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Apple Lentil Salad

Made with classic fall flavors, this apple lentil salad is exploding with deliciousness! It’s vegan, gluten-free, and can work as either a side salad or the main dish!

Apple lentil salad in a large, oblong wooden bowl.

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Fall flavors are just so comfy, aren’t they? Apples, pumpkin, cinnamon, acorn squash, ginger, sage…yum! I paid tribute to a few of those flavors with my stuffed squash recipe, but today we are focusing on APPLES.

Some of my favorite childhood memories involved an apple orchard. I loved to go pick apples with my family, and sometimes my mom would let me invite a friend. One year for my birthday, my mom asked me what I wanted to do. When most girls my age wanted to go shopping, or see a movie, I wanted to go pick apples. I should have known then that my job would involve food, ha.

Ingredients for the salad on a table.

While I love just straight up biting into an apple, it’s always fun to incorporate fruit into other dishes. For this recipe, we are combining apples with another incredible food: lentils. And then we’re just TOTALLY jazzing them up with amazing flavors and textures (like fresh herbs, cranberries, pepitas, celery, and an apple cider dressing) Party in your mouth AND gorgeous to look at.

Apple Lentil Salad makes for a great side salad but it is filling enough to satisfy you for lunch, too! You can serve it hot or cold. If you are serving it hot, I’d recommend sautéeing the celery a bit (and maybe even the apples).

Ingredients

Apple Sage Dressing

This dressing is tangy and sweet.

  • Apple cider
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Dried sage and pepper to taste

Apple Lentil Salad

  • Lentils cooked in water with salt.
  • Apples: Use your favorite!
  • Lemon juice: To toss with the apples to prevent oxidation.
  • Dried cranberries
  • Roasted pepitas: You could also use sunflower seeds or sliced almonds.
  • Fresh parsley and rosemary: Dried can be substituted. Use 1 teaspoon of each if using dried.
  • Celery

Instructions

There are three main components to making this salad: the dressing, the lentils, and prepping the remaining ingredients.

  1. Cook the lentils, with the salt, according to the package instructions. Make sure you don’t overcook them, you just want them to be tender. I check every minute or two toward the end of the cooking time.
  2. In the meantime, chop up your apples and toss them in a bowl with the lemon juice. Store in the fridge for now.
  3. When the lentils are done, drain them and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process. Stick them in the fridge to cool.
  4. Once cooled, toss the lentils with the apples and the remaining ingredients. Toss with the dressing (add as much as you want, this is totally based on preference.)
  5. Let the salad sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. This will allow all the flavors to come together.
  6. Serve as is, or on a bed of greens like kale or arugula.
Overhead shot of the apple lentil salad in a wooden bowl with apples, cranberries, pepitas, celery, and more.

Bonus points: You don’t need to use the oven to make this apple lentil salad, further making it a great recipe for the holiday season. The oven is notoriously jammed packed on Thanksgiving and Christmas in my house. Even after going vegan, it is always stressful trying to get everything cooked (hey cauliflower roast, scalloped potatoes, and green bean casserole.) I dream of having a double oven!

To make this recipe even quicker, you can buy pre-cooked lentils. A lot of grocery stores carry canned lentils, and Trader Joe’s has cooked lentils in the produce area which are super tasty.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Please leave a comment and a ⭐ star review below!

high-protein vegan salad made with lentils

Apple Lentil Salad

Karissa Besaw
Made with classic fall flavors, this apple lentil salad is exploding with deliciousness! It’s vegan, gluten-free, and can work as either a side salad or the main dish! 
4.84 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chill time 1 hour
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 8 served as a side
Calories 240 kcal

Ingredients
  

Apple Sage Dressing

  • ¾ cup apple cider
  • ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • pepper to taste

The Salad

  • 2 cups dry lentils
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium apples chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup pepitas roasted
  • 2-3 stalks celery chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped

Instructions
 

  • Cook the lentils, with the salt, according to the package instructions. Make sure you don’t overcook them, you just want them to be tender. I check every minute or two toward the end of the cooking time.
  • In the meantime, chop up your apples and toss them in a bowl with the lemon juice. Store in the fridge for now.
  • When the lentils are done, drain them and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process. Stick them in the fridge to cool.
  • Once cooled, toss the lentils with the apples and the remaining ingredients. Toss with the dressing (add as much as you want, this is totally based on preference.)
  • Let the salad sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. This will allow all the flavors to come together.
  • Serve as is, or on a bed of greens like kale or arugula.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sideCalories: 240kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 14gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.003gSodium: 304mgPotassium: 600mgFiber: 16gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 181IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 4mg
Did you try this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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