Have you ever wondered what are the best dressings for lentil salad?
A nutritious, filling and savory meal, lentil salads make for a great lunch treat or dinner side dish.
From simple oil and vinaigrettes to more complex dressings like cashew cream and kefir-based yogurt, this article covers the 9 BEST dressings that will enhance the flavors of your lentils.
Learn about different types of tangy and creamy recipes with health benefits like probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids as well as vegan-friendly options for those who are lactose intolerant.
Get ready to discover the most delicious dressings perfect for topping off your favorite lentil dish.
Why Dressings are Important for Lentil Salad?
When it comes to any kind of salad, one of the most important elements is the dressing.
The dressing is what ties all of the ingredients together and adds richness and complexity to each bite.
Dressings are just as important for lentil salads, especially because the flavor of lentils can be quite strong.
They need a dressing that can balance out the flavors and enhance their natural nutty taste.
When selecting a dressing for your lentil salad, it’s important to consider how you want it to taste – do you want something creamy with a hint of sweetness, or something acidic and tart? Do you want something herby or garlicky for some depth? Each dressing has its own distinct flavor profile so make sure you pick one that complements your other ingredients.
Criteria for Choosing the Best Dressings
Lentil salads are a great option for a light and nutritious lunch or dinner, but they can also be quite bland if you don’t choose the right dressing.
Since each type of lentil has its own flavor, finding the perfect match can be tricky.
To help you decide which dressing best complements your lentil salad, it’s important to consider the following criteria.
Texture: There are many varieties of lentils and each type has a distinct texture when cooked.
If you choose a creamy or emulsified dressing such as a mayonnaise-based one, it can help complement softer varieties of lentils like red or yellow split peas.
On the other hand, thicker dressings like vinaigrettes work well with firmer varieties such as French green lentils because they help coat them more effectively.
Flavor profile: Depending on the ingredients that you add to your salad, consider a dressing that complements them in terms of flavor intensity and profile.
For example, creating an Asian-inspired lentil salad may require an acidic yet savory dressing such as a soy-ginger vinaigrette.
Similarly, creating Mediterranean flavors may require using creamy tahini dressings or yogurt dressings with herbs and spices for added depth of flavor.
Ingredients: When selecting the best dressing for your lentil salad, factor in allergies and dietary restrictions that people might have so that everyone can enjoy it.
If someone is vegan then make sure to opt for dairy-free dressings while those with nut allergies need to avoid nut and seed based ones like pesto or tahini ones.
By keeping these criteria in mind while selecting dressings for your next dish featuring unusual beans like red split peas or black beluga lentils will make it easier to create something truly delicious.
The 9 BEST Dressings for Lentil Salad
From tahini to classic vinaigrette, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to dressing up a lentil salad.
Below, we’ve rounded up nine of the best dressings for lentils—all easy enough to whip up in the blender or food processor.
From traditional dressings to vegan versions and fruit-infused dressing a few simple pantry staples, you can make any lentil salad stand out with one of these delicious and nutritious dressings.
1. Lemon Garlic Dressing
This Lemon Garlic Dressing recipe is a great accompaniment to any lentil salad.
The combination of lemon juice and garlic provides the perfect mix of tangy and savory that will brighten up this otherwise simple dish.
To prepare the dressing, combine freshly squeezed lemon juice, minced garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl or jar.
Cover tightly with a lid or plastic wrap and shake to blend.
Drizzle over the cooked lentils just before serving.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.
2. Dijon Vinaigrette
This Dijon Vinaigrette dressing is perfect for a lentil salad.
It combines some of the classic French flavors, like Dijon mustard and shallots, with white wine vinegar and seasonal herbs.
If you’re looking for something a little lighter, try subbing in lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in place of the white wine variety.
To make this delicious dressing, combine 1 tablespoon of whole grain dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon minced shallot (or garlic) and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and black pepper in a small bowl or jar.
Stir or shake to combine.
If desired, you can add some fresh snipped herbs such as tarragon or chives to the mixture.
Drizzle over your favorite lentil salad—enjoy.
3. Cumin Lime Dressing
This cumin lime dressing is a delicious way to liven up hearty and nutritious lentil salad.
