Lentil Pomegranate Salad with Cider Dressing

GFGluten FreeGRGrain FreeNFNut FreeVVegan

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This Lentil Pomegranate Salad is bursting with flavor! Fresh greens, herby lentils, and juicy pomegranate tossed in a cider dressing for the perfect side salad or weekday lunch. Vegan & Gluten-Free.

This Lentil Pomegranate Salad is one of those ‘accidental’ recipes that was never meant to be this delicious. It all started out as a quick throw-together lunch on a busy workday, but I was so pleasantly surprised by the delicious combination of flavors that I knew I had to share it on the blog!

This slightly more refined version is packed with an exciting array of textures and flavors—fresh greens, hearty, herby lentils, and tangy pickled red onions dazzled with fresh, juicy gems of pomegranate and finished with toasted hazelnuts for the perfect crunch! A simple olive oil and apple cider dressing ties it all together for a crisp, juicy, tangy, crunchy experience in every bite.

Lentil pomegranate salad with toasted hazelnuts

INGREDIENTS + INSPIRATION

Ingredients for pomegranate salad on stone countertop. Clockwise text labels read french lentils, parsley, olive oil, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, pickled red onions, garlic, hazelnuts, baby kale, apple cider vinegar, and pomegranate

For lentil salads, I typically like to use french lentils as they have a firmer texture that’s great for tossing around without turning into mush! The greens for the salad can be anything from spring mix to baby kale. We’ll also use a bit of fresh parsley to cut through the heartiness of the lentils.

The pomegranate seeds (or pomegranate arils if we’re getting technical) can be deseeded fresh from the fruit, or you can save some time by purchasing pomegranate seeds pre-packaged at the store. Both options will be packed with sweet, juicy flavor! As for the toasted hazelnuts, it’s totally worth the extra step to toast them yourself while the lentils are cooking—the flavor of freshly toasted nuts is like no other. Pumpkin seeds would also be delicious here! Lastly, I highly recommend adding these Quick Pickled Red Onions to the mix as well—they bring more texture and pack a punch of tangy flavor!

HOW TO MAKE LENTIL POMEGRANATE SALAD

Side-by-side photos of cooked lentils, toasted hazelnuts, and dressing next to photo of lentils mixed with pomegranate and parsley in mixing bowl`This salad is definitely one for impressing! It’s super simple to throw together, but PACKED with loads of flavor, texture, and color! And the quick & easy 30-second dressing is a no-fail combination of extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, freshly grated garlic clove, and just a touch of maple syrup for the perfect balance of sweetness.

  1. Cook the lentils, then drain and rinse with cold water and set aside.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, toast the hazelnuts then transfer to a clean towel and cover to steam. Rub vigorously in the towel to remove loose skin, then chop and set aside.
  3. Add the oil, vinegar, maple, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper to a jar and shake well. Toss the cooked lentils, pomegranate, and parsley with half of the dressing and let chill in the fridge (optional).
  4. Add the greens to the base of your serving bowls, then top with the lentil mixture, toasted hazelnuts, and pickled onions. Drizzle with remaining dressing and enjoy!

Close up photo of cooked lentils mixed with pomegranate, parsley, hazelnuts, and pickled red onions

COOKING TIPS + FAQ:

  • Do I have to use french lentils? No, you don’t have to! The next best thing to french lentils for this recipe would be black lentils, as they will hold their shape better than brown lentils. You can still use brown lentils if you’re in a pinch, but they won’t be as firm.
  • Can I make this recipe nut-free? Yes! Remember when I said you could mix in some pumpkin seeds when toasting the hazelnuts? Simply replace the hazelnuts with pumpkin seeds entirely! It’s still just as delicious but completely nut-free 🙂
  • Make-ahead: you can mix the lentils with the pomegranate, parsley, onions, and dressing and store in the fridge for up to 3 days ahead of time! Honestly, it’ll taste even better if you let it marinate overnight.

This fresh, herby salad makes for a great side dish during the holidays, but duals as the perfect meal-prep friendly weekday lunch! This will stay good in the fridge for up to 5 days, so you can easily make the dressing and lentil mix ahead of time, then toss it with your salad greens just before serving.

Lentil salad with pomegranate, parsley, and pickled red onions in white serving bowl with wooden serving spoons

If you’re looking for more flavor-packed salad recipes, you’ll also love this Dilly White Bean and Cucumber Salad, this Rainbow Quinoa Salad with Red Curry Dressing, and this Everyday Kale Salad!

Finally, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I love seeing your delicious recreations 🙂

 

Print

Pomegranate Lentil Salad with Cider Dressing

This Lentil Pomegranate Salad is bursting with flavor! Fresh greens, herby lentils, and juicy pomegranate tossed in a cider dressing for the perfect side salad or weekday lunch. Vegan & Gluten-Free. 

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale

Lentil Salad:

  • 1 cup (200 g) dry french lentils
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste 
  • 2/3 cup (96 g) toasted hazelnuts*
  • 3/4 cup (122 g) pomegranate arils (about ½ pomegranate)
  • 1 cup (25 g) chopped parsley leaves
  • 6 ounces (170 g) baby kale or salad greens
  • 1/2 cup (65 g) Quick-Pickled Red Onions (optional)

For the Simple Cider Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
  • 2 teaspoons grade A maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink or sea salt 
  • Black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F and set a small baking sheet to the side. Add the lentils, salt, and 3 cups of water to a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until tender. Drain the lentils and rinse with cold water. Set Aside.
  2. Hazelnuts: While the lentils are cooking, toast your hazelnuts. Add the hazelnuts to the baking tray and bake in the middle rack of the oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring the tray every 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully, so they do not burn! Once toasted, transfer the nuts to a clean dish towel, cover, and let sit for 1 minute, to steam. Rub the nuts vigorously in the towel to remove any loose skin, then transfer the clean(-ish) nuts to a cutting board. Chop roughly, then set aside.
  3. Dressing: Add the oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper to a small glass jar. Seal well and shake until emulsified. 
  4. Assemble: Add the lentils, pomegranate, and parsley to a large bowl and toss with half of the dressing. (If you have time, you can chill this mixture in the fridge* for 30 minutes – or overnight – for more flavor) Arrange the mixed greens in the base of a serving bowl, then top evenly with the lentil mixture plus the toasted hazelnuts and pickled red onions. Drizzle with the remaining dressing, or leave it off to the side for people to add as they please.
  5. Serve: Serve chilled; dressed leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.Store any leftover dressing in the fridge for up to 10 days. (Note: the olive oil may solidify in the fridge, but will soften after about 30 minutes at room temperature).

Notes

  • Lentils: brown lentils can be used instead of french lentils, but they won’t be as firm. Black lentils will work as well! Cook all lentils according to package instructions, or until tender.
  • Oil-Free: use this tahini-based cider dressing instead!
  • Nut-Free: replace the toasted hazelnuts with pumpkin seeds – no need to toast, or toast for 5-7 minutes following the same instructions if you’d like 🙂

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About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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