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French Green Lentil and Quinoa Salad in glass bowl with serving spoon
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5 from 7 votes

Green Lentil and Quinoa Salad

This green lentil and quinoa salad is one of those got-it-all salads we’d be happy find on a potluck buffet. Use whatever vegetables and herbs you want--something crunchy and a flavorful herb. If you con't have tri-color rainbow quinoa, use whatever quinoa you find. Makes 8 cups salad.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lentils, quinoa
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 291kcal


  • 1 cups French green lentils , rinsed and picked over
  • 1 cup tri-color or regular quinoa (see note)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed parsley leaves , finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed tarragon leaves , finely chopped
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • ½ cup lightly toasted walnuts , coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped chives or green onions
  • Tiny florets separated from chive blossoms , optional


  • Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the lentils and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Lower the heat and simmer until tender but firm, about 20 minutes. Drain, place in a large bowl, stir in about a teaspoon of olive oil and set aside.
  • Rinse the quinoa and drain in a fine-mesh sieve. (see note)
  • In another saucepan, bring 1 3/4 cups of water to a boil. Add rinsed quinoa and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and cook about 15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Add the cooked quinoa to the bowl of cooked lentils.
  • Mix the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over the lentils and quinoa. Stir in the parsley and tarragon. Add the celery, radishes, and chives, and toss again. Taste, add more salt if you think it’s needed. Chill in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld.
  • Just before serving stir in the walnuts and chive blossoms, if using.


  • Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin that repels insects and birds and can create a bitter taste. Rinsing with warm water removes the saponin.
  • You can use any color quinoa you have, red, regular, or tri-color like in this recipe.


Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 310mg | Potassium: 433mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 3.6mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 3mg