This incredibly simple lentil salad has just 5 ingredients and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing!
Have you ever made a salad that is so good and so easy that you think, “Why haven’t I been doing this all along?” This Lentil Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Feta, Kale and Cucumber is that salad.
Seriously, it’s one of the best lentil salad recipes I’ve ever made, and you’re going to want to make it too because it comes together in 20 minutes or less.
This protein-packed easy vegetarian salad requires absolutely no cooking and is incredibly tasty. Plus, it’s the perfect cold salad recipe to bring to a get-together and impress everyone at the table.
To make this healthy lentil salad, all you need are five ingredients (and a few condiments). Here are the items you should gather:
- Brown lentils: You can buy pre-cooked lentils to cut down on prep time for this salad. I like steamed lentils in a box from Trader Joe’s and eat them right out of the packaging.
- Marinated sun-dried tomatoes: I personally like to use marinated sun-dried tomatoes for this recipe because the oil adds extra flavor to the salad.
- Kale: I buy pre-chopped and washed kale in a bag, which also cuts down on prep time.
- Feta cheese: You can’t go wrong with a little bit of salty feta.
- Cucumber: I personally like Persian cucumbers, but any variety works for this salad. Just chop them into small bite-sized pieces.
- Olive oil & balsamic vinegar: The dressing is a simple mixture of these two condiments.
How to cook lentils for a salad
Lentils are an incredibly affordable protein, and the dry variety are the cheapest you can find. If you prefer to buy dry lentils and boil them for this salad, it’s an incredibly easy task. Follow the steps below:
- Add 1 cup of lentils and 2 cups of water to a medium pot over high heat. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
- Set aside and let the lentils cool for at least 30 minutes.
The lentils should be tender but not mushy when they are cooked.
How to make a lentil salad (in 20 minutes or less)
I promise that this salad is so easy to make, which is why it has become my weekday lunch of choice. Since I work with many busy athletes who want to fuel their fitness with plants, I try to keep my recipes short and sweet and include plenty of plant-based protein, carbs and healthy fat. This lentil and sun-dried tomato salad fits the bill.
To make it, combine the cooked lentils with marinated sun-dried tomatoes, chopped kale, chopped cucumber and feta. Drizzle the combination of olive oil and vinegar on top and toss well.
Since the ingredients in this salad are hearty and crunchy, you can dress it ahead of time and it will not get soggy. It keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Swaps & Substitutions
One of the questions that naturally comes up with this recipe is, “What can I swap in for sun-dried tomatoes?” Although I think the sun-dried tomatoes add the hint of sweetness that this salad needs, you can definitely leave them out swap in another ingredient.
Below are some simple swaps that will work perfectly in this cold lentil salad:
- Instead of sun-dried tomatoes, try roasted cherry tomatoes, raw tomato slices, roasted red pepper or chopped bell pepper.
- If you’re vegan or don’t do dairy, opt for vegan feta or leave the cheese out entirely.
- Feel free to add other Mediterranean ingredients, like artichoke, olives or chopped red onion.
- Instead of brown lentils, use farro or quinoa.
- Use any other leafy green, such as spinach, arugula, collard green or swiss chard, in place of the kale.
What to make with leftover lentils
If you have leftover lentils after making this recipe, there are tons of things you can do with them. Try adding them to any other salad or using them in tacos or veggie burgers. Here are some of my favorite lentil recipes:
Lentil Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes
Lentil Salad with Sun Dried Tomato & Feta
A delicious vegetarian cold lentil salad with sun-dried tomato, feta, kale and cucumber and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing
- 2 1/2 cup cooked brown lentils
- 1 cup marinated sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 1 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
- 1 cup feta cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- sales and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine the lentils, sun-dried tomatoes, kale, cucumber, and feta cheese.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Add the dressing to the salad and serve immediately or refrigerate in air tight container for up to 5 days.