I don’t have exciting news yet. Well, unless you count a cavity-free dental appointment, which was a relief after intensive cookbook recipe testing over the past year. That’s probably not very exciting to you, huh?
All I have for you is this lentil salad, which is beyond delicious. In fact, I was tempted to make it a last-minute cookbook addition instead, but decided you should get it right away. It features black beluga lentils, which are my favorite lentils for salads. They’re called beluga lentils because they resemble caviar. I like them because they cook in about 25 minutes and retain their shape nicely.
As humble and inexpensive as they are, lentils are true super foods. They’re loaded with protein, fiber, iron, and more goodness. Their flavor is super earthy, so they go well with other strong, zippy flavors, like the bold red wine vinaigrette I used here. I added chopped spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and herbs to round out the salad.
I usually stock up on black beluga lentils at Whole Foods and bulk bins, so I hope you can find them. If not, French green (le Puy) lentils will work, too. Don’t skip the “pick over lentils for debris” step—I have found little bitty rocks in there that you wouldn’t want to bite into!
You all know I’m a big fan of beans, lentils and peas (which are collectively called pulses), and I’m glad to be developing pulse recipes during the United Nation’s International Year of Pulses. For more information about the benefits of pulses, and to join me in committing to eat one serving of pulses every week, visit PulsePledge.com.
Greek Lentil Salad
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Salad
- Cuisine: Greek
This simple lentil salad is loaded with Greek flavors and health benefits. You can prepare all of the ingredients while the lentils cook. This salad makes great leftovers—just store the spinach separately from the rest so it doesn’t completely wilt. Recipe yields 4 mid-sized servings.
- 1 cup black beluga lentils (dry/uncooked)
- 3 cups water
- 3 lightly packed cups of chopped baby spinach
- ½ medium red onion, chopped
- ⅓ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed
- ⅓ cup pitted and quartered Kalamata olives
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley
- Optional garnish: crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Scant ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt (if using regular table salt, start with ¼ teaspoon and add more to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- To cook the lentils: First, pick through the lentils and remove any debris (like tiny rocks). Pour the lentils into a fine-mesh colander and rinse under running water, then dump the lentils into a medium saucepan. Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 25 to 35 minutes. Then, drain the lentils and return them to the pot to cool for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium serving bowl, combine the spinach, red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and basil. Set aside.
- To prepare the dressing, combine all of the ingredients and whisk until thoroughly blended.
- Once the lentils have cooled for about 5 minutes, add them to the serving bowl. Pour all of the dressing over the salad and toss until blended. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve in individual bowls with a sprinkle of feta cheese on top, if desired.
Make it dairy free/vegan: Skip the feta cheese.
▸ Nutrition Information
This post was created in partnership with USA Pulses and Pulses Canada. Opinions are my own, always. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who support C+K!
Rhian @ Rhian's Recipes
Wow this looks so delicious, and such a good idea to use lentils in a Greek salad!
Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
Wow, why didn’t I ever think of making a lentil salad with all these yummy goodies? It looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it. This will be my treat lunch when the kiddos are back in school next week.
I was wondering the same thing when I finally finalized these ingredients! So good.
This salad is gorgeous! I love the Greek flavors here and I’ve been loving lentils lately :)
Thank you, Medha!
I’ve been looking for these lentils everywhere! They are (apparently) impossible to find in my country and I had to get them while traveling in the UK. They are SO good! Even better than the regular brown or the puy ones :) Great salad! I’ll try it for sure :)
Well, I’m sorry you can’t find them over there! They’re my favorite, too. :)
I’m convinced that beluga lentils are the most beautiful and elegant of lentils. I have a go-to lentil salad but it’s rather wintery, and it’s hard to make myself make it in the summer, you know? This looks wonderful- I think I might make this my lunch today.
I agree! Hope you love this one, Allyson.
I love your receipts and hearing about your adventures. I hate fish, and was told by my doctor to eat salmon 2x week. So you have any
suggestions to mask the seafood taste?
