Bright, crisp, and satisfying, this salad recipe is perfect for sunny days. Lentils and chickpeas make it high in protein and fiber, spring vegetables add color and crunch, and a secret ingredient gives it a burst of flavor. Plus, this lentil salad is vegan! (But it’s also delicious and customizable if you’re not.)
Let’s get some veggies in this season!
Reasons to Love This Recipe
Our food moods often change with the seasons. One moment, you’re craving warm and hearty dishes, and the next, you want something cool and crisp.
No matter your mood, you probably want to eat a meal that won’t leave you hungry in an hour.
This lentil salad recipe has the bright flavors you crave in warmer months, with the filling ingredients your body needs.
Cucumbers, celery, and radishes give this recipe crunch, lentils and chickpeas give it fiber and protein, and the surprise ingredient (pickled shallots) give it a pop of flavor.
This recipe requires a bit of preparing in advance, but I promise it’s very easy once you have all of your ingredients ready.
- Start by whipping up a batch of pickled shallots (I do this the night before). They add some nice acidity and brininess to all of the veggies in this recipe.
- Then, cook and cool your lentils. (Here’s my quick & flavorful lentil recipe!)
- You can also make your dressing in advance if you’d like.
When you’re ready to assemble your salad, spend some time washing and chopping your veggies. There are a lot of them in here, so it takes a little while, but it’s a satisfying process!
- Use canned lentils – Not feeling like cooking lentils? Use canned! Swap in one 15.5 oz can of lentils for the cooked ones.
- Add cheese – This lentil salad is vegan as-is, but if you’re a vegetarian or non-vegan, may I suggest adding some cheese crumbles? Crumbled goat’s cheese, feta, gorgozola, or bleu cheese will add some extra creaminess.
- Use your own dressing – This salad will work with any storebought vinaigrette you like. Greek dressing would also be tasty!
- Use different veggies – There are so many colorful, crisp veggies you could add to this recipe. Feel free to make tweaks based on your preference. Need some ideas? You can try tomatoes, bell peppers, snap peas, shredded carrot, sliced raw onions, or sprouts.
- Use different herbs – No parsley? No problem. Fresh dill, thyme, or cilantro could also work. You can also omit the fresh herbs and add a teaspoon of your favorite dried herbs to the dressing.
Spring Lentil Salad (vegan)
- 1 lemon juiced
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp pickled shallots finely diced (optional)
- Before you start preparing your salad, make sure your pickled shallots (if you're using them) are prepared and your lentils and chickpeas are cooked, chilled, and ready to go!
- Start by adding all of your dressing ingredients to a jar or an airtight container with a lid. Shake vigorously to combine.
- Make sure all of your vegetables for the salad are washed and chopped.
- Layer salad ingredients in a large serving bowl. Drizzle dressing on top (to taste) and mix until combined. Serve immediately.
- Please note that nutrition facts are an estimate and can vary widely based on amounts and specific types used.
- If you don’t have time to make pickled shallots (or you forgot) you can use finely diced raw shallots or chives.
- Feel free to add veggies with abandon! The exact amounts aren’t too important as long as the ingredients are all there.
- Leftover storage tip: If you won’t be eating the entire salad right after you prepare it, dress each salad individually and store the leftover salad and dressing separately.