Beans aren’t the only member of the legume family worth celebrating. Lentils, packed with fiber and protein, are just as nutritious. Plus they cook up in only 15 to 20 minutes (no soaking required). A French friend shared her mother’s traditional recipe for lentil salad with me years ago. This simple salad, seasoned with a French vinaigrette, is a classic dish in France. Because the flavors continue to meld, it’s also great the next day.

By Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN,

Last Updated:



  • 3 cups dried French green lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons reduced sodium vegetable broth
  • 4 stalks celery, diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 1½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 medium shallots, finely diced (or ½ small onion)
  • ¼ cup packed chopped fresh parsley
  • Pinch of sea salt (optional)


  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced


  • To make the lentils, combine the lentils, water, and broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender but firm.
  • Remove from the heat, drain any remaining liquid, and transfer the lentils to a large bowl. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  • Stir in the celery, tomatoes, shallots, and parsley.
  • To make the dressing, combine the mustard, vinegar, herbes de Provence, pepper, and garlic in a small dish, and whisk.
  • Pour the dressing over the lentil mixture and toss well to combine. Season with salt to taste, if desired. Serve chilled.

Comments (3)

(5 from 1 vote)

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Leah Lane

I enjoyed this salad very much; I also add chopped apple & carrot for crunch.


Is it 3 cups uncooked lentils? That's what I thought since instructions are to cook them. Seemed like way too many lentils vs. other ingredients. Wondering if it was 3 cups cooked.


Jon, I agree. I just made this and in theory it's good and simple. In reality, that's a lot of lentils!!!!! The ratio of lentils to dressing is not in balance. I had to make double the dressing and I added half again as many vegetables and some sliced baby cucumbers. With all that it was much better, albeit more salad than I bargained for;-) Next time I'll likely make about half the lentils and the extra vegetables and dressing.

About the Author

Headshot of Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN

About the Author

Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN

Sharon Palmer is an award-winning registered dietitian nutritionist and editor. She is the author of The Plant-Powered Diet and California Vegan, and she blogs at The Plant-Powered Dietitian. A nationally recognized plant-based nutrition expert, she lives outside of Los Angeles with her husband and two sons. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.
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