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plate of vegan black bean lentil salad with tomato and cilantro

Black Bean Lentil Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing

This protein-rich bean and lentil salad is perfect for make-ahead lunches, snacks, potlucks, picnics, and more. Easy and satisfying!
AuthorKaitlin - The Garden Grazer
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes
Total Time:30 minutes
CourseMain Dish, Salad, Side Dish
CuisineGluten-Free, Oil-Free, Vegan
Servings6 (1 cup servings)


  • 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.


*Canned lentils: You can also use a 15 oz. can lentils in place of cooking your own. (This results in slightly less lentils in the dish, but it works just fine.)
Dressing: The dressing is light and subtle, so increase if desired.
Spicy: Add chipotle powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, or hot sauce to taste.
Yield: Recipe makes about 6 cups salad.
Recipe adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen.

Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)

Calories: 197 kcal | Carbohydrates: 35 g | Protein: 13 g | Fat: 1 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g | Potassium: 667 mg | Fiber: 16 g | Sugar: 3 g | Vitamin A: 905 IU | Vitamin C: 38 mg | Calcium: 58 mg | Iron: 4 mg