The Best Crunchy Lentil Salad

The most delicious crunchy lentil salad! Packed with veggies, sweet grapes, and roasted hazelnuts – then topped with a simple yet flavorful lemony herb dressing. It is filled with a balanced taste, crunchy texture, and is packed with plant-based protein!

A clear glass bowl with lentil salad and chopped vegetables with 2 wooden spoons in it.

This delicious lentil salad checks off all the boxes when it comes to my ideal bowl of greens! It’s light, it’s fresh, and packed with crunchy veggies, chopped nuts, and then drizzled with a simple lemon dressing with fresh oregano.

The taste: this salad has such balance. Some of the key sources of flavor come from the simple lemon-y herb dressing, sweet red grapes, and toasted hazelnuts. A little citrus, a little sweetness, and some smokey notes from the roasted nuts.

Texture: No one wants a “mushy” salad. So, texture is key when making a successful tossed veggie salad. I love using vegetables like bell peppers, cucumbers, and kale to get the perfect “crunch”. Then what completes it all is topping your finished salad with chopped roasted nuts like hazelnuts, walnuts, or pecans.

Ingredients You’ll Need & Recommended Substitutions

This salad is packed with simple ingredients that also have easy substitutions if you don’t have everything on hand. Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Green lentils: you can also swap for garbanzo beans if you don’t want to use lentils.
  • Hazelnuts: swap for toasted pecans or walnuts.
  • Kale: or use chopped spinach.
  • Grapes: I love using red grapes but you can also do blueberries instead.
  • Cucumber
  • Bell pepper
  • Oil
  • Lemon
  • Oregano
  • Garlic

Let’s Make Crunchy Lentil Salad

First, whip up the lentils by steaming in a pot for 20 minutes.

Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients.

Arrange all of veggies and lentils in a bowl and drizzle dressing over top. Toss and serve!

Extra Helpful Salad Tips

  • Homemade dressing: whenever making homemade dressing, I always love to make a little extra and store it in mason jar in the fridge to enjoy for another time.
  • Choose the right lentils: Because of their varied texture, some lentils are meant for soups/stews and some are meant for salads. I recommend using green lentils because of their firm texture that doesn’t fall apart when tossed in a salad.
  • Keep leftovers fresh: store leftover salad in an airtight container and chill in fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Chopped salads like this recipe are one of my all-time favorite types of salad! With the variety of veggies, bursting grapes, and simple vinaigrette you cannot go wrong.

I love serving this salad along side our weeknight meal, as a fancy party salad, or as a nutritious meal prep for the week.

So simple and incredibly delicious!

More Tasty Salad Recipes to Try

A clear glass bowl with lentil salad and chopped vegetables with 2 wooden spoons in it.

If you tried this The Best Crunchy Lentil Salad recipe or any other recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, and FACEBOOK for more crave-worthy content.

A clear glass bowl with lentil salad and chopped vegetables with 2 wooden spoons in it.

The Best Crunchy Lentil Salad

The most delicious crunchy lentil salad! Packed with veggies, sweet grapes, and roasted hazelnuts – then topped with a simple yet flavorful lemony herb dressing. It is filled with a balanced taste, crunchy texture, and is packed with plant-based protein!

Servings 6
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins

Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American, Italian
Tags: cold lentil salad, lentil salad, lentil salad recipe
Freezer Friendly: No
Calories: 367 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups dried green lentils
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups red grapes, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups cucumber, diced
  • 2 cups kale, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup roasted hazelnuts

Lemon Dressing

  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped (or 1-2 teaspoons of dried oregano)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt & black pepper

Instructions

  1. First, rinse lentils in a strainer. Then add to a pot with 4-5 cups of water and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil (uncovered) – then lower to a simmer, cover, and cook for 18-20 minutes. Then strain lentils and let cool. The texture of the lentils shouldn't be mushy – they should have a semi-firm outer shell but tender on the inside.

  2. Prep your vegetables, nuts, and grapes while lentils cook.

  3. Whisk all of dressing ingredients together in liquid measuring cup or small bowl – season with salt & black pepper to taste.

  4. In a large bowl add cooled lentils, chopped vegetables, grapes, nuts, and then pour all of dressing over top. Toss salad together and serve!

Notes

  • Homemade dressing: whenever making homemade dressing, I always love to make a little extra and store it in mason jar in the fridge to enjoy for another time.
  • Choose the right lentils: Because of their varied texture, some lentils are meant for soups/stews and some are meant for salads. I recommend using green lentils because of their firm texture that doesn’t fall apart when tossed in a salad.
  • Keep leftovers fresh: store leftover salad in an airtight container and chill in fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Nutrition Facts
The Best Crunchy Lentil Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 367 Calories from Fat 154
% Daily Value*
Fat 17.1g26%
Sodium 7.6mg0%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Sugar 10.7g12%
Protein 13.9g28%
Vitamin A 5IU0%
Vitamin C 73mg88%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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About The Author

Bethany Kramer is a home cook, recipe developer, and dog mom. She found a deep love for food and nutrition after learning to cook from her mom at eight years old. Since then she’s been developing and sharing recipes from her own kitchen that are bold in flavor and nourishing to the body!
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