Mediterranean Lentil Salad

Mediterranean Lentil Salad is an easy-to-make cold lentil salad that makes a perfect vegetarian side or main.  It’s chock full of cucumbers, onion, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and kalamata olives all tossed in a light Italian vinaigrette. 

clear glass bowl of lentil salad

I love everything about this cold lentil salad.  It’s delicious, healthy and super quick and easy to make!

bowls of lentils, olives, onion, cherry tomatoes

LENTIL SALAD RECIPE

  • Dried lentils (green or French green)
  • Cucumber
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Red onion
  • Marinated artichoke hearts
  • Kalamata olives
  • Flat leaf parsley
  • Italian vinaigrette

Variations

These are also great additions to this salad!

  • Parmesan cheese
  • Pepperoncini
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Fresh basil

DRESSING

  • Lemon juice
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Dried oregano
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

HOW TO MAKE COLD LENTIL SALAD

This Mediterranean Lentil Salad comes together in about 30 minutes start-to-finish.

  • Cook lentils.  Place the dried lentils in a colander and rinse with cold water.  Add the lentils to a saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer just until tender. Remove from heat and drain.  Set aside to cool.
  • Make dressing.  Whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • Prep ingredients.  Slice onion and soak onion slices in cup of water until ready to use. This takes the bite out of the onion.  Peel and remove seeds of cucumber.  Cut tomatoes in half.  Chop parsley.
  • Toss salad. After the lentils have cooled, add them to a large bowl.  Drain onion slices and add to bowl.  Toss in tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, kalamata olives and artichoke hearts.  Gently toss with dressing.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

bowl of lentil salad

HOW TO COOK LENTILS

Lentils are quick and easy to make and unlike other legumes, they don’t require soaking first. 

  • Prepare lentils.  Place green lentils in a colander and pick through removing any little stones and debris you may find.  Rinse under cold water.
  • Combine ingredients.  Add lentils, garlic, bay leaf and basil to a large pot.
  • Add water.  Pour in enough water to cover lentils by 1-1/2 inches.
  • Simmer.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low, cover with lid, and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until lentils are just tender.
  • Drain.  Drain lentils and season with salt and pepper.  

bowl of lentils and vegetable salad

TYPES OF LENTILS

There is a variety of different types of lentils to cook with, such as green lentils (also called French lentils or Le Puy lentils), red lentils, black lentils (also called beluga lentils) and brown lentils.  Green lentils and French green lentils work best for this salad because they hold their texture well (unlike brown and orange lentils which tend to fall apart).

FRENCH GREEN LENTILS

Le Puy lentils (also called French Green Lentils) hold their shape when cooked retaining a slightly firmer texture.  They’re great for adding to soups and salads.  They cook in about 40-45 minutes.

BELUGA LENTILS

Black lentils (also called beluga lentils) are similar in texture to green lentils as they hold their shape pretty well when cooked. Beluga lentils cook in about 25-30 minutes.

BROWN LENTILS

 Brown lentils are used in a lot of soup recipes.  They don’t hold their shape as well as green lentils when cooked and become a little more stewy like. These lentils take about 30 minutes to cook.  Be careful not to overcook them, as they can turn to mush.

RED LENTILS

Red lentils cook much quicker than green or brown lentils (taking only about 15 minutes to cook) and they become very soft and practically fall apart when cooking.  These lentils also make a good soup, but they’re also good to add to some curry recipes.  They really fall apart if overcooked.

ARE LENTILS HEALTHY

Yes! Lentils are rich with protein, iron, fiber, folic acid and magnesium.  They’re also a good source of polyphenos which are compounds found in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, etc. Polyphenols act like antioxidants helping to reduce inflammation linked to chronic disease.  (1) (2)

bowl of tossed lentil salad

MORE EASY LENTIL RECIPES

MORE LEGUME SALAD RECIPES

Bowl of tossed lentil salad
Yield: 6 servings

Lentil Salad

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Mediterranean Lentil Salad is an easy-to-make cold lentil salad that makes a perfect vegetarian side or main.  It's chock full of cucumbers, onion, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and kalamata olives all tossed in a light Italian vinaigrette. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and cut in half
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced thinly and soaked in water for 5-10 minutes
  • 3/4 cup kalamata olives, whole or sliced in half
  • 2 jars of marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled, smashed and minced
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the dried lentils in a colander and rinse with cold water. 
  2. Add the lentils to a saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, then place lid on saucepan and reduce heat to low and simmer just until tender.
  3. Remove from heat and drain.  Set aside to cool.
  4. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  5. After the lentils have cooled, add them to a large bowl. 
  6. Drain onion slices and add to bowl with lentils.
  7. Toss in the tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, kalamata olives and artichoke hearts. 
  8. Gently toss with dressing. 
  9. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


Dressing

Whisk all of the ingredients in a small bowl or place in a small mason jar, tighten the lid and shake well.

Notes

VARIATIONS

  • You can add or swap out any of the ingredients for the following:
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Pepperoncini
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Fresh basil

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 171mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g

theharvestkitchen.com attempts to provide accurate information, however, this nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. The nutritional information provided comes from online sources and calculations.

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