This Mediterranean Lentil Salad is my current obsession. Cooked lentils are tossed with a simple bruschetta served over arugula, obviously topped with a healthy amount of feta cheese. This easy to make and a versatile recipe is SO FAST and SO DELICIOUS!
Recipe: $5.18 | Per Serving: $1.30 | Yield: 4
This recipe originally appeared on my blog in April of 2017! I have updated it for clarity and with better pictures.
I ❤ Trader Joe's, and this recipe was inspired by their 1-Minute Lentil Salad, but with significantly less feta and significantly more greens.
Why You Will Love Feta Lentil Salad
- So easy to make! All you need to do is cook the lentils and then mix everything together! Some stores even sell pre-cooked lentils which saves even more time.
- Very versatile dish. It works as a lentil bruschetta dip with pita chips, served as a salad, or stuffed into a pita or wrap.
- Great for meal prep! You can make the lentils and bruschetta several days ahead.
Here are some of the primary ingredients needed to make this arugula, lentil and feta salad. (See the full recipe in the recipe card below.)
- Lentils: This salad works best with brown or green lentils. I have not tried it with other varieties.
- Arugula: I love the peppery flavor of arugula but you can also use other greens if you'd prefer.
- Tomatoes: Use any type of tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, or even heirloom! Just be sure to use ripe, in-season tomatoes for the best flavor.
- Balsamic vinegar: This provides a bright, sweet flavor, that pairs perfectly with bruschetta. Red wine vinegar is a solid back-up option, but not as sweet.
- Extra virgin olive oil: EVOO is viscous and rich, providing the best flavor and texture.
- Fresh basil: Don't skip the fresh basil for this salad for the best summer flavor! If you have any left you can make a batch of walnut pesto to use for another meal.
- Feta cheese: You can use any type of feta cheese or if you want it dairy-free, I like Violife’s vegan feta or you can make a fancy homemade tofu feta cheese. (Great for extra protein!)
Dietary Modifications and Variations
- Vegetarian: YES! Also, you can easily make it vegan with a dairy-free swap for the feta cheese.
- Paleo: NO! To make this Paleo, pair the bruschetta with chicken, extra balsamic vinegar, and skip the pita, feta, and lentils.
- Boost the protein. Sprinkle with hemp seeds or top with grilled chicken! I really love this idiot-proof chicken recipe by Domesticate Me. Using tofu feta will also add more protein.
How to Make Lentil Salad with Tomato Bruschetta
Cook the lentils, let them cool, and then toss everything together! Here's a step-by-step overview.
- Cook the lentils until tender, drain off the water, and set them aside to cool.
- Chop the tomatoes into small bite-sized pieces and finely chop the garlic.
PRO TIP: Do not crush the garlic because the flavor will be too strong.
- Combine the tomatoes with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir well and set aside to marinate for a bit.
- Add the lentils to the tomato bruschetta.
- Serve it up as a salad with the lentil bruschetta on top of a bed of arugula and finish off with a sprinkle of feta cheese and chopped basil.
Expert Tips and FAQs
- Don't overcook the lentils. You want them cooked but not mushy especially when used in salads.
- When making ahead of time, store the lentil and tomato bruschetta separately from the arugula and feta. Mix them together right before serving.
- Store in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. I do not recommend freezing this recipe since it contains fresh ingredients.
Yes, of course! They work great served warm or cold. This dish in particular works best when it's served at room temperature or chilled.
In most cases brown and green cook in about 20 minutes but sometimes they can take a bit longer especially if they are older.
More Lentil Recipes
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Mediterranean Lentil Salad (or Dip!)
- 1 cup uncooked lentils brown or green
- 3 cups water
- 6-8 cups fresh arugula
- 1 pound ripe in-season tomatoes any
- 2 small cloves garlic
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta
- Add 1 cup lentils to pot with 3 cups water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until water is mostly absorbed and lentils are fully cooked. Drain any excess water and set lentils aside to cool.
- Wash and drain the arugula and set aside the dry.
- To make the bruschetta: chop the tomatoes into small bite-sized pieces, finely chop the garlic (I do not recommend crushing it because it will be too potent). Add to a bowl and season with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir well and set aside to marinate.
- Combine the cooked (and cooked) lentils with the prepared bruschetta. This is ready to serve immediately, but you can make this up to 2 days ahead. Add the feta cheese and basil when ready to serve.
- To serve as a salad: Divide the arugula among 4 bowls and top each bowl with about ¼ of the lentil bruschetta mixture. Top with the feta cheese and garnish with some additional basil.
- To bump up the protein, sprinkle with hemp seeds or top with grilled chicken!