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Lentil salad with bell peppers, salmon, and maple-mustard dressing

Colorful salad of lentils, bell peppers and salmon: perfect for a picnic! #glutenfree

Got leftovers? A little bit of grilled salmon or chicken? Some cooked lentils, or beans or quinoa? Have I got a salad for you!

This summery salad takes all comers. A cup of lentils, a cup of peppers, a cup of salmon: the secret to a balanced salad is to give each of the main components equal weight. Salmon keeps the salad light, but if fish isn't your thing, feel free to use grilled or broiled chicken (you'll need just one-quarter of a pound), or to leave out the meat or fish altogether. The salad will keep for two days in the refrigerator, and makes a colorful and easy contribution to a potluck or picnic.

What's better for a picnic than this colorful salad of lentils, bell peppers and salmon? #glutenfree

Lentil salad with bell peppers, salmon, and maple-mustard dressing {can be vegan, gluten-free}

From the pantry, you'll need: lentils, parsley, feta cheese, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, garlic, kosher salt, fresh black pepper.

Serves 4-6 as a main course salad.


1 cup cooked brown lentils*
1 cup chopped bell peppers, a mix of colors
1 cup cooked salmon (broiled, grilled or steamed, optional; substitute 1 cup leftover chopped rotisserie chicken, or omit, for vegan)
2 Tbsp dried cranberries
2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese (omit for vegan)

For the dressing:
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced (or use 1/2 tsp garlic paste from a tube)
Large pinch of black pepper
6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil


*Cook 3/4 cup of unsoaked lentils (to yield 1 cup cooked) in a pot of water, with enough water to cover by at least 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, for 25-30 minutes, until the lentils are soft but not falling apart. Drain, and cool. This can be done several days ahead of time. Refrigerate the cooked and cooled lentils until you're ready to use them.

Add the lentils to a large mixing bowl, along with bell peppers, salmon (or chicken), dried cranberries, parsley and feta.

In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine all of the dressing ingredients. Shake the jar vigorously to emulsify (thicken) the dressing.

Drizzle on as much vinaigrette dressing as you need to moisten the salad. Taste, and add salt and pepper, if needed.

Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate and serve chilled.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More lentil salad ideas:
Lentil and chicken salad with raisins and feta cheese, from The Perfect Pantry
Cold lentil salad with cucumbers and olives, from The Kitchn
Avocado lentil salad, from Give Recipe
Lentil and barley Greek-style salad with tomatoes, feta, and capers, from Kalyn's Kitchen

Lentil salad with colorful bell peppers, salmon (or chicken), and maple-mustard dressing: perfect for a potluck or picnic! #glutenfree [ThePerfectPantry.com]

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This is exactly my type of salad. All the components and flavors! I have lentils on my shopping list and will definitely be making this. :)

Janice, I'm thinking ahead to picnic season, and this salad will be perfect for picnics!

You read my mind, I was just thinking of making a lentil salad. Thanks for the suggestions.

Bev, I'm sure you'll love this!

I love all things lentil so I know I would enjoy this!

Kalyn, I know you would enjoy it, too!

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