Hi Vickie! I don’t, other than to buy super fresh fish. It tastes more fishy as time goes on. You might also investigate krill supplements.
The Wooden Spoon
I love greek salad- the lentil idea is amazing! Thanks for sharing.
made this tonight! super yummy and easy! added diced cucumber for some crunch – and didn’t add feta!
would be great with grilled chicken!
Thank you, Marly! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.
Great minds. I did the same. Added cucumber and no fetta. Delicious.
Woah! I’ve never heard of Beluga lentils. Must try. I’m diggin the textures in this recipe.
P.S. aA cavity-free dentist visit is always something to cheer about.
Thanks, Annie! Beluga lentils are great. Hope you can find some soon.
Just wanted to thank you for the beautiful, easy and delicious recipes. This was another hit in a long list of your dishes that I have tried and enjoyed! I also love lentils, and was getting tired of lentil soup – and bam – you once again taught me something new.
Also, I understand the disappointment that comes with falling in love with a home you want so badly to become yours, and then the dream is snatched away. Hang in there – in these situations you have to believe it just wasn’t meant to be.
Thank you so much, Natalie! I’m glad you enjoyed the lentil salad, too. I’m trying to keep that attitude about the home. Que sera, sera!
There was a wonderful vegan restaurant near us here in CT called “Six Main”. It served the tastiest food, but sadly is no more as one of the principals – the chef – moved back to CA. We keep their spirit alive in our home by referring to really, really good dishes as “Six Main”.
Kate – you have a huge number of “Six Main” recipes!! This Greek Lentil salad tonite was the latest. Good call on the beluga lentils, as both taste and appearance were wonderful.
My wife never met a lentil that she liked, and I would love to report that this did the trick, but no. “You got to be mental to eat a lentil” continues. She did like the way the salad looked though.
Congrats on your forthcoming book and all the work with your blog. It is very much appreciated.
Hi Anthony! “You got to be mental to eat a lentil” cracked me up. I’m so glad you have been enjoying my recipes. Thank you for your kind words!
I made the Lentil salad tonight for my husband and I and we both loved it. I used green lentils as the black weren’t available. The dressing was great – I would use that again in a variety of things. My kids sampled it too (ages 10 and 9) and declared they would bring it to school in their lunches. Overall a hit with my family.
Thank you, Lisa! I’m so glad it was enjoyed by all. I’m certain I never ate lentils as a kid. :)
I LOVE LOVE LOVE lentils. Such an amazing legume! :D And I really used to dread dentist trips–I’d feel so sick afterwards that I’d throw up and have to brush my teeth over and over again! (Sorry if that was too TMI!)
Yikes, that sound truly retched! I’m just glad I finally found a good local dentist.
I just discovered your site and I love it. I made 3 things from it this weekend. All delicious. I loved this salad. Thank you!
Hooray! Thank you so much for letting me know, Mary. I’m glad you found my site. :)
Made this tonight and thought it was delicious. The only thing I’d recommend is that if you’re making it for one or two and expect to have leftovers for a day or two, leave the greens out when you add the dressing and add them separately to each bowl — keeps them from getting soggy with the heavy lentils and dressing in the fridge overnight.
Thanks, Kathryn! I have a note about that in the headnote, but it’s probably easy to miss.
made this and was huge hit, used spring salad mix and added some cucumber. the tahini dressing was amazing with the feta.
Thank you, Diana! Happy to hear it.
I love this! I’m vegan and also avoid oils as much as I can so I omitted the olive oil in the dressing. Also omitted the tahini because I didn’t have it, the olives because I don’t care for them, and the sun-dried tomatoes because I couldn’t find any without oil. This was STILL delicious! One thing I love about your recipes is that I can omit items and the combination that’s left is still delicious!! Haven’t made a single thing off your blog that we haven’t loved. Thank you so much!!
Well, I’m impressed that it turned out tasty with all of those omissions! Thanks, Janice!
Look for oil-free sun dried tomatoes in the bulk bins, near the dried fruit. If you’re avoiding processed foods and oil, bulk bins are your friend!
