We can’t wait for spring produce, but for now, we’ll enjoy late-season citrus, which is the star of this lentil salad with roasted beets.
I love a salad like this one with lentils, citrus and beets, that has varying textures and flavors with plant protein and fat to make it a full meal.
This salad hits all of those requirements!
Refreshing greens, earthy roasted beets, sweet, tangy citrus, salty vegan feta and lentils are pulled together with a citrus dill vinaigrette.
If you’re wondering where we found vegan feta, it’s from this brand. We haven’t seen anything else similar on the market, and we absolutely love it! The texture is similar to dairy feta, and it hits the salty, tangy notes that make feta so satisfying.
What kind of lentils are best for salad?
Brown and green lentils are the best option as they hold their shape better when cooked. Any variety will do – we particularly love using French green lentils when we can find them. They have a bit more texture and hold up really well!
Red and yellow lentils tend to get mushy and are better suited for curries, soups or purées.
You don’t need to soak lentils before cooking (like other dry beans). However, we do suggest giving them a good rinse and doing a quick check for pebbles or other debris.
We like to stock up on lentils in the bulk section of our grocery store. They’re more affordable, and if you bring your own reusable containers, it’s a great way to use less plastic!
Golden vs. red beets
We used regular and golden beets for this citrus lentil salad.
Golden beets have a slightly milder flavor than red beets, but they’re equally nutritious. As someone that’s not totally in love with beets (it’s not my first choice vegetable), I personally prefer the flavor of golden beets.
Whichever variety of beets you choose, toss them in some olive oil, salt and pepper and roast until crispy before adding to this salad. Alternatively, to skip a step, you can always use pre-cooked beets from our friends over at Love Beets. We love their products!
We often find beets loose (with no greens attached) in large bins at the store. If yours have greens attached, you can use the beet greens by washing them well and adding them to the salad.
Beet greens are also great sautéed. The texture is somewhat similar to Swiss chard. Other uses include adding to a soup or homemade vegetable stock.
Once your lentils are cooked and your beets are roasted, it’s time to whip up a super simple vinaigrette. Fresh citrus juice, olive oil and dill make for a refreshing, tangy, springy dressing. It’s easy to make and so delicious!
To reinforce that refreshing, citrusy flavor, we add fresh citrus segments to the salad. Any kind will do – blood oranges, tangerines, cara cara oranges, grapefruit – it’s up to you!
To prep citrus for salad, use a sharp knife to completely remove the peel and outer pith. Then, slice into rounds and serve.
If you’re like me and can’t just eat a salad for dinner (it’s just not enough!), pair beet lentil salad with soup or even a sandwich.
This minestrone is always a good choice. Or if you want to double up on lentils, try this vegan red lentil soup (a favorite in our house). In terms of sandwiches, any kind of panini is a win in my book.
More winter salad recipes
- Winter Greens + Citrus Salad
- Mediterranean Cauliflower and Kale Salad
- Citrus, Fennel & Avocado Salad
- Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranate
- Moroccan Carrot & Lentil Salad
If you make this Roasted Beet, Citrus and Lentil Salad recipe, we’d love for you to leave a comment and rating below! We also love to see your creations on Instagram – tag us at @crowded_kitchen so we can see what you’ve been cooking.Print
This salad has it all: refreshing greens, earthy roasted beets, tangy/sweet citrus, protein-rich lentils and a citrus dill vinaigrette that brings everything together. Perfect for a quick, filling weeknight dinner, especially when paired with some leftover soup or an easy sandwich!
- 1 cup cooked green lentils (cooked according to package directions)
- 4 cups baby kale or arugula
- 1 cup microgreens
- 1 medium yellow beet, diced
- 1 medium red beet, diced
- 1 navel orange, pith removed and sliced into rounds
- 1 blood orange, pith removed and sliced into rounds
- Optional: 1-2 tangerines, peeled and segmented
- 1/3 cup vegan feta
Citrus Dill Vinaigrette:
- 5 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp agave
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped well
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Peel, dice, and toss beets in 1 tbsp olive oil (toss separately if you don’t want colors to bleed). Sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a sheet pan and roast for 23-25 minutes, until tender.
- While beets are roasting, cook lentils according to package directions (don’t forget to add a generous pinch of salt to water!).
- Whisk together all ingredients for vinaigrette until well incorporated.
- Toss cooked lentils in about 2 tbsp of salad dressing. Toss baby kale, arugula, or spinach in a bowl with microgreens. Once beets and lentils have cooled, add them to salad with feta and citrus. Toss gently with remaining vinaigrette and serve immediately.
To make this a full meal, you can also add in cooked quinoa or brown rice (or another grain of choice) and avocado for some extra fat.