This healthy Black Bean Lentil Salad recipe with cumin-lime dressing is so hearty, plus full of protein and fiber. It's perfect for make-ahead lunches, snacks, potlucks, picnics, etc. (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.)
This protein-rich Black Bean Lentil Salad is tossed with fresh cilantro, veggies, and a cumin-lime dressing.
It's simple to assemble, plus you can make it ahead of time for lunches, meal prep, picnics, and more.
The flavor is even better after it has a chance to chill in the fridge for a bit!
I find this dish to be pleasantly filling and satisfying thanks to the abundant protein and fiber in the black beans and lentils.
Ingredients for Lentil Bean Salad
For this recipe you will toss together in a large bowl:
- Brown lentils or green lentils: I like the earthy taste of green/brown lentils with this recipe, and they hold their shape well. Red lentils will not work for this salad. (You can also substitute a 15 oz. can cooked lentils.)
- Black beans
- Red bell pepper: Or you can substitute yellow bell pepper or orange bell pepper instead.
- Red onion: Or use green onion for a milder taste.
- Grape tomato or cherry tomato: You could substitute roma or other garden tomato, but I find grape/cherry tomatoes provide a richer, sweeter flavor.
- Fresh cilantro
- Lime juice: We will use two tablespoons fresh lime juice for this recipe, which is about one lime.
- Dijon mustard
- Fresh garlic cloves: You can use one or two cloves depending on how much you enjoy the flavor.
- Ground cumin: Be sure your pantry spices are fresh (not expired) for best flavor.
- Dried oregano
Dressing: The simple cumin-lime dressing is subtle and light, so feel free to increase or double it for a stronger flavor if desired.
Make it spicy: For a little heat, add a dash of cayenne pepper, chipotle powder, or red pepper flakes to taste.
Vegetables: Add other veggies or herbs as you see fit. Try roasted red bell pepper, celery, sweet corn, etc.
Diced avocado is a tasty addition right before serving. You can serve this salad either chilled or at room temp.
Try it as a dip! We find this dish makes a great chip dip as well.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. We find it keeps well for about 4-5 days.
Black Bean Lentil Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing
- 1 cup green/brown lentils* (uncooked)
- 15 oz. can black beans
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1/3 cup red onion, finely diced (or 2-3 green onions for milder flavor)
- 6 oz. grape/cherry tomatoes (or 2 roma tomatoes)
- 2/3 cup fresh cilantro (large stems removed)
- Avocado for serving (optional)
For the cumin-lime dressing:
- 2 Tbsp. lime juice (about 1 lime)
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. ground cumin (or less)
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. salt (more/less to taste)
- Cook lentils: In a medium saucepan over high heat, boil 4 cups water. Rinse lentils and add to boiling water. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until tender (not mushy). Drain when finished.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing: Place all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Finely dice the bell pepper, red onion (or green onions), and tomatoes. Roughly chop the cilantro, large stems removed.
- In a large bowl place black beans (rinsed and drained), bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, cilantro, and cooked lentils. Re-stir dressing, then pour over top and toss to combine. Salt to taste or add more lime juice if desired.
- Serve immediately or let it chill covered in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavors combine further. Add diced avocado right before serving if desired.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
If you are enjoying this salad, also check out:
- Lentil Cabbage Soup
- Summer Chopped Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing
- Lentil Quinoa Salad with Garlic-Dijon Dressing