This vegan lentil salad is easy to make, highly nutritious, absolutely delicious and beautiful too. No oil mustard miso dressing whisks together quickly for a complete meal in under 30 minutes.
Honestly, this is my ideal salad. It’s colorful, tasty and loaded with texture and crunch. A variety of plant based nutrition enhanced with a delicious dressing that goes well with anything.
The perfect mix of ingredients.
I like a salad that is perfect in every situation and every season. When it’s hot in the summer, it’s awesome for a complete meal that feels light, yet satisfying. When it’s cold out, it’s just what I crave in a salad. Warm, nourishing sweet potatoes and protein rich lentils. This salad can be served warm or cold…perfect to match your mood.
Lentil Salad is EASY to make.
Salad doesn’t have to be boring! Lentil salad can be served warm or cold. One beautiful ingredient at a time is added together for a complete meal. This unique combination will help reduce hunger by making you feel full and satisfied. Let me show you step by step how easy it is to prepare this nutritious salad in no time.
STEP ONE: Get the sweet potatoes prepped and into the oven. I like to cut them small and roast at 450 so they only take 20 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt + pepper for a tasty roasted sweet potato.
PRO TIP: Roasted sweet potatoes are ideal for healthy meal prep. You can use them for myriad dishes, including salads throughout the week.
STEP TWO: You don’t need to soak the lentils before cooking, but make sure to pick through them. Sometimes you’ll find small rocks or debris. The lentils will take about 20 minutes to cook which will give you ample time to get everything else ready.
STEP THREE: Make the secret sauce. No secret really…..Just 5 simple ingredients and no oil for a healthy dressing. Miso, mustard, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and water whisk together beautifully for a tasty, pourable dressing.
STEP FOUR: Assemble your vegan lentil salad!
Start with some greens. I like to use curly kale, because it holds up well over time. You could easily substitute any other green you have on hand.
First take out the woody stem from the center of the kale. Then, place kale in a large bowl an break into small, bite sized pieces with your hands. This is important. The more you handle it with your hands, the more you’ll break up the fibrous materials and soften the kale so it will be easier to digest. You do not have to massage it WITH the dressing, the massaging is the important part.
Small black lentils are my favorite to use in salad. They’re often called beluga lentils because of their resemblance to beluga caviar. They hold their shape well and are the most nutritious variety of lentils making them the perfect choice for salad.
What if you don’t have black lentils? Green or brown lentils would be a fine choice for salad. Red and yellow lentils are not good for salad though. They tend to become slightly mushy when cooked and are best suited for thickening soups or stews. Red lentils are perfect in this cauliflower lentil soup.
I don’t think I’ll have to work hard to sell you on this ingredient. Not only are roasted sweet potatoes easy to make and tasty, but they’re also nutrient dense. They’re rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals including beta carotene. Sweet potatoes help with sugar regulation and protect against chronic disease. Yes, sweet potatoes are a source of carbohydrates, but they are healthy complex carbs that also have fiber and are lower on the glycemic index.
I love cabbage so much, I’m growing it in my garden this year! Purple is my favorite color, but that’s not even the best part. Cabbage is crunchy. Even when dressed. It doesn’t get soggy. I guess what I’m saying is that it’s not a wimpy vegetable. Nothing fragile here!
Purple cabbage is often called red cabbage. I find this confusing, don’t you? Whatever you want to call it, it’s rich dark color makes it ten times more nutritious than green cabbage. It’s loaded with fiber, vitamin c, calcium, iron and potassium, making it an anti-oxidant rich immune buster.
Yes, I know, they’re usually called red onions. But why? They’re obviously purple, just like the cabbage. So, I’m sticking with my accurate descriptions.
Onions contain compounds that fight inflammation, decrease triglycerides and reduce cholesterol levels. YAY! All that plus they contain fiber and folic acid. Honestly, I add them into salads when I can because they add great flavor and their health benefits are increased when eaten raw.
