June 2, 2021

by Alyssa

Curried Lentil Salad

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This is the best curried lentil salad with kale, carrots, cucumber, pumpkin seeds, mint and a harissa-garlic dressing. It's vegan, gluten-free and full of plant-based protein!

overhead of curried lentil salad with carrots and lemon

Today's salad is a satisfying and fully loaded plant-based feast that will leave you feeling great.

While I love a light and crunchy veggie salad like my Best Ever Massaged Kale Salad, sometimes you just need a stick-to-your-ribs salad. And that's when this curried lentil salad comes into play.

It's jam-packed with good-for-you protein, fresh vegetables and a dressing you'll want to make on repeat.

collage of the steps to make curried lentil salad with carrots

How to Make Lentil Salad with Curry Dressing

To make this salad, you'll need to first cook the lentils. I like to let them cool before I add the fresh vegetables. But it also works to make the salad slightly warm.

For crunch and color, add fresh kale, cucumbers, carrots and pumpkin seeds to the cooked lentils.

Other mix-ins that work in this salad include:

  • Sunflower seeds, cashews or chopped almonds
  • Spinach
  • Diced bell pepper
  • Radishes
  • Diced tomato

This is a pretty forgiving salad, so have fun using whatever is in your fridge. It's going to taste great with the curry dressing and satisfy thanks to the lentils.

Curry-Harissa Salad Dressing

This salad dressing is everything. You'll want to make extra to drizzle on other salads, like this Cucumber Quinoa Salad with Avocado to punch up the flavor. It's spicy, savory and just a bit sweet.

If you're not vegan or don't have maple syrup, you can swap it for honey. To keep this salad totally sugar-free, you can also omit it, but I think it adds a very subtle and delicious sweetness.

You can also swap the red wine vinegar for apple cider or white wine vinegar if that's what you have on hand.

What is Harissa?

Harissa is a North African pepper blend. You can find it dried or as a paste. It's pretty easy to find at Whole Foods and other well-stocked grocery stores. It's not too spicy, but if you're sensitive to spice, give it a taste first.

overhead of lentil salad with carrots served in a clear glass bowl with wooden spoon

What Kind of Lentils is Best for Salad?

You can use any lentil variety you like best to make this salad. However, I recommend a hardier lentil such as brown, green or French (le puy).

Red and yellow lentils tend to be softer and don't hold their shape as well when they're cooked. You'll end up with a mushier dish, rather than a crunchy salad.

close up on curry lentil salad in clear bowl with cucumbers and carrots

Make-Ahead Lentil Salad

Go ahead and prep a big batch of lentils This salad is a perfect make-ahead dish for parties. You can store it in the fridge for up to four days. Dress the salad just before serving.

More High-Protein Salad Recipes

If you make this healthy Curried Lentil Salad, be sure to let me know what you think with a rating & review below!

Curried Lentil Salad

Curried lentil salad is a healthy, high-protein and easy recipe with harissa-garlic curry dressing, crunchy vegetables and pumpkin seeds.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 214kcal
Print Pin
overhead of lentil salad with carrots served in a clear glass bowl with wooden spoon
4.75 from 4 votes


for the salad:

  • 2.5 cups cooked lentils (brown, green or french)
  • 1 cup finely chopped kale
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 5 dates , chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint , chopped

for the dressing:


  • Add all the salad ingredients to a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Once combined, pour it over the salad and toss it all together.
  • Serve immediately or store in the fridge for 3 - 4 days.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 38mg | Potassium: 628mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 8350IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 4mg

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

Interested in Healthy Eating? Grab our 7-Day Vegan Meal Plan!

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