This lentil-rice salad is hearty and healthy. Short grain rice and French puy lentils are tossed together with cumin-coriander spiced roasted carrots and hearty winter greens and topped with my favourite go-to lemon-tahini dressing. This simple dish can work as a vegetarian/vegan main course, side dish and is equally delicious warm, cold, or at room temperature.
What type of lentils are best for this rice salad recipe?
- For this recipe, you’ll want to find French green lentils (referred to as Le Puy lentils). They work well in salads because they have a nice flavour, and they hold their shape very well. They are also readily available in most grocery stores.
- Black lentils (also called beluga lentils) are also a good choice for salad because they are also hearty and stay firm after cooking.
Tips on cooking lentils
- Don’t add salt to the cooking water for the lentils. It slows down cooking time significantly.
- If you having issues with digesting lentils, then try to soak the lentils ahead of time if you can – just cover them in cold water with a splash of apple cider vinegar and let them sit overnight. This makes them easier to digest, plus they’ll cook faster.
Way to adapt this lentil-rice salad
This simple salad is made with a base of French green lentils and Italian natural short grain rice (whole grain). Carrots are terrific with with both of them. And roasted with coriander, cumin, paprika and turmeric, so darn good! Next comes the tahini dressing! It’s so easy to make and truthfully, this dressing tastes great on everything. Literally, everything. But there are ways to further pep up this lentil-rice salad.
I love adding winter greens, like my favourite type of kale or fall spinach. Swiss chard leaves are also nice. But you can also add things like pomegranate, or a little crunch with toasted almonds or walnuts. Or how about upping the vegetables by adding sautéed mushrooms and maybe parsley instead of kale and adding a squeeze of lemon.
This lentil-rice salad recipe is…
Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and refined-sugar free. It makes an easy weeknight meal, packed with nutrition, and delicious year round. Depending on your preference this is a salad that can be served warm or at room temperature.
Lentil-Rice Salat with Roasted Carrots and Tahini Dressing
For the salad:
- 1 cup short grain brown rice (200 g)
- 2/3 cup dry lentils french green (Puy lentils) (135 g)
- 7-8 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1 cm thick diagonal slices
- 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, roughly crushed with pestle and mortar
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika (sweet)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 3-4 handfuls Tuscan lacinato kale or spinach leaves, stems removed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish (optional)
For the Lemon Tahini Dressing:
- 8 tablespoons tahini (well-stirred)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- 125 ml water, plus more as needed
Prepare the rice: In a saucepan, cook the rice (according to the package instructions), in double the amount of water for 35-40 minutes until all water is absorbed.
Prepare the lentils: In a saucepan, cook the lentils (according to the package instructions), with a 3:1 ratio of water to lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, until cooked but still firm.
Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C. Place carrots, olive oil, cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric in a bowl, season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and mix well. Spread out in a single layer on a baking tray and roast for 25 minutes, tossing halfway, until golden and tender.
In a large serving bowl, add the greens. If using Tuscan kale, lightly massage with drizzle of oil to tenderize the leaves. Add the red onion.
To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well combined. If the dressing is thicker than you’d like, whisk in water by the tablespoonful until it reaches the desired consistency.
Add the rice, lentils and carrots to the bowl with the greens. Toss to combine. Drizzle with some of the tahini dressing and garnish with a little chopped parsley.
Serve the remaining tahini dressing on side to be added, as desired.
Serve this lentil rice salad warm, room temperature or cold. Enjoy!
- I like to serve this salad slightly warm or at room temperature.
- I serve this salad with quite a bit of dressing as some prefer just a drizzle and others quite a lot. Any leftovers of the dressing can be stored in the fridge up to 1 week. This dressing is great over roasted vegetables such as carrots or cauliflower, or tossed together with a salad made from hearty winter greens.
- Turmeric powder has a warm, bitter, pepper-like flavour. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. It can be skipped if you don't have on hand, or aren't a fan of its taste.
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