This vegan lentil salad is a staple in our house. It truly comes together in just 5 minutes, making it one of the easiest dinner recipes in my repertoire!
One of the reasons I love incorporating lentils into my dishes is the protein count! Now, most of us vegetarians and vegans already know that there are a ton of great plant-based protein sources out there. But did you know lentils pack a whopping 18g of protein per cup?! (That’s one cup of cooked lentils.) That means this vegan lentil salad has 24g of protein per serving!
Vegan Lentil Salad in just 5 minutes!
This vegan lentil salad is definitely considered a “cheat meal” in our house. It’s super fast, which makes it really easy to throw together when we are running late but still want to eat something healthy and home cooked.
The secret to making this in just five minutes is using the pre-cooked lentils. They are easy to find at most grocery stores these days – usually in the produce section.
Cooking dry lentils on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker is a much more time consuming project (although totally worth it if you have the time!).
But the pre-cooked lentils are a pretty good alternative. They are simply steamed and sealed in a pouch. The kind I buy doesn’t have any “extra” ingredients, so I can still feel good about serving a healthy, whole food based meal. You just puncture the pouch, and cook in the microwave for about three minutes.
Vegan lentil salad wouldn’t be complete without some actual veggies, of course. And you can pretty much include any vegetables that you prefer. I always sauté onions and red bell pepper – because I always have those in the fridge. But it also works with mushrooms, tomatoes, or just about anything else you have handy.
Garnish with fresh parsley (or cilantro). Since this is a cheat recipe, I will admit that I sometimes use freeze dried parsley if I don’t have any fresh stuff in my garden. And if you’re vegetarian rather than vegan, you can top it with a bit of feta cheese.
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5-Minute Vegan Lentil Salad
Cook lentils according to package directions. Most take 3-5 minutes in the microwave.
Meanwhile, drizzle olive oil into frying pan and heat over medium-high heat.
Add red bell pepper and onion, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened.
In a large bowl, mix together the cooked lentils, red bell pepper, and onion.
Drizzle with more olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
Serve topped with parsley for garnish.