Lentil Salad with Cucumber
Updated May 04, 2023
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Lentil salad with cucumber, red onion, dates and parsley couldn’t be easier or more delicious. It’s crisp, fresh, light and bright with my homemade Lemon Vinaigrette drizzled on top.
This lentil salad recipe was a bit of a throw-together recipe that turned out far more fabulous than I initially thought it would be. I had lentils in my fridge leftover from my How to Cook Lentils post and was debating what to make with them. I also had cucumber, red onion, Medjool dates and parsley and within 10 minutes this salad instantly came together.
Lentil salads are a staple in Mediterranean cuisine and this particular lentil salad reminded me of my recent travels to Israel. It’s definitely something I would have found on the menu in a happening Tel Aviv restaurant. Travel is always a big influence and inspiration on my recipes.
Which Lentils to Use?
I described some of the texture differences of lentils once they’re cooked on my Lentils post. But for this salad you want to use green lentils or Lentils de Puy (French Lentils). They’ll stay firm and hold their shape without going mushy being tossed around in this salad.
How to Make Lentil Salad
The beauty of this lentil salad recipe is how quickly it comes together. You could even cook the lentils the night before and let them cool overnight in the fridge, then whip this up fast the next day. Here’s how you make it:
- Cook the lentils and let them cool
- Finely dice the cucumber, red onion and dates
- Finely chop the parsley
- Drizzle the Lemon Vinaigrette dressing on top and toss
Lentil Salad Tips
- If you plan to meal prep this salad I recommend slightly undercooking your lentils. I usually cook my lentils for 20 minutes. And that’s fine if I plan to eat this salad immediately and all in one day. But if it sits overnight or for a few days, the lentils will absorb the dressing and soften further. So cooking a a couple minutes less is recommended.
- When you dice the cucumber, red onion and dates try to keep everything in a very small dice about the same size.
- This is a sweeter lentil salad due to the Medjool dates. If you’d like it less sweet, just use less dates. It’s also a great salad for using up dates that may have dried out a bit in your pantry as they’ll be easier to dice and will soften up again in the salad.
For More Healthy Salad Recipes
My sweet potato noodles, cabbage and lentil salad recipe is also great, but here are more light and fresh salad options…
Have more lentils to use up? Make my lentil soup recipe. It’s hearty and healthy, yet light enough to be enjoyed year round!
Lentil Salad with Cucumber
- Rinse the lentils and inspect them to remove any bad lentils or debris.
- In a medium saucepan, add the lentils, water, and bay leaf. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to very low, cover the pot and simmer for 16-20 minutes. The lentils should be soft but not at all mushy.
- Drain and chill the lentils for a couple of minutes. Add the diced cucumber, red onion, dates and parsley.
- Drizzle the lemon vinaigrette on top and toss to combine.
- With the leftover Lemon Vinaigrette you can use it on my Shrimp, Asparagus and Avocado Salad, Wild Rice and Arugula Salad or Watermelon Radish and Cucumber Salad.
- You can also add a piece of kombu as you boil the lentils to make them more easily digestible. I talk about this in more detail on my how to cook lentils post.
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