This Lentil and Mushroom Salad is bursting with delicious flavors and is super satisfying from the hearty, nourishing ingredients. With carrots, pickled cucumbers, walnuts, mushrooms and tangy roasted garlic vinaigrette!
This salad has loads of texture, which is key for a great salad. Crisp cucumbers, chewy mushrooms, and toasted walnuts pair so well with the perfectly firm yet creamy lentils.
It also makes a perfect meal prep or salad to have in the fridge for when you need a quick yet satisfying lunch or dinner. Or, serve this Lentil and Mushroom Salad as a side dish along with some grilled vegetables or a big, veggie-filled salad.
Other reasons why I love this salad:
- it’s filled with nourishing lentils and vegetables
- it’s extremely satisfying and filling
- there’s a super flavorful dressing
How this dish comes together
- Roast the garlic
- Cook the lentils
- Pickle the cucumbers
- Saute the mushrooms
- Chop the carrots
- Blend the dressing
- Toast the walnuts
Helpful tips for this recipe
It’s so easy to make roasted garlic, and sooo delicious. It adds fantastic flavor to this dressing and takes care of itself in the oven while you work on the other aspects of the Lentil and Mushroom Salad.
Simply slice the top off the full bulb of garlic to expose the garlic cloves, sprinkle the cloves with oil, salt and pepper, and place it cut side up and wrap in foil (or in parchment, then foil if you don’t want to place in foil directly). Bake it at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.
When cooking the lentils, cook them in vegetable broth rather than water to add more flavor. Important note **do not overcook the lentils, rather cook them just until al dente and then drain off excess liquid.**
Pickled cucumbers are so easy to make! In a saucepan, add 1 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, 2 tbsp sugar, and 2 tsp salt. Heat until the liquid boils, stirring to dissolve the sugar along the way. Once it boils, pour over the chopped cucumbers in a glass jar and let pickle during the rest of the recipe preparation.
Lastly, toasting the walnuts is simple and adds a great crisp. In a dry skillet, add the walnuts and cook for approx 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Keep an eye on them, as it’s easy to burn.
Other delicious room temperature salads
Helpful items for this dish
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You may have heard me say in the past that lentils are such a great ingredient to have in the pantry as they are nourishing, super filling, and extremely versatile for recipes like this Lentil and Mushroom Salad or warm stew or curry-type dishes like this delicious Vegan Lentil Curry or this Lentil and Kidney Bean Curry.
These lentils are one of my favorites:
Mason jars are a great way to store your pickled vegetables in the fridge in my experience. Simply add the veggies to the jar and pour the pickling liquid over the veggies.
Lentil and Mushroom Salad
- 1 cup uncooked lentils + 2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 2 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1/4 tsp each kosher salt and 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 3/4 cup sliced seedless cucumbers pickled*
- 1 cup finely diced carrots
- 3/4 chopped walnuts toasted
- 1 tbsp (heaping) za'atar seasoning**
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
- cloves from 3/4 to 1 bulb roasted garlic***
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 2 tsp mustard
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Add the lentils and broth (or water) to a saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. If using water instead of vegetable broth, add a dash of salt to the cooking water.
- Cook until lentils are just al dente. Be sure not to overcook. Once al dente, drain off any excess liquid and spread out the lentils over a baking tray to allow lentils to cool more quickly.
- In a large pan, add mushrooms, oil, cumin and pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat until mushrooms are browned. Add the salt.
- Meanwhile, dice the carrots very finely.
- Toast the walnuts in a dry pan for approx 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often.
- Place the roasted garlic cloves (squeeze them out of the bulb), vinegar, salt and mustard into a blender and slowly drizzle in the olive oil as you blend.
- Add the cooked lentils to a large bowl. Add the mushrooms, carrots, toasted walnuts, pickled cucumbers, dressing, and toss gently.
- Just before serving, stir through the za'atar seasoning and lemon juice. Taste and stir through 1/2 tsp kosher salt if desired.