This sweet, tangy lentil salad is screaming to be eaten by the pool on a Saturday afternoon with a crisp Pinot Grigio and good friends. (Or, you know, on a Tuesday, at your desk, while you catch up on blog posts and personal email.)

My favorite part of this recipe is the “honey” mustard dressing. I want to dip anything and everything in it and when all dip-ables have disappeared just drink the rest. If you don’t have the time or inclination for the rest of the salad, just make the dressing, it’s super simple and fast and perfect for dunking anything you have on hand (think pretzels, vegan chicken nuggets, baby carrots, cucumber slices, pita bread…)


warm lentil salad with honey mustard
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
for the lentils
  • 1½ cups (one medium-ish) sweet onion, diced
  • 1 T cooking oil or Earth Balance
  • 2 cups dry French green lentils
  • 3 cups rich veggie stock
for the dressing
  • ¼ cup prepared Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup vegan mayo
  • ¼ cup light agave
  • 2 t rice wine vinegar (or other mild vinegar)
  • ⅛ t sea salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
for the salad
  • 1 cup toasted pecan pieces
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 2 (packed) cups chopped kale
  • parsley and lemon (to serve, optional)
  1. In a medium, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, cook the onion in the oil for 10 minutes over medium heat until translucent and starting to brown.
  2. Add the lentils and veggie stock, turn heat to high, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover.
  3. Cook for 40 minutes, until all stock is absorbed and lentils are tender.
  4. While the lentils are cooking, blend all dressing ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  5. Chops carrots and kale and set aside.
  6. Toast pecan pieces in a dry skillet for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently, until toasted and fragrant.
  7. Take the lentils off heat and let sit until they have cooled (if you mix or fluff or handle the lentils before they are room temperate they will break down and turn to mush, which isn’t a horrible thing, the consistency just isn’t as nice).
To assemble the salad
  1. Once the lentils are cool enough, you want to make only enough salad for however many servings you need at the moment (store left over ingredients separately as this isn’t as good once the ingredients sit in the dressing for any length of time).
  2. For each serving, toss the following together gently in a large bowl: 1 cup cooked lentils, ½ cup carrots, ½ chopped kale, 2 T dressing.
  3. To serve, top with fresh chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice and some fresh ground black pepper if that is your thing.