dijon lentil salad

$3.07 recipe / $0.51 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4 from 3 votes
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Wow, I’ve had so many good recipe suggestions from readers lately! And I guess that’s a good thing because I’ve been so busy with school and other projects that I don’t even have time to think. So, thank you, readers, for all of your wonderful ideas!

This recipe came courtesy of Alana who got the recipe from Ina Garten. I did a quick search to find Ina’s actual recipe so that I could link it, but I was unable to find it. But, as usual, I changed things up a bit anyway.

I love this dish because it uses a super simple dijon vinaigrette to add tons of flavor and tang to otherwise boring lentils. The lentils are also cooked with a mixture of vegetables to add flavor and, to my surprise, cloves! The cloves were not over powering at all, but instead added a nice hint of sweet spice to the background. Absolutely delish!

I’ve been eating this salad as a side dish but I loved Alana’s suggestion to eat it with some crusty bread and light red wine… I can definitely handle a dinner like that on a lazy summer evening!

Thanks Alana!

Dijon Lentil Salad

Dijon Lentil Salad in white square bowl

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Dijon Lentil Salad

4 from 3 votes
Make lentils more flavorful with spices, a tangy dijon vinaigrette, and a few hearty vegetables. This Dijon Lentil Salad is great warm or cold!
Servings 6
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 45 minutes


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.22)
  • 1 med turnip ($0.62)
  • 4 med 1/2 lb. carrots ($0.49)
  • 1 med onion ($0.43)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic ($0.16)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves ($0.05)
  • 1 cup brown lentils ($0.31)
  • 4 cups water ($0.00)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar ($0.16)
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard ($0.13)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt ($0.05)
  • to taste cracked black pepper ($0.05)
  • 1 Tbsp butter ($0.04)
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley ($0.36)


  • Peel and cut the carrots and turnip into a small dice (about 1/4 – 1/2 inch square). Cook the carrot and turnip over medium heat in a large pot with 2 Tbsp of olive oil until the turnip begins to turn slightly transparent (2-3 minutes).
  • While the carrot and turnip are cooking, Cut the onion into a small dice. Add the onion, ground cloves and garlic to the pot. Continue cooking and stirring until the onions have become transparent (about 5 minutes).
  • While the vegetables are cooking, measure out your lentils and pick through to make sure there are no stones or debris. Add the lentils and water to the pot. Place a lid on top and bring up to a boil. Let the pot boil until the lentils are soft which should take approximately 20 minutes. To check for doneness, take a few lentils out of the pot with a fork and taste. They should have a soft, bean like texture.
  • When the lentils are done, drain them in a colander. Return the lentils to the pot (burner turned OFF) and add 1 Tbsp of butter. Stir in the butter to melt and let the lentils cool while you prepare the dressing.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the dijon, red wine vinegar, salt and freshly cracked pepper. Rinse and shake dry a half bunch of parsley. Roughly chop the parsley.
  • Pour the still slightly warm lentils into the bowl with the dressing and toss to coat. Add the parsley and stir until everything is evenly mixed. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold!

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Serving: 1ServingCalories: 200.83kcalCarbohydrates: 27.17gProtein: 8.8gFat: 6.92gSodium: 794.05mgFiber: 5.28g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Step By Step Photos

carrots, turnip and onion
Start with the vegetables. Wash, peel and cut the carrots and turnip into a small dice. The carrots and turnip take a little longer to cook so you can get those going before cutting the onion.

diced turnips and carrots in pot
Place the diced carrots and turnips in a large pot with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Cook over medium heat just until the turnips begin to soften (you’ll notice a color change and a slight transparency).

onion and cloves added to veggies in pot
While the turnip and carrots are cooking, dice the onion. Add the onion to the pot with the garlic and ground cloves.

cooked vegetables in pot
Continue to stir and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions have become transparent.

lentils and water added to veggies in pot
Add the lentils and water. Give it a quick stir, place a lid on top and bring it up to a boil. Let the pot boil for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft. You’ll need to taste a few lentils to make sure they are cooked through. They should have a similar texture to beans when fully cooked.

drain lentils and veggies in colander
Once the lentils are fully cooked, drain them in a colander to remove the liquid.

lentil mixture returned to pot with butter added
Return the lentils to the warm pot (turn off the burner) and stir in 1 Tbsp of butter. Let the mixture cool as you prepare the dressing.

dijon vinaigrette
dijon vinaigrette in mixing bowl with whisk
In a large bowl, combine the dijon, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Wash, shake dry and roughly chop the parsley.

lentils and dressing mixed together
Add the slightly warm lentils to the bowl with the dressing and stir to coat.

chopped parsley added to lentil mixture
all ingredients mixed together in bowl
Add the chopped parsley and stir. I think next time I’ll add even more parsley!

close up of dijon lentil salad in bowl
Mmmmm, so tangy and good! It’s tasty either hot or cold!

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  1. I liked this ok, not a favorite, but something I would have now and then. It’s a nice blend of texture and tangy, and very filling. Sadly, my kids and my husband did not care for at all, and they’re not generally fussy. So the fact that the entire rest of the family didn’t care for it means it’s off the recipe list. But definitely worth a try if you like these kinds of flavors and are looking for a hearty, filling, nutritious and cheap meal.

  2. i make something similar- but i use french du puy lentils b/c they keep their shape really well. when asparagus is in season, i roast it and cut it into small pieces and add it to the lentils. i also sometimes add small chopped potatoes and tomatoes. and i garnish with feta cheese. okay, maybe not the same :) but i use a dijon dressing and lentils!

  3. I made this tonight for me and my boyfriend and we love it! Because it is just the two of us, there was a lot of leftovers that we will have tomorrow so very cost effective!!
    Do you think it can be made without the butter?

    1. You could probably do it with olive oil instead. You definitely need some fat in there to balance the acidity, though.

  4. I just made this with green lentils, cooking 35 minutes til tender. Substituted rice wine vinegar for red wine vinegar – turned out great! Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. ok…so as usual I kind of messed it up, but still so delicious! I thought I didn’t have lentils at home, so bought the pre-cooked lentils at Trader Joe’s. Thought I had cloves at home, so didn’t buy that! Made this without cloves, but with a good helping of TJ’s everyday seasoning. YUM! Will try this as written next. I’m sure it’s delicious!

  6. I loved it! My kids, not so much. I think next time, I’ll use honey mustard, replace half the vinegar with honey, add a little lime juice, and use cilantro instead of parsley. Sweeten it up a little for small kids.

  7. This was soooo yummy! A few days after I made this, I went to my sister-in-law’s for dinner and she made plain lentils (just using veggie stock instead of water…) It was so boring compared to this!

  8. Hey Beth, I usually love your recipes, but the turnips were super smelly. Next time I make this – and I’ll make it again, I love lentils and mustard – it’ll be without turnips. Maybe with more carrots, or potato pieces, instead.

  9. I’ve make a salad similar to this one, also. I serve it over pasta or a bed of lettuce when I want to make a more complete meal out of it.

  10. I made something similar this week – I added roasted sweet potatoes and spinach, and nixed the butter…so yummy!

  11. I also love some parmesan up on top, because I get down like that. I love this dish!

  12. How funny — I made a super simple and paired-down version of this to bring for lunch tomorrow before having seen this post! Great minds…?