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Big Green Lentil Salad

This lentil salad is one lunch salad I am 100% on board with (thank you bon appétit). Creamy avocado, crunchy sunflower seeds, hearty lentils, and tangy yogurt make this lentil salad something truly special.

Serve it with warm pita or naan to swipe up the garlicky yogurt. Finally, a vegetarian lunch salad that eats like a meal.




Ready In:

35 min

Good For:

Lunch, Dinner

Lentil Salad Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups green lentils, rinsed
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided, plus more
  • 1 1/3 cups plain greek yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric 
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn if large

Cook’s Note:

Swap the dried lentils for Trader Joe’s pre-cooked lentils, found in the produce area (if available). This eliminates Step 1 of the cooking instructions and saves 20-30 minutes, making this lentil salad a super-fast weeknight/weekday staple!

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Cook lentils in a large saucepan of simmering salted water until they are tender but still retain their shape, 20–30 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold running water, and drain well again. (skip this step if using pre-cooked lentils)

Step 2

While the lentils cook, mix yogurt, garlic, turmeric, ¼ tsp. salt, and a generous grind of pepper in a small bowl to combine; set aside.

Recipe by Heidi Swanson

Step 3

Toss lentils, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, 3 Tbsp. oil, and remaining ½ tsp. salt in a large bowl. Gently fold in avocado, arugula, and basil.

Step 4

Spread reserved yogurt sauce across a platter and spoon lentil mixture on top; drizzle with oil.

BA 0919 Big Green Lentil Salad

Photo by Chelsie Craig, Food Styling by Michelle Gatton

Love lentil salad as much as I do? Thought so. Try my Vegan Lentil Taco Salad!