- August 21, 2022
- by Amy Gorin, MS, RDN
- 0 Comments
Lentil Apple Salad
This lentil apple salad is ready in 10 minutes and pairs perfectly with any side dish! Get a dose of plant-based protein and veggies.
Are you a lentil lover? Lentils are a type of pulse that have a nutty, savory flavor. They offer plant-based protein and fiber and are easy to cook. The best part? You can often find them in ready-to-eat varieties, such as steamed or caned. at the grocery store.
Use lentils to make comforting soups, hearty salads, or yummy side dishes like I did in this lentil apple salad recipe. Whip up the dish up to share at your next gathering, or add it to your busy weeknight menu.
The ingredient list for this lentil apple salad is pretty straightforward: You’ll need steamed lentils, fruit, onion, a few toppings, and dressing necessities.
Here’s the rundown of what you’ll need to put the salad together:
Lentils: I used lentils that are already steamed for this recipe, which makes it very convenient. Try Melissa’s Steamed Lentils or another variety.
Apples: You’ll need two diced apples for the lentil salad. They bring a sweet, bright flavor and lots of fiber to the dish.
Peaches: You can add diced peaches or another in-season fruit for more flavor and nutrients. Pears would also work well.
Red onion: Diced onion adds a boost of savory flavor to the salad.
Cranberries: Dried cranberries enhance the sweetness of the salad, making it even more delicious.
Pecans: I love adding chopped pecans to salads for crunch, not to mention that they’re a source of plant-based protein and healthy fats. You could also use sliced almonds or walnuts.
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar: These mix together for a super simple dressing.
Rosemary and black pepper: Spice up lentil apple salad with rosemary and black pepper.
Helpful kitchen tools
You don’t need a lot of equipment to make steamed lentil salad, but there are a few tools that I used to make the recipe’s preparation seamless:
Apple corer: Use this for prepping the apples.
Chef’s knife: A good-quality chef’s knife is key for dicing the fruits and veggies, including the apples and red onion, in this salad.
Nut chopper: This is the best tool for grinding and grading pecans before you use them as a salad topping.
Making this lentil apple salad is super easy! Here’s how to do it.
Combine ingredients in a bowl: In a large bowl or dish, combine the lentils with the apples, peaches (or alternative fruit), and red onion. Then, mix in the cranberries and pecans.
Make the dressing: To make the balsamic dressing, mix together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl.
Combine lentil mixture with balsamic dressing: Toss the dressing with the lentil mixture. Add rosemary and black pepper to taste. Top with more chopped pecans, if desired, for extra crunch. Enjoy!
Not only is this lentil apple salad super tasty, but it’s also full of nutrition. The apples provide vitamin C and potassium, and you’ll get a dose of antioxidants from the onion and cranberries.
Curious to know how the nutrition stacks up? Here’s an overview, including the daily values:
- Calories: 220
- Fat: 14 g (18% DV)
- Saturated fat: 2 g (10% DV)
- Carbs: 24 g (9% DV)
- Fiber: 4 g (14% DV)
- Sugar: 18 g
- Protein: 2 g (4% DV)
Yes, you can steam your own lentils. Note that steaming your own lentils will add some extra prep time to this lentil apple salad recipe.
Dried lentils are typically cheaper than those that are already prepared, so steaming them can be a good option if you have the time!
To steam your own lentils, place them in a steaming basic in a pan. Fill the pan with enough water to reach the bottom of the steamer basket. Put the lentils in the basket, and bring the water to a boil.
Leave the stove on medium-high heat and allow the lentils to steam for up to 15 minutes. You will want to check them throughout the cooking process, and take them off of the heat when they are tender to the touch. Allow the lentils to cool before making the lentil apple salad.
Yes, it is! None of the ingredients––including lentils, apples, peaches, or cranberries––contain any animal products.
Storing it is so easy! Simply place the dish in an air-tight container and store it in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. The salad will not freeze well.
This 10-minute lentil salad is inherently vegan, as it uses all plant-based foods. With lentils as the base, it provides plant protein and fiber––plus healthy fats from the pecans.
It’s nutritionally balanced enough for a side dish or even a snack in a vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian diet.
One of the best parts about this salad is that it’s easy to adjust. If you want to make the vegan lentil apple salad even more nutritious, add any other plant-based ingredients.
You could serve the salad over a bed of leafy greens or mix in roasted veggies, for example.
If you plan to eat the lentil salad as a meal on its own, it would be a good idea to add additional more plant protein. Edamame or beans would pair perfectly with the salad’s ingredients, or you could even mix in some extra steamed lentils.
More healthy pulses recipes
If you enjoy this lentil apple salad, you’ll also enjoy these recipes.
- Healthy Roasted Chickpeas with Seasoning
- Vegetarian Lentils with Egg Toast Recipe
- Chickpea Chocolate Chip Vegan Cookie Dough (+ Cookie Recipe)
Whether you consider yourself a plant-based eater or not, this lentil apple salad recipe is sure to be your new favorite side dish! It’s flavorful, healthy, and easy to make––you just can’t go wrong with making it.
Lentil Apple Salad
- 14 ounces steamed lentils (such as Melissa's Steamed Lentils)
- 2 apples, diced
- 2 peaches or other in-season fruits (such as pears), diced
- ¼ cup red onion, diced
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp fruit-infused balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- Black pepper
- In a medium bowl or dish, combine lentils, apples, peaches (or alternate fruit) with cranberries and pecans.
- Mix together oil and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl.
- Toss with lentil mixture, and add rosemary and black pepper to taste.
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