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Lentil salad is a fantastic single serving lunch or light dinner option that’s packed with protein and flavor. This recipe features hearty lentils tossed in a simple vinaigrette and served over a bed of fresh greens, with juicy tomatoes and creamy avocado slices adding bursts of color and taste. It’s incredibly easy to make and requires minimal effort – perfect for busy weeknights or when you’re craving a healthy and satisfying meal for one.

Enjoy this versatile lentil salad as a standalone dish or pair it with flavorful Baked Chicken Thighs, juicy Broiled Chicken, or alongside Creamy Tomato Soup. It’s also perfect when topped with succulent Baked Salmon or enjoyed with a slice of crusty French Bread to absorb the delightful dressing.

Why You’ll Love This Lentil Salad Recipe

  • Packed with Protein: Lentils are a fantastic source of plant-based protein, keeping you feeling full and energized.
  • Easy to Make: This recipe requires minimal ingredients and cooking time, making it perfect for quick and easy meals.
  • Customizable: Feel free to add your favorite vegetables, herbs, or cheeses to personalize the salad according to your taste.
  • Affordable: Lentils are a budget-friendly ingredient, making this salad a cost-effective and nutritious choice.
  • Deliciously Versatile: This salad can be enjoyed warm or cold, making it perfect for any season or occasion.

Check out our other Single Serving Salad ideas!

cooked lentils in a pot.

Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this lentil salad recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Lentils: I recommend using brown lentils for this salad. They cook in about 20 minutes and maintain their shape well. Green lentils are also an option but take a bit longer to cook. Avoid red and orange lentils, as they tend to lose their shape when cooked.
  • Onions and Garlic: Adding finely chopped onions and garlic is crucial for infusing the lentils with rich flavor. They’re key ingredients, so try not to skip them.
  • Seasonings: Use dried thyme, salt, and black pepper for simple yet effective seasoning.
  • Olive Oil: The recipe calls for extra virgin olive oil, known for its robust flavor and high quality. It’s less processed, retaining more of the natural flavors and nutrients of olives. However, if you prefer, a lighter olive oil can be used as a substitute.
  • Red Wine Vinegar and Dijon Mustard: These add a zesty and tangy flavor to the salad, enhancing the overall taste.
  • Lettuce: You have options here – romaine, arugula, iceberg, or spinach. Choose any as the salad base depending on your preference.
  • Tomatoes and Avocado: These are added to enrich the salad with fresh, juicy textures and flavors.

Recipe Variations

  • Mediterranean Lentil Salad: Add crumbled feta cheese, kalamata olives, chopped red onion, and chopped cucumber.
  • Roasted Vegetable Lentil Salad: Introduce a rich depth of flavor by adding roasted vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, or eggplant. Roasting these veggies brings out their natural sweetness, which complements the savory profile of the salad.
  • Sweet and Crunchy Lentil Salad: For a unique sweet and savory combination, toss in some dried cranberries or chopped apples. The sweetness of the fruit balances the savory notes of the lentils, while adding a pleasant crunch.
  • Lentil Salad With Nuts: Add a handful of toasted nuts like almonds, walnuts, or pine nuts for a delightful crunch and a nutty taste. This adds not only texture but also healthy fats and proteins.
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How To Make A Lentil Salad

See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

Cooking Lentils

  • Start with Lentils: Begin by combining lentils and water in a pot. Add in chopped onions, garlic, a pinch of dried thyme, and a little salt.
  • Cooking Process: Bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat to let it simmer. This should take about 20 minutes.
  • Finishing Touch: Once the lentils are tender, drain any remaining water and allow them to cool down.

Making the Dressing

  • Dressing Preparation: In a separate bowl, mix together olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Mix with Lentils: Drizzle this dressing over the cooled lentils and toss them gently to ensure they’re well coated.

Salad Assembly

  • Laying the Foundation: Arrange your favorite salad greens on a plate.
  • Adding the Core: Spoon the dressed lentils over the greens.
  • Final Toppings: Complete the salad by adding fresh tomato halves and avocado slices on top.
a bowl of lentils on a trivet.

Expert Tips

  • Lentil Prep: Rinse the lentils thoroughly and check for any small stones or debris.
  • Dressing Balance: Taste as you go and adjust the vinegar and mustard to suit your preference.
  • Chill the Lentils: Allow the cooked lentils to cool down before mixing with the salad greens to maintain their crispness.
  • Avocado Freshness: Add the avocado right before serving to prevent browning.
  • Seasoning: Don’t forget to season each component, including the lentils and dressing, for a well-rounded flavor.
  • Feel free to experiment: Get creative and add other ingredients like chopped nuts, crumbled cheese, or your favorite herbs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make a lentil salad ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the lentils and dressing ahead and assemble before serving.

How long can I store this lentil salad?

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Add avocado fresh.

Can I use canned lentils in this lentil salad recipe?

Absolutely, just drain and rinse them well.

Is a lentil salad gluten-free?

