Roasted Broccoli, Arugula and Lentil Salad

Roasted Broccoli, Arugula and Lentil Salad

Now that spring is just around the corner, I’m experiencing an insatiable craving for all things green. I want fresh, green salads and light meals, and I can’t wait for sunny walks with Cookie under big, leafy trees.

Just this morning I squinted at the field across the street, which had been covered under a thick layer of snow like the Arctic tundra last week, and thought it might be turning a shade of pale green. And were those little green shoots emerging from the ground the beginning of daffodils? Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but at least I can fill up on fresh green produce while I wait.

broccoli and brussels sprouts

For all the cookbooks and magazines and blogs I read, sometimes the inspiration for my recipes comes from happenstance. A couple weeks ago, during the marathon lentil meatball recipe testing, I served the latest batch alongside a simple arugula and parmesan salad. We roasted up some broccoli, and since we didn’t have room on our plates with the meatballs, we shrugged and tossed it on the salad. I knew we had stumbled onto something good at first bite—the roasted broccoli’s crispy, caramelized edges perfectly complemented the fresh green salad.

arugula and lentils

I made up this more elaborate (yet unfussy) version not long afterward, and it turned out the way I wanted on the first try. Black lentils add some substance and textural interest, while the lemony vinaigrette wakes up the roasted vegetables. I added brussels sprouts to the roasting pan this time, which are surely delicious, but the crispy broccoli really steals the show.

Don’t be afraid to let the cruciferous vegetables bake until they are well toasted on the outside; they aren’t burnt when they have brown edges, but irresistibly caramelized instead. They become their roasty-toasty best when you spread them over the baking sheet with ample room around each piece. Mine as shown here were a little overcrowded, but that’s what happens when your mini oven can’t accommodate a full-sized baking pan. C’est la vie.

chopped brussels sprouts and broccoliroasted broccoli and brussels sproutsParmesan on saladRoasted Broccoli, Arugula and Lentil Salad Recipe

Roasted Broccoli, Arugula and Lentil Salad
4.7 from 11 reviews
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 to 4
A very green salad with roasted broccoli, brussels sprouts, arugula, black lentils and a lemony vinaigrette.
  • 1½ pounds broccoli
  • ¾ pound brussels sprouts (or more broccoli)
  • Olive oil
  • ½ cup black beluga lentils (or green/Puy lentils), picked through and rinsed
  • several handfuls arugula
  • ½ cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
Lemon Vinaigrette
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • sea salt and ground pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line your largest rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces. Trim the ends off the sprouts; cut the small sprouts in two through the stem, and the large sprouts into quarters. Toss the florets and sprouts in olive oil so they are lightly coated, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread the florets and sprouts in a single layer on the baking sheet (be sure not to overcrowd). Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, tossing halfway, until the vegetables are crisp-tender and well caramelized on the edges.
  2. In the meantime, bring ¾ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the lentils, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender but still retain their shape.
  3. Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients while the roasted vegetables and lentils cool a bit. In a large serving bowl, combine the roasted vegetables, cooked lentils and arugula. Drizzle with vinaigrette, sprinkle in the Parmesan and toss well. Taste and add more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice if needed. Best served immediately.
Storage suggestions: Salad is best served immediately, but you can store leftovers in the fridge, covered, and brighten them up with another squeeze of lemon when you're ready to polish them off. For best results, store the dressing separately from the greens until you are ready to serve.
Serves 2 as an entrée or 4 as a side.
Make it dairy free: Simply omit the Parmesan.
Make it vegan: Omit the Parmesan and use agave nectar instead of honey in the salad dressing.


  1. says

    Oh yes please!! For me, roasted Brussels sprouts could be (and have been) a meal on their own! This sounds so delicious. This past weekend was a gorgeous one here for us weather-wise (I was actually outside without a jacket for the first time in months!!) but it’s currently snowing again. Let’s hope that spring arrives soon!!

  2. says

    This is such a good idea. My top favorite way to eat broccoli and brussel sprouts is roasted. Lightly crunchy and BIG on flavor. I also love roasting broccoli with a little balsamic vinegar – toasty, crunchy and tangy. The best!

  3. says

    This salad looks delicious and I absolutely love your site. As a very new food blogger who is learning as I go, I truly appreciate all of your tips and insight. I am a loyal disciple! Thank you and please visit me at “Musings of a Sly Rooster.”

  4. says

    I adore roasted broccoli – when we were students we’d cook up a big batch to mix into couscous but this salad looks like an altogether more interesting a delicious proposition!

  5. says

    Gorgeous! I have never tried black lentils, are they any different than regular lentils? Oh man, I have a bad case of spring fever!!! This salad makes me long for warm sunshine, especially since I hear we are supposed to get more snow here in Chicago tomorrow, yuck.

    • says

      Hey Stefanie, black lentils do have a different texture than regular lentils. They tend to retain their shape a little better and they’re almost slippery on the outside. Hope you get some sunshine soon!

  6. Claire says

    very glad you posted this how-to. Last night I declared, “I’ve decided I don’t like brussel sprouts” after my 4th attempt to roast them without proper direction. I think perhaps I haven’t been cooking them long enough. Will give the leftover heads a proper roasting tonight with your dressing and consequently, brussel sprouts one last try.

    • says

      Hope you loved the roasted brussels sprouts this time around, Claire. I’ve found that if I place the halved sprouts flat side down in the pan, they develop this incredible melt-in-your-mouth texture. I think it’s because they basically steam from the inside.

