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This 30-minute French-inspired green lentil salad is hearty, fresh, and flavored with a bright Dijon mustard vinaigrette! Delightful and wholesome, this rustic salad comes together in less than 30 minutes. Perfect as a light summer appetizer or as a side dish!

Holding a bowl of green lentil salad.

⭐️ Why You Should Try It

  • Rustic and hearty. Prepared from Puy lentils and an aromatic dressing, this salad offers earthy and refreshing flavors! Plus, it’s nourishing, containing over 14g of plant-based protein per serving.
  • Made from simple, wholesome ingredients. Only seven staple ingredients are required to create this amazingly fresh salad!
  • Quick and easy. Ready in about 30 minutes with one pot, this salad is easy and keeps very well, making it great for meal prep. Serve it as a side dish or appetizer, or use it as a base for Buddha bowls!

📘 What is Green Lentil Salad

Green lentil salad is a classic French recipe that consists of cooked Puy lentils tossed in a tangy balsamic vinegar dressing. It’s a vibrant and healthy dish usually served during summer, but that can also be enjoyed year-round.

This recipe will transport you to South-central France’s charming and sunny streets!

Ingredients like green lentils, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and shallots.

🧄 Ingredients Notes

This green lentil salad recipe is simple to prepare and requires only 7 ingredients. Here is what you will need:

  • Green lentils – Preferably green lentils from Le Puy. This type of lentil is generally smaller than brown or regular green lentils. If you can’t find French green lentils, use regular green ones and adjust the cooking time.
  • Garlic and shallots – To add a fragrant and garlicky flavor. Use fresh garlic for the best aroma.
  • Olive oilVirgin olive oil makes the base of the dressing. It brings a delicate fruity flavor.
  • Balsamic vinegar – For tanginess. I went with balsamic vinegar as I like its natural sweetness, but you can use apple cider vinegar.
  • Mustard – Dijon mustard adds a hint of spiciness. You can use regular Dijon mustard or whole-grain mustard.
  • Nutritional yeast – Optional. For extra umami and nuttiness.
  • Fresh herbs – While parsley is traditionally used, you can use cilantro, tarragon and/or mint.

🥣 How to Make It

Cook the lentils

  1. Clean the lentils. Add the green lentils to a bowl and cover with cold water. Drain and repeat once.
  2. Let simmer. Add the green lentils to a deep saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 20-25 minutes. I recommend checking the doneness of the lentils at the 18-minute mark. Lentils should be tender.
  3. Drain. Drain the cooked lentils and rinse them twice under cold water. This will stop the cooking process and cool the lentils.

Prepare the vinaigrette

  1. Combine the ingredients. Combine the minced garlic, shallot, mustard, and nutritional yeast in a small bowl. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper, and stir until fully combined.

Assemble

Finally, it’s time to dress the salad! To do so:

  1. Transfer the drained lentils to a serving bowl.
  2. Add the herbs. Finely chop the parsley and mint, and add them to the lentils.
  3. Pour in the dressing. Next, add the vinaigrette to the lentils and toss to coat.
  4. Taste. At this point, taste and adjust the saltiness, tanginess, or spiciness to your liking.
  5. Refrigerate. While you could serve this salad immediately, I recommend letting it chill in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to merge.

🥖 What to Serve It With

This vegan green lentil salad makes a wonderful appetizer or light lunch! You can serve it with rustic bread or air fryer garlic bread or as a side to vegan chicken, braised jackfruit, or vegan sausages!

📔 Tips

  • Adjust the cooking time. Depending on the type of lentils used, you might have to increase or decrease the cooking time. It also comes down to your preference. I personally prefer the lentils to be very tender, but if you like your lentils al-dente, cook them for a shorter amount of time.
  • Make it zesty. Feel free to add lemon zest and an extra tablespoon of lemon juice to make this green lentil salad more lemony!
  • Play with the herbs. Fresh herbs add a ton of flavor to this lentil salad! Do not hesitate to use different herbs like cilantro, tarragon, chives, or rosemary.
  • Let the salad rest. I highly recommend letting the salad chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to merge and the lentils to absorb some of the vinaigrette.
Close-up of green lentil salad.

💬 FAQ

Can I use other types of lentils?

You can replace the French green lentils with brown or green ones. Be aware that you might have to adjust the cooking time as these are usually larger and require a longer cooking time.

How do you know when the lentils are cooked?

Lentils are cooked when they are tender to the bite. They should not be crunchy or have a hard texture. Be careful not to overcook them, though, or they will turn mushy.

Can I use canned lentils?

You can use canned lentils, but they won’t taste as good as freshly cooked lentils. It is so easy to cook lentils that I do not recommend using canned ones.

How long does this salad keep?

You can keep this lentil salad in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Spoonful of green lentil salad.

If you are looking for a satisfying and nourishing salad high in fiber and protein, you will love this French-inspired green lentil salad!

🍛 More Vegan Lentil Recipes

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

French green lentil salad in a bowl.
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Recipe

French Green Lentil Salad

5 from 2 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
This 30-minute French-inspired green lentil salad is hearty, fresh, and flavored with a bright Dijon mustard vinaigrette! Delightful and wholesome, this rustic salad comes together in less than 30 minutes. Perfect as a light summer appetizer or as a side dish!
Prep Time : 5 minutes
Cook Time : 25 minutes
Total Time : 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 282 kcal

Ingredients
 

Vinaigrette

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2-3 mint leaves chopped

Instructions
 

Cook the lentils

  • Clean the lentils. Add the green lentils to a bowl and cover with cold water. Drain and repeat once.
  • Let simmer. Add the green lentils to a deep saucepan and cover with the 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 20-25 minutes. I recommend checking the doneness of the lentils at the 18 minutes mark. Lentils should be tender.
  • Drain. Remove from heat and drain the cooked lentils. Rinse them twice under cold water. This will stop the cooking process and cool the lentils. Transfer the cooked lentils to a mixing bowl and set aside.

Make the vinaigrette

  • Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl and stir until fully combined.

Assemble

  • Add the vinaigrette and fresh herbs to the lentils. Using a wooden spoon, toss to coat the lentils with the vinaigrette. Taste and adjust the saltiness and tanginess to your liking.
  • Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to merge.

Notes

  • Adjust the cooking time. Depending on the type of lentils used, you might have to increase or decrease the cooking time. It also comes down to your preference. I personally prefer the lentils to be very tender, but if you like your lentils al-dente, cook them for a shorter amount of time.
  • Make it zesty. Feel free to add lemon zest and an extra tablespoon of lemon juice to make this green lentil salad more lemony!
  • Play with the herbs. Fresh herbs add a ton of flavor to this lentil salad! Do not hesitate to use different herbs like cilantro, tarragon, chives, or rosemary.
  • Let the salad rest. I highly recommend letting the salad chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to merge and the lentils to absorb some of the vinaigrette.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 282 kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.2 g | Protein: 14.2 g | Fat: 11.4 g | Saturated Fat: 1.6 g | Sodium: 311 mg | Potassium: 554 mg | Fiber: 15.9 g | Sugar: 1.1 g | Calcium: 35 mg | Iron: 4 mg
Course : Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine : French
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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5 stars
Looks amazing. Will try this for weekend for my family. Thanks!

5 stars
In Lyon (France) where I live, this salad his a big part of our local culture. The workers that lived in the hill of “Croix-Rousse” in the 19th century used to call it the “Croix-Rousse caviar” ! 😄
Bon appétit !