Yes, this salad is naturally gluten-free.

Explore More Single Serving Salad Recipes

Looking for more delicious single serving salad options? Here are a few ideas:

  • Classic Favorites: Reimagine classic salads like potato salad, cucumber salad, cobb salad in a single serving format for a familiar and satisfying lunch or light dinner.
  • Pasta Perfection: Enjoy the delightful combination of pasta and vegetables with single servings of Italian pasta salad or spinach and orzo salad.
  • Creamy Delights: Indulge in creamy comfort with single sized portions of macaroni salad.
  • Tex-Mex Twist: Spice things up with a single serving of taco salad.
  • Garden Goodness: Embrace fresh flavors with a single serving of broccoli salad.
  • Fruity Twist: Savor a sweet and refreshing option with a single serving of ambrosia salad.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you would like additional information about the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

RELATED: 20 Single Serving Meatless Recipes

If you’ve tried this lentil salad or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

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Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Lentil Salad For One

4.80 from 5 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Create a healthy, hearty Lentil Salad in no time! Packed with tomatoes, avocados, and a light dijon vinaigrette. Fresh, simple, and easy to make.

Ingredients 
 

  • ¼ cup brown lentils
  • 1 cup water
  • cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • teaspoon dried thyme
  • teaspoon kosher salt

For the Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

For the Salad

  • 2 cups salad greens (romaine, spinach, or arugula are wonderful choices)
  • 6 cherry or grape tomatoes , sliced in half
  • 1 small avocado , sliced
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Instructions 

Cook the Lentils

  • Combine Ingredients: In a small saucepan, combine the lentils, water, chopped onions, minced garlic, thyme, and salt.
  • Boil and Simmer: Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the lentils simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Drain and Cool: After simmering, drain any excess water from the lentils and set them aside to cool down.

Make the Dressing

  • Mix Dressing: In a small bowl, vigorously whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, and a dash each of salt and pepper.
  • Combine with Lentils: Pour the dressing over the cooled lentils and gently toss until they are evenly coated.

Assemble the Salad

  • Layer Salad Base: Start by placing your choice of lettuce on a plate as the salad base.
  • Add Lentils and Toppings: Spoon the dressed lentils over the lettuce. Then, add the halved tomatoes and avocado slices on top.

Notes

  • Lentil Prep: Rinse the lentils thoroughly and check for any small stones or debris.
  • Dressing Balance: Taste as you go and adjust the vinegar and mustard to suit your preference.
  • Chill the Lentils: Allow the cooked lentils to cool down before mixing with the salad greens to maintain their crispness.
  • Avocado Freshness: Add the avocado right before serving to prevent browning.
  • Seasoning: Don’t forget to season each component, including the lentils and dressing, for a well-rounded flavor.
  • Feel free to experiment: Get creative and add other ingredients like chopped nuts, crumbled cheese, or your favorite herbs.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 352kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 344mg, Potassium: 664mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 909IU, Vitamin C: 24mg, Calcium: 37mg, Iron: 4mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

4.80 from 5 votes (1 rating without comment)

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23 Comments

  1. Doris says:

    What can you use in place of avocados? I love them but have developed an allergy. So no more avocado for me. 🙁

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Hi Doris,
      You can leave out the avocados. The salad will still be incredibly delicious.

  2. Barb says:

    Wondering about serving sizes, the recipe says 4 servings, but you divide th greens into 2 plates?

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Hi Barb,

      Thanks for catching that! If you’re serving this as a main dish salad, it’s the perfect size for two people. It could easily be a side salad if you’re serving 3-4 people. I’ll make a note of that in the recipe.

      Thanks again!
      Joanie

  3. Lauren says:

    I love lentils and this looks perfect to make ahead for lunch at work!

  4. Susannah // Feast + West says:

    Mmm lentils and avocados! Looks so good!

  5. Angie | Big Bears Wife says:

    I’m with you! I love to come up with recipes that are inspired by my travels! Makes me feel like I’m traveling all over again! haha ooo and London <3 haven't been there in years!

  6. Kacey says:

    Okay, I saw this on social media and fell in love! I love lentils and I love avocados! This is so going to be my summer salad!

    1. Joanie says:

      You are too kind. Thank you Kacey, it’s one of my favorite salads at the moment 🙂

  7. Kimberly says:

    I love lentils! This salad sounds wonderful and you’ve dressed it up so beautifully!

    1. Joanie says:

      Thank you, Kimberly.

  8. Amy @ Little Dairy on the Prairie says:

    I just bought avocados! I know exactly what I’m going to do with them! Yummy!

    1. Joanie says:

      I think I could use avocados in just about anything 🙂 Thanks, Amy!

  9. Amanda says:

    What a perfectly healthy salad!!

    1. Joanie says:

      Totally, Amanda. Healthy and low calorie too.

  10. Becky Hardin | The Cookie Rookie says:

    This is such a simple recipe that looks so wonderful

    1. Joanie says:

      Thanks, Becky!