French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese

5 stars based on 2 votes

french-lentil-salad

I make this hearty lentil salad when I get fed up with hasty on-the-go lunches and am craving something wholesome. It’s made with French green lentils, which are ideal for salads because they hold their shape when cooked.  They’re grown in the rich volcanic soil near Le Puy en Velay in the Auvergne region of France and have a wonderful earthy flavor.  Unlike dried beans, lentils don’t require pre-soaking prior to being cooked.  You simply pick over the little disk shaped legumes, remove any that look broken or damaged and cook for 20-30 minutes. So easy!

You can find French green lentils in the bulk section at Whole Foods or specialty food shops. They’re definitely worth going out of your way to find but if you can’t get them, common green or brown lentils will work fine — just watch the cooking time as they can get mushy.

Begin by combining the lentils, chicken broth and bay leaf in a pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 25-30 minutes until tender.

In the meantime, prep all the vegetables and herbs.  You want to cut them pretty small so you get the right proportion of lentils and vegetables in every bite.

For the carrots and celery, the best way is to cut them into thin strips first, then line them up and cut again.

When the lentils are tender, strain and let cool.

Combine everything except the goat cheese in a bowl and toss well.

Right before serving, top with crumbled goat cheese.

Serve and enjoy.

 

French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese

Servings: 4 as a side dish, 2 as a main course
Total Time: 35 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup French green lentils (or common brown or green lentils)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 2 ribs celery, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from one lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, best quality such as Lucini or Colavita
  • 3 ounces goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Combine lentils, chicken broth and bay leaf in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer until lentils are tender, 25-30 minutes for French green lentils or 20-25 minutes for common brown or green lentils. Remove bay leaf, strain and let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all remaining ingredients except goat cheese. Add cooled lentils and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer salad to serving dish, crumble goat cheese over top and serve.

Nutrition Information

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  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 432
  • Fat: 21g
  • Saturated fat: 6g
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Fiber: 16g
  • Protein: 21g
  • Sodium: 675mg
  • Cholesterol: 15mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    This lentil salad is soooo addictive! I used brown lentils and Progresso Tuscan broth(to simmer.) Just delicious. Another wonderful recipe- many thanks.

    - Judy on December 4, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Another crowd pleaser – and I used vegetarian broth to cook the lentils…I drained the extra liquid and froze it, then later added it to a soup I was making. No waste. Works well with feta too.

    - HBolan on December 3, 2014 Reply
  • Nutritional info?

    - Michele Hendrickson on October 14, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Michelle, The recipe has been updated to include nutritional info. See underneath the recipe.

      - Jenn on October 15, 2014 Reply
  • I made this last winter and it made me like lentils even more. I’ve tried this twice, first with goat cheese and then with feta. I like it with feta better. Planning to serve this on my next fall or winter party

    - Eileen on July 9, 2014 Reply
  • Any suggestion for substitute for the mustard? I’m all out, thanks!

    - Grace on June 12, 2013 Reply
    • Hi Grace, You could use a little dry ground mustard if you have it, or else just leave it out.

      - Jenn on June 12, 2013 Reply
  • Love this! Was really happy to find it as I wanted a lentil dish that wasn’t soup. Plus I LOVE goat cheese! Perfection.

    - Rebekah on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • This was my lunch for 3 days in a row!!

    - Pam on March 3, 2013 Reply
  • This is such a yummy recipe! Our family and friends LOVE it. Thank you.

    - Julie on February 24, 2013 Reply
  • […] prepared the salad hosted here at , and it was great! The salad is easy to prepare, I had no problems with it even though I don't […]

    - The Lentil Salad - SinanOnline on January 12, 2013 Reply
  • Was in the mood for something warm for lunch, so spooned the lentil salad on top of a huge handful of baby spinach, topped with crumbled goat cheese and popped it in the microwave for 45 seconds. Love this healthy and versatile recipe!

    - Julie on January 8, 2013 Reply
    • Love this idea, Julie. You’ve made me hungry!

      - Jenn on January 17, 2013 Reply
  • […] French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese from Once Upon a Chef. Hearty and light at the same time, this salad will give you energy and is perfect for lunch or dinner. You can find french lentils at Whole Foods and Fresh Market. […]

  • Yum!!! Thanks.

    - Sara on November 4, 2012 Reply
  • This is the first dish i tried with lentils- delicious.spinach is a nice addition.

    - Jen on October 3, 2012 Reply
  • This is really marvy. I think next time I’ll use a little less garlic and a little more honey as mine came out a litle strong for the goat cheese.

    - Judy on July 9, 2012 Reply
  • What do you think would make a good substitution for the carrots? Thanks.

    - Jennifer on June 28, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Jennifer, You could use zucchini or red bell peppers.

      - Jenn on June 29, 2012 Reply
  • omg!.. this is the best lentil recipe I’ve ever had. I made it for myself for lunch. I’ve been trying to do a vegan menu 6 of 7 days. This recipe is a keeper! Thanks!

