This simple lentil salad with apple recipe is made with French green lentils, carrot, red pepper, sweet-tart apple, parsley and a SUPER tasty apple cider vinegar dressing. Prepared with staple ingredients, it’s super easy to make, and yet so very delicious, as well as light and refreshing! Best thing is that it is also great for meal-prepping as leftovers keep well and it’s full of plant-based goodness (i.e. perfect for anyone following a vegetarian and vegan diet, or simply wanting to eat less meat).
Lentil salad with apples – great for barbecues or picnics
This is a perfect make ahead dish as it tastes even better once it has rested for a few hours, making it a great choice for BBQs or picnics. Or you can make it on a Sunday and enjoy it as a bring-to-work salad on its own, or as an add-on to any vegetable-based salad or grain bowl.
Main ingredients for this lentil salad recipe:
To make this easy lentil salad recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
Lentils: I recommend using French green lentils or black beluga lentils for this lentil salad recipe, as they have great flavor and hold their shape well once cooked. Al dente cooked lentils are the way to go for salads.
Carrots & sweet red pepper: both add freshness, natural sweetness and crunch to this salad. Not to mention loads of vitamins.
Apple: a sweet-tart apple make a great choice for salads, as do tart apples, like Granny Smith. My favourite for this lentil salad are either Wellant or Braeburn.
Parsley: mild and fresh tasting, I love to add this herb for a pop of color and it’s subtle flavor.
Apple cider vinegar: Not only does it taste terrific in a dressing balanced with Dijon mustard, maple syrup, cumin and shallots, but apple cider vinegar is renowned for its many health properties. This includes antimicrobial and antioxidant effects.
How to adapt this apple-lentil-salad recipe:
There are many ways to enhance this salad, while still keeping it simple. You could add some diced mini cucumber, or try adding chopped up marinated sun-dried tomatoes (they add lots of umami) or sweet cherry tomatoes, or how about some sliced celery stalks for more crunch. And in the end, you could even think about serving this lentil salad with apples over a bed of spinach leaves. Another idea would be to make this salad with a combination of chickpeas and lentils, or use a grain like pearl barley or spelt or try adding other herbs, such as dill, basil, or cilantro. Though, I suggest first give this version a try. You might just find you love this version as it is!
Looking for other ideas for lentil salads?
Looking for more lentil recipe inspiration? Here are a few of my favourites:
- Beluga Lentil Salad with Middle Eastern Lemon Dressing
- Roasted Beet and Lentil Salad with Dijon-Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Beluga Lentil Salad with Green Beans & Lemon-Mint Dressing
- Roasted Carrot Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing
- Roasted Cherry Tomato Lentil Salad
Lentil Salad with Apple & Carrot
For the salad:
- 300 g French green lentils (Le Puy) (1 1/2 cups)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 pointed red pepper, diced
- 1 apple (tart-sweet), peeled and diced (e.g. Wellant or Braeburn)
- 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
For the dressing:
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (unfiltered) (75 ml)
- 1 tablespoon extra-olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 small shallots, finely chopped
- Sea salt, to taste
In a medium saucepan, add the lentils, garlic cloves and bay leaf. Cover with water and bring to a boil over high-heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until al dente. Use a colander to drain the lentils. Discard the bay leaf and garlic. Rinse with cold water and drain well. Transfer to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the cumin seeds over medium heat until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
In small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients (toasted cumin, vinegar, oil, mustard, maple syrup, shallots, salt) until well-combined.
Add the carrots, red pepper and apple to the bowl with the lentils. Pour over the dressing and toss well to combine. Add the parsley and toss again to incorporate.
Serve and enjoy!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Salad dressing inspired by Desiree Nielsen's marinated lentil salad in her book "good for your gut".
For a relaxing atmosphere in the kitchen I recommend my personal Elle Republic: Chilled Out Kitchen Tunes Playlist on Spotify.
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