Cold Lentil Salad

This post was last updated on July 26, 2014 to include new images and a recipe video.

Cold Lentil Salad

Today, I’d like to dedicate some time to the lentil.

Cold Lentil Salad recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Yes, the lentil.

Is it just me, or does it seem the lentil often gets left out?

Cold Lentil Salad recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef
Cold Lentil Salad recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

It certainly does in my house.  When I cook beans, I’ll typically use pinto beans, soy beans, black beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas) or some other variety, but not usually lentil beans.

Maybe it’s because they don’t come canned?  Am I that lazy?

Cold Lentil Salad recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Lentils are actually quite delicious and surprisingly nutritious.  So, for today’s post, I thought I’d share a little about how great lentils are in an effort to increase their use in your kitchen and mine.

Health Benefits of Lentils

  • Lentils are very rich in protein, folic acid, and both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.
  • Lentils are very high in Vitamin C, the B vitamins and contain 8 of the essential amino acids.
  • Lentils contain many valuable trace minerals.
  • Lentils are one of the highest sources of antioxidants found in legumes.
  • Ummm…they are quite tasty.

Cold Lentil Salad recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

What does this mean for you?

  • Reduced Risk of Heart Disease: Studies have found that people who eat high fiber legumes, like lentils, have a reduced risk of heart disease.
  • Stabilize Blood Sugar: Lentils help in regulating blood sugar by providing steady, slow-burning energy and balancing blood sugar levels from the high fiber content.
  • Replenish Iron Within Your Body: Lentils are loaded with iron and are great for people who don’t eat red meat (like vegans and vegetarians).
  • Healthy Functioning of the Nervous, Digestive, and Immune Systems: Lentils are a great source of B vitamins, most notably folate and niacin (B3).
  • Lower Cholesterol: Lentils are a great cholesterol-lowering food due to their high levels of fiber.
  • Protein Packed: 26% of the calories in lentils are from protein and they have the third highest level of protein than any other plant food.

So, there you have it. Everything you ever wanted to know about lentils. Probably even more. Given all their health benefits, it’s really no wonder lentils are a staple in so many parts of the world.

Cold Lentil Salad recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Watch me make this super easy salad:

Cold Lentil Salad

That all being said, please enjoy this protein-and-fiber-packed Cold Lentil Salad recipe that’s not only delicious, but great for your body, too!

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If you give this recipe a try, let me know what you think by leaving a comment and rating it. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #asweetpeachef on Instagram! I LOVE seeing what you come up with. Enjoy!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cold Lentil Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Enjoy this light and healthy Cold Lentil Salad that is not only delicious, but is good for you, too!
Recipe type: Easy
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 cup lentils, uncooked
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Italian parsley, chopped
  • ¼ small red onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Add enough water to fully cover lentils in a deep pot and cook, covered, over medium-high heat for 30-45 minutes, or until tender (but not falling apart).
  2. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and vinegar. Set aside.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine cooked lentils, green onions, parsley, red onion and carrot. Drizzle olive oil mixture over salad and toss well. Season to taste with kosher salt and ground black pepper, if desired.
  5. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 30-45 minutes to chill, preferably 2-3 hours to allow flavors to meld.


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  2. says

    This is delicious! I just made it for the second time. I cheated a little bit with pre-cut veggies at Trader Joe’s that come in a package together (carrots, onions, celery). I also used Trader Joe’s pre-cooked lentils in the fridge section. Super quick & easy to make a healthy lunch for work! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Kaz says

    Joe – cover with a good amount of water and monitor for water absorption. Add more if necessary – keep an eye on the water level while boiling. Drain lentils when cooked to desired softness.

  4. Kaz says

    1 cup dried lentils gives 2 to 2 1/2 cups cooked lentils. Average serving size is 1/2 cup of cooked lentils per person.

    In our house…not quite…big eaters. :-)
    So adjust recipe according to your desired serving size per person.

    Just made this today – it’s in the refrigerator melding…can’t wait to eat. Thanks for the recipe lacey.

  5. Joe says

    I tried to cook the lentils as instructed but I ended up burning everything. Any suggestions? What kind of lentils did you use? Thanks.

  6. Azzany M says

    Hey , made this for the kids and they loved it, i also make a similar one but with pinto beans , and pico de gallo n we have it with chips and salsa….everyone loves it

  7. diana says

    This looks amazing! I would personally replace the carrots with diced tomato as I’m not big on the crunch!
    Will try this tomorrow!

  8. says

    Adam grew up eating lentils and can’t get enough of them, although it took me a while to warm up to them, but I have come to appreciate them especially as he insists on lentils on New Year’s day in homage to his years in Italy. This is a delicious preparation, and beautifully photographed. Glad to have run across your blog on Tastespotting!

  9. says

    I have been wanting to do something with the dried lentils in my pantry. They are leftover from “soup” season aka winter. I will definitely have to try this!

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