This healthy lentil salad is made with sweet roasted tomatoes which are perfectly balanced with roasted garlic and onions. With crunchy celery and sweet red pepper, this salad is tossed in a simple lemon vinaigrette with just a subtle hint of heat. This dish is perfect to make on the weekend for meal prep. It is excellent on its own for a light lunch, a great way to add protein to grain bowls, and works beautifully as a bed for meats at dinnertime. You definitely don’t want to miss this one!
Lentil Salad with Roasted Garlic & Tomato Back Story
(Note: This recipe was originally published in 2016. It was updated in 2019.)
I had no intention of publishing this recipe today, but I couldn’t stop myself.
It is the best thing I have made in a long time.
The last few days I’ve been a bit under the weather.
And by a “bit” I mean I slept about 14 hours yesterday.
Anyone who knows me knows I can’t nap to save my life, so this is a pretty major “what the heck is going on” kind of thing.
I woke up today feeling a little better and decided to spend the day on the couch and playing with Skye.
Then I started thinking about food and knew I had everything to make this Lentil Salad on hand. I decided that a healthy lunch was just what I needed and that I could always photograph it tomorrow.
Then one thing leads to another.
I decided to take just a few quick shots on my new background hubby got me. (Love it.) And then I tasted the salad.
To. Die. For.
I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed something as much. (And certainly not a cold lentil salad.) After not eating yesterday, this was just what I needed.
This baby is getting put in the back of the fridge, so I have lunch for the next three days. A girl has to recover you know, and recipes this healthy are just the way to do it.:)
How to Make Roasted Garlic Tomato Lentil Salad:
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut the top of your head of garlic with a very sharp knife. Place in a small oven-safe dish and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of oil. Cover.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange the tomatoes and onion in a single layer and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place the tomatoes and the garlic in the preheated oven. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are slightly shriveled.
- Carefully open the garlic and allow to cool. Press the cloves from the heat of garlic and place in a small bowl. Break the garlic into smaller pieces with the back of the fork.
- WHILE THE TOMATOES AND GARLIC ARE COOKING, bring broth to a boil.
- Add the lentils and reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, until tender.
- Drain and transfer to a bowl.
- Add garlic, tomatoes, red onion, celery, and red pepper to the dish.
- Make the dressing by combining olive oil, lemon juice, and crushed pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Toss dressing with lentil mixture and serve at room temperature or cold.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I Use Any Type of Lentils in this Salad?
I recommend using green, brown, or black (beluga) lentils for this recipe. Green lentils are mild in flavor and cook relatively quickly. Brown lentils work and cook in about the same time as green, but they do tend to get mushy and don’t have quite as much flavor as green. (For these reasons I prefer green.). Black lentils are small and shaped like caviar. They have a great firm texture and take between 30 and 40 minutes to cook.
I do not recommend using white, yellow, or red lentils in this lentil salad. They turn mushy very quickly, and I much prefer to use these types of lentils in thick soups or dal.
You can learn more about the types of lentils and their uses here.
Do I Have to Soak Lentils Like I Soak Beans?
No! Lentils do not require soaking.
Can I Freeze Cooked Lentils?
Yes, lentils freeze beautifully! I recommend making a double batch and freezing half of them in single serving portions to thaw and toss into salads.
Want to Mix Things Up? Try these Variations!
- Serve over massaged kale
- Substitute Artichokes for the tomatoes and add capers
- Instead of roasted tomatoes, try sun-dried tomatoes
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Tools to Make This Recipe
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Roasted Garlic & Tomato Lentil Salad
- 1 head garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes halved
- 1 cup red onion sliced
- 2 3/4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup green lentils
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup diced red pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut top of garlic head and place in foil. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon of oil and close foil around garlic.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange tomatoes and onion in a single layer and drizzle with avocado oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place garlic and tomato mixture in a preheated oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until slightly shriveled.
- Carefully open garlic and allow to cool. Gently press cloves from garlic head and place in a small bowl, breaking garlic into smaller pieces with the back of a fork.
- Meanwhile, bring broth to a boil. Add lentils and reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tender. Drain and transfer to a bowl.
- Add garlic, tomatoes, red onion, celery, red pepper to the bowl.
- Make dressing by combining olive oil, lemon juice, and crushed pepper in a small bowl. Whisk in salt and paper to taste. Toss with lentil mixture and serve.