Lentil Chopped Salad with Honey Walnut Dressing (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free)

Lentil Chopped Salad with Honey Walnut Dressing    (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free)

Forget everything you ever knew about lentil salad.

It’s not that I don’t LIKE lentil salad, it’s that I usually don’t LOVE it. This, I love.

I usually eat lentil salad wishing there were less lentils. I want more crunch, more texture, more complex flavor. This is my answer to that personal problem, and perhaps to yours too. Just over here doing God’s work, people.

This is the ultimate “trough” salad, lots and lots of tiny pieces of vegetables, lentils and cheese dressed with yet another insanely delicious dressing. I eat this with a spoon, or with tortilla chips as a salad dip of sorts. I highly recommend that.

How To Make Lentil Chopped Salad with Honey Walnut Dressing

lentil salad

Step 1. Rinse, then cook the lentils until tender.

Step 2. While the lentils cook, make the dressing by combining all dressing ingredients in a blender.

Step 3. Add all salad ingredients to a large salad bowl.

Step 4. Toss the salad with the dressing. I like to do this while the lentils are still a bit warm so they really soak up the dressing well.

Step 4. Serve or refrigerate and enjoy all week.

lentil salad

What Else Can I Use?

  • If you prefer not to make your own lentils, you can buy them pre made at places like Trader Joe’s and it’ll save you a step.
  • Quinoa or farro can be substituted for the lentils for a totally different take on this salad. Still delicious!
  • If you don’t have honey, maple syrup can be used in the dressing.
  • No walnuts for the dressing? Use almonds or hazelnuts.
  • Goat cheese is also quite nice in this salad in place of the feta cheese.

This Lentil Chopped Salad is Special Because:

It is the perfect proportion of tender lentils to crunchy vegetables and creamy dressing.

It takes 20 minutes from start to finish.

It is vegetarian, and can be made vegan by leaving out the feta and swapping honey for maple syrup in the dressing.

The DRESSING. This honey walnut dressing is so delicious, and will teach you to start using nuts as the base of dressings more often. So many possibilities!

lentil salad

Be Sure To Check Out These Other Lentil Recipes:

Cheesy Eggplant + Lentil Bake

Speedy Red Lentil Soup with Lemon

Herby Marinated Lentil Salad

lentil salad

If you make this Lentil Chopped Salad with Honey Walnut Dressing, and I hope you do, please leave me a comment here and rate the recipe. Your feedback means a lot to me! You can also post to Instagram and tag me so I can share your creations!

lentil salad

Lentil Chopped Salad with Honey Walnut Dressing

It helps add a productive burst to my day, with no afternoon crash.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Servings 6 people
Calories 450 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 medium saucepan
  • 1 High speed blender

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups dried green lentils
  • 2 cups green cabbage, chopped fine
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 green onions, white and green parts, sliced thin
  • 2/3 cup feta cheese, broken up
  • Kosher salt

Honey Walnut Dressing

  • 1/3 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed and peeled
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Bring a medium saucepan of heavily salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Rinse dried lentils in a strainer, then add to boiling water.
  • Cook for 15-20 until lentils are tender but not falling apart.
  • While the lentils cook, make the dressing.
  • Add all dressing ingredients to a blender and blend for 20-30 seconds. The dressing should be smooth and thickened, with a little bit of texture from the walnuts.
  • When lentils are done, strain and add to a large serving bowl with cabbage, tomatoes, and green onions. Break up the feta and add to the bowl.
  • Drizzle the salad with the toasted walnut dressing and toss well.
  • Serve, or refrigerate as this will keep well for 4-5 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 450kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 21gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 396mgPotassium: 829mgFiber: 21gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 423IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 146mgIron: 6mg
Keyword chicken salad, lentil salad, lentils, lunch salads, vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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57 thoughts on “Lentil Chopped Salad with Honey Walnut Dressing (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free)”

  • 4 stars
    Sounds delish! Definately want to try this one. Question though; won’t the cabbage bloat the stomach? Or does this only happen once you boil it?
    Keep making these recipes: salads have never been more adventurous!

    • Hi Dana! I don’t have any issues with bloating from the cabbage. I have found that since eating lots of vegetables, my system has acclimated and I always feel great. If this is an issue for you, you can swap in another sturdy green like kale or swiss chard.
      Enjoy!
      Kat

  • 5 stars
    This dressing is my favorite yet!! Didn’t have lentils, subbed with white beans. Would definitely be better with lentils. I will definitely be making this again and again!

    • I’m so thrilled you loved it, Marcia. I’ve fallen in love with cabbage lately, I’m glad it’s catching on : )
      Kat

  • 5 stars
    Delicious! Flavor combinations are wonderful. I did add chicken bouillon and a bay leaf to the lentil water while cooking. Don’t know how much difference it made.

    • Margie, I’m so happy you love it. You can always use stock for the lentils for a little extra flavor, but I do find that the dressing is so flavorful it isn’t necessarily needed. Enjoy!
      Kat

  • 5 stars
    This dressing is perfection! I love lentil- based salads, and this one is a flavor bomb. I missed cherry tomatoes on the ingredient list when I went to the store, but subbed in chopped apples and it gave it a nice juicy added crunch. I will definitely be making this one on repeat!

  • 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! This will be going into the regular rotation for sure. Thank you for a fabulous recipe!

    • I’m so happy to hear this, Shannon! Thanks for taking the time to let me know!
      Kat

  • 5 stars
    This is one amazing flavorful salad! I love that most of these ingredients are pantry staples in my house. The flavors exceeded my expectations! I look forward to your weekly salad recipes!

