This delicious lentil salad with feta and tomatoes is quickly and easily prepared. In less than 15 minutes, you’ll have created a delectable salad to please the crowds. This is a great side dish for cookouts, picnics at the park, or just a quick meal on the go.
Don’t you just love lentils? I sure do. You are probably thinking, how can this salad be done within 15 minutes using lentils? Don’t they have to soak and cook for quite a while? Why, yes. Yes, they do. But, for this recipe, we are using canned lentils.
Using canned lentils will allow for quick preparation while simultaneously being super healthy and extremely tasty (the same applies to this simple chickpea salad with feta cheese and this 15-minute bean and cucumber salad by the way). To top it off, lentils are exceptionally versatile and pair well with countless other ingredients. Here is my favorite version of this mouthwatering and healthy lentil salad.
Why you’ll love this canned lentil recipe
- vegetarian, full of fiber, protein-rich, and super healthy
- quick and easy preparation in under 15 minutes using everyday pantry items
- intense and incredible bursts of flavor while also remarkably refreshing
- perfect for BBQs, grab-and-go meals, or as a side salad
- versatile recipe with a wide variety of options
To create this appetizing lentil feta tomato salad, you will only require a few everyday pantry items:
- Lentils: Utilizing canned lentils will have you prepare this salad in no time at all. Alternatively, you may also use regular (uncooked) lentils, but that will increase your prep time by quite a bit. As always, your call.
Tip: This recipe is also great to use leftover lentils (already cooked).
- Feta Cheese: Not only does feta cheese round out this dish perfectly flavor-wise, but also adds a nice touch of creaminess to the salad. Alternatively, you may also incorporate goat cheese or other similar cheeses. If you are opting for a vegan version, feel free to add whatever vegan substitution your heart desires. 😉
- Tomatoes: I suggest using smaller, firmer tomatoes, such as cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes. For one thing, using larger tomatoes could undermine this salad’s delightful texture and might also result in the dish becoming too watery. And we really don’t want that, do we now? 😉
- Scallions/Green onions: In addition to scallions adding a visually stunning pop of color to your dish, they will also provide an extra special touch of flavor. The exact quantity of scallions to use is pretty much up to you. Feel free to use as many or as few as you’d like. Since I am a big fan of green onions, I just drop them in by the handfuls. Kidding (sort of). 😉 Of course, you may also use “regular” onions if you are aiming for a more intense oniony flavor. Red onions, for example, would pair especially well with this salad.
- Fresh Parsley: Parsley falls into the same category as scallions. Non-measurable, that is. Be as generous or as “reserved” as you wish. Just measure that “stuff” with your heart;). Personally, I can’t have enough fresh herbs in any dish, therefore I tend to be on the more generous side. If you are unsure, just add it in gradually. Give it a few taste tests while adding your parsley, and stop whenever you feel like your salad is where it needs to be. Either Italian parsley or curly parsley will work just fine. Stick with your personal preference. 😉
Topped off with a scrumptious yet simple dressing made with olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice (lime will work as well), balsamic vinegar, honey (vegan option: agave syrup), water, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Et voilà! Another one for the “books!”
My healthy lentil salad with feta cheese and tomatoes is super easy and quickly prepared. Another time-saving recipe that you can add to your arsenal. If you’ve come across other recipes from me, you probably know by now that being efficient is one of my personal “key ingredients” when it comes to creating new recipes.
Here is some more detailed information and lots of additional helpful prep tips to “nudge” you along the way. Further down, you may also find the summarized recipe along with a printable version thereof.
Let’s get this party started.
Step 1: Thoroughly rinse and drain your canned lentils using a strainer. Let them sit for a bit to remove as much excess liquid as possible. As indicated above, you may also utilize uncooked lentils and prepare them as per package instructions. Set aside to allow for cooling after.
Step 2: After rinsing the cherry tomatoes, cut them into small chunks. For this salad, my general recommendation is to chop all ingredients into pretty small pieces. Cut them into quarters or even smaller if possible. The same applies to the feta cheese. Chop it or crumble it by hand.
Next, give your parsley a good rinse/wash and chop finely. Then cut your scallions into small pieces or rings. Both may be measured by heart. 😉
Step 3: Combine drained lentils, tomatoes, feta cheese, scallions, and parsley in a large bowl. Grab a big enough bowl to allow for generous stirring. No holding back here, please. It won’t make a big difference whether you are having to clean up a small or large bowl anyway. So, grab a big ‘un, my friend.
Step 4: For the dressing, combine olive oil, vinegar, honey, and water in a container. Add your freshly squeezed lemon juice and your minced garlic clove, and season with salt and black pepper. Mix well using a spoon or a fork. If you happen to be working with an airtight container (or even a salad dressing jar), simply screw on the lid, shake well, and pretend you are Tom Cruise in Cocktail. Remember that movie? No? Well then, just pretend you are a top-notch bartender. 😉
Step 5: Now, drizzle your flavorful dressing over your salad ingredients, combine well, give it another taste test and, if necessary, add some more salt and black pepper. Done!
