This healthy salad is made with cooked lentils, diced fresh mangoes, red & green bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, almonds, parsley, and lemon juice dressing. Lentil Mango Salad is perfect to make ahead for lunch for the week as the flavors only get better overnight.
These little protein, and iron packed pulses can turn a side salad into a main dish and one that will leave you with a satisfied feeling in your stomach instead of an empty pit. The simple lemon, olive oil, mustard sauce, and salt & pepper dressing make every bite memorable.
I used brown lentils for this salad. I love how nicely they hold up if you don’t plan to eat the entire salad the day it’s made. You can also cook the lentils a day or two ahead of time to save some time. It’s a great salad to make if you do meal prep and need something to bring for lunches or to have for dinner during the week.
Canned black (or other) lentils: Is it okay to use canned lentils in the recipe rather than cooking from scratch? Yes, of course. You’ll need two 15-ounce cans, which you’ll want to drain and rinse well.
Cooking lentils of any kind is easy. They don’t need to be pre-soaked. Rinse them well, then combine in a saucepan with water in a 3 to 1 ratio.
Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently until just tender, which usually takes 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the variety. Watch them closely at the end of cooking time.
You can also use a pressure cooker or Instant Pot to cook the lentils.
Remember, lentils don’t have to absorb all the water like grains do, so chances are that there will be a little water to drain off once done. One cup dry lentils make about 2 1/2 cups cooked.
How to make Lentil Mango Salad
- Rinse the lentils with cold water and drain. Combine the lentils, bay leaf, and 1 tsp. salt in a medium saucepan. Add enough water to cover by 4 inches and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the lentils are tender and falling apart, about 10 minutes. Drain the lentils in a fine-mesh sieve. Discard the bay leaf and let the lentils cool for 10 minutes in the sieve.
- Prep the veggies while the lentils are cooking. Add them to a large serving bowl.
- Make the dressing by whisking together all vinaigrette ingredients(lemon juice,salt, pepper, olive oil and mustard sauce) in a small mixing bowl.
- Toss all ingredients together. Enjoy immediately or cover and chill until cooled, about 2-3 hours.
How to Customize It?
- What we love about beans or lentils salad is that that they are so easily customizable! Don’t have fresh bell peppers, but have roasted peppers? Swap them in! Don’t have tomatoes? Leave them out! Add peach or pineapple instead of mango to add an extra flavor! Replace almonds with pine nuts or cashews or honey-roasted peanuts.
- Add feta cheese to the salad.
- Olives give a different flavor to the salad.
- If you love intense lemon flavor, feel free to mince, roast the lemon peels and add to the salad.
- Add kale or other green leafy vegetables of your choice.
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