Mediterranean charred peppers and lentil salad – a warm, ultra-flavorful, super rich, and nutritious side dish made in just 15 minutes. Featuring only 4 main ingredients; tender lentils, caramelized soft red onions, sweet red bell peppers, and herbs and spices. It’s packed with richness and a favorite for lunch, dinner, and healthy in-between meals snacking.
This healthy Mediterranean lentil salad is a non-salad kinda salad. With warm smoky Herby flavors, tender sautéed vegetables, and lots of plant-based protein it’s a saucy, smoky lentil stew that meets lentil salad. Bring it to your next potluck, pack it for a picnic, make it a healthy to-go lunch, or serve it as a savory easy weeknight meal with a side of steamy rice and my tasty portobello steaks.
It makes the perfect side dish or addition to main meals, wraps, sandwiches, steaming rice bowls, and more!Jump to Recipe
8 things to LOVE about this tasty charred peppers and lentil salad
- Rich and flavorful
- Smoky and saucy salad
- Loaded with plant-based protein and fiber
- Easy and quick to make – ready in only 15 minutes
- Vegan and gluten-free
- Dairy Free and nut free
- Ultra tasty Mediterranean flavors
- A great way to get everyone to love eating their daily greens
- Meal prep friendly
- Can be served hot and cold
Ingredients for making the best easy 15-minute Moroccan lentil salad
Lentils – I like to use canned green lentils because they’re always cooked to perfection and opening a can takes seconds. Anyone can do it. Just pop open the lid, drain, and rinse the lentil and you’re ready to make the salad. Easy and super quick. If you have more time you can cook your lentils (see my easy instructions on how to cook the perfect tender lentils below).
Red bell peppers – sweet, lightly roasted, and deliciously juicy red bell peppers give this easy Moroccan lentil salad a burst of flavor and a hint of fresh crunch. If you don’t have red bell peppers you can substitute them with any other type of bell peppers you prefer.
Red onions and garlic – sautéed to soft perfection with a hint of caramelized goodness in places, the onions make the savory base of this Mediterranean lentil side dish. If you don’t have red onions at home you can substitute them with any other type of onion like regular yellow onions, white onions, shallots, green onions, or even leeks.
Tomatoes– large beef tomatoes or fresh smaller tomatoes. Any type of tomato works in this easy lentil salad. Just chop up the tomatoes roughly and add them to the pan for extra sweetness and depth of flavor.
Spices – we’re working with rich smoky flavors and fragrant Mediterranean spices. Smoked paprika, thyme, and oregano.
Fresh herbs – I used parsley for my tasty Mediterranean lentil dish, but any fresh herbs can work. Try fresh basil, mint leaves, cilantro, or thyme. Chop up your herbs of choice and sprinkle generously on top of the salad before serving.
Tips and tricks for making a lentil salad
How to cook lentils to tender perfection
Lentils are a great plant-based source of protein. Dried lentils are easy to keep in the kitchen pantry and have a long shelf life. Cooking them is really easy too. As long as you have the time needed to boil you will get delicious tender lentils every time by following these simple instructions.
Note: Did you know that you don’t have to soak lentils before cooking them? Another reason to love them! They only take about 20 minutes to cook.
For this salad, I like to use green lentils. But red lentils can work just as well and cooking instructions are the same for red and green lentils.
First, make sure you give the lentils a good rinse and pick out any debris or stones. I like to pour the dried lentils into a sieve and rinse them with water while I slush the lentils around with my hand to get any debris out.
Pour the lentils into a pan and cover with water or vegetable broth (I also add a bay leaf and thyme for more extra flavor).
Bring the lentils to a boil. Simmer until they are tender, but not too soft. They should be soft and tender to the bite without being too mushy.
Pour the lentils back into the sieve to drain away the water and that is it! The lentils are ready for the salad.
Sauce it up
Sometimes you just want extra dressing. And even though this super tasty lentil salad is already loaded with flavors and the tomatoes and peppers have created their dressing for the dish, you may want extra dressing. I’m not judging. We all crave more dressing sometimes. So, let’s take a look at my favorite make-in-minutes dressing you can pour over this salad.
