Ensalada de Lentejas (Easy and Refreshing Lentil Salad)

This refreshing spin on lentejas is a warm-weather favorite in our home. It’s perfect for meal prepping, picnics, road-trips, or backyard barbecues.

lentejas

I learned to make this easy and nutritious lentil salad from my suegra, who makes some of the best salads in the family. We’ve taken it on road-trips, to potlucks, and pack it in the kids’ lunches regularly.

WHAT ARE LENTEJAS?

Lentejas is Spanish for lentils, a type of legume known for their small, lens-shaped seeds. They are rich in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients and can be used in soups, stews, and salads. In Mexican cuisine, lentejas are typically used to make a hearty Mexican lentil soup that’s especially popular during the cold-weather months and lenten season. This recipe, however, is bright, refreshing, and wonderful to enjoy throughout the year, especially when it starts warming up.

lentejas

WHAT IS ENSALADA DE LENTEJAS?

I make this easy and fresh lentil salad with green lentils, parsley, green onion, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. The quick-cooked green lentils provide a hearty base, while the parsley and green onion add fresh, herbal notes. Olive oil and lemon juice create a light, tangy dressing, and a pinch of salt enhances all of the flavors. It’s perfect for a refreshing, nutritious meal or side dish.

lentejas

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF LENTILS

  • High in protein: Excellent plant-based protein source.
  • Rich in fiber: Support digestive health and regularity.
  • Nutrient-dense: Packed with essential vitamins and minerals like iron, folate, and magnesium.
  • Complex carbohydrates: Lentils provide slow-releasing energy, keeping you full and energized throughout the day.
  • Low in fat: Heart-healthy, contributing to lower cholesterol levels.
  • Blood sugar regulation: Low glycemic index helps maintain stable blood sugar levels.
lentejas

WHY I LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • Minimal prep time: The hardest part about this recipe is chopping the fresh ingredients that are mixed in with the cooked lentils!
  • Fresh spin on a classic: Typically lentils are used in soups and stews and enjoyed during cold weather months. This fresh lentil salad is perfect to enjoy year-round, especially when it starts warming up!
  • Great for meal prep: We love this ensalada de lentejas as a side dish, in lunches, and pack it to take for road-trips, picnics, and potlucks!

INGREDIENTS FOR ENSALADA DE LENTEJAS

  • Lentils: Green lentils have a firm texture and a slightly peppery flavor, making them versatile in many dishes. If you can’t find green lentejas, feel free to use brown lentils.
  • Lemon: Fresh lemon juice works best.
  • Parsley: I’ve used fresh parsley, dill, or mint in this recipe and love how it comes out!
  • Green onions: Red onions or shallots will also work if you don’t have green onions.
  • Olive oil: I prefer light olive oil for this recipe.
  • Salt: I always use Crystal Diamond Kosher Salt in all of my recipes, which is less “salty” than other salts so be sure to adjust the amount of salt used in this recipe if you are using another type of salt.
lentejas

RECOMMENDED BY LOLA

Handheld Lemon Juicer

lemon juicer

HOW TO MAKE LENTEJAS SALAD

1. Prepare lentils and chop fresh ingredients

  • In a medium pot, bring lentils to a boil over medium high heat with enough water to cover lentils by two inches. Once water is boiling, set a timer for 10 minutes.
  • While the lentils boil, chop green onions and parsley and juice the lemons.
lentejas

2. Drain lentils

  • Once lentils have boiled for 10 minutes, test one by biting into it to make sure lentils are al dente (not soft like they would be in soup, but not crunchy).
  • Remove from heat and strain into a colander. Rinse lentejas with cold water.
lentejas

3. Mix ingredients

  • Mix lentils, green onions, and parsley in a large bowl.
  • Next, add lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Taste and adjust salt if necessary.
lentejas

4. Chill and enjoy

  • Cover ensalada de lentejas and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Enjoy cold as a delicious and refreshing side dish.
lentejas

RECIPE VARIATIONS

  • Instead of parsley, use fresh dill, or mint. Each herb has a distinctive flavor and works fabulously in this recipe.
  • Instead of green onions, use red onion or shallots. Both are mild in flavor and will work well.
  • If you can’t find green lentils, use brown lentils.