It’s tangy and smokey with a hint of sweetness from the honey.
The smoky flavor of the cumin pairs well with pastas, grains, and especially lentils.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil.
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice.
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin.
- 1 teaspoon honey.
- A pinch of sea salt.
- Whisk together all the ingredients until they are fully combined.
- Drizzle over your lentil salad according to taste; extra dressing will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
4. Avocado Dressing
This creamy avocado dressing enhances the legumes in a lentil salad.
Avocado adds healthy fatty acids and also provides a richness to the dish which makes it feel more luxurious.
Although avocado is high in fat, its main ingredient – oleic acid – is actually beneficial for reducing inflammation, supporting heart health, and promoting eye health.
To prepare the dressing, simply mash an avocado with garlic, lime juice, olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste.
Drizzle generously over your lentil salad for an incredible flavor combination.
5. Orange Shallot Dressing
This orange and shallot dressing is tart, tangy and full of freshness.
It infuses lentil salads with a burst of citrus flavor and complements the earthiness of the lentils beautifully.
To prepare this dressing, simply mix together freshly squeezed orange juice, olive oil, minced shallots, salt and pepper in a bowl or jar.
If desired you can also add a touch of honey or agave nectar for sweetness and balance out the tart flavors.
Dress your lentil salad just before serving to preserve its crunch and texture; this dressing pairs particularly well with salads that contain walnuts or feta cheese.
6. Honey Mustard Dressing
One of the best dressings to make with lentil salad is honey mustard dressing.
This sweet and tangy dressing is simple to put together and a tasty addition to your meal.
To make honey mustard dressing, start by whisking together equal parts of honey and Dijon mustard.
Whisk in a few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and season it with some salt and pepper.
Finally, stir in a small amount of white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar for extra flavor.
Add the dressing to your lentil salad, toss the ingredients together lightly, then serve.
Honey mustard dressing goes particularly well with crunchy vegetables like carrots and celery, as well as fresh herbs like parsley or basil.
The sweetness of the honey balances out the pungency of Dijon mustard for an overall delightful flavor profile that will make you look forward to eating lentil salads all over again.
7. Feta Cheese Dressing
This classic Greek-style dressing works perfectly on lentil salads.
To make it, you’ll need some crumbled feta cheese, minced garlic, fresh parsley and oregano, olive oil, vinegar and salt.
First mix the feta cheese, garlic and herbs with a fork until they’re well combined, then whisk in the olive oil and vinegar until everything is emulsified.
Add salt to taste, then pour it over your lentil salad and toss to combine.
This dressing will keep stored in the fridge for up to 1 week – simply whisk again before serving.
8. Herbed Yogurt Dressing
Made with a combination of sweet mango, tangy buttermilk and tart yogurt, this easy-to-make herbed yogurt dressing brings out the flavors in any lentil salad.
Simply whip together all the ingredients in a food processor for two minutes, season to taste and serve.
This light and creamy dressing is perfect for adding just the right touch of flavor without overpowering the dish.
Great for adding texture as well as nutrition to any lentil salad.
For best results use Greek yogurt or your favorite plain or flavored yoghurt.
To make it vegan friendly, opt for a vegan version of yoghurt and use maple syrup instead of honey.
Additionally, you can also whisk in some grated Parmesan cheese to add an extra layer of flavor like toasted almond flakes.
Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or smoked paprika if you like it spicy.
9. Roasted Red Pepper Dressing
This robust and tangy dressing combines the smoky-sweet flavors of roasted red peppers with a hint of garlic and nutritional yeast for an extra punch of flavor.
Mix the ingredients together in a blender for a creamy texture, or whip them together by hand for a coarser consistency.
Either way, you’ll get a tasty dressing that is perfect for elevating your lentil salad.
Lentil salads can be a delicious and nutritious part of any meal.
As with any salad, the dressing can make or break the overall taste of the dish.
Each lentil salad recipe is unique, so it’s important to choose the right dressing for your particular recipe.
This list covers some of the best dressings for lentil salads, from creamy yogurt dressings to simple vinaigrettes.
With this list in mind you are sure to find just the right flavor combination to make all your lentils sing.