Red Lentil Salad is a favorite of mine! Why? Preparing lentils is easier than you think and they are full of amazing flavor. This healthy lentil salad recipe is ready in no time. A perfect make-ahead salad that can be enjoyed all week!
A salad filled with veggies and an easy lemon vinaigrette puts this into my families meal rotation often!
Red Lentil Salad is packed with veggies and full of flavor and nutrition!
My family is all big fans of any lentil salad recipe! Besides being amazingly delicious, lentils are full of nutrition!
Lentils are very inexpensive and they pack a boatload of flavor to any recipe! Are you cooking with lentils? My friends, whether you are a seasoned lentil users or first-time fans, this is a recipe you must put into rotation!
I’m pretty sure most of you are super busy with life! Whether it is work, kids, the need to get in a workout…I can keep going, but why? Busy is Busy, regardless of what makes us busy!
So being busy, we all need to eat and for me, I need my meals to be ready, delicious and if I can make anything ahead of time – cha-ching a win all around. Thus we have this most amazing Red Lentil Salad!
I LOVE making this lentil recipe and I make this as part of my meal preps for the week. Quick and easy! So delicious and versatile and I can adjust the veggies I use as well.
Red lentils are a favorite ingredient of mine. They are so easy to cook and extremely versatile. Growing up, we pretty much-made lentils only in soup! Meat/potatoes=Irish Girl! That’s me, but once I found them, amazing! My kids love them! Dressing up lentils with veggies and vinaigrette always makes a great salad!
I discovered lentils as I started experimenting with cooking in high school. Lentils are a staple in my recipe rotation. I promise, I will be sharing a lot more recipes using lentils coming!
Are red lentils healthy?
Lentils are low in calories and are high in fiber which is important to maintain a healthy heart. Lentils are also a great source of fiber!
How long does it take to cook red lentils?
Surprisingly, lentils cook quickly! In around 15-20 minutes, red lentils are ready!
Do lentils need to be soaked before being cooked?
Lentils do not need to be soaked prior to cooking. However, I do rinse the lentils off right before cooking them. This ensures the lentils are clean.
What do lentils taste like?
My kids eat a lot of lentils. Their friends always ask this question. Lentils are a small legume that is not heavy. Lentils pair will with other veggies. They hold up well in soups and stews.
How long can Red Lentil Salad be kept in the fridge?
The salad is fine kept in the fridge well covered for about 3 days. If you want to make a double batch of lentils.
FAQs about Red Lentils:
- Lentils are a great source of protein
- Add lentils into your heart-healthy diet.
- Lentils are a low-calorie legume.
- A good source of complex-carbs which is great for energy.
I love to make this salad on its own as a light lunch! Red Lentil Salad also pairs well with:
Other recipes that go nicely with this lentil salad are soup are a few from my favorites food blogger friends:
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Tools to may need to make Red Lentil Salad:
- 4-quart saucepan: one of my favorite saucepans, non-stick too!
- 5-quart Colander: A necessity for every kitchen and needed to drain the lentils!
- Food Storage Containers: These are a favorite of mine, sturdy and keeps the food locked in.
How to Make Red Lentil Salad:
- Place a medium saucepan over medium heat filled with water.
- Add to the saucepan lentils, onions, garlic, chopped onions, bay leaf, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover with lid. You do not want the lentils to be mushy they should look like these lentils.
- Let simmer, 20 minutes.
- Discard bay leaf. Set lentils aside.
- Make vinaigrette dressing.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette onto the salad. I like to chill the red lentil salad for at least an hour. Overnight is even better and enjoy!
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Red Lentil Salad Recipe
Red Lentil Salad is delicious and easy to prepare! This salad makes a great light lunch! Perfect for dinner with a bowl of soup or a salad! Make this ahead of time, overnight and it tastes even better! Bring along to any potluck!
To Make the Lentils and Veggies
- 1 cup dry red lentils
- 1 lemon peel
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1-2 sprigs fresh thyme
- salt, to taste
- 4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- zest of the lemon
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 6 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
- salt, to taste
How to Assemble the Red Lentil Salad
- 1/2 cup shallots, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped celery
- 4 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- salt and pepper, to taste if needed
How to Make the Lentils
Rinse and drain red lentils.
In a 4 quart saucepan over medium/high heat add the red lentils to about 1-quart of water. Add the lemon peel, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme to the water. Bring lentils to an almost boil,(note 1) reduce heat to low, simmer red lentils for about 15 minutes, uncovered. Once lentils are cooked, remove and discard lemon peel, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Drain lentils and salt them. Place red lentils in a bowl to assemble the remaining ingredients. Note 2
Make the Lemon Vinaigrette
In a mason jar or bowl with a lid, add lemon juice, lemon zest, minced garlic, Dijon Mustard, olive oil, fresh parsley, and fresh thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Place the lid on mason jar or place the lid on the bowl. Shake the salad dressing well to mix. Check the seasoning on the vinaigrette. Reseason if needed. (Note 3) Set aside to assemble the red lentil salad
Assemble the Red Lentil Salad
To the red lentils, add shallots, carrots, celery, chopped parsley, and thyme. Top with the Lemon Vinaigrette. Toss well. Check the flavors. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Adjust herbs if needed.
This salad is best refrigerated for a bit before serving. I make this the evening before. (Note 4)
Note 1: An almost boil is one or two bubbles in the water. Then turn heat to low simmer.
Note 2: I have done a lot of experimenting with lentils. I have found salting after they cook helps them not to be mushy!
Note 3: This salad dressing is fabulous, you can make this alone and serve with any kind of salad too! Feel free to make extra and serve over salad greens with this salad. Also can marinate chicken pieces in the extra salad for a protein with the red lentil salad!
Note 4: This is a salad that I love to make ahead and eat all week. The salad keeps very well in the fridge well covered.
I am not a registered dietician, I do my best to provide the most accurate nutritional values. Any nutritional data I provide is an approximation. Actual dietary information can vary based on ingredients and portion sizes
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