Tahini is a great refrigerator staple. Mix it with yogurt for a creamy dressing or with lemon juice, gia gel & roasted garlic for an oil-free tangy dressing that is great on roasted veggies as well as in substantial salads.
I’ve made this at the beginning of the week 3 weeks in a row! Over kale, over arugula, over whatever, topped with chicken or sliced up hard boiled egg. I love it so so much. Great recipe!
Awesome! Thank you for letting me know, Mo!
This seemed like a money-in-the-bank recipe, so I doubled it.
No regrets! Very yummy and really the wilted spinach in the leftovers was fine :) I used green french lentils.
Thanks, Danya! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.
I just made this salad and it is really delicious! The only changes I made were I subbed capers for olives as I don’t care for olives and I added some lemon. I love your recipes and this one is no exception. I didn’t think I especially liked lentils…in fact…I don’t think I’ve cooked with them before…but now I’m a fan! Thanks!
I forgot to rate it!
I so enjoy receiving your emails and your inspirational recipe ideas and combinations!!!
This was easy and SOOO yummy!!
This was absolutely delicious. I only had white wine vinegar handy, but it was still superb. My family loved it. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.
Yum! This dressing is incredible, thank you! (Left out onion and subbed fresh tomatoes for sundried.)
Made this following most of the recipe, used different herbs, thyme and sage and rosemary……cant wait to make with basil, fantastic dish warm or cold, the dressing is also amazing, looking for other things to use this dressing made with tahini.
LOVE……the greek lentil salad. Now on our regulars list. thanks
You’re welcome, Kohlene!
Hmmm… made this last night, but today I don’t see the ingredients listed anymore? Was delish and was trying to share the recipe!
Hi Michelle, thank you for bringing that to my attention! I recently made some changes in how my recipes display and somehow a few of them lost their ingredients or instructions along the way. I just fixed it. I’m sorry for the trouble.
I don’t see the ingredients for the dressing–what are they?
Reshma, I’m so sorry for the trouble. I just added them back. I recently made some changes in how my recipes display and somehow a few of them lost their ingredients or instructions along the way.
Thank you! Look forward to trying it :)
Would love to make this but there are no ingredients listed. Help!!
Hi Susan, I’m so sorry, my site’s been experiencing some tech hiccups. I just added the ingredients back. I recently made some changes in how my recipes display and somehow a few of them lost their ingredients or instructions along the way.
Thanks so much, I can’t wait to make this. I love your site, and all your yummy recipes! Thanks from a new vegan!
Where is the ingredients list?
Hi CC, so sorry about that. The ingredients are back up now. I recently made some changes in how my recipes display and somehow a few of them lost their ingredients or instructions along the way.
This sounds delicious, but where are the ingredients? I am only finding the instructions.
Hi Judi, I’m so sorry for the trouble. I recently made some changes in how my recipes display and somehow a few of them lost their ingredients or instructions along the way. They’re back up now!
Uh oh. What happened to the ingredient list?
Hi Rena, I’m truly so sorry about that! They’re back up now. I recently made some changes in how my recipes display and somehow a few of them lost their ingredients or instructions along the way.
Forgot to list the ingredients!
Sorry about that, Annemarie! They’re back up now. I recently made some changes in how my recipes display and somehow a few of them lost their ingredients or instructions along the way.
This is delicious. Found the Beluga lentils at Bulk Barn, but in short supply. Left out the tahini and spinach, as I didn’t have them. Used green olives stuffed w garlic. Oregano and basil were fresh from the garden. This will become a staple in our house.
That sounds like a delicious variation, Eve.
This was a huge hit a 4th of July picnic I attended. I made it exactly as written – I used basil instead of parsley. Some people added feta but many did not – rave reviews all around and requests for the recipe. (I just passed along the website instead.) Thank you!
Thank you for sharing my blog, Emily! I’m so glad everyone loved the salad.
Love the salad. I love all the different ingredients, so I knew I would be happy. The trick was if my 13yo and her friend would like it. Success. My daughter wants me to make it more, and her friends mother has asked for the recipe.