Hopefully, you’ve set a timer, ‘cause I am certain this salad could not have taken any longer than 15 minutes. If it did, then only because you used uncooked lentils, thus increasing your prep time. That’s a ‘you’-problem then, though. Taylor Swift’s song comes to mind…. ”It’s me, Hi, I’m the problem, it’s me.” Lol. Just teasing.
Tip: Your salad will taste especially wonderful if you let it “rest” for a bit. Resting allows for all ingredients and aromatics to fully develop their flavors.
I’ve intentionally kept the lentil salad recipe quite simple. There are, however, lots of different options to choose from to make this dish your own. Here are a few of my ideas:
- Utilize a substitute for feta cheese if you’d like to create a vegan dish. For the dressing, incorporate agave or maple syrup (or something similar) instead of honey.
- If your taste buds typically prefer a more intense joyride of flavors, opt to use “regular” onions instead of green onions. Red onions would be a great option as well. Can’t beat that pop of color, either. 😉
- Concerned about the lentil salad causing a little digestive upset? With lentils being quite high in fiber, this is an absolutely valid and understandable concern. But of course, this is different for every person. And then, of course, there’s aging… 😉 Here are a few things you can do to make this salad easier on your digestive system. For one, be very thorough when draining and washing your lentils. Then, instead of using the whole green onion, use the scallions’ green part only. Or toss green onions aside altogether and use chives instead. Chives taste a tad different, but are still a very good match for this salad.
- Having kept this recipe on the simpler side, leaves you many options when it comes to putting your own spin on the dish. Plenty of vegetables are great companions for lentils, as they typically ‘play well’ with most and don’t mind sharing the ‘sandbox’. 😉 Especially good companions would be red bell peppers, cucumbers, and olives.
- Nuts would be another great contender to add to your dish. Walnuts or cashews, for example. Feel free to give them a little (slow and watchful) roast before adding them in. Roasting nuts typically brings out their flavor even more so.
The lentil salad was created to shine as a side salad. You may serve it as a side dish or an appetizer to any main course, whether it be lunch or dinner.
Are you looking for another tasty crowd-pleaser for an upcoming cookout? Look no further. Just double or triple (8-12 servings) the recipe and you’ve hit another home run. To top it off, being able to prep this salad ahead of time makes this one a double whammy. Mighty delicious AND quickly prepared. I aim to please. You’re welcome. 😉
As a general rule, lentils make a fantastic addition to any buffet-style social gathering or birthday party, picnic at the park, or family reunion. The meal prep-friendly nature of this recipe will also make it the perfect office lunch or quick and healthy snack on the go.
Really and truly, you simply can’t go wrong with this yummy salad.
Due to its rather Mediterranean flavor profile, another perfect pairing would be to serve the salad with your favorite roasted meat. Potatoes or any other oven-roasted vegetables would also be great choices for our delicious lentil salad.
So, what are you waiting for? Head to your pantry and make sure it’s stocked with everything you’ll need to get started! 😉 Another feast for your gums is right around the corner.
Stored in a well-sealed container in the refrigerator, the lentil salad can last up to 2 days. In fact, it even tastes better on the second day than when freshly prepared.
This makes the dish an excellent choice for advance preparation, since the salad’s flavor improves as it marinates. For example, you can prepare it in the morning for an evening barbecue or the night before for the next day. So this recipe is perfect for a healthy meal-prep.
Yes, you can eat canned lentils straight from the can. They are already pre-soaked and in a ready-to-eat state, which means they do not need to be cooked first like dried lentils. Rinse well before eating though.
While not required, canned lentils can be rinsed by placing them in a strainer and running cold water over them. This can reduce the amount of sodium present in the liquid surrounding the lentils and also make them more easily digestible.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Quick Lentil Salad with Feta Cheese & Tomatoes
- 9 oz lentils canned
- 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes
- 6-7 oz feta cheese
- scallions / green onions
- fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 garlic clove
- salt and black pepper
- Thoroughly rinse and drain lentils. Let sit for a few to remove excess liquid.
- Rinse cherry tomatoes and cut them into small chunks. Chop feta cheese or crumble it by hand. After rinsing both, finely chop fresh parsley and cut scallions into small pieces or rings.
- Toss all salad ingredients into a large bowl.
- Combine olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, honey, and water in a small container. Add minced garlic and generously season with salt and black pepper. Mix well to create dressing.
- Drizzle dressing over salad, combine well, and give it another (taste) practice run. Add more salt and black pepper if needed.