoes can be wonderful additions.
  • Feta Cheese: Easily leave out, or substitute with goat cheese. Try vegan cheese to make this a vegan lentil salad.
  • Nuts for Nuts: If you’re a nut lover, substitute pepitas with toasted almonds, walnuts, or sunflower seeds for added crunch and nutty flavor. Try chia seeds for a nutritional boost.
  • Dressing: Honey is a great substitute for the maple syrup. Additionally, substitute the lemon maple vinaigrette with a balsamic reduction for a sweeter, deeper flavor, or create a Tahini-based dressing for a unique Middle Eastern flair.
A large white platter filled with the ingredients to make a lentil salad. Including cooked lentils, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese, parsley, red onion and pepitas

SERVING AND STORING EASY LENTIL SALAD

This lentil salad is fantastic at room temperature, making it an ideal option for picnics, potlucks, or outdoor gatherings. Cold lentil salad is incredibly refreshing, especially on hot days. Alternatively, if you prefer a warmer dish, consider briefly heating the prepped lentils before adding the fresh vegetables and vinaigrette.

Easily serve this protein-packed lentil salad as a refreshing main dish for lunch, a light dinner, or for meal prep. Here are a few other serving options:

  • served as a hearty side dish alongside grilled chicken, fish, or roasted vegetables.
  • with a side of crusty bread or stuffed inside warm, homemade pita bread
  • layered in a mason jar with crisp greens

Storing

Store any leftover lentil salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Before serving leftovers, give the salad a gentle toss and drizzle on additional lemon maple vinaigrette, if needed.

Print
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A large white bowl filled with easy lentil salad.

Easy Lentil Salad with a Lemon Maple Vinaigrette


Description

Packed with wholesome ingredients and bursting with flavors, this Easy Lentil Salad is not only delicious, but also incredibly nutritious. The maple lemon vinaigrette is a delightful combination of sweet, tangy, and savory flavors that elevates the taste of the lentil salad to a new level.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup dried green or brown lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup diced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

FOR THE LEMON MAPLE VINAIGRETTE:

  • juice of two lemons
  • 4-ounces olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Instructions

  1. Rinse the lentils in a mesh strainer. Pick out and discard any unusual looking lentils.
  2. Add to a pot with the salt, bay leaf, chicken stock and water. Mix.
  3. Bring to just under a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer. 
  4. Cover. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender (not mushy or overcooked).
  5. While the lentils are cooking, prep the remaining ingredients, including the dressing.
  6. In a large mason jar, combine all of the ingredients for the lemon maple dressing. Using an immersion blender, blend until emulsified.
  7. Once the lentils are cooked, transfer to a mesh strainer to drain the liquid. Allow to cool.
  8. In a large bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients. Dress the salad to your preference. Toss to coat.
  9. Garnish with freshly cracked black pepper and fresh chopped parsley.
@charlottefashionplate

You are going to love this Easy Lentil Salad Recipe with a Lemon Maple Vinaigrette! It’s protein packed, full of fresh vegetables, feta cheese and pepitas for crunch! Its perfect for lunch, a light dinner or meal prep! #lentils #lentilsalad #lentilrecipe #saladtiktok #saladrecipe #healthysalad #vegetarian #easyrecipe #foodtok #pepita #lunchideas #mealprep #healthydinner

♬ FEEL THE GROOVE – Queens Road, Fabian Graetz

Notes

  • try not to overcook the lentils as they will become mushy
  • easily substitute the chicken stock with all water or vegetable stock
  • instead of using an immersion blender to emulsify the dressing, place lid and shake, or use a whisk
  • see post for additional tips and substitutions
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Salad, Side dish, Lunch
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: American

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GET TO KNOW ME!

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I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him!

Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!

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