Refreshing Lentil Salad


I tried to duplicate this light, refreshing salad that my Tunisian in-laws make. I put my own 'twist' on this with the addition of lemon zest. Using colorful vegetables makes for a light salad with a beautiful presentation. Garnish with sliced hard-boiled eggs and serve with crusty baguettes.

Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 55 mins
4 servings


  • 4 cups water

  • salt

  • 1 ¼ cups dry lentils

  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 large roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and chopped

  • ½ cup chopped red onion

  • ½ cup chopped green bell pepper

  • 1 small green chile pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 small carrot, shredded

  • ½ cup oil-cured black olives

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, cut in half lengthwise


  1. Bring the water and salt to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Pour the lentils into the water while stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape, about 30 minutes. Drain well.

  2. Transfer the lentils to a mixing bowl and stir in the garlic, seeded tomatoes, red onion, green bell pepper, and chile pepper. Add the juice of 1 lemon plus 1 teaspoon of the zest. Mix in the shredded carrot, olives, and cilantro.

  3. Season with salt and black pepper, and drizzle with olive oil; mix well. Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to blend.

  4. Before serving, mix the salad again and add more lemon juice or olive oil if needed. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with sliced eggs.

Cook's Note

You may also use red bell peppers in place of green and parsley instead of cilantro, if you prefer.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

431 Calories
19g Fat
45g Carbs
20g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 431
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19g 25%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 106mg 35%
Sodium 344mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 20g 72%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 59mg 296%
Calcium 78mg 6%
Iron 5mg 29%
Potassium 873mg 19%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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