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Mediterranean Lentil Salad

This Mediterranean Lentil Salad is packed with protein rich lentils, vegetables, feta cheese, olives and fresh herbs with a light lemony dressing. This healthy salad works perfectly as a side dish to a meal or even as lunch with pita bread and hummus. 

Mediterranean Lentil Salad in teal bowl

MEDITERRANEAN BEAN SALAD

I am excited to share this Mediterranean Lentil Salad with you guys. Many of you have made my Mediterranean Bean Salad recipe and have asked about a lentil salad version.

I am excited to share this version using lentils that is packed with delicious Mediterranean ingredients. 

Did you guys know that in 2018, U.S. News & World Report did a review of over forty different diets and put the Mediterranean Diet as tied for first place with the DASH Diet?

It mentioned that the Mediterranean Diet is the easiest to follow, and I completely agree.

It has been shown to have great healthy benefits for those that follow it too.

I am interested to see if the Mediterranean diet rises to the top again this year. 

Mediterranean Lentil Salad with spoon

In my house Mediterranean food has been a part of daily meals since I was a baby.

My mom’s family is Lebanese. We eat this Lebanese Hummus Recipe with Tabouli Salad, Lebanese Green Beans and Lebanese Meat Pies when we are making a traditional meal.

This Mediterranean Lentil Salad would be a good addition to a traditional Lebanese meal. 

You might be thinking “what goes with a lentil salad?”

Today’s Mediterranean Lentil Salad is one of those salads you can pair with so many meals.

You can go traditional with the Mediterranean recipes or you could just eat it for lunch or as a side dish to this Mediterranean Salmon or Mediterranean Chicken.

Lets talk about what goes into this beauty of a salad! 

Mediterranean Lentil Salad on a wooden bowl

WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN A LENTIL SALAD?

LENTILS: The star of this salad are the lentils. I love using lentils is soups and salads.

They are protein rich and add a nice texture. You can check out this post I did for 20 Recipes to Make With a Bag of Lentils for some ideas for using lentils in your cooking.

You might be wondering out of the varieties of lentils “Which lentils should I use in salads?”  I think that French or black lentils work nicely in salads because they tend to not get as mushy as some of the other varieties. 

My favorite soup using lentils is this Lebanese Lentil SoupMoroccan Red Lentil Soup or this Moroccan Carrot Red Lentil Soup

It uses red lentils, but I also think brown or green work nicely in soups because they can get a little mushy which doesn’t always hold up that well in salads. 

Mediterranean Lentil Salad with spoon

VEGETABLES: The sky is the limit with the vegetables you pair with the lentils in this easy lentil salad. I like cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, roasted red peppers, red and green onion. 

OLIVES: Olives are one of my favorite ingredients in salads because I love anything salty added into a salad. These are optional for those that don’t like olives!

I used a combination of kalamata olives and green olives. Feel free to use your favorite or make these Lemon Marinated Olives to add in.

FETA CHEESE: I added a creamy, crumbled feta cheese to this salad. You could also do a goat cheese or skip it all together. I never suggest skipping cheese though! 😉 

FRESH HERBS: Fresh herbs brighten up any salad. I love using them year round whether I am growing them or buying them at the grocery store.

I used mint and parsley in today’s salad but you can also use basil, chives or dill. 

DRESSING: My go-to salad dressing for most bean and pasta salads involves extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and a spice. I use it in so many salads like in this Easy Lebanese Salad.

The spice that is in today’s salad is sumac but feel free to use your favorite Mediterranean Spices. I like to use this salad dressing shaker to mix up the dressing. 

Mediterranean Lentil Salad with hummus

HOW LONG DOES A MEDITERRANEAN LENTIL SALAD KEEP?

If you store your lentil salad in an airtight container in the fridge it should last between 3 to 5 days.

Then when you are ready to eat the salad add additional dressing to freshen the salad.

IS A LENTIL SALAD HEALTHY?

Lentils are often overlooked even though they are an inexpensive way of getting a wide range of nutrients. They are packed with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and potassium. 

Lentils are made up of over 25% protein and a good source of iron, which makes them an excellent additional to vegetarian meals.

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Mediterranean Lentil Salad with hummus

Mediterranean Lentil Salad

Yield: 6-8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This Mediterranean Lentil Salad is packed with protein rich lentils, vegetables, feta cheese, olives and fresh herbs with a light lemony dressing. This healthy salad  works perfectly as a side dish to a meal or even as lunch with pita bread and hummus. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked french, black or green lentils
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, halved {you will want to use pitted olives-you can use any olive of your choice}
  • 1/3 cup roasted red peppers, drained, chopped {try fire roasted for nice flavor}
  • 1/2 of a small red onion, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed, diced {or color of your choice}
  • 1/2 of an english cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese {optional or try goat cheese}
  • Handful of fresh mint, chopped
  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional spices: 1 to 2 teaspoons of any spice you like {try sumac, za'atar or oregano}
  • Add crushed red pepper for extra spice

Instructions

    1. Cook the lentils according to the package. Drain and set aside to cool.
    2. In a large bowl mix together the lentils, olives, roasted red peppers, red onion, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, feta cheese, mint, parsley and green onions.
    3. In a large mason jar or salad dressing container add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and whisk together. Add salt and pepper to taste and 1 teaspoon of an additional spice if you like {try sumac, za'atar, oregano}. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat with the dressing.
    4. Serve with hummus and pita bread or use this salad as a topping for pita wraps, hummus plates or falafel.

Notes

This salad will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days in an air tight container.

This salad is easily modified to your tastes. Try adding artichokes, different vegetables, green olives, fire roasted tomatoes or goat cheese.

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Liana Padilla

Friday 7th of June 2024

Is there a reason not to add precooked lentils? I have a package of Trader Joe’s pre-cooked French Lentils and was searching for recipes. My guess would probably be for freshness and texture

Julia

Tuesday 11th of June 2024

Just freshness but precooked would work great! I have used them to save time and they are great.

Cindy Reiff

Friday 7th of July 2023

Hello and thank you so much for this recipe! My family is a huge fan of lentils, and my husband is Greek; for a family BBQ this weekend, I was looking for something different than my usual, “classic” Lentil Salad. I put “Mediterranean lentil salad recipe” into my search bar, and scrolled down, looking at the pictures until I came upon yours. Just by looking at it, I knew that this is exactly what I had in mind, and even though I’m not making it until this afternoon, I can tell by the ingredients that it’s going to be fabulous!

Now that your style of cooking and your food blog are on my radar, I’m looking forward to exploring more of your recipes! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and talents with us!

Julia

Friday 7th of July 2023

I am so glad you found this recipe and I hope that you really enjoy it! <3

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