  • 5 stars
    I want to marry this salad. I have done 3 different recipes from this site and all amazing, but this one is insanely good, I used some rice crackers to scoop it. I do recommend doubling the dressing or add more liquids for a finer dressing as it comes out thick. I feel guilty how good this is and it’s healthy.

    • Jaimie, I’m so thrilled you love it!! I am always up for the doubling the dressing… it’s delicious spooned over roasted vegetables or salmon as well.
      Kat

  • 5 stars
    Just made this salad but subbed cashews since I’m allergic to walnuts and it was absolutely amazing! So glad I found your HLS series!!!

    • Leah, I’m thrilled to hear this! Almost any nut will work here, so I’m glad you experimented.
      Kat

  • 5 stars
    Really tasty and filling. Added some chopped artichokes and green olives to add a little kick. Thank you for the great recipe – especially that dressing!

  • 4 stars
    Well, I overcooked the lentils and over processed the walnuts but the taste was very good so I’m going to make it again! Hopefully paying more attention. ha!

  • 5 stars
    Meal prepped this salad for me and my mom this week, we both LOVE it. Trying to incorporate more plant based options into my family’s diet and they couldn’t resist this one. So yummy!

  • 5 stars
    Kat – Thanks for this and your many other delicious recipes.

    Question: Do you recommend cooling the lentils before mixing? If not, any concern on softening the other ingredients or breaking the dressing?

    • Reuben,
      I let the lentils cool just to room temperature, it also means you can make them ahead if you’d like. Warm lentils won’t break the dressing though, it’s a forgivable recipe!
      Kat

    • Hi Carol,
      The calorie count is per portion. It’s a very hearty salad, so it’s now “low calorie” in the traditional sense.
      Kat

      • I just made this yesterday and it will be my lunch for the week! I’m so excited to try it! I do have a question though—I imported your recipe directly from your website into MyFitnessPal and was given different nutritional information than what you provided above. MyFitnessPal says 1/6th of the recipe is 298 calories. Do you know why that might be? I double checked and all the ingredients and amounts imported correctly.

        • Hi Annie,
          That’s puzzling… ingredient components and varieties can differ but it should be roughly the same.
          I’d go with whichever you trust most!
          Kat

        • 5 stars
          I did the same and the ingredients said dried green lentils in the title but boiled in the unit of measure. Once I picked dried lentils it got closer!

  • 5 stars
    This is probably the best salad I have ever tasted!!
    I also made it for company, to rave reviews!!

  • 5 stars
    Wow, this recipe is another huge hit in my house! I threw in an extra cup of chopped cabbage just because. I made a tiny bit of extra dressing to make sure I had enough for the extra cup of cabbage and it turned out great! Such a great combo of flavours and textures!
    In a pinch you could use 2 cans of drained rinsed canned lentils but I went with the recipe as written and cooked my lentils from dry.
    I’ll definitely make this salad again, and I can’t wait to eat it for supper again tomorrow night and the next night!

    • Melanie,
      I’m so thrilled to hear this! It really does stay delicious all week.
      Kat

  • 5 stars
    OMGGGGG this was so GOOD! This dressing is LIFE!! I drizzled a bit more honey overtop my bowl of salad. Ate it in 32.8 seconds. HA!

    • Tamara,
      That sounds like the appropriate timeframe to eat this one in : )
      So happy you love it.
      Kat

  • 5 stars
    I LOVED this salad and ate it three times in two days. It’s a great salad to take for work because the cabbage is hardy and doesn’t wilt in the refrigerator. The dressing is beyond delicious. I didn’t have ACV, so I used red wine vinegar.

  • 5 stars
    I am new to this website, this was the first recipe I tried. The toasted nuts in the dressing was what caught my attention. I definitely cooked my lentils a little long, it was not as pretty as yours, but the flavor was excellent! It was a hearty meal, even for my huspand who is a meatatarian! He frowned a little at my meatless offering, but then he went back for seconds and brought it in his lunch the day after. After trying this, I’ve made a list of all the other recipes on this site I want to test out. Thank you! I’m so excited about the nutritional offerings here!

    • Joni,
      That your husband loved it too is my favorite part of this review.
      So thrilled to hear!
      Kat

  • 5 stars
    Absolutely amazing!!! Love the dressing. And that’s coming from someone who calls themselves a picky eater! Definitely a fan of your recipes and will be trying more of them!

    • Joy,
      Let’s consider you a reformed picky eater! So thrilled you loved it.
      Kat

  • 5 stars
    This the fifth hungry lady salad I’ve made. Delicious as usual! This recipe was the quickest to make for me. I used farro instead of lentils. Love the dressing! It’s creamy, tangy, and sweet.

    • Beth,
      Farro is a great substitute, as is brown rice! I’m thrilled you loved it.
      Kat

  • 5 stars
    Very tasty! I added in some grated carrot and finely sliced capsicum too. I will definitely be making this again and again! Thanks for the recipe

    • Alaina,
      I’t such a versatile recipe, those additions sound great.
      Happy you love it!
      Kat

  • 5 stars
    This is absolutely fantastic!! So flavorful and heart healthy! I probably doubled the cabbage because I bought a huge one and didn’t know what else to do with it! I was skeptical when I tried the dressing because it was super vinegary but once it’s added to the salad it’s perfection! Even my super picky meat eating husband who has never had a lentil or cabbage in his life likes it!!

    Thank you, Kat for yet another great lunch idea!

    • Cari,
      This review brought such a smile to my face!!! I’m thrilled you and your husband loved it!
      Kat

  • 5 stars
    Big hit at my house. Made the salad per a recipe — it is a great salad.

  • 5 stars
    This dressing over the warm lentils was so good. We will definitely make this on repeat.

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