Healthy Mediterranean Lentil Salad
Light, flavorful and packed with good-for-you ingredients like lentils, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes and bell peppers, this Mediterranean Lentil Salad is the perfect summer dish. Ready in under 30 minutes and great for a light lunch or as a side dish paired with your favorite grilled protein.
When the weather heats up, I love turning to lighter, fresher ingredients and this lentil salad does not disappoint. Lentils are packed with protein, plus the addition of lots of veggies, feta cheese and an easy homemade lemon vinaigrette, make this the perfect packed lunch or side dish.
If you caught our recent episode of Food Rx, you’ll know too that these ingredients have many health benefits as well, including lowering cholesterol. Check out our Food Rx series for more ways food can help improve health, from improving gut health to boosting immunity.
The reason this Mediterranean lentil salad is one of my go-to’s is that it’s so easy to make. Cook your lentils, add your favorite veggies (and cheese, of course!) and toss together with a simple, homemade dressing.
It’s so flavorful, fresh, crunchy and tasty – and once it’s prepped, there’s no additional work needed. No reheating, no extra ingredients to add. Just dig in!
Nutrition Tip: Lentils are a great plant-based source of protein and fiber. Add more legumes, like lentils, to your diet can also help lower cholesterol.
- Lentils – This protein-packed legume holds up well in this salad with all those veggies and the quick lemon dressing. No lentils on hand? Feel free to sub out with another legume, like chickpeas, or quinoa, farro, brown rice or another whole grain.
- Veggies – Cucumber, onions, tomatoes and bell peppers are a great combo for this recipe, but you can mix and match your favorite veggies to create your own flavorful combo.
- Fresh Parsley – Fresh herbs are so underutilized! Parsley, basil, cilantro and more add so much flavor to dishes. Use them!
- Dressing – Whip up this quick homemade dressing, or save time and use your favorite store-bought vinaigrette instead.
How to Make this Recipe
This recipe comes together in 4 simple steps:
- Cook your lentils. Follow the directions on the package to cook them on the stove top, or for a more hand-off way to cook them, try making them in an Instant Pot. Once cooked, let them cool.
- Chop your veggies. Shoot for dime-sized pieces or smaller so you can get all the flavors in each bite.
- Prep your dressing. Add the dressing ingredients to a small mason jar and shake it up (or whisk together in a small bowl).Make sure to give it a taste before tossing with your salad to make sure the flavors are where you want them.
- Mix everything together. Toss all your ingredients together in a large bowl. I prefer to make this ahead of time and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before eating so the flavors have a chance to marinate.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are lentils?
Lentils are a legume (like beans) and a great budget-friendly, nutrient-dense food. A ½-cup serving is packed with 8g of fiber and 9g of protein, which will fill you up and keep your feeling fuller longer.
How do you cook lentils?
Lentils cook similar to other dried legumes or grains, only you don’t have to use a specific ratio of water. It’s always a good idea to give them a rinse before cooking. Then, fill up your pot with water (or broth/stock for more flavor), bring it to a boil, add the lentils and let simmer until the lentils are tender. Drain off any excess liquid.
Can this recipe be made ahead of time?
Yes! Lentil salads are great for meal prep and hold up well for several days, making it easy to pack in a lunch or serve up alongside dinner. In fact, I much prefer this salad made an hour or two in advance so those flavors can marinate together.
For more meal prep ideas, make sure to check out our Meal Planning posts.
How long does this recipe keep for?
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. This recipe should keep up to 4-5 days with no issues.
Other Recipes to Try
- Coconut Lentil Curry
- Mediterranean Chopped Salad
- Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
- Italian Vegetable Wild Rice Salad
- Roasted Broccoli & Apricot Couscous Salad
Did you make this Mediterranean Lentil Salad? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Mediterranean Lentil Salad
- 1 cup brown lentils cooked according to package directions
- 1 English cucumber diced
- 1 small red onion finely chopped
- 1 cup grape tomatoes quartered
- ½ red bell pepper diced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- ⅓ cup feta cheese crumbled
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Combine lentils, cucumber, onion, tomatoes, pepper, parsley, and feta cheese in large bowl.
- Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and honey in separate bowl or small mason jar.
- Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Chop veggies into dime-sized pieces or smaller so you can enjoy all the flavors in every bite.
- This salad is best when prepped 30 minutes or more ahead of time so that the flavors can marinate.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
Aside from the delicious and filling salad, this dressing is a staple in our home! Such an amazing combo.