Lentil quinoa salad can be satisfying enough as a complete meal as it is high in protein and fibre with the combination of lentils, quinoa, cashews and vegetables.
Ingredients for Lentil Quinoa Salad
This salad is easy to make with herbs, summer vegetables and some pantry staples. You will need:
- Canned brown lentils
- Cooked quinoa (see instructions for cooking quinoa)
- Spring onion
- Red capsicum or tomato
- Raw cashews
- Olive oil
- Maple syrup
- Lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
Canned lentils are a quick and easy way to add lentils to a dish or bulk up a dish like bolognese sauce.
Lentils are high in protein and fibre and can be eaten hot or cold. They do not require further cooking when drained from the can.
If you want to cook your own lentils rather than use canned—no worries. That is absolutely an option. I only suggest canned lentils as they are a convenient option and a pantry staple you can keep on hand.
Why drain and rinse canned legumes
If legumes such as chickpeas, lentils or kidney beans are canned in brine, draining and rinsing them will remove nearly half of the sodium. So that’s one good reason to give them a decent rinse.
If you’re following a low FODMAP diet, rinsing legumes can also reduce the FODMAP content as the oligosaccharides can leach out of the food and into the water. See Monash University’s website for more details on including legumes in your diet.
To rinse canned legumes, pour the contents of the can into a colander over the sink. Then rinse under cold tap water.
Larger legumes, such as chickpeas and kidney beans, can be shaken to rinse all the beans. For lentils, I find it better to give them a stir or rake through them with my fingers to remove the gelatinous layer from the individual lentils.
Rinsing canned lentils will improve their texture and is essential in a dish such as salads. However, in a stew, the liquid may thicken it and add a smoothness to the mouth feel. So it all depends on the dish.
How to serve this salad
Lentil quinoa salad is best served cold, straight from the fridge, or at room temperature.
It can be served on its own or is delicious served with:
- Fish or chicken
- Crumbled feta
- Slices of grilled halloumi
- Toasted pita bread
- Mint yogurt dressing
How long does lentil quinoa salad last in the fridge?
This salad will keep in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
If you intend to keep it for a few days or eat it a few days after making it, add the cucumber and tomato immediately before serving so they stay fresh and don’t soften.
Did you make this recipe?
I’d love to hear if you tried this recipe and how it turned out.
Want to try other salad recipes with quinoa?
Check out my other salad recipes that contain quinoa:
Alternatively, you can invent your own satisfying meal-worthy salad. Try following my formula for delicious and satisfying grain bowls, which can include quinoa.
Lentil Quinoa Salad
Ingredients – Salad
- 1 cup canned brown lentils drained and rinsed
- 1 cup quinoa cooked (~ ¼ cup uncooked)
- 1 cup fresh mint coriander or basil, chopped
- 1 cup parsley chopped
- 1 spring onion finely sliced
- ½ cup diced cucumber
- ½ cup diced red capsicum or tomato
- ¼ cup cashew pieces
- 6 dates thinly sliced (or ¼ cup currants)
Ingredients – Dressing
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup honey or brown sugar
- juice of a lemon
- pinch salt and pepper
- Combine all salad ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Mix dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Stir dressing through the salad. Enjoy!
Unsure how to cook quinoa? Check out my recipe for cooked quinoa.