If I didn’t mention it already, I love a salad that includes a variety of textures. I like crunch the best. This vegan lentil salad is loaded with crunch thanks to the cabbage and the almonds. I used whole almonds that I roughly chopped and then dry toasted in a pan. If you omit the almonds for any reason, make sure to include something else that will offer CRUNCH. Sunflower seeds would be a great choice.
Almonds also contribute to the nutritional profile of this salad. The fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) in green leafy vegetables, like kale, are released into the digestive system when paired with fat. Almonds are a natural source of plant based, whole food fat. A match made in heaven. In addition to healthy fats, almonds also contain fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E.
Did you know that parsley is considered a superfood? I don’t know why it doesn’t get more attention when it’s a nutrient superstar. I grow fresh parsley in my summer garden outdoors and also in my garden window all winter too. It can be used it to decorate drab dishes and also as a main ingredient in green smoothies for it’ health benefits.
Parsley is high in Vitamins A and C as well as iron. Parsley has potent anti-cancer properties, it can reduce your risk of developing diabetes, and reduces the risk for kidney stones. Not only that, but parsley is good for fresh breath. We regularly include parsley in Calvin Klein’s dog food for that reason!
Vegan Lentil Salad with Miso Mustard Dressing
One of the many things I like about this vegan lentil salad is that the ingredients are simple and wholesome. I wanted to make a dressing that would be thick and tasty. I wanted a dressing that would be creamy, yet dairy-free. AND, because I get a lot of requests for oil-free dressing, I added that to the list.
In my opinion, lentils are kinda bland. That’s actually the good news. It means we can use them in recipes and control the flavor profile. Hello mustard! Both mustard and miso have strong flavors that work their magic here to make this salad super delicious.
PRO TIP: Make a double batch of dressing. It will stay good in your fridge for two weeks!! You’ll want to use it drizzled on veggies, or buddha bowls, and of course as salad dressing.
I said it earlier and I’ll say it again. This is my ideal salad. It’s perfect for weekly meal prep. Always welcome as a side dish or salad and also can stand on its own as a meal.
Dressed for success! Delicious lentil salad with mustard miso dressing is vegan, gluten-free and loaded with plant based protein to keep you satisfied.
Vegan Lentil Salad
- 1 lb. sweet potatoes 4 cups diced
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup dried black lentils
- 1 bunch kale* approx 3 cups destemmed and chopped
- 2 cups chopped purple cabbage
- 1 cup roughly chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 small red onion finely diced (⅓ cup)
- ½ cup roughly chopped almonds toasted
Miso Mustard Dressing
- ¼ cup light miso
- 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- Make Sweet Potatoes: Preheat oven to 450, Scrub sweet potatoes and cut into ½" cubes. You do not need to peel them. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet. There is no need to line the baking sheet. If you have an older one that is darkened, that will work well to help brown the potatoes. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with S+P to taste and roast for 20-25 minutes until soft.
- Cook the lentils: Fill a small pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Meanwhile, pick over the lentils, discarding any rocks or debris. Rinse well and add to boiling water. Turn down to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. For best results in this salad, you'll want firm, not mushy, lentils. Start checking around 17 minutes to ensure al dente lentils.
- While the potatoes and lentils cook, prepare veggies and dressing.
- KALE: Either rip bite sized pieces with your hands, massaging the kale as you go to soften the fibers. It will turn a brighter green color as you do with. OR, stack the kale, roll it and slice into thin strips. Either method will ensure small bites of kale that are tender and ready to eat.
- Cabbage: roughly chop into bite sized pieces.Parsley: wash and remove woody stems then roughly chop. Onion: use a small red onion or a large shallot. Finely dice into ⅛" pieces.
- Almonds: Roughly chop and toast. Use a dry skillet, shaking the pan for 2-3 minutes so they're fragrant, but not burnt.
- DRESSING: Mix ingredients together in a small bowl with a fork or a whisk until well incorporated.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Pour half the dressing over and mix well. Add more dressing, as needed.