  7. says

    roasted broccoli is my new favorite way to prepare it! i love the crunchiness on the outside. and roasted brussels sprouts is a no brainer! this looks like a terrific meal!

  8. Sylvia Wulf says

    Oh wow! A whole bunch of my favorite things all in one salad (swoon) ;-) About the only change I would make would be to use Pecorino Romano – my cow milk allergy doesn’t kick when I use sheep milk cheeses. Best of all, I had been looking for an excuse to add arugula to my rotation – somehow that particular green has never made the shopping list, probably due to it’s old ‘Yuppie’ rep. Now that I’ve been hearing how healthy it is… yeehaw ;-)

    • says

      Haha, I was unaware of arugula yuppie rep, but I can’t get enough of the stuff! I love the peppery flavor. Hope you enjoy the recipe, Sylvia.

  9. says

    All this week I have been eating monster-sized salads of cold leafy greens topped with warm vegetables, hummus and a bit of feta. So good; I will have to try your version!

  10. Em says

    The moment I laid eyes on this recipe I had to make it, so I did last night and it was a winner. Everyone loved it including my wife who can be a little picky. Had some toasted bread with olive oil as a dipper. Thank you!

  11. Gabrielle says

    I cannot wait to try this salad out tonight!

    Is there a reason why you use parchment paper as oppose to aluminum foil?

    • says

      Hey Gabrielle, I’m sorry I didn’t answer your question sooner. Yes, there is a reason why I use parchment paper instead of aluminum foil. Aluminum in food has been linked to health problems and may be a factor in Alzheimers, so I try to avoid it. I just use unbleached parchment paper instead, it’s an easy switch!

  12. says

    Just made this — and it was DELICIOUS! Eased up on the lemon, added more chili, no sprouts, and boy oh boy, you made two picky eaters very, very happy. Thank you so much!

  13. Heather Black says

    Your recipes look wonderful. My husband and I are trying to eat more vegetarian foods, but I would like to know how much, or if there is enough protein in for example your lentil and mushroom meatballs? How can I tell if there is enough protein in vegetarian recipes?
    Thank you

    • Rosa says

      The protein in lentils and beans is not complete. Therefore, even though lentils are rich in their specific type of protein, you need to eat rice or pasta with them to benefit from it.

    • says

      Hi Heather, that’s a great question, and I should preface my answer by letting you know that I’m not a nutritionist. However, from my own experience and from what I’ve read on the subject, I don’t think you need to worry too much about getting enough protein with each meal. Most Americans get way more protein than humans actually need, and it’s hard on the body to process all that extra protein. Regardless, protein is present in eggs, vegetables, legumes (like lentils) and whole grains. That is why all of my recipes call for whole grains (for example, whole wheat spaghetti has more protein and fiber than regular spaghetti). As long as you’re eating mostly “whole” foods, you should be getting ample amounts of protein in your vegetarian meals. I hope this answers your question!

  14. Amanda says

    Just found your blog and it’s totally speaking to me. I love your focus on fresh, whole foods. Isn’t their potential amazing? Add a little heat to broccoli and brussels and BAM, you get a flavor so rich and textured, it’s the bulk of a satisfying meal. Nature is so good to us.

    Can’t wait to try this recipe of yours.

  15. Rosa says

    I made this as a side dish with trout with a pumpkin seed-cilantro pesto (Bon Appetit) and it was one of the yummiest dinners we’ve had in a while! It tastes light but at the same time like a bit of a treat because of the cheese. :)

  16. says

    This is just the kind of salad I’ve been obsessed with at the end of this winter – sort of rich and very healthful. Can’t wait to throw this together!

  17. Elizabeth says

    I just made this and my boyfriend and I wolfed it down. So delicious! Another winner from this site. Thanks!

  18. says

    Just made this for lunch! After burning the lentils (oops…) I tried again and added more water, and it turned out delicious. And now I have an excuse to replace my shitty saucepan. :) Thank you!!!

  19. kate says

    This is TOTALLY, TOTALLY fabulous. I was honestly shocked at how much we loved this, even though it has some of my favorite ingredients. The sum is way greater than the parts here. Great recipe!

  20. katie says

    Made this over the weekend for dinner with another couple using veggies from our CSA. A success!! We had a few other dishes using our CSA ingredients for a very summer dinner.

  21. Holly says

    Delicious! I must admit I had never eaten brussel sprouts before and my husband made them amy challenge ingredient this week. I will definitely be roasting these bad boys in the future!! I’ve always been a huge fan of roasted broccoli, but I may very well have a new favorite. The vinaigrette was equally delicious. Made mine with quinoa as that’s what I had on hand. Thanks for introducing me to brussel sprouts Kathryne!

  22. IAmJ says

    Thank you for this recipe, Kate! This was very tasty and not too fussy to make on a weeknight. Will be added to our rotation.

  23. aimelle says

    Hi ! I made this tonight, swapping the brussels sprouts for carrots (because my boyfriend says he hates them and i don’t want to brutalize him too much) and it was really great ! I’m probably gonna make it again this autumn, as it’s a warm salad and broccoli (and carrots) is in season here right now. Also your vinaigrettes are always delicious.

  24. Stacey says

    Made this last night and it was amazing! I might omit the brussel sprouts and exclusively use broccoli (personal preference). Thanks for the great recipe!

  25. Aaron says

    Roasted broccoli and cauliflower are almost suspiciously delicious. I had to stop myself from eating too much off the pan before mixing it all together. I was worried that the final product might not be as addictive as the veggies themselves, and glad to find my fears were unfounded. The dish was a hit. Thanks!

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