This Vegan Lentil Salad has over 25 grams of protein per serving. Plus, it's easy to make ahead for meal prep. Perfect for packed lunches, weeknight dinners, picnics, and potlucks. Gluten-free and oil-free options.
Make this no-lettuce vegan lentil salad in a mason jar for meal prep! Layering the ingredients keeps them separate, so they last longer. Plus, these salad jars are convenient to take to work, or for when you're on-the-go. They don't get mushy.
- Farro is a high-protein ancient whole grain. One cooked cup has 24 grams of protein. However, it does contain gluten, so if you are gluten-free, use quinoa or rice instead.
- Lentils are packed with protein, fiber, and iron. One cooked cup has up to 18 grams of protein. French lentils are darker, smaller, and firmer in texture than other green lentils. This is why they're perfect for roasting. However, you can use any variety of green or brown lentils for this recipe.
- Peanuts are high in protein and fiber. One cup contains 38 grams of protein. However, feel free to omit them, or substitute with seeds for nut-free.
- Lemon zest adds an intense lemony citrus flavor with very little bitterness. Be careful not to get the white pith as that part tends to be bitter.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Lettuce - Serve this crunchy lentil salad on a bed of lettuce leaves to change things up. It looks impressive and tastes great.
- Lentils - any variety of green lentils will work for this recipe, but French lentils hold their shape the best
- Farro - Use quinoa or wild rice instead of farro to make this gluten-free. Cook 3 cups dry quinoa (for a total of 4 cups cooked). Add 1 ⅓ cups to each (32-ounce) jar.
- Red onion - use green onions instead, or omit entirely
- Dried fruit - add golden raisins or dried cranberries for a hint of sweetness
- Peanuts - substitute with pumpkin or sunflower seeds for nut-free, or omit them entirely
- Parsley - try adding mint, basil, or cilantro
- Oil-free - replace the lemony olive-oil dressing with your favorite oil-free dressing
Cook the farro according to the directions on the packet until al dente.
Simmer the lentils in water or vegetable broth for about 15 minutes, or until they are just tender. Do not overcook them or they will be mushy. Drain well, and set aside to cool.
Roasting the lentils add a delicious crunch to this dish. It's easy to do, but takes about 15 minutes. Feel free to skip this step if you are short on time.
Step 1. Optional: Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Transfer the lentils to a large rimmed nonstick baking sheet. Add a generous dash of salt, paprika, garlic powder, and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss until evenly coated. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until crispy, tossing halfway.
Step 2. The lentils will become golden brown and crispy on the outside. They are very versatile and a great way to add vegan protein to any meal. Add them to grain bowls, pasta, salads, or even roasted veggies.
Step 3. Make the dressing while the lentils and farro are cooking. Add olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and minced garlic to a medium bowl. Use a garlic press for best results. Add salt and pepper, and adjust maple syrup, to taste.
Step 4. Fill the jars: Place 3 (32-ounce) Mason jars in a row. To each jar, add 4 tablespoons dressing, 1 cup chopped cucumber, ¾ cup bell pepper, ½ cup red onion, ⅓ cup celery, 1 cup lentils, ¾ cup farro (or 1 ⅓ cups quinoa), ⅓ cup peanuts, and ⅓ cup parsley. Cover and refrigerate up to 5 days. Skip the jars: Combine the salad and dressing in a large bowl instead.
💡 Expert Tips
- Cook the lentil and farro (or grain of your choice) in vegetable broth instead of water for additional flavor.
- Storage: Refrigerate any leftover Vegan Lentil Salad in an airtight container for up to 4 days. For the jars, refrigerate them lid-side up for up to 5 days. Because there is no lettuce, and the dressing is on the bottom, they will not become mushy. Invert the jars into a bowl and mix well for serving.
🙋🏽♀️ Recipe FAQs
Farro is nearly always sold pearled in the US. This means the bran has been removed, so it needs less cooking time than whole farro, which has the bran intact, or semi-pearled farro, which retains some of the bran.
It is easy to cook on the stove, or in a rice cooker or a pressure cooker for convenience. Cook 1 cup dry farro in 2 ½ to 3 cups of water or broth (a 1:2.5 or 1:3 ratio). Simmer until just tender, and then drain using a large sieve.
Yes! The jars are convenient for packed lunches and meal prepping, and the salad lasts longer in them because the dressing is separate from the other ingredients.
However, you can skip the jars and make this salad in a large bowl instead. Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Lentils add 18 to 25 grams, whole grain farro about 18 grams, and peanuts about 12 grams of protein per jar. Each (32-ounce) jar serves up to 2 people.
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Vegan Lentil Salad
- 1 ¼ cups French lentils or green lentils
- Salt to taste
- Dash of paprika (optional)
- Dash of garlic powder (optional)
- ¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 cup dry farro or 4 cups cooked quinoa
- ¼ cup lemon juice (about 2 small lemons)
- Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon)
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 cups diced English cucumber (12-ounce cucumber)
- 2 ¼ cups chopped red bell pepper (about 2 medium peppers)
- 1 ½ cups diced red onion (about 1 medium onion)
- 1 cup diced celery (about 4 ribs)
- 1 cup roasted peanuts roughly chopped
- 1 cup chopped parsley (about 1 bunch) or mint, basil or cilantro
- Cook the lentils according to the directions on the packet. Drain well.
- Roast the lentils (optional): Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Transfer the lentils to a large rimmed nonstick baking sheet. Add a generous dash of salt, paprika, garlic powder, and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss until evenly coated. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until crispy, tossing halfway. Set aside to cool.
- Cook the farro according to the directions on the packet. Fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool.
- Make the dressing: Add olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and garlic to a medium bowl. Add salt and pepper, and adjust maple syrup, to taste.
- Fill the jars (optional): Place 3 (32-ounce) Mason jars in a row. To each jar, add 4 ½ tablespoons dressing, 1 cup chopped cucumber, ¾ cup bell pepper, ½ cup red onion, ⅓ cup celery, 1 cup lentils, ¾ cup farro (or 1 ⅓ cup quinoa), ⅓ cup peanuts, and ⅓ cup parsley. Cover and refrigerate up to 5 days.
- For serving: Jars: Invert the jar and shake it over a medium bowl. Mix to combine. Add salt, pepper, and more lemon juice to taste.Skip the jars and combine the salad and dressing in a large bowl instead. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Roasting the lentils is optional. For roasting, place them in a single layer so they cook evenly.
- Brown lentils will also work, but they tend to be mushier.
- Cook the farro in vegetable broth instead of water for additional flavor.
- Gluten-free: Cook 3 cups dry quinoa instead of farro, for a total of 4 cups cooked. Add 1 ⅓ cups to each jar.
- Oil-Free: Add 4 ½ tablespoons oil-free dressing to each jar in place of the dressing.
- Mason jars: Each (32-ounce) jar serves 1 to 2 people. To fit this salad into jars in equal amounts without leftovers, the combined jar capacity must equal 96 ounces. For example, you can use 8 (12-ounce) jars, 6 (16-ounce) jars, and so on.
- Skip the jars and combine the salad and dressing in a large bowl instead. Refrigerate for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an ESTIMATE only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe.