Lentil Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Zippy Lentil Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette features juicy pomegranate, toasted almonds, scallions, and a rich and tangy apple cider vinaigrette, perfect to grace your menu this holiday season!
Why We Love This Lentil Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette Recipe
A hearty lentil salad might not be the first thing you think of for Thanksgiving dinner. Yet this perky savory-sweet Lentil Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette is not only delicious, it’s a fabulous make-ahead dish for fall.
For holiday meals, I like to sneak in a few healthy dishes to offset the heavy fat and carb-loaded traditional recipes.
The trick to giving these healthy recipes any chance of being consumed, when up against mashed potatoes and gravy, is to make sure they offer just as much flavor, texture, and visual appeal.
This vegan Lentil Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette is my dark horse contender this year, because it’s vibrant and zingy with a punch of tangy flavor from the cider dressing.
The lentils are rich, filling, and provide a hearty texture, while the pomegranate arils offer sweetness and pop. With a sprinkle of fresh chopped scallions and toasted almonds for crunch, this salad is worthy of sitting on any holiday table.
You can assemble the salad and the apple cider vinaigrette 2-3 days ahead. Just make sure to add the dressing only 1 hour before serving so it doesn’t soften the nuts.
For the Salad:
- Vegetable Broth – to cook the lentils in
- Dried Green Lentils – green lentils work best here for their sturdy texture
- Garlic – freshly minced
- Pomegranate Arils – for a fresh and tangy flavor
- Sliced Almonds – toasted
- Green Onions – chopped
For the Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
- Apple Butter – I used Musselman’s, but any apple butter will do!
- Apple Cider Vinegar – for that zingy and tangy flavor
- Almond Oil – or high-quality extra virgin olive oil
- Sriracha – for a little kick
- Salt & Pepper – to taste
I added Musselman’s Apple Butter (now made without High Fructose Corn Syrup) to the Apple Cider Vinaigrette to offset the tangy bite of the vinegar and provide depth and intrigue. The apple butter gives the vinaigrette a silky texture and helps the dressing coat all the components of the salad.
Who knew apple butter could be so versatile?! (You can find more apple-buttery recipes here.)
How to Make This Lentil Salad Recipe
Pour the vegetable broth into a large stockpot. Bring to a boil. Add the dried lentils and garlic. Stir and lower the temperature to medium-low. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes, until firm, but cooked through. Drain off any excess broth and pour the lentils into a large salad bowl.
Once the lentils are mostly cooled, add the pomegranate anils, toasted almonds, and chopped green onions.
In a small bowl, measure the Musselman’s apple butter, apple cider vinegar, oil, and sriracha. Whisk until smooth, then salt and black pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the lentil salad and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or cold.
Tips & Tricks
- Lightly toast the almond slivers for added flavor by placing them in a small pan on the stove. Keep an eye on them, they toast pretty quickly! Once you see a little color and smell them, they are good to go.
- Add extra crunch with some chopped walnuts or pepitas.
- This fall lentil salad is great for meal prepping. Simply prepare the salad and dressing and store them separately. Then, as you are ready to eat the salad, add a little dressing each time!
You can serve this Apple Cider Lentil Salad recipe around fall as an easy healthy side dish or a quick vegetarian main course! To pair it and make a larger meal, I recommend serving it with some of my favorites:
- Spatchcock Smoked Turkey
- Apple Baked Stuffed Pork Chops
- Parmesan Crusted Salmon
- Air Fryer Roast Chicken
- Babyback Ribs
- Crockpot Pork Loin with Roast Veggies
Frequently Asked Questions
Lentils do not require soaking, so you can go straight to boiling them. I do recommend rinsing your dry lentils from any debris before cooking them.
Yes! Our Lentil Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette is packed with protein and fresh ingredients, plus it’s naturally vegan and gluten-free to help cater to all types of dinner guests!
Store any leftover lentil salad in the refrigerator for up to 3 days! It is best if the salad is not dressed with it is stored, but if it is dressed, mix up the salad again before eating the leftovers!
Looking for More Healthy Fall Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:
- Kielbasa Apple Onion Skillet
- Smoky Sweet Roasted Butternut Squash
- Harvest Cobb Salad
- Roasted Root Veggies Salad
- Crunchy Apple Slaw
Lentil Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- Pour the vegetable broth into a large stockpot. Bring to a boil. Add the dried lentils and garlic. Stir and lower the temperature to medium-low. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes, until firm, but cooked through. Drain off any excess broth and pour the lentils into a large salad bowl.
- Once the lentils are mostly cooled, add the pomegranate arils, toasted almonds, and chopped green onions.
- In a small bowl, measure the Musselman's Apple Butter, apple cider vinaigrette, oil, and sriracha. Whisk until smooth, then salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the lentil salad and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or cold.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Musselman’s Apple Butter. All opinions are my own.