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Lentil Salad with Curry Lemon Dressing

This Hearty Lentil Salad is a perfect balanced meal full of bright flavors,  textures and colors.  Homemade Curry Lemon Dressing adds an excellent earthy touch to this incredibly satisfying salad.

Protein-packed lentils, crisp fresh veggies, refreshing herbs and a bright curry lemon dressing that brings it all together. It is truly a flavor fiesta. This is one of my favorite complete meal salads similar to Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad and Veggie Chickpea Salad.

Pinterest image with text overlay for lentil salad with curry lemon dressing.

This vegetarian lentil salad is

  • vegan
  • gluten-free.
  • grain free
  • soy free
  • dairy free
  • easy, simple and filling
  • full of plant protein, fiber and nutrients
  • great for meal prep  

Easy Wholesome Salads

On my quest to wholesome clean eating,  I started to make one new salad everyday . The idea was to think outside the box of typical green salads. You combine a protein, a grain, some basic shelf stable veggies like cucumbers, onions and tomatoes. And then build incredibly delicious salads.

To name a few, check out these delightful array of salads we have featured in ProfusionCurry Kitchen. Black bean and corn salad, Vegan Barley Salad, Orzo Pasta salad and Tex Mex Quinoa. There also is Thai Zucchini Noodles and Italian Zoodles Salad.

If you love easy recipes that pack a huge punch of flavor, this healthy lentil salad tops the list. It also is filling, delicious, and simple to make.

close up image showing tender lentils, colorful veggies and chopped herbs tossed in curry lemon dressing.

Serving Suggestion:

This lentil salad recipe is quick and easy to prepare. It stays well for several days so make a big batch and use it for multiple meals.

Use it as a healthy meal prep. Perfect for weekday school and office lunches.

It can be made ahead and tastes great both cold and at room temperature. So a great choice for party menu.

It is my favorite salad to take for barbecue,  potlucks and summer cookouts.  Also for the picnic and tailgating.

Since there is no dairy involved, it can stay out longer. You can use it as a snack, or a dip to scoop it up with various chips.

A scoop full of salad.

How to Cook Lentils on a Stove top

Combine 3 cups of broth or water with 1 cup of dried lentils in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Let the lentils simmer until they’re soft for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let them sit for 5 minutes, then strain the excess liquid.

How to Cook Lentils In Instant Pot

I prefer to cook lentils using the pot in pot method. Put 2 cups of water in the main steel insert. in a separate container, combine 2 cups of broth or water for every 1 cup of dried lentils. Turn the pressure valve to the sealing position and choose 1 minute high pressure.

Once the timer is up, allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes. Then turn the pressure valve to the venting position to quickly release the remainder of the pressure. Open the lid. Using a fork, gently fluff the cooked lentils.

Lentils cooked in Instant Pot using pot in pot method.

Pro tips for cooking Green / Brown Lentils:

  1. For salads, I prefer to use French green lentils. They hold their shape best while cooking. Brown lentils are the second best choice. Do not use split lentils.
  2. No need to soak lentils before cooking. Just washing them well is enough. Place the lentils in a Colander / Strainer and rinse them well under running water. Pick out any debris, stones or shriveled lentils. I often find small stone particles on lentils if I buy them at bulk bins.. so don’t skip this step.
  3. If you have lentils sitting in the pantry for a long time, add extra time to cook. Older beans and lentils take longer to cook and sometimes they remain tough regardless.
  4. Do not add salt while cooking the lentils. Always add it after they are fully cooked.

Ingredients:

  • Lentils : I prefer to use Green lentils. Brown lentils also work. I cook them in low sodium vegetable broth for extra flavors. Even though I prefer to cook them from starch at home, you can use canned cooked lentils if in a hurry.
  • Veggies : I used Persian Cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots and radishes. Feel free to use your favorite veggies.
  • Herbs : Fresh mint and cilantro are my favorite for this combination.
  • Curry Lemon Dressing : This dressing adds terrific flavors to this salad. Combine best quality curry powder, fresh lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper along with extra virgin olive oil. Super easy super delish dressing is surefire awesome. Skip oil if you want to make it WFPB.

Ingredients needed to make the salad.

Variations :

  • Different Herbs: You can use parsley, rosemary, dill or thyme instead of cilantro and mint.
  • Add grains : Quinoa, barley, couscous or farro are great choices.
  • Seasoning change : I love curry and lentil combinations. Using other spice mixes like Italian Seasoning, Cajun seasoning, garam masala, or ground cumin also works. Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing also tastes amazing in this salad. 
  • Add Cheese / extra protein
  • Additional veggies : Artichokes, olives, red onions, broccoli are good options. 

Ingredients used in making curry lemon salad dressing.

How to Make:

  1. Cook lentils per package directions. See notes about how to cook them on stove top and instant pot.
  2. Chop the veggies into bite size pieces.
  3. Combine all ingredients listed for dressing in a mason jar and whisk well.
  4. Mix cooked lentils, veggies in a salad bowl. Pour the dressing over. Toss well.
  5. Serve immediately or cover and chill till ready to serve. Enjoy !

Process step showing all the ingredients gathered together for making a vegan lentil salad.

Lentils are my favorites for plant based protein source. I often cook them in bulk and freeze them in individual portions. They are so inexpensive and have stable long shelf life too. I  love making different recipes using variety of lentils. Check out some of our favorite lentil recipes:

An overhead image showing a salad bowl full of lentil vegetable salad along with serving spoon.

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close up image showing tender lentils, colorful veggies and chopped herbs tossed in curry lemon dressing.

Lentil Salad with Curry Lemon Dressing

Yield: 6 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Healthy Lentil salad is full of refreshing and delicious flavors. This vegan salad is full of plant protein and fiber. Fresh veggies and herbs and tender meaty lentils tossed in zesty Curry lemon dressing makes very satisfying and delightful salad everyone will love.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked lentils
  • 2-3 small persian cucumbers - cut into bite size
  • 2 small red tomatoes -cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/4 cup baby carrots -cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 cup small radishes - cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/4 cup Fresh cilantro leaves -chopped
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves -trimmed and chopped

Curry Lemon Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/4 cup olive oil - skip if WFPB
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • Salt and pepper - per taste

Instructions

Cook lentils per package directions. See notes about how to cook them on stove top and instant pot.

Chop the veggies into bite size pieces.

Combine all ingredients listed for dressing in a mason jar and whisk well.

Mix cooked lentils, veggies in a salad bowl. Pour the dressing over. Toss well.

Serve immediately or cover and chill till ready to serve. Enjoy !

Notes

How to Cook Lentils on a Stove top

Combine 3 cups of broth or water with 1 cup of dried lentils in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Let the lentils simmer until they're soft for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let them sit for 5 minutes, then strain the excess liquid. 

How to Cook Lentils In Instant Pot

I prefer to cook lentils using the pot in pot method. Put 2 cups of water in the main steel insert. in a separate container, combine 2 cups of broth or water for every 1 cup of dried lentils. Turn the pressure valve to the sealing position and choose 1 minute high pressure.

Once the timer is up, allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes. Then turn the pressure valve to the venting position to quickly release the remainder of the pressure. Open the lid. Using a fork, gently fluff the cooked lentils.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1.5 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 275Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 97mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 10gSugar: 6gProtein: 11g

Nutritional values are provided as a courtesy and the values are approximate. The values will change depending on the exact ingredients, measurements and brands used. As always, for specific health issues and dietary requirements please consult medical professional.

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