Superfood Lentil Salad


This delicious lentil salad makes healthy eating feel like anything but a chore.

Superfood lentil salad served on a plate
Photo: Victor Protasio
Hands On Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
4 serves

Quickly-charred zucchini adds smoky depth of flavor to the al dente lentils, and a pop of sweetness from golden raisins brightens each bite. But the real winner here is the sunflower seed vinaigrette. It’s original, fresh, and best of all, it’s versatile. Sunflower seeds have a rich, nutty flavor that draws together the earthy lentils and roasted zucchini to make the perfect side dish. Turn leftovers into a meal by topping with half an avocado, grilled salmon, or a plank of pan-crisped tofu.


  • 2 large zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks (3 cups)

  • cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

  • cup golden raisins

  • ¼ teaspoons crushed red pepper

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, divided

  • 1 cup dried beluga lentils or French green lentils, rinsed

  • 1 clove garlic, smashed

  • 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, white and green parts separated

  • ½ cup unsalted roasted sunflower seeds, plus more for serving

  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • Microgreens or sprouts, for serving


  1. Preheat broiler with rack in upper third. Stir zucchini, 2 tablespoons oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper on a rimmed baking sheet; spread in an even layer. Broil until charred in spots and softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add raisins, crushed red pepper, and 2 tablespoons vinegar; stir to combine. Set aside.

  2. Bring 2 cups water, lentils, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until lentils are just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well; discard garlic. Let cool for 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with zucchini.

  3. Place white and light green scallion slices, sunflower seeds, mustard, and remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper in a food processor. Pulse until a coarse paste forms. Scrape sides of bowl and add remaining ⅓ cup oil. Pulse until incorporated, 2 to 3 pulses.

  4. Stir vinaigrette into lentil mixture with sliced dark green scallion tops. Top with microgreens and sunflower seeds.

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