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Easy Vegan Lemon Lentil Salad

Fresh veggies and lentils in a bright lemon Dijon dressing for a super easy salad that is packed full of protein for a great lunch or dinner! Gluten free + WFPB recipe. 

A single bowl filled with lemon lentil salad on a wood table next to fresh bread, tomatoes, and a vase of flowers.
A big bowl filled with vegan lemon lentil salad on the table with fresh bread.

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you as this is one of my favorite salads of all time, hands-down, super favorite.

The bright lemon dressing combines with the fresh vegetable flavors for flavors that are perfect for spring and summer, but with easily accessible vegetables making this a go-to salad all year long. 

This is an easy dairy free and gluten free side dish and makes for the perfect lunch when on bread with hummus or in a wrap! 

In the mood for more lentils? Check out my vegan Lentil BBQ Burgers or my vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes

Ingredients 

Here is a quick rundown of what you’ll need to make this lemon lentil salad. For the full ingredients, please see the recipe card below. 

Ingredients for the lemon lentil salad in glass bowls on a wood tabletop. Black and white labels have been added to name each ingredient.
Ingredients for the salad measured out and ready to mix together.
  • Lentils: For the easiest and most convenient, use prepared lentils. My favorite are the cold lentils from Trader Joe’s. If you prefer to make your lentils from scratch, use brown lentils as they will hold up the best in the salad. 
  • Vegetables: Fresh cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and bell peppers 
  • Dressing: I use my homemade lemon Dijon dressing in this salad which is a combination of lemon juice, Dijon mustard, some sugar (or maple syrup), and a pinch of salt and garlic powder. 

Variations

  • Use fresh herbs: Some fresh parsley, fresh mint, or fresh basil are all amazing in this! 
  • Add more veggies: My family and I were divided if we preferred this with kalamata olives or not. You can also add a little bit of red onion if you don’t mind the onion bite! 
  • Add some Vegan Feta for an even more protein-packed salad. 

How to Prepare Lentils for Cooking 

If you don’t have a can or box of prepared lentils, cook 1 cup of dried brown lentils according to package instructions. 

Always start by visually inspecting lentils by sifting them in a bowl or on a towel. Remove any small pieces of debris or pebbles which can be bagged along with the legumes. I’ve found rocks, twigs, and even a bug once in my lentils so it is super important to do this! 

Finally, rinse the lentils to remove any dust. 

I typically use 1 cup of lentils and boil them in 4 cups of vegetable broth. Cook until most of the water has been absorbed and the lentils are soft when you bite into them. Drain to remove excess water. 

Tip! One of the easiest ways to flavor lentils is to cook them in broth. My favorite brand is the Better than Bouillon Vegan Vegetable base and I add it to almost all of my soups and stews. 

Instructions 

This lentil salad is amazing in any season and is put together in less than 15 minutes if you are using prepared lentils. 

Make sure to check out the recipe card below for the full recipe and ingredient list.

Step One: Make the Dressing

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, sugar (or maple syrup), salt and garlic powder. Whisk and give it a taste. Adjust the amounts as you prefer. 

A glass bowl filled with the whisked dressing.
A glass bowl filled with the lemon dressing.

Step Two: Prep the Vegetables 

Chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Add them to a large mixing bowl with the prepared lentils. 

Glass bowl filled with chopped ingredients for the lentil salad next to a small bowl of dressing and a mixing spoon on a wood tabletop.
Ingredients in the bowl ready to be mixed together.

Step Three: Combine and Serve 

Add the dressing over top and give this a good mix. Adjust for any salt or seasoning you like and you are done! Easy as can be. 

For the best taste, allow this to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes to really allow the flavors to come together. 

Two bowls of vegan lemon lentil salad on a wood table with bread and fresh flowers.
Two bowls of lemon lentil salad on the table with fresh bread for serving.

How to Serve this Lentil Salad 

Aside from a hearty scoop of this on your plate, here are a few more methods for serving this salad! 

  1. On top of a bed of greens with extra lemon dressing
  2. Toast a slice of your favorite hearty bread, add a generous amount of hummus, and spoon the lentil salad over top. 
  3. Make a wrap! Take a wrap, add greens and some hummus along with a generous scoop of the lentils. This is one of my favorite ways to eat this! 
A round plate with a slice of bread and hummus with lemon lentil salad scooped on top of it.
One of my favorite ways of enjoying this salad – with hummus on sourdough bread!

How to Store 

Fridge: This salad keeps best in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

Make Ahead: This salad is a rock star of meal prep because the longer it sits in the fridge the more awesome it tastes! Store in the fridge for up to 5 days while enjoying portions for weekday lunches or dinners. This one salad feeds me for one week, so if you have more people to feed, make a double batch. 

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A single bowl filled with lemon lentil salad on a wood table next to fresh bread, tomatoes, and a vase of flowers.

Easy Vegan Lemon Lentil Salad

Fresh veggies and lentils in a bright lemon Dijon dressing for a super easy salad that is packed full of protein for a great lunch or dinner! Gluten free + WFPB recipe.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Keyword: appetizer, dinner ideas, quick meals, salad, side dishes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 198kcal

Equipment

  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Mixing bowls
  • mixing spoon
  • measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons

Ingredients

Lentil Salad

  • 2 cups lentils cooked
  • 2 cups bell peppers roughly chopped
  • 2 cups cucumbers about 4 mini cucumbers, chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes chopped

Lemon Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar or maple syrup
  • Pinch salt and garlic powder

Instructions

  • Cook the lentils if needed. In a large cooking pot on the stove over medium heat, combine 1 cup of brown lentils with 4 cups of water or broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to bring the lentils to a simmer, and cook until the water is mostly gone, about 25 minutes. Taste to make sure the lentils are cooked. If cooked, allow lentils to drain away any excess water and set aside.
  • Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Taste for seasoning.
  • Chop the vegetables. Wash and chop all the vegetables for the salad. Place in a large bowl.
  • Combine and serve. Add the lentils and the dressing to the bowl with the vegetables. Give a gentle stir to combine. Taste for seasoning. Serve warmed or chilled. Enjoy!

Notes

  • How to Store 
    • Fridge: This salad keeps best in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 
    • Make Ahead: This salad is a rock star of meal prep because the longer it sits in the fridge the more awesome it tastes! Store in the fridge for up to 5 days while enjoying portions for weekday lunches or dinners. This one salad feeds me for one week, so if you have more people to feed, make a double batch.
  • Variations 
    • Use fresh herbs: Some fresh parsley, fresh mint, or fresh basil are all amazing in this! 
    • Add more veggies: My family and I were divided if we preferred this with kalamata olives or not. You can also add a little bit of red onion if you don’t mind the onion bite! 
    • Add some Vegan Feta for an even more protein-packed salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 30mg | Potassium: 672mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1393IU | Vitamin C: 62mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 4mg
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