Lentil Salad

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Insalata di Lenticchie-

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Buon giorno!

Italians love their legumes – i.e. peas, beans, and the like. They are, in fact, an important part of the healthy Mediterranean Diet. They particularly fond of lentils and use them all sorts of ways, such as in soups, stews, and side dishes. One of my favorite ways to use lentils is in salad – particularly LENTIL SALAD or Insalata di Lenticchie.  This is a great side dish for any menu, and also it makes a delicious meal on its own. It can be a great lunch item or just a nutritious and delicious snack.

Unfortunately, lentils are often like Sherlock Holmes’ “the dog that wouldn’t bark” in your pantry. They sit there, obvious, but unnoticed and unused for months on end, right under your nose, when they are the perfect choice in so many ways. Let’s get those lentils out and see what they’ll do for us aside from floating in our soup!

LENTIL SALAD is a healthy way to get some quick protein and also some healthy vegetables all in one shot. It is fresh tasting, and in the case of this recipe, it also packs a serving of fruit.  You can make it ahead and enjoy it for days. That is what we usually do around our house. In fact, in any given week, you can almost count on finding a bowl of it in my refrigerator just waiting to offer a quick jump start or fast meal.

There are all kinds of lentils: red, green, brown, yellow, confetti, etc. Try all of them. They’re great and equally good and interchangeable.

Lentils are one of those rare foods that are delicious and easy to eat and also are sooo healthy for you. They help lower cholesterol, help control blood sugar, are low in calories, are low in fat, and rich in protein, B-vitamins and dietary fiber.

This salad is easy to make and really tasty. What’s not to love?


(Insalata di Lenticchie)

Serves: about 6


1 lb. cooked lentils

Handful of baby carrots – chopped

1 Stalk Celery – chopped

1 Yellow Pepper – chopped

3 Tbsp. Purple Onion  – chopped or Fresh Chopped Chives

1 Tbsp. Orange Zest

1 Fresh Orange – cut up OR 1 can drained Mandarin Oranges

Salt and Pepper to taste

Fresh Basil Leaves for garnish

Dressing: 1/4 C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 1/8 C. White Balsamic Vinegar – Mix well.


Rinse your lentils.


Cook your lentils according to package directions.

Chop your vegetables and add them to the lentils along with the orange zest.

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Chop your fresh orange and add it to the mixture or if using Mandarin Oranges, drain and add them.

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Add salt and pepper.

Mix your dressing ingredients and add to the salad.


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LENTIL SALAD will be your new best friend – easy to make – easy to eat – a quick snack – goes with almost any meal – and SOOOO HEALTHY! Make some!


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  1. Mmm
    I love the addition of citrus fruit.

  2. Evelyn Chiu says:

    I’m a friend of ML Butler. She introduced me to your website. I am going to try this recipe but used sprouted lentils. Will report back. The following is from Livestrong:

    Crunchy, fresh sprouts have less than half the calories, carbs and protein contained in cooked lentils. Lentil sprouts have 82 calories and 17 grams carbohydrates in each 1-cup serving. They contain no saturated fat, cholesterol or sodium. An equivalent serving of cooked lentils contains 230 calories and 40 grams carbohydrates. Lentils do not have sodium or cholesterol, and carry less than 1 gram saturated fat in each cup. Sprouted lentils have 7 grams protein and cooked lentils have 18 grams protein.

    Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/536676-differences-in-nutrients-for-sprouted-lentils-vs-dried-lentils/#ixzz24OKJ8nq4

    • Evelyn – Thank you for trying the recipe. I have used sprouted lentils for this recipe and they are quite good. Let us know how you make out!