This Mediterranean lentil salad is vegan, packed with protein and perfect for meal prep. This healthy salad is filled with crisp veggies and topped with a creamy tahini dressing.
It’s salad season and this Mediterranean lentil salad is my current favorite recipe to meal prep. It’s packed with protein from the lentils, crisp veggies and topped with a creamy tahini dressing.
This recipe is vegan friendly, just swap the honey for maple syrup, naturally gluten free and holds up well in the fridge so it’s great for meal prep.
Lentils. I suggest using brown, black or green lentils for this salad because they hold up better. Red lentils are mushy when cooked and won’t hold up well in a salad.
Tomatoes. I love using grape or cherry tomatoes, but any kind of tomato works well. If you aren’t a fan of tomatoes
Cucumber. Fresh diced cucumber adds a crisp texture and flavor to this lentil salad. I like using mini cucumbers, but anything goes!
Pepperoncini. Pepperoncini are more of a Greek thing than Mediterranean thing, but I love them so much I couldn’t resist putting them in this salad.
Tahini dressing. We’ll top everything off with a creamy tahini dressing that’s slightly tangy from balsamic vinegar, sweet from honey and so easy to make.
How to make a lentil salad
Cook the lentils according to package instructions and set aside to cool.
Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing and set aside.
Add all ingredients for the salad, including the cooled lentils to a large mixing bowl.
Toss with half the dressing, then add more as desired. It makes quite a bit of dressing, so you likely won’t need all of it, but depends on your preference!
I like to add in a few large handfuls of arugula or another leafy green, but this is totally optional.
Serve as is or with your choice of protein and enjoy!
Do lentils cook like rice?
Yes and no! You can cook lentils like rice and allow the lentils to absorb all of the liquid. Or, you can cook them more like pasta in an abundance of water or broth and then drain and rinse when they’re al dente.
Hearty lentils like brown, green or black can go either way, so just depends on your preference. Either way, they will take about 20-25 minutes to cook.
You don’t need to soak lentils before cooking, just be sure to rinse them in a fine mesh strainer to remove any rocks or debris that may be lingering.
Once they’re done cooking, give them a quick rinse with cool water so they’re ready to get tossed in the salad!
I love serving this lentil salad exactly as is for a super quick lunch that’s still packed with protein. However, if you want to bulk it up, you can serve it alongside some salmon, tofu, chicken etc.
For extra greens, I like to add some arugula or mixed greens, and there’s plenty of extra dressing to accomodate any additions.
Variations and optional add-ins
Red onion. I opted against any onion in this salad because I think raw onion can be a bit overpowering at times.
However, red onion is pretty traditional in a Mediterranean lentil salad, so you can add 1/4-1/2 cup finely diced red onion if you prefer.
Feta. Feta is classic in a Mediterranean salad, so add a sprinkling of your favorite to take this up a notch!
How to store
This lentil salad stores really well in the fridge! You can store it with or without the dressing since the veggies used won’t get soggy.
It will keep for 5-7 days in the fridge stored in an air tight container. Lentils will start to smell once they’ve gone bad, so you won’t be able to miss when it’s no longer edible!
More hearty salads to try!
Mediterranean Lentil Salad
by: claire cary
- 1 cup dried brown or green lentils
- 1 cup diced cucumber
- 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup sliced pepperoncini
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ⅓ cup chopped parsley or cilantro
- ⅓ cup tahini
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons honey can sub maple syrup
- Cook the lentils according to package instructions and set aside to cool.
- Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing and set aside.
- Add all ingredients for the salad, including the cooled lentils to a large mixing bowl.
- Toss with half the dressing, then add more as desired. It makes quite a bit of dressing, so you likely won't need all of it, but depends on your preference!
- I like to add in a few large handfuls of arugula or another leafy green, but this is totally optional.
- Serve as is or with your choice of protein and enjoy!