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overhead view of vegan french lentil salad in a large bowl with serving spoon on white tile background.

French Lentil Salad

  • Author: Lexi Harrison
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This vegan French lentil salad is packed with fresh vegetables, chopped dates and a flavorful orange cumin vinaigrette. It's perfect for a protein-packed, plant-based, quick and easy meal. 




  • 1 cup dry Bob’s Red Mill French green lentils, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 1/2 tbsp finely minced fresh garlic (~2 cloves)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped lacinato kale
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup pitted medjool dates, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • Optional: crumbled feta for topping (we used vegan)

Orange Cumin Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp agave, maple, or date syrup**
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper


  1. Cook 1 cup of lentils according to package directions.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, add 2 tsp of olive oil to a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots to the pan and sauté, stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes. Add 1/2 tbsp finely minced garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, keeping an eye on the heat so that the garlic doesn't burn. Once cooked, remove shallots and garlic from the pan and set aside in a small bowl.
  3. Once the lentils are fully cooked (they will be tender when done), drain with a strainer or a mesh colander and rinse with cold water until cool. Add lentils to a large bowl and stir in the shallots and garlic that were previously set aside. 
  4. Whisk together all ingredients for vinaigrette.
  5. Toss celery, carrots, cherry tomatoes, kale, and chopped dates together in a bowl.
  6. Add this mixture to the cooled lentils, stir together, and pour the dressing over the top. Toss until well coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top salad with 1/2 cup sliced almonds and crumbled feta.  


Dates: *You can sub chopped medjool dates with chopped dried apricots or golden raisins.

Date Syrup: **You can use agave, honey, or maple syrup in place of date syrup.

Lentils: We would recommend sticking with French green lentils in this salad because they hold their texture in a way that brown or red lentils cannot. If you can't find any, the next best substitute would be regular green or brown lentils. Black lentils would work in a pinch, too. Avoid using red or yellow lentils, which will not hold up in this salad and are best suited for soups or purées. 

Kale: we prefer lacinato (Tuscan) kale in this salad. It's not quite as leafy or fibrous as regular leafy kale, so it incorporates better into the salad.

Almonds: you can also sub with pistachios, pine nuts or another nut/seed of your choice. 

Storage: store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You may want to wait to add the almonds until just before serving so they don't get soggy. 

Nutrition: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.  This information should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Salads
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 405
  • Sugar: 26.4 g
  • Sodium: 274.6 mg
  • Fat: 17.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 55.6 g
  • Fiber: 9 g
  • Protein: 12.3 g

Keywords: vegan french lentil salad