Definitely going to be on our summer menu from here on out.
Great! Thanks so much, Dave. I’m so glad this was such a success.
Enjoy visiting and reading your material. Made a handful of your recipes, each delicious, including this recipe. Looking forward to preparing more of your recipes.
Hot and humid in southern New Mexico. We are in our official monsoon season. I am preparing light and satisfying dinner salads this week because of the high temps and humidity. I added ingredients only because of what we like with our salads. Added ultra thin slices of red and orange peppers; minced celery; shredded carrot; black olives in lieu of kalamata’s (enough salt in the feta for us); and steamed wild caught salmon and cod for the protein topping. My beloved wife of 32 years was a happy camper.
Thank you. Go easy.
That sounds absolutely delicious! I’m so glad you and your wife enjoyed the salad. Stay cool out there!
Made it yesterday as a side barbecue dish and it was a big hit at our home. Will be making this again for sure. Thank you, Kate for such an awesome recipe!
Hooray! Thanks, Laetitia. I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it!
This is my new favorite salad! I cooked the onions because I’m not a fan of raw onions and still tastes amazing. Definitely will make again.
For the person told to eat salmon but who does not like the fishy smell/taste :- Poach in water for half an hour in the oven 190 degrees. Secret is to add lemon juice /wine vinegar/ cider vinegar or even lots of soy sauce/teriyaki sauce into the water to mask the fishy smell. The amount is up to you. The more you use the less you can taste the fish!
PS That’s 190 Celsius/ 380 Fahrenheit.
Thanks for sharing!
Incredibly good – the salad dressing tipped it over the edge. I saw it and had to try the whole recipe, even though I didn’t have any tahini on hand – made it fresh in my Vita-Mix from organic sesame seeds and substitued lemon juice for red wine vinegar because I had lemons at their peak. I highly suggest doubling the recipe for lunch the next day, and tripling the salad dressing so there’s enough for your two meals and for whatever it will inspire you to perk up.
Love that! Thank you for your review, Katharine.
Amaaaaazing!!!! Loved this salad and it’s definitly my new favourite lentil recipe. Adding it to the ‘must eat every week’ list. Thanks!
You’re welcome, Bel! Thanks so much for your review!
Trying to use up pantry ingredients before an upcoming move, so I made this with some plain old brown lentils and it was still delicious! Added in some fresh raw veggies I needed to use up, and went overboard on the feta because I love it. Slightly chopping intensive, but worth it to have around in the fridge for lunches. Also really liked the dressing–making another batch tonight to keep around for some grain bowls we’re having this week. I’ve always loved your blog but I have to say, now that I’m a mama, so many of the recipes are truly standing up to family friendly cooking! Can’t wait to continue using it as a reference for weekly meal planning, especially once our CSA boxes start coming in this summer.
I’m glad you were able to use what you had! Thanks for your comment, Tessa.
So good! One of my faves!
Great to hear, Ebony!
I’ve made this delicious salad several times now. I’m able to change it up based on what I have in the house and it’s always good! I mix kale with spinach, use Spanish olives, and use French green lentils. It might be the dressing but this salad always works!
Thanks for your review, Allison!
I made this yummy salad for dinner tonight and it was absolutely delicious! I made some homemade Tahini and the dressing was especially good. The thing that surprised me the most was how much my husband liked it! He is not especially adventurous when it comes to eating. I definitely think the fresh basil is an absolute for this recipe as that basil flavor sneaks right in and is the flavor superb! Thanks for posting this one!
You’re welcome, Susan!
I don’t usually comment on recipes, but I have never had a recipe that I love SO much that I have made it more than 3 times in less than two months. Thank you for this! It is delicious, healthy and easy to make!!! And also easy to take to work :)
I’m glad you loved it that much, Melinda! Thank you for your review.
We made this salad for a dinner yesterday! OMG, it was amazing… can only recommend you all to give it a try. We had it as a side to a nice BBQ beef. Definitely will do it again! became one of our favourite lentil salads.
