Greek Lentil Salad With a Zesty Vinaigrette
This Greek Lentil Salad is bright, tangy, and a filling lunch that will keep your hunger satisfied for hours.
Yes, Greek Lentil Salad does take a little time to make, but it is SO worth it. I love the flavor and texture and, of course, how healthy it is. If you’ve been following me, you know that I have been on the hunt for meatless meals that both taste great and are satisfying. This salad fits that bill perfectly. I can actually eat a large serving of cold lentil salad at work and stay satisfied for my eight to ten-hour shift. That’s a win in my book!
If you don’t want to make an entire meal out of this Greek Lentil Salad, it also makes an excellent side dish. Or, even a winning potluck dish for those summer barbecues. However you decide to use it, just give it a try. You definitely won’t be disappointed.
Do you have to soak lentils?Nope, simply rinse them well before cooking.
What are the best lentils to use for a mediterranean salad?French or black lentils hold their shape the best when cooked. With that said, I used green lentils in this salad which are common and easy to find. You just want to make sure not to overcook them. Drain and rinse them in cold water before they reach the falling apart stage of cooking.
Are lentils healthy?Lentils are high in protein and low in calories which makes them a great substitute for meat if you’re looking to create a more plant based diet. They’re also high in iron, folate, and potassium. Many people struggle to include enough fiber in their diets, and lentils are a fantatastic source of dietary fiber.
INGREDIENTS FOR LENTIL SALAD AND VINAIGRETTE:
- Do make sure to use a good quality feta cheese.
- I like to use English or Persian cucumbers as there’s no need to peel or seed.
HOW TO PREPARE GREEK LENTIL SALAD:
- First, prepare the lentils. You’ll need two cups of dry lentils rinsed well. Add the lentils and six cups of water to a large sauce pan. Bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat to simmer and cover, stirring occasionally for about ten minutes. Drain the lentils, and rinse with cold water.
- While the lentils are cooking, chop the tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, basil, and olives. Add all the vegetables, lentils, and feta cheese to a large bowl.
- To make the dressing, add lemon juice and zest, red wine vinegar, avocado oil (or oil of choice), minced garlic, salt and pepper, oregano, honey, and dijon mustard to a mason jar. Cover and shake vigorously until all the ingredients are completely combined.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, and mix all the ingredients well. Chill until ready to serve. Greek Lentil Salad does refrigerate well overnight if you want to serve it the next day, but if you plan on serving it over the course of a few days, don’t dress it until you are ready to eat it. The greens will wilt a bit by the third day in the fridge if they are tossed in the dressing.
- Serve as a side dish with Smoked Pork Loin, Oven Baked Pork Chops, or Grilled Garlic Sage Chicken Thighs.
- Greek Lentil Salad does refrigerate well overnight if you want to serve it the next day. However, if you want to incorporate this salad into your weekly meal prep, don’t dress it until you are ready to eat it.
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- Any leafy green you like will work in this recipe. Try using kale or arugula in place of the spinach.
- Herbs: I love the brightness fresh basil adds to this recipe, but you could also add fresh dill or parsley.
- Vegan: Use a vegan feta, and substitute date nectar for the honey.
- This recipe was first published on July 4, 2017, but was republished with updated photos, ingredients, and notes to make the recipe more user friendly.
- A garlic press makes mincing garlic super easy.
- I use a lemon juicer for both lemons and limes.
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Greek Lentil Salad With a Zesty Vinaigrette
For the Salad
- 2 cups dry lentils
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup English cucumbers, chopped
- 3 cups fresh spinach, stems removed and rough chopped
- 2 cups fresh basil, chopped
- 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
- 6 ounces feta cheese
For the Dressing:
- 1 medium lemon, juiced and zested
- 1/2 cup avocado oil, or oil of choice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- First, prepare the lentils. Rinse the lentils under cold water in a mesh colander until the water runs clear. Add the lentils and six cups of water to a sauce pan. Bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat to simmer and cover, stirring occasionaly for about ten minutes. Drain the lentils, and rinse with cold water.
- While the lentils are cooking, prepare the vegetables and olives. Slice the grape tomatoes and pitted olives in half. Slice the English cucumber in quarters lengthwise, then chop into 1/4 inch pieces. Remove the stems from the spinach, then rough chop. Remove the basil leaves from the stem, roll into a bunch, then slice into 1/4 inch ribbons.
- Place the vegetables, olives, lentils, and feta cheese in a large bowl.
- To prepare the dressing, place all the ingredients in a mason jar. Cover and shake vigorously until all the ingredients are completely combined.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, and mix all the ingredients well. Chill until ready to serve.
- Greek Lentil Salad does refrigerate well overnight if you want to serve it the next day, but if you plan on serving it over the course of a few days as part of your weekly meal prepping, don't dress it until you are ready to eat it.