Lentil Kale Salad
This lentil kale salad is packed with bold flavours and makes a perfect choice for meal prep or a healthy meal any night of the week.
About this Recipe
This flavourful lentil salad makes a delicious and nutritious lunch or dinner that’s easy to whip up with minimal effort.
It features kale, olives, cucumber, tomato, artichoke and a tangy shallot Dijon vinaigrette to bring it all together. If you’re looking for a way to include more lentils and kale in your diet, this is a great way to do it!
It can be made with green, brown or French lentils or you can even use canned lentils to make it easy quick and easy. It holds up well for meal prep, is easy to customize with different swaps and additions and the flavours only get better the next day.
It’s also great to bring along to gatherings and is vegan and gluten-free so works well for those with dietary restrictions. You’ll love the yummy mix of flavours and textures that make this salad stand out.
What You Need
This section provides notes on the ingredients and possible substitutions. Please scroll down the page to find the printable recipe card with ingredient measurements.
For the Salad
- Lentils: You can use green, brown or black lentils in this recipe. Do not use red lentils.
- Bay Leaf: Optional for cooking the lentils.
- Kale: You can use any variety of kale but I like Tuscan, or lacinato kale.
- Olives: The recipe calls for kalamata olives but you could substitute sliced black olives if that’s what you have.
- Artichoke Hearts: Use jarred marinated artichoke hearts.
- Cucumber: Use fresh cucumber or substitute something like red bell pepper.
- Tomato: Use cherry or grape tomatoes.
- Almonds: You can use slivered almonds or chop whole almonds. Raw or dry roasted almonds work. You can substitute walnuts or pecans or for a nut-free recipe, pepitas or sunflower seeds.
- Feta: Optional but vegan feta is a delicious addition to the salad. You can use store-bought or try this tofu feta recipe.
For the Dressing
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is best for flavour.
- Red Wine Vinegar: You can substitute apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.
- Maple Syrup: Honey or agave syrup would be suitable substitute.
- Herbs & Spices: You’ll need dried thyme and cumin.
- Garlic: Use raw garlic or substitute 1 tsp garlic powder.
- Shallot: Shallot is best but you can substitute very thinly sliced red onion if you don’t have shallot.
How to Make (with Photos)
Step 1: Cook the Lentils
Add the lentils to a pot with 4 cups of water, the bay leaf and some salt. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the lentils for 22-26 minutes until they’re tender but not mushy.
The exact cooking time will depend on the type of lentils used.
Quick Tip: Short on time? Use canned lentils!
Step 2: Make the Dressing
In a large mixing bowl or salad serving bowl, or even a food storage container if you’re making this for meal prep, add the oil, vinegar, maple syrup, dijon, thyme, cumin and garlic.
Season it with salt and pepper and mix well. Add the shallots and mix again.
We want to give the shallots some time to marinate in the dressing so they soften and are not so sharp in taste. While they marinate, prepare the cucumber, tomato and other ingredients.
Step 3: Massage the Kale
Add the kale to the bowl with the dressing and toss or massage it with the dressing. This helps to soften the kale.
Step 4: Assemble the Salad
Add the cooked lentils and the rest of the salad ingredients to the bowl and mix it all up. Serve with vegan feta if you like!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. To use canned lentils, use a 19 oz can and drain and rinse well before use.
It will be warm when you add the lentils and you can definitely serve it that way but it’s more of a cold salad since the other ingredients are fresh.
You could also cook and chill the lentils before adding them or mix it up and chill in the fridge before serving for a cold salad.
Variations & Adfditions
- Add a 15 oz can of rained and rinsed chickpeas.
- Add up to 1/2 cup dried cranberries, dates, raisins or currants.
- Add up to 1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes.
- Add 1-2 cups cooked quinoa.
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Lentil Kale Salad
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 22 mins
- Total Time: 32 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 1x
- Category: Salad
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
A flavour-packed lentil kale salad thanks to bold ingredients like artichoke hearts, olives, tangy shallot vinaigrette and feta.
For the Salad
- 1 cup green, black or French lentils, rinsed (198 g)
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups lightly packed kale, thinly sliced (approx. 90 g)
- ¾ cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved (75 g)
- 170 mL jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and cut into smaller pieces (about 1 cup – 115 g)
- 1¼ cup cucumber, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 175 g)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (160 g)
- ½ cup Sliced Almonds, toasted (68 g)
- vegan feta, optional for serving
For the Dressing
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
- 1 small shallot, minced (40 g)
- salt and pepper
- Cook Lentils: In a medium pot, add lentils, 4 cups water, bay leaf and salt. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 22-26 min, until lentils are tender, but not mushy. Drain lentils. Discard bay leaf.
- Make Dressing: Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add oil, vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon, thyme, cumin and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, then whisk to combine. Add shallots and mix again. Set aside. NOTE: You want to give the shallots time to marinate in the dressing so they are not so sharp in taste.)
- Prep Salad: While the lentils are cooking, chop the cucumbers and tomatoes and prepare the remaining salad ingredients.
- Assemble Salad: To the bowl with the dressing, add kale. Toss or massage to coat. Add cooked lentils, olives, artichokes, cucumber, tomatoes and half the toasted almonds. Season with salt and pepper, then toss again to combine.
- Serve: Serve salad with remaining almonds sprinkled over top. Top with vegan feta, if desired.
Serves 4 as a main dish or 6+ as a side dish. Nutrition facts are for 6 servings
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 343
- Sugar: 4 g
- Sodium: 245 mg
- Fat: 21 g
- Carbohydrates: 32 g
- Fiber: 7 g
- Protein: 12 g
Keywords: lentil kale salad
So freakin good, thanks for the recipe. I used broccolini instead of broccoli and threw some avocado in there, turned out great.
Sounds amazing!! Glad you enjoyed it.