This Lentil Quinoa Salad recipe combines hearty lentils and quinoa tossed with a flavorful garlic-Dijon vinaigrette. It's protein-rich, easy to make, and so nourishing! (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.)
This easy, satisfying dish combines two of my favorites: lentils and quinoa.
It's high in protein, fiber, iron, and other vitamins and minerals.
It's also a fun "choose your own adventure" dish. Either flavor it with cilantro and lime or lemon and parsley.
I also enjoy the simplicity of the dressing. Dijon mustard and lime zest provide big, tasty flavor.
Ingredients for Lentil Quinoa Salad
For this recipe you will toss together in a large bowl:
- White quinoa: You will need a half cup quinoa (or 1.5 cups cooked quinoa) for this recipe. For more flavor, you can simmer the quinoa in vegetable broth instead of water if desired.
- Green lentils or brown lentils: Red lentils will not work with this recipe because they do not hold their texture after cooking.
- Green onions (scallions): Or you could substitute finely diced red onion for a stronger onion taste.
- Fresh cilantro: Or you can use fresh parsley if you are not a fan of cilantro.
- Red wine vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Garlic powder: Substitute one minced garlic clove for a stronger garlic flavor if desired.
- Lime zest: Or use lemon zest instead. Either one is great with this recipe. You could also include a squeeze of fresh lime juice (or lemon juice) in the dressing as well.
Note: I prepare the dressing oil-free, but you can whisk in a teaspoon to tablespoon of good quality extra-virgin olive oil if you wish.
Fresh herbs + flavors: Switch up the cilantro-lime for parsley-lemon instead. You could also add walnuts for crunch, or dried cranberries.
Vegetables: Add more veggies to this salad such as diced avocado, fresh tomato, diced cucumber, bell pepper, roasted red bell pepper, grated carrot, Kalamata olives, etc.
Vegan cheese: Sprinkle in some vegan feta cheese crumbles or other dairy-free cheese of choice if desired.
Either serve this dish immediately, or chill for several hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
We find it keeps well for about 4-5 days. So it's a great choice for make-ahead packed lunches, meal prep, picnics, BBQs, etc.
Lentil Quinoa Salad with Garlic-Dijon Dressing
- 1/2 cup white quinoa (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
- 1/2 cup green/brown lentils (or 1 heaping cup cooked)
- 3 green onions
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (or parsley)
For the Dijon-garlic dressing:
- 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder (or 1 clove minced)
- Zest from 1 lime (or lemon zest)
- Rinse and cook quinoa and lentils, separately.* Be sure to leave lentils tender, not mushy.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and whisk to combine. (I use a micro plane grater/zester to zest my limes/lemons.)
- Slice the green onions. Roughly chop the cilantro (large stems removed).
- In a bowl, add the cooked lentils (drained well), cooked quinoa, green onions, and cilantro.
- Pour the dressing over top and toss thoroughly to combine.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. (Salt/pepper, more cilantro, or fresh squeezed lime juice.)
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
If you are enjoying this easy Lentil and Quinoa Salad recipe with Garlic-Dijon, also check out:
- Black Bean Lentil Salad
- Ultimate Greek Chopped Salad
- Cucumber Salad
- Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Dill Dressing