Lentil Salad Recipe with Cucumber and Mint

lentil and cucumber salad

Lentil Salad Recipe with Cucumber and Mint is a simple and refreshing side dish or light lunch. I’ll show you how to cook healthy dried lentils so they’re tender, not mushy!

lentil and cucumber salad on an oval platter

My lentil salad is a perfect choice for a summer salad buffet

One of my favorite ways to serve dinner in summer is with a simple selection of salads. It’s refreshing and easy to prep ahead of time. We set out a selection of salads (store bought or homemade) and heap our plates with small helpings of each. It’s the most elegant way to eat, and perfect for entertaining. Choose a variety of different types of salads, I like to use about 6.


Lentil and cucumber salad with tomatoes and onions

Dried lentils are are super quick to cook

You don’t have to soak them overnight like so many other dried beans, so you can be spontaneous with a salad like this. The beans will cook in the time it takes you to prep the rest of the ingredients.

Tips for cooking lentils for salad

  • Choose green or brown lentils, the red variety becomes too soft for salad.
  • Rinse the beans and add them to a sauce pan. Cover with 2 inches of cold water.
  • Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered just until tender. The only way to do this is to taste them often. They should be firm but tender. You may need to add more water to keep the beans covered during cooking.
  • Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking and begin to chill the beans.

Making a lentil salad

2 tricks for making raw onions less harsh and more digestible

I like to use red onions because they’re milder than yellow or white onions, but even so, they can benefit from one of these taming techniques. Try this with scallions, too.

  1. Soak your onions in cold water while you cook the lentils. They’ll stay nice and crisp and the cold water draws out and neutralizes the sulfur compounds in the onion. Be sure to let them soak for a minimum of 10 minutes, but they can even go overnight. This trick works for any recipe that calls for raw onions of any kind.
  2. Quick pickle thinly sliced onions in a combination of equal parts vinegar and water. Spices are optional. Heat the solution to a boil then pour over the onions. Let them cool, then refrigerate. The brine will neutralize the sulfur and make the onions slightly softer.

quick pickled red onions


lentil and cucumber salad
5 from 4 votes

Lentil and Cucumber Salad

Lentil Salad Recipe with Cucumber and Mint is a simple and refreshing side dish or light lunch.  I'll show you how to cook healthy dried lentils so they're tender, not mushy!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Yield 6 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 English cucumber (the kind that comes wrapped in plastic)
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 2 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely sliced
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste


  • Cover the lentils with 2 inches of cold water and cook until tender. Drain and put into a bowl. Toss immediately with the oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Dice the cucumber and add to the bowl with the lentils. No need to peel an English or Persian cucumber because the skin is thin. If you use a regular cucumber, you'll need to peel it.
  • Add the onions, tomatoes, and mint to the bowl and toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to serve. Toss before serving, and check for seasonings.

Cook's notes

Variations on this lentil salad

  • If you're not a fan of mint, try using fresh basil or even dried Italian herbs.
  • Use canned chickpeas in place of lentils.
  • Reader Suzann suggests adding feta cheese to the salad, which I think is a great idea.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

lentil salad pin

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    August 1, 2020 at 8:41 am

    5 stars
    If I use 1 can of chick peas, do I need to alter other ingredients?
    Have made many times it’s a keeper
    Thank you

    • Reply
      August 1, 2020 at 9:03 am

      No you can substitute chickpeas for the lentils, that would be delicious.

  • Reply
    June 26, 2020 at 9:46 am

    This lentil salad looks delicious – just put the lentils in to cook. A nice side dish for supper tonight!!

  • Reply
    June 25, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    How many people does this one recipe serve?

    • Reply
      June 26, 2020 at 7:15 am

      It serves about 6.

  • Reply
    June 25, 2020 at 7:34 am

    5 stars
    Just made this Lentil salad! Taking to the beach. I cut back on the olive oil (I am a WWer) but otherwise -looks like I will be having a healthy lunch today! Thinking I could add a little feta,, next time. Thank you

    • Reply
      June 25, 2020 at 7:39 am

      You win reader of the week award Suzann…thanks for the speedy feedback 🙂

    • Reply
      June 25, 2020 at 6:32 pm

      I’m a WW’er who loves View from Great Island recipes too! Can’t wait to try this one.

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