Mediterranean Lentil Salad with Feta and Mint

This Mediterranean Lentil Salad makes an easy and delicious vegetarian main course or side dish with Greek-inspired flavors. It’s made with protein-packed lentils, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, feta cheese, and fresh herbs, tossed with lemon and oregano dressing. There’s so much flavor and texture in this balanced, make-ahead salad recipe. You must try it if you are a lover of Mediterranean food!

Mediterranean lentil salad with feta cheese and fresh herbs on a white plate.

There is nothing better than opening the fridge and finding this refreshing Mediterranean Lentil Salad prepared and ready to enjoy.

It is especially delicious on a warm summer day. But really, this is something you’ll love to have on hand any time of the year.

Another plus is that this salad works just as well as a main dish or as a side dish. If you’re looking for more Mediterranean-inspired recipes to add to your menu, try Harissa Roasted Carrots and Chickpeas with Pomegranate, Tahini and Dukkah, Baked Falafel Bowls, or Vegan White Bean Potato Soup.

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Ingredients

These are the ingredients you will need to make this Mediterranean Lentil Salad at home.

For the salad:

Ingredients for a Mediterranean Lentil Salad.
  • Cooked brown lentils (You can cook dried lentils ahead of time or buy them pre-cooked. Look for canned or frozen cooked lentils. Sometimes you can also find them in a microwavable bag.)
  • Red pepper
  • Cherry tomatoes (I like to use multicolored tomatoes)
  • Cucumber (I prefer English cucumber)
  • Red onion
  • chopped walnuts (optional)
  • Chopped kalamata olives (buy pitted olives for convenience)
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh mint
  • fresh dill
  • feta cheese

For the dressing:

Ingredients for Lemon and Oregano Greek Salad Dressing.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon juice (I like to buy a whole lemon and squeeze it myself)
  • Mustard (I prefer whole wheat)
  • Garlic
  • dried oregano (find it in the spice section)

See recipe card for amounts.

Instructions

Before making this recipe, start with the prep work.

If you are cooking dried lentils, take care of this step first.

Then you can chop the vegetables while the lentils simmer. (Use the ingredient photo above for reference if you’re wondering how big to chop all the veggies.)

how to cook lentils

Rinse and sort a cup of dried lentils and add them to a pot with about 3 ½ cups of water.

Simmer (cook gently) the lentils over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, or until as soft as desired. There should be some bubbles as the lentils cook, but the water should not come to a full boil. If the water starts to boil, reduce the heat.

Once the lentils are cooked, drain the excess liquid.

This is how the rest of the salad is prepared:

Make Greek salad dressing in a liquid measuring cup.

First, mix the dressing ingredients.

Close up of lentil salad ingredients in a large white bowl.

Next, add all of the salad ingredients, except the feta, to a large mixing bowl.

Tossing lentil salad with Greek dressing.

Pour the dressing into the bowl and toss until the salad is evenly coated.

Add feta cheese to the lentil salad.

Add the feta cheese and gently stir until blended.

Clue: I like to buy a block of feta and crumble it myself. You can make the feta chunks extra large and chunky this way! (Yum.) I also wait until the end to add the feta so it doesn’t fall apart.

Mediterranean lentil salad on a plate with wooden spoons.

substitutions

This lentil salad is naturally vegetarian and gluten-free. But here are some potential substitutions you can make if you have other dietary needs or preferences.

  • Vegan/Dairy Free: omit the feta or substitute feta tofu.
  • No Nuts: omit the nuts or substitute the sunflower seeds.
  • Oil Free: Substitute an oil-free dressing, like this Lemon Dijon Dressing from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken.

variations

An easy way to change the flavor profile of this recipe is to swap out another dressing or sauce. You can also substitute beans, chickpeas, or pasta for the lentils for a different twist. Here are some ideas:

  • C.rammy: use Lemon Tahini Dressing or Vegan Green Goddess Dressing in place of the recipe dressing.
  • Italian: use pecan pesto in place of the lemon oregano dressing in the recipe. Substitute fresh mozzarella balls for the crumbled feta, and use fresh basil instead of mint.
  • Beans/Chickpeas: substitute cooked garbanzo beans, white cannellini beans, or lima beans for the lentils.
  • Pasta salad: Use cooked lentil pasta instead of regular lentils.

Equipment

You don’t need any special equipment to make this recipe. (If you buy pre-cooked lentils, you won’t even need to turn on the stove!)

Use a knife and cutting board to chop the vegetables and herbs.

I like to mix the salad dressing in a liquid measuring cup, but you can also use a small mixing bowl if that’s what you have.

Finally, you will need a large mixing bowl to mix the salad. Using a large bowl makes it easy to stir all the ingredients together without spilling anything!

Lentil salad in a meal prep container.

Preparation

This recipe is a great option if you are looking for an easy and healthy vegetarian lunch for work.

You can make the lemon oregano dressing up to two weeks in advance. (So ​​convenient for vegetarian meal prep!) ​​And the (fully prepared) lentil salad will stay fresh in the fridge for about five days.

Storage

Store the lentil salad in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to five days.

This recipe tastes best fresh, not frozen. But you can also store it in a freezer-safe bag and freeze it for up to three months if you’re in a pinch.

Better advice

It’s easy to customize this lentil salad based on your flavor preferences or what’s available at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. Feel free to omit any vegetables or herbs you don’t like. You can also add more or less dressing. Don’t be afraid to make it yours!

📖 Recipe

Mediterranean lentil salad on a white plate.

Mediterranean Lentil Salad with Feta and Mint

A Greek-inspired vegetarian lentil salad with tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, feta cheese and fresh herbs tossed with a lemon and oregano dressing. Serve as a light appetizer or garnish.

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Course: dinner, lunch, salad, side dish

Kitchen: gluten-free, Greek-inspired, Mediterranean-inspired, vegetarian

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Servings: 6 people

Calories: 317kcal

Author: Stephanie McKercher, RDN

Instructions

Prepare the Lemon-Oregano Dressing:

  • Beat olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper until evenly blended. Set aside.

Prepare lentil salad:

  • Stir in the cooked lentils, bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, walnuts (if using), olives (if using), parsley, mint, and dill.

  • Pour dressing over lentil mixture and toss until evenly coated.

  • Add the feta cheese and gently stir until evenly mixed.

grades

Lentil Notes: 1 cup of dried lentils makes 2 ½ cups cooked. Cook dry lentils ahead of time or buy pre-cooked lentils. If using canned lentils, drain and rinse them first. I use brown lentils, but any color will work.
To cook 1 cup of dried lentils: Rinse and sort the dried brown lentils and add them to a pot with 3 ½ cups of water. Simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, or until desired tenderness is reached. Drain excess fluid if necessary.

Preparation: Prepare the dressing up to 2 weeks in advance. Prepare the lentil salad up to 5 days in advance.

Storage: Store the lentil salad in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. This salad is best fresh, but you can also store it in a freezer-safe bag and freeze it for up to 3 months if needed. Thaw frozen salad in the refrigerator overnight.

Nutritional data is based on a serving size of ⅙ of the recipe and is an estimate only.

Nutrition

Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 24gram | Protein: 13gram | Fat: twentygram | Saturated fat: 5gram | Polyunsaturated fat: 4gram | monosaturated fat: 9gram | Cholesterol: 22milligrams | Sodium: 535milligrams | Potassium: 526milligrams | Fiber: 9gram | Sugar: 4gram | Vitamin A: 1203UI | Vitamin C: 40milligrams | Calcium: 174milligrams | Iron: 4milligrams

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