This healthy, flavorful Lentil Salad recipe is made with diced bell pepper and onion, fresh herbs and a simple dressing. It’s easy to make for a delicious lunch or side dish.

Want more salad recipes? Try my Waldorf Salad, Cheeseburger Salad, or Ambrosia Salad!

Lentil Salad in a serving bowl with a wooden spoon.

Why I love this salad:

  • Enjoy All Week: This salad can be made in advance and kept in the fridge. I love to make a batch and pull it out for lunches or as a side throughout the week!
  • Healthy: Made with all fresh ingredients, this salad is hearty and good for you!
  • Easy to Customize: Use any type of lentils, and I often dice extra veggies I have and toss it in. You can see some of my suggestions below!

How to make Lentil Salad:

Cook Lentils: Add lentils to a medium saucepan with 4 cup of cold water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and cook for about 15 minutes, until tender.  Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Combine with other Ingredients: Add lentils to a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Taste and add additional seasonings, as needed.

Serve cold as a healthy lunch or on the side of Grilled Chicken, Marinated Flank Steak, or Chicken Kabobs.

To process photos for making the dressing, then assembling a lentil salad.

What kind of lentils to use:

You can use any type of lentils for this recipe! Consult the package instructions as some lentils may take a little longer to cook, and make sure you have enough liquid to completely cover them in the pot (lentils cook more like pasta, not rice, so they wont absorb all of the water as the cook). I often cook the lentils in chicken or vegetable broth to add extra flavor.

Although I think freshly cooked lentils taste superior, you could substitute canned lentils in this recipe if needed.

Make Ahead and Storage Instructions:

To Make Ahead: This cold lentil salad can be made a day in advance and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator .

To Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Variations:

  • Vegan Lentil Salad: Substitute vegan mayonnaise or soy milk, instead of mayo.
  • Add More Veggies: This is a great recipe for using leftover veggies in your fridge. I like to chop them really small, the size of the lentils. Try adding celery, cucumber, shredded carrot, peas, tomatoes, or leftover cooked veggies like green beans, zucchini, butternut squash.

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Recipe

Lentil Salad in a serving bowl with a wooden spoon.
Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins
Refrigeration 30 mins
Total 1 hr
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Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cup lentils*
  • 1 bell pepper , finely diced
  • 1/4 red onion , finely diced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh-cracked black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Cook Lentils: Add lentils to a medium saucepan with 4 cup of cold water.* Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and cook for about 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Make Salad: Add lentils to a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until completely chilled. Taste and add additional seasonings, as needed. Serve cold.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Notes

Lentils: You can use any type of lentils for this recipe. Consult the package instructions as some lentils take longer to cook, and make sure you have ample liquid to completely cover them in the pot (lentils cook more like pasta, not rice, so they wont absorb all of the water as the cook). I often cook the lentils in chicken or vegetable broth to add extra flavor. 
Vegan Lentil Salad: Substitute vegan mayonnaise or soy milk, instead of mayo.
Add More Veggies: This is a great recipe for using leftover veggies in your fridge. I like to chop them really small, the size of the lentils. Try adding celery, cucumber, shredded carrot, peas, tomatoes, or leftover cooked veggies like green beans, zucchini, butternut squash.

Nutrition

Calories: 271kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 16gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 622mgPotassium: 613mgFiber: 19gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 700IUVitamin C: 29mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 5mg

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I originally shared this recipe August 2020. Updated June 2022.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    This actually turned out way better than I was anticipating. You are right that the different lentils take different cooking times. I always buy mine in bulk so I don’t have the directions, but could have consulted online. I had only 3/4 cup of brown lentils left, so used red for the other 3/4 cup. The red lentils basically turned mushy in the 15 min that I cooked them, while the brown lentils were perfect. I did add garlic and cut the salt in half as we are trying to eat less salt. I thought I would have to add more spices, but really it is good as is. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    We love lentils but I often get in the habit of making them the same way every time. This was a fun way to mix it up. I love how easy this was and I love the leftovers. Yum!