Rice & Lentil Salad

This rice and lentil salad is vibrant, filling, and protein-packed! Make it as a side for a dinner party, or bring it along to a cookout or potluck.

Lentil and Rice Summer Salad | A Couple Cooks

A theme on our podcast for this year has been exploring the way food unites us. Recently, we spoke with Tanorria Askew about her unity tables, where women of different races come together to discuss racial issues while eating the same food. We spoke with Daniel Klein about the documentaries he makes about food traditions all around the world, and the positive immigrant stories he’s working on telling. We shared this story about a Middle Eastern boy whose mom shared food with his elementary school to create a sense of understanding and respect for his culture. In a fractured world, food is what brings us together. And it may be a recipe for how we can continue to understand our differences.

Related:25 Best Salad Recipes

Lentil and Rice Summer Salad | A Couple Cooks

How to make lentil salad

On to this recipe: which Alex and I ate over a discussion on our patio of how food is the great uniter. This rice and lentil salad has little to do with actual unity, unless of course you consider that it unites lentils and rice together in a dish! I created this lentil salad out of pure necessity, trying to use up items from our pantry. After boiling some French lentils and short grain brown rice, I decided to throw them together with a leftover red onion and some cherry tomatoes and fresh basil from our garden. For the dressing, pantry ingredients came to the rescue: a bit of smoked paprika, sherry vinegar, and mustard whisked with olive oil to create a quick sauce.

It all turned into the most delicious lentil salad that I knew we had to share here! What I love about this lentil salad is that it is filling and provides lots of plant-based protein. Many vegetable-based salads can be delicious but low on the filling factor. Combining this salad with a few other summer salads for a summer potluck can make for a filling summer meal; it’s also perfect alongside a vegetarian entree to fill in more protein. We’ve included this recipe in our summer grilling menu. Happy eating, and as always, let us know if you make it and what you think.

Related: 15 Best Lentil Recipes |Lentil to Water Ratio | What are Lentils?

Looking for summer salads?

Looking for other summer salads for a grilling menu or summer cookout? Here are a few of our favorite summer salads outside of this lentil salad recipe:

This lentil salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and refined-sugar free.

Print
Lentil and Rice Summer Salad | A Couple Cooks

Rice and Lentil Salad


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 as a side; 2 to 3 as a main 1x

Description

This rice and lentil salad is vibrant, filling, and protein-packed! Make it as a side for a dinner party, or bring it along to a cookout or potluck.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup short grain brown or white rice (or 3 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup french lentils
  • 1 cup diced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 large red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice according to the package instructions or use the Instant Pot method. Cool the rice to room temperature before making the salad: an easy way to do this is to spread it out onto a baking sheet and place in the freezer for a few minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, boil the French lentils: place 1 cup lentils in a saucepan with 3 cups water. Bring it to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes until tender.
  3. Dice the tomatoes. Thinly slice onion. Chop the basil.
  4. Make the dressing: in a medium bowl, whisk together sherry vinegar, mustard, and smoked paprika. Gradually whisk in the olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time until creamy and emulsified.
  5. In a large bowl, mix the rice, lentils, tomato, onion, and basil with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Pour on the dressing and mix to combine. Taste, and add additional salt and pepper as desired.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Lentil Salad, Lentil Rice, Lentil Recipes, Summer Salad, Vegetarian Side Dish, Vegan Side Dish, Plant Based, Plant Based Recipes

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

8 Comments

  • Reply
    Aysegul Sanford
    August 23, 2017 at 8:06 am

    This salad warms my heart! It has all the flavors I love in a summer salad. Lentils are my favorite ingredient to add in salads.

    XOXO to the little one. <3

    • Reply
      Sonja
      September 1, 2017 at 7:41 pm

      Awww thank you for the kind thoughts — Larson sends hugs back!

  • Reply
    sara
    August 23, 2017 at 9:51 am

    I think food shared around the table will play a big part in our collective healing if we let it. I have a 25# bag of organic lentils in the pantry, so I will be making this from now until February :)

    • Reply
      Sonja
      September 1, 2017 at 11:09 am

      YES, let us know if you try this out! Perfect for huge bags of lentils (it would work with other kinds, as long as you cook them al dente).

  • Reply
    Maggie
    August 23, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    I think offering food and nourishing one another is so important, as it enables us to turn toward what is different and to listen when we might otherwise keep to ourselves. The salad looks great… I’ve been making a farro, lentil, pesto one that is pretty similar weekly lately for lunches!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      September 1, 2017 at 11:07 am

      Thank you for reading! I couldn’t agree more: offering food and nourishing each other is one of the best things we can do to promote understanding!

  • Reply
    Tammy D
    August 24, 2017 at 10:24 am

    It’s encouraging to know there are good people like you two who make the world a better place, one spoonful at a time! Thanks for thsi recipe!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      September 1, 2017 at 11:05 am

      Thank you for your kind words!

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