Quinoa salad with lentils and tomatoes- a simple salad loaded with delicious ingredients and textures. It's a great option to pack for lunch, picnic, and potlucks. This protein-rich salad is vegan and gluten-free.
One of my favorite ingredients to use as a base in salads is quinoa.
It not only soaks all the delicious flavors of the ingredients used but also gives a very nice chewy texture to the salads.
I have already shared a lot of easy quinoa salad recipes on my blog and today I am sharing the recipe for another delicious quinoa salad with lentils and cherry tomatoes.
What goes in lentil quinoa salad?
To make this lentilquinoa salad, you will be needing the ingredients shown below:
- Lentils: I have used green lentils which I have cooked at home from scratch. You can also use brown lentils. If you don't want to cook lentils at home, use canned lentils. However, rinse them before using to get rid of their metallic taste.
- Quinoa: Feel free to use any variety of your choice. I have used red quinoa.
- Cherry tomatoes: If you don't have cherry tomatoes, use regular ones.
- Scallion: Spring onion greens can be used too. You may also skip it and add fresh herbs of your choice.
- Pepitas: Feel free to use nuts and seeds of your choice.
How to make (step by step process)?
Step 1: Rinse lentils and put them in a cooking pot.
Step 2: Add water.
Step 3: Cook uncovered until all the liquid gets absorbed. It will take around 15 minutes on medium flame.
Step 4: Switch off the stove and cover the pot with a lid for 5 minutes.
Step 5: After 5 minutes, remove the lid and fluff quinoa with a fork.
Step 6: Prepare salad dressing in a bowl by mixing olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, lemon juice, dijon mustard, minced garlic, chili flakes, ground black pepper, and salt.
Step 7: Put all the ingredients in a large bowl.
Step 8: Toss. Check and adjust the seasoning.
Your delicious lentil quinoa salad with cherry tomatoes is ready to be enjoyed!
How to cook green lentils from scratch?
If you want to use home-cooked green lentils and have never done that before, just follow the steps below:
Step 1: Rinse 1/3 cup of lentils with water and put them in a pot.
Step 2: Add around 6 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix.
Steps 3 and 4: Cook covered on a medium flame for around 30-40 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. The lentils should get cooked but not lose shape. Strain the lentils if there is any extra liquid left. The liquid can be used later in soups
Note: 1/3 cup uncooked lentils will yield around 3 cups of cooked lentils.
This quinoa lentil tomato salad can be served as a refreshing summer salad or as a light meal.
You can also stuff it in your warps or use it in your quinoa bowl.
How to store?
Once made, it's best to use this salad within 24 hours.
If you are planning to store it for a longer period, don't add tomatoes and cucumbers. They start releasing water after getting mixed with salt and lemon, making the salad taste stale if left for a longer period.
Mix all the other ingredients and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Add cherry tomatoes and cucumber when you plan to serve.
Can you freeze this quinoa salad?
No, you can not freeze the assembled quinoa salad as it has raw vegetables which won't remain crunchy on getting thawed.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Season quinoa properly otherwise it will taste bland.
- Before rinsing lentils, always check them to make sure there is no debris.
- You may add dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, or toasted nuts to this quinoa salad.
- Instead of cooking quinoa in water, it can be cooked in vegetable stock too. It will make the salad more flavorful.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, quinoa lentil salad can be made with brown lentils too. However, cook them carefully as they turn mushy more easily. The texture of green lentils is better for salads.
Yes, canned lentils can be used in this recipe. However, make sure to rinse them properly to get rid of the metallic taste.
Yes, cooked quinoa can be frozen for 3-4 months.
Yes, cooked green lentils can also be frozen for 3-4 months
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Quinoa salad with lentils and tomatoes
- 1 Cooking pot
Ingredients for the dressing
- Rinse quinoa and put it in a cooking pot along with water.
- Cook uncovered for around 15-20 minutes or until all the water gets absorbed.
- Switch off the stove and cover the pot with a lid. Don't remove the lid for at least 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, remove the lid and fluff quinoa with a fork.
Prepare salad dressing
- Put all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Put all the ingredients in a large bowl.
- Pour salad dressing.
- Check and adjust the seasoning. Enjoy your refreshing quinoa lentil salad with tomatoes.
- Instead of green lentils, brown lentils can be used too.
- Don't overcook the lentils otherwise, they will turn mushy.
- Any type of quinoa is fine to be used in this salad.
- If you don't have cherry tomatoes, use regular tomatoes.
- More easy recipe tips and tricks are given within the post above, please follow them to make this recipe.