Let’s look at what you need to make this mouthwatering Texas lime basil dressing
Hint: it’s not a lot. This super tasty Lime vinaigrette is a breeze to make and only requires a few easy-to-get ingredients. I recommend always having this easy vegan dressing ready-made in your fridge. Why? Because it goes well with any salad. Moreover, it keeps up to 7 days in the refrigerator. In conclusion, you just need to make this dressing. Now, let’s take a look at how this easy Vegan Vinaigrette is made:
Ingredients to make quick lime basil vinaigrette
- A bunch (1/2 cup packed) of fresh basil
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2-3 tbsp cold water (if needed)
How to make easy vegan lime basil dressing
- First step: Add all the dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor, and pulse until everything is combined. Only add the water if your dressing is too thick to your liking.
- Second step: Taste. Does it need more salt? Oil? Sweet chili sauce? Add whatever your tastebuds tell you it needs, and tweak it to your satisfaction.
How to make easy vegan Mediterranean lentil salad in minutes
Heat oil in a non-stick Sauté pan or skillet. Add the sliced onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes and combine.
Sauté at high heat for 3-5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Next, add the seasoning; smoked paprika, thyme, oregano, salt, and garlic, and mix. Turn the heat down to medium at let the salad simmer for 5-8 more minutes while stirring occasionally. If the salad becomes too dry, add a couple of tablespoons of water. Once the onions are soft and the pepper is sweet and tender, the salad is ready.
Serve the salad with a generous garnish of fresh herbs and a drizzle of sweet chili sauce. Enjoy.
What to serve with Mediterranean lentil salad
- 1-hour focaccia – the best pull-apart fluffy quick focaccia recipe ever
- Yeastless naan
- The best vegan burgers
- Vegan portobello steak
- Grandmas easy vegan Celeriac steak
- Vegan chicken-less nuggets
Salad topping ideas
There are so many tasty salad toppings that don’t include cheese or dairy. Here are my 5 favorite vegan salad toppings full of flavor and crunch.
The best vegan salad topping – my go-to salad topping full of crunchy nuts, spices, and dried cranberries. This is a pantry staple in my kitchen.
Nuts – roasted salted nuts are AMAZING as a salad topping. Almonds, cashews, peanuts, or any other type of nuts you like.
Seeds – roasted sesame seeds or tasty crunchy roasted pumpkin seeds are a great nut-free salad topping.
Croutons – crunchy golden croutons are always a great-tasting salad topping.
Roasted chickpeas – roasted chickpeas give a crunchy texture, and a delicious bite, and add extra plant-based protein. Yum.
FAQs – All your lentil salad questions answered
Yes. This easy lentil salad can be eaten both cold and warm.
You can store this simple 5 ingredient lentil salad in the fridge in a tightly-closed container or mason jar for 5 days or so.
Yes, this easy-roasted Mediterranean lentil and pepper salad are great when made in advance. Its hearty rustic textures and savory seasonings make it taste delicious whether eaten right away or several days later.
You can reheat lentil salad in several ways
The oven way: Reheat the salad in a casserole dish covered with tinfoil for 20 minutes at 400F, or until the lentils are heated all the way through.
The microwave way: Place the lentil salad in a microwave-safe container. Cover with a lid and reheat at a high temperature for 2 minutes. Check if the lentils are heated all the way through, then reheat them one more minute if necessary. Check again, and continue heating in intervals until the lentil salad is hot.
Dry lentils weigh about twice to three times as much when cooked. Dry lentils to canned lentils conversion: to equal 1–15oz can lentils you need around 100g dried lentils.
200 g of dry lentils = 400 g cooked. 250 g of dry lentils = 500 g cooked. ¼ cup of dry lentils = ½ cup cooked. ½ Cup dry lentils = 1 cup cooked.
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Mediterranean charred peppers and lentils dish
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 15oz can Green Lentils rinsed and drained
- 2 Red Bell Peppers roughly chopped
- 2 large Tomatoes roughly chopped
- 2 Red Onions sliced
- 3 cloves Garlic finely chopped or minced
- 1 tsp Dried Thyme
- 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 handful Fresh Herbs parsley, basil, or whatever you prefer
- Heat oil in a non-stick Sauté pan or skillet. Add the sliced onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes and combine.
- Sauté at high heat for 3-5 minutes while stirring occasionally. Next, add the seasoning; smoked paprika, thyme, oregano, salt, and garlic, and mix. Turn the heat down to medium at let the salad simmer for 5-8 more minutes while stirring occasionally. If the salad becomes too dry, add a couple of tablespoons of water. Once the onions are soft and the pepper is sweet and tender, the salad is ready. Serve the salad with a generous garnish of fresh herbs and a drizzle of sweet chili sauce. Enjoy.