Pile of dried lentils on a wooden spoon.


Considered a complex carbohydrate, lentils are an excellent source of both dietary fiber and protein. Dried lentils do not require soaking before being cooked and transform from dried to ready to eat in less than 30 minutes. One of the most economical proteins, dried lentils cost on average between $1–2 per pound. French green lentils are special because they retain their shape when cooked, making them a good choice for salad. This recipe shines when served warm with a piece of grilled white fish and sliced lemon.


  • 1 Tbs chopped shallot
  • 1 Tbs white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs lemon zest
  • 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup dried French green lentils
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 4 sprigs chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 cups torn fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)


  1. Put lentils and thyme in 4 quart pot with 3 cups vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium low and simmer 15 minutes.
  2. Add carrots, celery and onion to the pot of lentils. Cook an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Drain and let mixture sit at room temperature while you prepare dressing.
  4. Combine shallots, vinegar, lemon juice and zest, and mustard. Whisk in olive oil until well mixed. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Pour dressing over lentil mixture, stirring to thoroughly coat. Add parsley, spinach and feta cheese, if desired.

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Published on March 8, 2023

Amber Phillips, MS, RD