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!
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
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: I use English cucumber because of its fresh taste and you can eat the skin!
- Bell pepper: any color works, but red bell peppers will taste the sweetest.
- Oil: high-quality olive oil or avocado oil works!
- Lemon: from lemon juice!
- Oregano: fresh herbs will bring a lot more flavor than dried.
- Garlic: fresh garlic or garlic powder works.
How to Make Lentil Salad
First, whip up the lentils by steaming in a pot for 20 minutes.
Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in measuring up or small bowl.
Arrange all of veggies and lentils in a bowl and drizzle dressing over top. Toss salad with dressing and serve!
Tips for Success
- Add extra veggies: this salad is super customizable. You can also add extra veggies like roasted red peppers, cherry tomatoes, spinach, carrots, fennel, or artichokes.
- How to store leftover dressing: whenever making homemade dressing, I always love to make a little extra and store it in a mason jar in the fridge to enjoy for another time.
- The best lentils for salad: 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 the leftover salad in an airtight container and chill in the 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
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Tuscan Style Panzanella Salad
- Avocado & Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Apple Pomegranate Harvest Salad
The Best Crunchy Lentil Salad
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- Prep your vegetables, nuts, and grapes while lentils cook.
- Whisk all of dressing ingredients together in liquid measuring cup or small bowl – season with salt & black pepper to taste.
- In a large bowl add cooled lentils, chopped vegetables, grapes, nuts, and then pour all of dressing over top. Toss salad together and serve!
- 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.