    - pamh on June 28, 2012 Reply
  • Great summer salad!

    - Emily Carkner on June 27, 2012 Reply
  • Always looking for a good meatless dish. This is a great one.

    - Cheryl on May 16, 2012 Reply
  • What a great salad; pretty, yummy and healthy!

    - Lisa Ballantyne on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • I made this salad again while trying to go vegetarian for a week and I ate it all week long! I dumped it on top of spinach and snacked on it all day! So so good, love the cumin.

    - Meg at Peaches and Cake on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • I made this last night as a side dish. It was fantastic and even my veggie-hating wife devoured it!

    - Greg on May 8, 2012 Reply
  • Goat cheese…yum!

    - Jill on March 4, 2012 Reply
  • It doesn’t get any better than this for a vegetarian. Lentils and goat cheese, what a great combination! The leftovers didn’t last long in my house!

    - Chrissy on March 4, 2012 Reply
  • Looking forward to making this for tea time…i love the addition of goat cheese

    - darlaBE on March 2, 2012 Reply
  • My husband and I enjoyed this. The leftovers were delicious for lunch the next day as well!

    - Anne on March 2, 2012 Reply
  • My husband loved this! He’s so sick of brussel sprouts right now. This one was unexpected with the creamy goat cheese and the crunchy carrots. Thanks!

    - Amy on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I have made this, sometimes with minor variations, many times now. Excellent!

    - Beth on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • This recipe is a classic. After the first time we made it, I doubled batches for a few weeks straight so I could have some every day. A fantastic side or main dish, so simple and delish.

    - Erin on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I’m always looking for new recipes that use lentils and found this one on Pinterest. Will be making it this weekend, it looks fantastic. .

    - ~Alex on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Must try this one! Love goat cheese!

    - Melissa Norton on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Made this and loved it. Reminded me of a wonderful lentil salad I enjoyed in France many years ago. Just wonderful!

    - Donna on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Yes, I have made this dish 3 times since you posted it in January. No, it didn’t last very long each time. Yes, it works well for breakfast, lunch or dinner. FYI

    - Andrew on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • The goat cheese just perfectly brings it all together. A family favorite in our house.

    - Amanda on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I love lentils and this salad is so great!!

    - Roni on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Dear Jennifer, Just made this: Wonderful, thank you so much! You’ve got a least one fan in Europe now. Thank you again.

    - Rebecca Akkerman-Garrett on February 25, 2012 Reply
  • Looks really good! I’m going to give this a try probably this coming weekend! Looks good and I’m sure my family will love it! Thanks for sharing!

    - Sophia @ FatBurningFurnace.com on January 31, 2012 Reply
  • Delicious! I served it with grilled chicken and then had the leftovers with grilled shrimp a few days later–the flavor had even improved! I shared this recipe with all my girls! Healthy and yummy, great combination! Lots of exclamation points, but well-deserved :)

    - Carin on January 30, 2012 Reply
  • On a bed of homegrown baby greens with a poached egg on top….perfect.

    - Lindsey on January 23, 2012 Reply
  • I made this salad this week and it will now regularly appear in my homemade lunch rotation. It made me so happy.

    - Valerie on January 21, 2012 Reply
  • I made this for dinner last night, and after the first bite I immediately put down my fork and forwarded this recipe to everyone I know who likes lentils! I will definitely be making this again and again. Thank you for yet another delicious recipe!

    - Katie on January 18, 2012 Reply
  • I tried this new recipe yesterday. Lentils are one of those power foods I need but don’t eat enough because I hadn’t been able to make them taste very good.
    I was amazed by how good this tastes! Thanks Jenn! My life is improved. ; )

    - Niya Sisk on January 17, 2012 Reply
  • I made this last night for dinner with a side of your grilled chicken. I makes a perfect healthy dinner with leftovers for lunch! Thank you!

    - Dorothy on January 17, 2012 Reply
  • I’ve never been a huge lentil fan, but this looks just delicious. The addition of mustard– what a great idea! Thanks for the inspiration. I’ll definitely give it a try!

    - Marcia on January 16, 2012 Reply
  • Mmmm looks delicious! I love goat cheese.

    - Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes on January 16, 2012 Reply
  • Any idea how long this will keep in the fridge (thinking leftovers)?

    - Jennifer on January 16, 2012 Reply
    • Jennifer, It will keep several days, at least. Hope you like it.

      - Jenn on January 16, 2012 Reply
      • Thank you!

        - Jennifer on January 16, 2012 Reply
  • Jennifer! I LOVE this recipe! I saw it a while ago on SeriousEats and made it and my family gobbled it up! Thank you! I wrote about it on my blog here:

    http://peachesandcake.com/2012/01/02/cumin-scented-lentil-salad/

    Thanks again!
    Meg

    - Meg on January 16, 2012 Reply
  • This looks delicious, easy to make and good for you. Thank you for sharing. I like the idea of adding goat cheese to the salad.

    - estherpalermo on January 16, 2012 Reply

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