This warm lentil salad with leeks is hearty, full of flavors, simple, and easy to make with few ingredients. You will be amazed to taste this lip-smacking and delicious salad with sauteed leeks.
A perfect crowd pleaser side dish to make on holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas. This is vegan, gluten-free, and vegetarian. This warm brown lentil salad is so satisfying that even meat-eaters will fall in love with it, a great recipe on those meatless Monday.
Incredibly easy to make, a make-ahead salad that is loaded with crunchy veggies and nutritious lentils. Add in meal planning and you won't get bored of eating it.
The post contains helpful tips and tricks to make a successful recipe on your first attempt. Please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end if you want to skip.
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Why you will love this lentil salad
- Simple & easy- This is very simple lentil salad to make with roasted vegetables. Boil lentils with vegetable broth or in plain water and finally toss them with roasted leeks, cucumber, bell peppers, and lemon juice. Isn't this sounds easy.
- Crowd pleasing & Make ahead- The key feature is you can double or triple the recipe and can make for a large family gathering in just 30 minutes. Easy to store for one week which means you can make it well in advance without compromising on taste. So are you ready to serve it as sides on Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas brunch?
- Healthy & nutritious- Lentils are definitely a source of protein in plant based diet. Having said that they make a great salad recipe by mixing with vegetables and provides essential micronutrients, carbs and other health benefits as well. Eat warm or cold, it taste great in both ways.
- Fitmeal & meal prep- I love that 30-50 grams of lentil a day can make a wonderful snack, breakfast, a quick meal. Prepare it in advance so that you do not miss your fit meal that fits in your macros. It fulfills dietary requirements as well and is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and meatless recipe. Check my macrofriendly healthy lentil salad.
Ingredients & Notes
Please check the recipe card for the full ingredient list and measurements.
- Lentil- I use whole brown lentil in this recipe. French lentils or puy lentils are other BEST suited for this recipe.
- Spices- Salt & black pepper is all you need in spices.
- Vegetables- Cucumber, bell peppers, onion, garlic, and leeks are vegetables for the salad.
- Water or vegetable broth- Boiling lentils in vegetable broth make a lot of difference in terms of flavor absorbed by lentils. But if not available feel free to use plain water. I am using plain water with salt to boil lentils for this delcious salad.
- Other- Oil, cilantro and parsley are other ingredients.
- Optional- Pickled vegetables taste amazing with any lentil salad. So if you have any refrigerator pickle available than surely add them. Sweet and spicy pickled onions, quick pickled radish and pickled jalapenos are few of my favourites. Completely optional.
Variations & Substitution
- Lentil type- Replace brown lentil with French lentils or yellow lentils. Even whole mung bean or any sprouts will go well to make the salad. The kitchn has a great article on the difference between brown lentil and puy lentils.
- Vegetables- Carrots, colored bell peppers, pink radish, peas, roasted pumpkin, roasted butternut suqash, roasted bell peppers, or celery are other veggies options to add here.
- Herbs- Rosemary, sage, thyme are other herbs that will work too.
- Cheese- Addition of tofu croutons, goat cheese, feta cheese, grilled paneer, roasted potatoes or fresh mozzerella balls will go wonderfully with this salad.
- Eggs- Hard boiled eggs or soft boil runny yolk eggs also pair well.
- Nuts- You can add any toasted salty nuts while serving.
- Seeds- Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds are good to add, just sprinkle some while serving.
Let see how to make warm brown lentil salad without soaking brown lentils in advance.
To start with, check for any stone in the lentil and then wash with clean water. Heat a medium-size saucepan on medium heat. Add water (or vegetable broth) and lentils along with salt.
Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer and cook until just tender, 15-20 minutes. Add extra water while cooking if the liquid gets low.
Drain the lentils and keep them ready.
While lentils are cooking prepare for sauteed leeks. Cut the root and discard any discolored green part. Cut the white and light green part into ¼" slices (rings) and wash thoroughly.
Heat oil in a pan and add chopped garlic. Cook for a minute and then add chopped onion. Cook it till the onion color changes to golden.
Finally, add leeks, salt and stir nicely. Cover the lid and cook for 5 minutes till leeks get soft in texture.
After 5 minutes, open the lid and stir. Check if leeks look soft. Switch the heat and let's start to assemble the warm lentil salad.
Assemble the salad
Now that all elements are ready to make the salad it is time to assemble. Transfer the drained lentils to a mixing bowl.
Add chopped red bell pepper, chopped cucumber, lemon juice, and sauteed leeks. Toss them nicely and adjust lemon juice and salt as per taste. Serve immediately.
Warm brown lentil salad is ready to serve on holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas or New Year Eve.
Tips & FAQ's
Brown, french (puy), and green lentils work well to make the salad. They retain their shape well after boiling and mixing with other ingredients. Red and yellow lentils get too soft after boiling and making a salad with them won't look good in terms of the overall texture.
You can cook lentils without soaking them. Soaking reduces the overall cooking time. But do not be afraid to cook them even if you forget to soak well in advance. Brown lentil salad is prepared without soaking brown lentils and it took 25 minutes to cook on the stovetop.
What to serve
Now the next question is what goes well with lentil salad or what are the side dishes that pair well with t. This lentil salad is perfect as is anytime in breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can even enjoy it for snacks.
Serve it with poached eggs, grilled meat, grilled tofu & paneer, or roasted vegetables.
Few options to go well with the salad are
How to store
Any leftovers are good to store in the fridge. Transfer them to a glass container and refrigerate them for 4-5 days.
In case, if you like to make it in advance or meal planning, boil the lentils, chop vegetables and cook leeks. Store them in separate containers without any seasoning. When ready to consume, take these containers out and microwave them as per the requirement.
Toss them in a mixing bowl. Adjust salt and add lemon juice. Your easy lentil salad is ready to eat in just no time.
If you like this holiday side dish recipe then check more sides from the blog.
Explore all side dishes from the blog.
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Simple & Easy Warm Brown Lentil Salad
- 220 gram brown lentils 1 cup lentil. Check variations for alternatives
- 4 cup water
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cucumber finely chopped
- 1 cup red bell pepper finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup onion finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic finely chopped
- 1 leek stem sliced in ¼" rings
- salt as per taste
- Clean and wash the lentils with clean water. Add water, lentils & salt in a saucepan and boil until just tender, 15-20 minutes. Add extra water while cooking if the liquid gets low. Drain and transfer in a mixing bowl.
- While lentils are cooking prepare eeks. Cut the root and discard any discolored green part. Cut the white and light green part into ¼" slices (rings) and wash thoroughly.
- Heat oil in a pan and add chopped garlic. Cook for a minute and add chopped onion. Cook till onion changes color.
- Finally, add leeks, salt and stir nicely. Cover the lid and cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, open the lid and stir. Check if leeks look soft if not than cook further for 2-3 minutes.
- Add chopped red bell pepper, chopped cucumber, lemon juice, and sauteed leeks to the mixing bowl. Toss them nicely and adjust lemon juice and salt as per taste. Serve immediately.
- Brown, french (puy), and green lentils work well to make the salad.
- You can cook lentils without soaking them. Soaking reduces the overall cooking time. But do not be afraid to cook them even if you forget to soak well in advance.