TIPS AND TRICKS

  • This recipe tastes better after sitting for a few hours, which allows the flavors to meld together.
  • Be sure to mix ingredients before eating because olive oil and lemon juice tend to settle at the bottom.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Where did lentejas come from?

Lentils, known as “lentejas” in Spanish, have a long history that dates back to ancient times. They are believed to have originated in the Near East and the Mediterranean region, specifically in areas that are part of modern-day Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. Lentils were one of the first crops to be domesticated and have been a staple food in these regions for thousands of years.

Archaeological evidence suggests that lentils were cultivated as early as 8000 BCE. They spread to Europe, Africa, and Asia over the millennia, becoming a fundamental part of various cuisines and agricultural practices worldwide.

What is lentejas in English?

Lentejas is Spanish for lentils.

Do lentils have iron?

Yes, lentils are an excellent source of iron. In fact, they are one of the most iron-rich plant-based foods available. A 1-cup serving of cooked lentils typically contains about 6.6 milligrams of iron, which is about 37% of the daily recommended intake for an adult male and 17% for an adult female.

Iron from plant sources, including lentils, is non-heme iron, which is not as readily absorbed by the body as heme iron found in animal products. However, you can enhance the absorption of non-heme iron by consuming it with foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits (like the lemon juice used in this recipe), tomatoes, and bell peppers.

LOOKING FOR MORE INSPIRATION?

lentejas

Ensalada de Lentejas (Easy and Refreshing Lentil Salad)

by Lola Dweck
This refreshing spin on lentejas is a warm-weather favorite in our home. It’s perfect for meal prepping, road trips, picnics, or backyard barbecues.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 360 kcal

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Small saucepan
  • Handheld citrus press
  • Colander
  • Measuring cups
  • Large bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups lentils green or brown
  • 4 green onions chopped finely
  • 1/2 bunch Italian parsley chopped finely
  • 4 ounces lemon juice from 2 to 3 lemons
  • 3 ounces olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt or to taste

Instructions
 

  • Prepare lentils and chop fresh ingredients. In a medium pot, bring lentils to a boil over medium high heat with enough water to cover lentils by two inches. Once water is boiling, set a timer for 10 minutes. While the lentils boil, chop green onions and parsley and juice the lemons.
  • Drain lentils. Once lentils have boiled for 10 minutes, test one by biting into it to make sure lentils are al dente (not soft like they would be in soup, but not hard and crunchy). Remove from heat and strain into a colander. Rinse lentejas with cold water.
  • Mix ingredients. Mix lentils, green onions, and parsley in a large bowl. Next add lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Taste and adjust salt if necessary.
  • Chill and enjoy. Cover ensalada de lentejas and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy cold as a delicious and refreshing side dish.

A Note from Lola

RECIPE VARIATIONS
  • Instead of parsley, use fresh dill, or mint.
  • Each herb has a distinctive flavor and works fabulously in this recipe.
  • Instead of green onions, use red onion or shallots. Both are mild in flavor and will work well. If you can’t find green lentils, use brown lentils.
KEEP IN MIND
  • I always use Crystal Diamond Kosher Salt in all of my recipes, which is less “salty” than other salts. So be sure to keep this in mind if you are using another type salt and add salt little by little, tasting your recipe along the way.  

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 360kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 17gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 1171mgPotassium: 679mgFiber: 20gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 506IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 5mg
360
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Lola’s Cocina is a small business that earns various revenue streams. This includes sponsored posts and affiliate commissions from linked products, which I use and love. This commission is an agreement between Lola’s Cocina and retailers, with no extra cost to readers. This income helps sustains the site.

Lola Wiarco Dweck

Lola is a Mexican-American recipe developer, writer, and cooking instructor who loves sharing her culture with the world. Growing up in California and spending summers in Mexico, Lola celebrates her family’s Mexican recipes and vibrant culture through Lola’s Cocina.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Well, honestly I was not too excited about this recipe. Lentils I’ve always had them as a soup kind of like frijoles de la olla ! How ever this little spin took me by surprise since I have to fill my meals with protein and cut down on carbs , the recipe has not only helped me improved my diet but increased the variety on my meals
    So Thank You Lola’s Cocina !!