This vegan lentil salad is a hearty summer recipe! Brown rice, carrots, tomatoes, and cilantro make this a fresh and colorful salad to serve at your next party.
When the hot weather hits, do you tend toward cold dishes like salads?
It’s nice to have cold salads in the refrigerator to eat for a quick lunch that you don’t have to cook. And if the salads are hearty and healthy, like this vegan lentil salad, then that’s even better!
There aren’t any fancy ingredients in this salad – just healthy, colorful veggies, and a good serving of protein from green lentils and brown rice. The dressing is light and flavorful, made from olive oil, lemon, and fresh garlic.
How do you make lentil salad?
The only cooking you’ll need to do is to prepare the lentils and the rice ahead of time. Once they’re done cooking, place them on a plate in a single layer to cool.
When the lentils and rice are cool, you will add your vegetables, lemon dressing, and pumpkin seeds. Stir together and serve immediately.
What type of lentils are best for salad?
Green lentils (pictured above) work well in salads because they have a nice flavor, and they hold their shape very well. They are also readily available in most grocery stores.
French green lentils or black lentils are also a good choice for salad because they are hearty and stay firm after cooking.
Red lentils tend to get very soft and mushy, so they aren’t recommended for salads. Red lentils work well for soft recipes, like soup or this red lentil dip.
To learn more about lentil varieties, see this post.
How to cook green lentils:
Pick over the lentils, looking for any debris. Place in a fine mesh sieve, and rinse under cold water.
Place the lentils in a pot, and add enough water to cover by one inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer with the lid tipped on the pan to allow steam to escape.
Cook for about 25-35 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
What can be used in place of lentils in this vegan lentil salad?
If you’re out of lentils, you can use any bean. Try black beans, chick peas, or white beans.
If you can’t eat any legumes, just add more veggies to this lentil salad. You could add peppers, celery, zucchini, even diced roasted sweet potatoes.
If you make this salad, or any of my recipes, please share on Instagram and tag me @prettybeeblog. I love to see what you’re making!
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Vegan Lentil Salad with Brown Rice.
- Place the brown Basmati rice in a pot with 1 ¾ cups water and 2 teaspoons olive oil. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover the pan with the lid tilted, and cook for 40 minutes or until rice is light and fluffy.
- While the rice cooks, cook the lentils. Place the rinsed lentils in a pot with enough water to cover by one inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover with the lid tilted to release steam. Cook for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
- Once the lentils are done, drain off any liquid and place them on a plate to cool. Place the rice on a plate to cool as well. (Putting the lentils and rice in a flat layer allows them to cool more quickly).
- Put the cooled lentils and rice in a large bowl. Add the carrots, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, onion, and pumpkin seeds (if using).
- Place the dressing ingredients in a jar, and shake well.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. If you aren't serving it right away, store the salad and the dressing separately in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Add more salt and pepper if desired. Enjoy!