A tangy lentil salad with capers and balsamic-Dijon dressing! So nourishing and simple to make. Plus great for take-along lunches and meal prep. (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.)
This recipe is one of our favorite lentil dishes. It looks modest, but the flavors are delightful. Plus the capers add a nice, salty, briny pop.
We like to keep a batch in the fridge throughout the week for quick snacks or meals. It's high in protein, fiber, and many other plant-based nutrients.
Plus it's a great choice for take-along lunches and meal prep because it stores so well in the refrigerator.
Ingredients for Lentil Balsamic Salad
For this recipe you will toss together in a medium or large bowl:
- Green lentils or brown lentils: Green/brown lentils have a nice earthy taste and hold their shape well. Red lentils will not work for this recipe since they don't hold their shape. You can easily cook lentils from scratch by simmering them in a pot on the stove. However feel free to use canned lentils instead for faster prep time.
- Roma tomatoes: Or substitute grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes for a richer, sweeter tomato flavor. (You could also try roasted grape tomatoes which have amazing flavor as well!)
- Fresh baby spinach
- Fresh chives: If chives aren't available, you can use thinly sliced shallot or green onion instead.
- Capers: Capers are small, un-ripened green flower buds with unique flavor. They are packed in brine and have a savory, salty, bold flavor. There's really no substitute, but Kalamata olives could be used instead if you'd like.
- Balsamic vinegar: You will whisk together the vinegar, mustard, and garlic in a small bowl to create the balsamic dressing. Feel free to also add a touch of salt, black pepper, or sweetener like maple syrup if desired.
- Dijon mustard
- Fresh garlic clove
Greens: Toss in chopped fresh kale or arugula in place of the spinach if desired.
Vegetables: Add other veggies as you see fit. Try roasted red pepper, fresh red bell pepper, carrots, artichoke hearts, or fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or cilantro.
Olives + cheese: Kalamata olives, vegan feta cheese crumbles, or dairy-free goat cheese would be flavorful additions to stir in as well.
This is a great choice for a side dish, main dish, meal prep, take-along lunches, picnics, potlucks, etc.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. We find they keep well for about 4-5 days.
Lentil Salad with Capers and Balsamic-Dijon Dressing
- 1 cup green/brown lentils (uncooked*)
- 3 roma tomatoes (or grape/cherry tomatoes)
- 2 oz. fresh baby spinach
- 1/4 cup chives (or shallot or green onion)
- 2 Tbsp. capers
For the balsamic-dijon dressing:
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Cook lentils: Add 4 cups water to a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Then add lentils (rinsed and drained) and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until firm-tender (not mushy).
- Meanwhile, make the dressing: In a small bowl, add all dressing ingredients and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Roughly chop spinach and chives. Dice tomatoes. Place in a large bowl.
- When lentils are done cooking, drain, and immediately add to the large bowl. (The heat from the lentils will slightly wilt the spinach.)
- Add the dressing and capers. Stir to combine. Adjust flavors if desired or salt/pepper to taste.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
If you are enjoying this Balsamic Lentil Salad recipe with capers, also check out:
- Portobello Mushroom & Potato Stew with Lentils
- Lentil Quinoa Salad with Garlic-Dijon Dressing
- 5-Minute Lentil Tomato Salad
- Lentil Spinach Burrito