This healthy, vegan roasted vegetable lentil salad is the perfect cool weather comfort food. Easy to make and perfect for meal prep too!

Close up of roasted zucchini, sweet potato and onions with lentils in a bowl.

Features

  • healthy comfort food: comforting and nourishing, this hearty salad is perfect for Fall and Winter
  • nutrition features: high-fiber, high-protein, low-fat
  • dietary needs: vegan, gluten-free, nut-free and soy-free
  • meal prep-friendly: can be made up to 4 days in advance

Ingredient Notes

Labelled ingredients for making a roasted vegetable lentil salad.
  • vegetables – I used onion, carrot, zucchini and sweet potato but we’ll cover alternatives below…it’s easy to customize!
  • herbs – dried and fresh herbs both work just fine, I used dried rosemary and thyme
  • lentils – use green or brown lentils for best results
  • hemp seeds – totally optional, just added for some extra protein and healthy fats
  • dressing – you’ll need balsamic vinegar and maple syrup…you can sub agave or honey for the maple syrup if needed

Step by Step Method

Before You Start: Preheat the oven to 425 F.


Step 1. Chop up all the vegetable and either place them on 1-2 baking trays and mix the rest of the ingredients right on the pan, or add everything to a large mixing bowl to mix. I just do it right on the pan….less dishes!

Drizzle with 1 tsp of olive oil, the fresh or dried rosemary and thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast the veggies for 35-40 minutes until tender and browned.

Various chopped root vegetables on a baking tray sprinkled with rosemary and thyme.
Roasted sweet potato, onion, carrot and zucchini on a baking tray.

Step 2. While the veggies are roasting, cook the lentils:

  • bring 2.25 cups broth or water to a boil stovetop
  • add 1 cup dry green lentils, cover and reduce heat to a light simmer
  • cook for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are tender
Cooked green lentils in a pot. Container of broth beside it.

Step 3. Mix the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup together in a small dish.

Balsamic dressing in a small dish with a spoon. Sprig of rosemary beside it.

Divide the cooked lentils and roasted vegetables between 4 bowls and drizzle the sauce over each before serving.

Spooning balsamic sauce over a bowl of cooked lentils and roasted vegetables.

FAQs

Can I use red lentils?

I recommend sticking to brown, green, black or French (du puy) lentils. These varieties of lentils all hold their shape, whereas red lentils become mushy when cooked.

What vegetables can I use?

Mix and match approximately 10 cups of the following: squash, bell peppers, carrot, sweet potato, potato, brussel sprouts, beet, onion, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, turnip, parsnip, cabbage or mushrooms. I’d recommend keeping it to 4-5 varieties.

Can I make this in advance?

The lentils can be made up to 5 days in advance. The roasted vegetables can be made 3-4 days in advance but I’d keep it on the shorter side for best results as they can get soggy. The assembled salad can be made ahead/stored 4 days in advance or but I’d recommend consuming within 3 days for the best texture and flavour.

Lentils and roasted vegetables in a bowl. Small dish of balsamic dressing in background.

Roasted Vegetable Tips

  • Flip them. Flip the veggies/shake the pan halfway through for even cooking and browning.
  • Go high heat! I like to roast vegetables at 425 degrees F but anywhere from 400 to 450 degrees works. The high temp results in a beautiful, deep brown caramelized exterior.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan. It can be tempting to pile the veggies high on one pan or use a roasting dish but it’s best to lay the veggies in a single-layer, allowing for a bit of space between the pieces to allow for both moisture to escape and even cooking. Piling them up will result in soggy veggies.
  • What about oil? You’ll find recommendations online to use a lot of oil when roasting veggies. I don’t find this necessary. I used just 1 tsp for this whole recipe with good results.
  • What about seasoning? I usually go with savoury herbs like rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper and this is what I used for this recipe. Even just salt and pepper is delicious though if you want to keep it simple.
  • Chop evenly. Chop the veggies in equal sizes for even cooking. Now, technically, you should start roasting harder veggies like squash, carrot and sweet potato first before adding softer veggies like zucchini. I don’t do this. Instead, I chop the harder veggies in slightly smaller pieces and go a bit larger with veggies like peppers, zucchini and onion.
Overhead image of a bowl of roasted vegetables and lentils.

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Lentils and roasted vegetables in a bowl. Small dish of balsamic dressing in background.

Roasted Vegetable Lentil Salad

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Oven, Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

This wonderful lentil salad is full of flavor but so simple to make. Roast the veggies, cook the lentils, mix and enjoy. This salad works well for food prep as the flavors are only better the next day. Enjoy anytime for a hearty, rustic, nourishing meal.

 

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 white onion, sliced (approx. 2 cups chopped, 300 g)
  • 4 carrots, chopped (approx. 3.5 cups chopped, 450 g)
  • 2 zucchini, chopped in large chunks (approx. 4 cups chopped, 500 g)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cubed (approx. 3 heaping cups, 425 g)
  • 1 tbsp each fresh rosemary and thyme or 1 tsp each dried rosemary and thyme
  • 1 cup uncooked green or brown lentils
  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable broth or water, for cooking lentils
  • 4 tbsp hemp seeds, optional
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup or raw honey
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Chop all the veggies and spread on baking trays in a single layer. You may need 2 or 3 trays depending on the size. Drizzle them with the 1 tsp of olive oil (if it’s easier, add all the chopped veggies to a large bowl and toss with the oil and spices, then add to trays) and sprinkle over the rosemary and thyme. Add a pinch of salt and pepper as well. Use your hands to mix them all up until they’re well-coated.
  3. Roast the veggies in the oven for 35-40 minutes until tender and browned.
  4. While the veggies are roasting. Bring the broth or water to a boil on the stovetop then add the lentils, cover and reduce heat to a light simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are tender. 
  5. Once the veggies and lentils are cooked, either add everything to a large bowl and toss with the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and hemp seeds, or divide the lentils, roasted vegetables and hemp seeds between 4 bowls or containers then mix the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup together in a small dish and drizzle over each serving (this is how I like to serve it). Season with salt and pepper if desired and serve right away.

Notes

Storing: Let cool then store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. For best results if making in advance, store sauce separately until serving. 

Lentils: If using pre-cooked or canned lentils, you’ll need approximately 2.5 cups. It doesn’t have to be exact. I recommend sticking to brown green, black or French (du puy) lentils. These varieties of lentils all hold their shape, whereas red lentils become mushy when cooked.

Vegetable Options: Mix and match approximately 10 cups of any of the following: squash, bell peppers, carrot, sweet potato, potato, brussel sprouts, beet, onion, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, turnip, parsnip, cabbage or mushrooms. I’d recommend keeping it to 4-5 types of vegetables.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 417
  • Sugar: 21 g
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 76 g
  • Fiber: 13 g
  • Protein: 19 g

Keywords: vegetable lentil salad, roasted vegetable salad

Originally published on December 17, 2018. Updated with new photos and text on September 28, 2020.