In less than 30 min, you can prepare this healthy Italian lentil salad for a protein-rich lunch or dinner. A quick recipe that you can try any time when you need a protein boost.
Ingredients you will need
- Raw lentils – I use raw whole brown lentils for making this salad
- Liquid for cooking – preferably use chicken stock or vegetable stock for more flavors
- Seasonings – use Italian herb mix, salt, and pepper
- cucumber – dice it into small pieces. Use organic cucumber whenever possible.
- Roma tomato – remove pulp and then dice into small pieces
- Fresh herbs – chopped fresh basil and parsley for added flavor
- Dressing – make a mixture of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice
How to cook lentils for making lentil salad?
In a large saucepan, add lentils and double the amount of liquid. Bring this mixture to a boil, and then add Italian herb mix, salt, and pepper. Mix well, cover the pan and cook the mixture on low heat for 15-18 min. Turn off the heat and let the lentils cool down completely before making the salad. You can use water or chicken, or vegetable stock for cooking the lentils.
How to make an Italian lentil salad?
In a large salad bowl, add the cooked lentils. Then add diced tomato, cucumber, and freshly chopped herbs. In the end, add the mixture of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Gently mix everything well. Your lentil salad is ready to serve!
- A big bowl of this salad is sufficient for a protein-filled meal.
- Prepare this lentil salad to pair with simple pesto pasta with kale or quinoa risotto or zucchini flatbread for a complete wholesome meal.
- Use whole lentils for making this lentil salad. Also, do not overcook the lentils; otherwise, they will become mushy. The mushy lentils won’t be suitable for the salad.
- Preferably use chicken stock or vegetable stock instead of water to cook the lentils. They will enhance the flavor of the lentils and make them more delicious.
- For meat lovers – add cooked chicken or leftover roasted chicken into the salad for making it more filling.
- You can also add small cubes of feta cheese into the salad for added deliciousness.
- Skip adding cucumber and tomato in this lentil salad recipe and serve it as a humble lentil dish.
How to store leftover lentil salad?
Store leftover lentils in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. We always avoid storing leftovers for more than a day, even though they will last longer.
How to use leftover lentil salad?
Remove leftovers from the refrigerator well in advance before eating. This way, the salad will come to room temperature. Avoid heating the salad as it has cucumber and tomato that can become soggy upon heating. You can also serve it cold if you prefer that way.
More lentil recipes you will love to try
- Sweet Potato Lentil Chili
- Instant Pot Vegetarian Lentil Soup
- Indian-Styled Red Lentil Curry
- Healthy Brown Rice & Lentil Salad
Healthy Italian Lentils Salad
- 1 cup raw lentils rinse and drain the water
- 2 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock or water
- ½ teaspoon Italian spice blend
- 2 small cucumbers diced into small pieces
- 1 Roma tomato pulp removed and diced into small pieces
- 2 tablespoon parsley chopped
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
- In a medium pot add lentils, stock or water, Italian spice blend, salt and pepper. Mix well and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pot and cook the lentils for 15-18 mins or until well done on low heat. Turn off the heat and let the lentil cool down completely.
- In a large mixing bowl or salad bowl add cooked lentils, diced cucumber, tomato, and freshly chopped herbs. Prepare a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice to drizzle on the salad, mix gently to combine well.
- Garnish with more fresh herbs, lime wedges, and serve while it is fresh.
- You can cook the lentils in advance and make the salad just before serving.
- To make lentils more flavorful add garlic powder or freshly chopped garlic while cooking them.