French Lentil Salad Recipe

Contributor: Emily Paster

This French-inspired lentil salad is a versatile meatless side dish or light lunch, with plenty of plant-based protein from the lentils and walnuts to keep you satisfied for hours. Best served at room temperature, this salad is also ideal for a potluck or backyard cookout.

  • Author: Emily Paster
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: French


Units Scale
  • 1 and 1/2 cups French green lentils
  • 4 and 1/2 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
  • 4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, walnut oil, or a combination of the two
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Combine the lentils, broth or water, bay leaf and garlic in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and simmer lentils until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, sauté the vegetables: heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and toss to coat the vegetables with oil. Season with the salt. Sauté the vegetables over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. To make the dressing, whisk together the shallot, mustard and vinegar in a small bowl. While whisking, slowly pour in the olive or walnut oil in a steady stream and continue whisking until emulsified. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  4. When the lentils are tender, drain them well and discard the bay leaf and garlic clove. Combine the lentils and sautéed vegetables in a large serving bowl.
  5. Add the dressing and toss to combine. (Adding the dressing to the lentils while they are still warm allows them to absorb the dressing better.)
  6. Allow the lentils to cool to room temperature, and then add the lemon juice, walnuts, feta and rosemary. Toss gently to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning adding more salt or pepper if desired.
  7. If not serving right away, cover the lentil salad and refrigerate it until needed. (Salad will keep for up to a week.)

Love this recipe? I’d appreciate it if you could scroll down and add a *5 star rating* to help others know they’ll love it as well!