Thank you for your comment, Elisabeth!
Don’t know why I never tried this recipe until today. I love lentils, but always seem to forget about them! Today I remembered them, and wanted to make something. Had all the ingredients, except that I had green lentils….no problem; the salad came out really tasty, and I’m looking forward to having some for lunch tomorrow! I’ll have to keep an eye out for the beluga lentils. I’m pretty sure my store has only green lentils because I feel that I’ve looked for red in the past and there was only one kind…maybe I need to take a trip to whole foods soon!
I’m so glad you did, Emilie!
Fabulous! We didn’t need the feta. But oregano is a must.
Thanks for your review, Nathalie!
Such a delicious and filling salad. Made some roasted Greek potatoes to go with it but I don’t think it necessarily needed anything else. Also planning on eating it for lunch tomorrow too, so hopefully it holds up overnight.
I made this recipe and loved it so much I’ve made it for ladies lunches and vegan friends who all love it. It’s a total crowd-pleaser and even got a friend addicted to lentils! Definitely a staple in my house now. Thanks for the great recipe Cookie & Kate!
I think when my husband first saw this he was a little skeptical but one bite and he was singing the praises. I used baby kale for a little extra texture, crimson lentils and added cucumber for crunch and a few extra splashes of vinegar for tang. Will absolutely make again!!
This recipe is excellent! I added cucumbers to make it go a little further. I used green lentils instead since trader joes does not have black, I don’t think it made much a difference.
This is definitely going into my lunch rotation. Some of your other recipes have been on it for a couple of years now. :)
I like your addition! Thanks for sharing, Zoe. I’m happy you are enjoying my recipes!
This is too funny! I was quite literally searching for a recipe that uses black lentils a few minutes ago. Bought them instead of my normal red ones, which were out at Whole Foods. I’ll take it as a sign! This is definitely going on the meal plan for next week–it looks wholesome and delicious.
Fabulous and flavorful! This is a satisfying vegetarian main and also delicious with a fried egg on top. Will definitely make this again!
Wonderful to hear, Ashely!
This is so yum!! Having it for my lunch now at work and I have prepped it for lunches all week. Definitely one of my faves!!
I’m so happy to hear that!
we liked this salad so much I went online and ordered your book. Thanks for sharing.
I did modify a bit, not being a fan of Vinegar, I used half the amount and half lemon juice.
I think this is probably not what you meant to say, “Don’t forget to skip the “pick over lentils for debris” step”. I have actually broken a tooth on a stone that was not picked out of the lentils at a restaurant – I don’t ever skip that step!! Looks like another yummy recipe.
Thank you, Rhonda! I can’t believe that typo was negating what I really meant to say! I’m sorry about your tooth!
Two in two today. Can’t wait for the cookbook in the mail tomorrow! :)
SO delicious! I went with parsley and added cucumber too. Will for sure make this again.
Great to hear, Anna! I appreciate you taking the time to review.
This is the first time I have tried the black lentils. Why is that? I made it two weeks. The salad was so good. I ended up with 4 meals. Can’t beat that. I made the Greek dressing again today and this time doubled the recipe. I having been using it for all my salads and veggie dip since.
Love it! Thank you for sharing, Lyn.
I never leave reviews But this salad is amazing! I know it’s annoying when people post that and then say they changed things but I did so here goes… I have food sensitivities to bell peppers and tomatoes so I subbed Kalamata olives and cucumber. Used 1/8 cup of olive oil and 1/8 of red wine vinegar and it is still soooo full of flavor! Oh and I added capers !
I’m happy you loved it! I like your creativity, April. Thank you for your review!
This is very tasty!! I am a big fan of your recipes and just told my teenage girl “just follow Cookie and Kate’s recipe thoroughly, you have no doubt”
I love exploring with food and find you SO inspirational!!! I am truly grateful that you do what you do. I got up early to make this Greek lentil salad (going to be 105 today) and plan to pair it with a chilled cucumber soup and baguette. I just snuck a little bite this afternoon and it is so d**m delicious. I could seriously make 10 pounds of this and eat it for every meal for days. You are brilliant!!!
