Cold Lentil Salad Recipe (Vegan)

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Vegan Cold Lentil Salad with tomatoes, cucumber and a fresh and zesty lemon dressing. Lovely served chilled as a meal with loads of fresh herbs like parsley, dill and basil. A great make-ahead recipe, packs nice in mason jars for lunches to go, picnics and perfect for those long hot summer days. 

Cold Lentil Salad

Earthy. Easy. Healthy. Protein-Packed + Vegan!

A staple on a plant-based diet, lentils are truly a supernatural, good for you legume. I eat them almost every day you guys. Unlike beans they don’t require pre-soaking, don’t contain sulfur so therefor don’t produce any gas 😉 
They are high in protein (a cup of lentils contains 18 grams) and loaded with soluble fiber (a cup contains 16 grams) with a low glycemic-load. Rich in folate, iron and manganese.

Which Type of Lentils Work Best for a Salad?

  • French Puy Lentils – With over fifty varieties of lentils on Planet Earth I prefer to use the small green French variety here as I love how they hold their shape nicely when being tossed in a cold salad.
  • Black Beluga lentils are perfect for salads as well but harder to find at the market. Try them tossed with my vegan aioli and roasted veggies. An absolutely divine combination! 
  • Red + Yellow lentil varieties will pretty much turn into mush once fully cooked. So make sure to save those for soups and stews instead like this hearty red lentil stew and this super delicious lemon lentil soup.

Cold Lentil Salad Making Tips

  • Don’t Overcook the Lentils – Regardless of which variety of lentils you end up using, It’s really important that you don’t overcook them. Check them after 10 minutes or so and aim for an al dente texture that will hold up to the tomatoes, cucumbers and dressing / vinaigrette. Rinse well with cold water and CHILL.
  • WFPB + Plantricious – To make your salad compliant make sure to omit the oil in the recipe or replace it with a tablespoons of tahini (sesame butter). Whisk in with the lemon juice, a little dijon mustard and maybe a touch of  Tamari or Ponzu sauce. Get creative!
  • Veggies – If tomatoes and cucumbers are not your faves feel free to use crunchy bell peppers olives or radishes instead.
  • Storage – Because of the crunchy fresh veggie it isn’t recommended to freeze this lentil salad. However, you could prepare the lentils and freeze them separately then thaw them out in the fridge the night before you want to use them.
  • Mediterranean Twist – Replace the green onions with red, add some Kalamata olives and sprinkle with vegan feta cheese on top. (FYI: Violife makes the best block of  plant based feta on the market).
Cold Lentil Salad
P.S. If you make this recipe please remember to tag me with #VeggieSociety on Instagram, it always makes my day ~ Florentina Xo’s
Cucumber Tomato Lentil Salad
5 from 2 votes

Cold Lentil Salad (Vegan)

The best cold lentil salad recipe with cucumber and tomatoes in a fresh and zesty lemon dressing with dill, parsley and basil.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes
Total Time:25 minutes



  • Add the lentils, water and bay leaf to medium size heavy pot. Bring to a boil and season with a good pinch of sea salt. Simmer uncovered for about 12 to 15 minutes or until the lentils are cooked through but still with an al dente texture. Drain in a colander and rinse immediately under cold water. Discard the bay leaf. Refrigerate lentils until needed or chilled to your liking.
    1 cup dried French lentils, 1 pinch sea salt, 1 leaf bay, 3 cups water
  • Meanwhile slice the cucumbers into thin rounds or chop into squares to your liking. Add them to a salad bowl together with the tomatoes, onions, dill, basil and parsley. Add the chilled lentils and drizzle over the top with the olive oil. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top to your liking and gently toss everything to coat well.
    3-4 Persian cucumbers, 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes, 1 lemon, 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup fresh dill, 2 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, 2 tbsp basil leaves, 3 green onions
  • Taste as you go and adjust seasonings to taste with more sea salt and extra lemon juice.


  • WFPB & Plantricious - to make the salad wfpb compliant make sure to completely omit the oil or replace it with tahini.
  • Mediterranean Twist - replace the green onions with red, add some black olives and sprinkle with vegan feta cheese on top. (Violife makes the best block of plant based feta on the market).


Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 980mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1000IU | Vitamin C: 43.3mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 5.1mg
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: lentil salad, plant based, vegan,
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 250kcal
Author: Florentina

Lentil Recipes:

Sweet Potato Lentil Stew
Sweet Potato Lentil Stew
Lentil Veggie Loaf
Lentil Veggie Loaf
Potato Red Lentil Stew
Potato Red Lentil Stew

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  1. Never thought of using lentils in a cold salad but you can bet I will be doing this from now on. This is a really flavorful and filling salad I’ll keep in my repertoire for years to come. Perfect for a summer outdoor picnic or to bring to a potluck too. Thank you for this recipe Florentina.

  2. Rayelene
    Just finished a very long comment then lost it!!! Highlights……..
    Quick & simple
    Passed with grandkids tough one!!!
    Had all ingredients (in season!
    A hundred stars from me!
    Question…. can red lentils be used?
    Cooking time for al dents ?

    Thanks Rae

    1. Thanks for taking the time to report back Tauelene and so happy you enjoyed the salad. To answer your question the red lentils would not really work here as they have a shorter cooking time (10 to 15 minutes) and they become soft and mushy, so they are best used in soups and stew where they help thicken the consistency. Hope that addressed your concern ~ Florentina Xo’s

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