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Red Lentil Confetti Salad (Vegan)

Fresh green herbs, sweet red pepper, crisp cucumber, and pungent purple onion, all tossed together with tender red lentils and a simple red wine vinaigrette–drumroll please. This colorful red lentil confetti salad is a winner!

Red Lentil Confetti Salad in white bowl ready to serve

Serve this salad cold, as a side dish to complement the rest of a meal. Or spoon the confetti-like mix of veggies and red lentils on a bed of crisp salad greens. With its protein punch, make it your main meal!

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We call them red lentils (Affiliate link), yet raw, their hue is orange. And cooked, their shade is pale yellow-orange. Mixed with bits and pieces of dark green, purple and red, well, I call it confetti!

How to cook red lentils: Red lentils cook quickly, so you want to simmer them slowly in water and check them often. They can fall apart and turn to mush before you know it, so be careful. After 5 minutes, and each minute after, take a bite; a lentil should yield to your tooth with texture. Better to have them feel not quite done than go the mushy way.

red lentil confetti salad ingredients all in a bowl ready to mix

Red Lentil Confetti Salad notes and details:

Garlic scapes are delicious in this edible confetti salad.

  • Originally, I created this recipe to feature the garlic scapes we found  in our weekly farm share box. But you don’t need those green scapes to make said salad.
  • What are garlic scapes? Garlic scapes are the flowering shoots/stems of the garlic plant. Naturally they have notes of garlic, mild quiet notes.
  • As the garlic grows, farmers and gardeners trim the curly scapes away so the plant can devote its energy to producing the garlic bulbs.
  • In spring and early summer, when garlic scapes are happening in gardens and farmer’s markets, toss chopped garlic scapes into the confetti mix. You can add them raw, or first sauté them in a bit of olive oil.
  • Cut in small pieces, dark green garlic scapes are about the same size as the other salad ingredients, the chopped red onion and red bell pepper, and the lens-shaped pale orange pulses. Many years back, when I created this recipe for CSA farm share members, garlic scapes inspired this confetti salad.

What herbs can you put in this salad?

  • As far as herbs go there are lots of options. You can use cilantro, parsley, summer savory, thyme, tarragon or basil, just one of them, or a mix, depending on what you have. I only had cilantro and parsley, so that’s what went in this red lentil confetti salad.

More notes:

  • Red lentil confetti salad keeps well for days. If you make it more than a few hours ahead, be sure to taste and adjust the seasonings before serving.
  • Double the recipe and set some aside for lunch or for that main course salad you crave on hot summer days.
  • Adapted from Lentil Salad recipe in May All Be Fed by John Robbins. (Affiliate link.)

You might also like these other lentil recipes:

Make it an awesome week–get in the kitchen and make an awesome cold salad for dinner!

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**This post is an update of the Crimson Lentil and Garlic Scape Salad posted on my muffintalk blog in June 2010, and also updated in July of 2015.


  • It even looks like an explosion of festive fireworks. GREG Reply · 7 July, 2015

  • looks terrific – tweeting and pinning it~ Reply · 7 July, 2015

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