Delicious, especially with the feta!
This dressing man.. so, I added a little bit of honey to offset the tang, but Dude, it’s so so good. I’m dipping carrots in the leftover bits my spoon couldn’t drag out of the mixing bowl.
This salad? With some fresh ginger ale?
God (closing the menu) says, “Okay. I’ll take that.”
I’m happy you loved it! Thank you for sharing, Karen.
Yummy! Great salad, flavor combinations and super dressing! Did not have beluga lentils so used French green/lentils du Puys, still delicious. Was hoping for leftovers but there were none. :-( This recipe is a keeper and going into regular rotation!
I made this recipe tonight with a bunch of substitutions. I didn’t want to rate the recipe given all my substitutions. I used crimson lentils I had on hand, Homemade tahini sauce, homemade roasted tomatoes, I didn’t have red onions and substituted shallots. It was on the mushy side. I cooked the lentils 20 minutes which is what the back of the package said. My Paleo daughter said it was ok but she won’t eat it again.
I’m sorry this one wasn’t a hit.
My summer project is to make all the Cookie and Kate salads I haven’t tried yet:). This was fantastic! It’s really nice finding a way to use pulses in the summer, something I often have trouble with. The dressing is particularly amazing. Thank you to the commenter who suggested subbing capers for olives – I will be using this tip all the time.
I just made this recipe tonight (Syd, Aust) and have to say it was delicious. I didn’t realise that I was craving lentils until I ate this lentil dish.. amazing. I will definitely be making this again and am really pleased to have been introduced to the beluga lentil! Thank you Kate!
This recipe looks yummy. I have ordered the lentils online. I am curious about one thing. You do not mention slicing, chopping, or mincing the sun-dried tomatoes. Do they just go in rinsed and as is from the jar? I cannot tell from the photos. Thanks!
Hi Hilary, sorry for the confusion. Mine were chopped when I got them. Yes, if they are large you will want to chop them.
Delicious and a great source of iron!
Another excellent C+K recipe. So flavorful and simple.
Love ALL your recipes but this is fab on a hot day. Thanks
You’re welcome, Kate! Thank you for your review.
Would it work to substitute green lentils for black lentils? I can’t find black lentils. Thanks.
Hi Aimee, you can use green lentils. You may need to adjust the cooking time. Refer to my How to Cook Lentils post.
Made this today for the first time. It was DELICIOUS! I couldn’t get the sun dried tomatoes, and I don’t like olives – so I didn’t have those, but I did do the feta and I added avocado and used French lentils as that is what I had. We had fresh spinach from our CSA box. My husband also really enjoyed this. Thank you!
I’m delighted you loved this recipe, Elizabeth! Thank you for your review.
This is seriously an insanely flavorful recipe, one of the very best out there, thank you Kate. I’ve probably made it 20+ times by now and it’s always a winner with family and guests!
My entire family loves this recipe! It became a staple during the summer at barbeques and has carried into the fall as the starter on casserole and soup nights. So good!
That’s great to hear, Jennie! I appreciate your review.
I had a bag of black lentils just languishing in the pantry and this turned out to be the perfect use for them! I added in chopped avocado and pumpkin seeds and chopped baby carrots cherry tomatoes for a bit of crunch. I can see varying the veggies (maybe blanched asparagus next time?) in endless combos.
I could eat this every day! It is delicious! Black lentils are so extra good. This is a beautiful (easy!) salad.
Going to try this as I’ve recently become a fan of the black lentils. Black lentils are lovely with salmon or sea bass too… I’m on a sugar free diet ) incl no wheat or potatoes so been looking for an alternative to potato salad! This fits the bill.
A winner for sure! Used up veggies I had, celery and snap peas. Used a yummy pomegranate vinegar I forgot about! Had fresh mint so swapped that out for oregano. Such a lovely easy salad to make. Thanks for making my dinner delicious.
Great to hear, Jodie! I appreciate your review.