A simple and delicious black lentil salad with soft and earthy lentils, honey roast carrots, pomegranate, and crumbled feta.
Beluga lentils are the star of this hearty salad. These are a little smaller and rounder than brown and green lentils and also have a softer texture. Honey-roasted carrots and juicy pomegranate seeds bring sweetness that is an excellent match for the rich earthy taste of the lentils and the mild tangy taste and saltiness of the feta cheese.
Another key selling point of this lentil salad is that it can all be prepared in the 20-30 minutes it takes to roast the carrots. Opt for pre-cooked lentils and pre-packaged pomegranate seeds if you are short on time or cook up dry lentils and tackle a whole pomegranate at your leisure if you prefer. Then it's just a case of tossing it all together and pouring on the simple 4-ingredient dressing.
The post contains additional information and helpful tips to ensure the recipe turns out great the first time. Please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end if you are in a hurry!
6 reasons why you'll love this recipe:
- Easy meal that's on the table in 30 minutes
- Tasty and nutritious
- A great option for meal prep, a hearty lunch, or a light dinner
- Keep you full for a while with hearty lentils and protein-rich feta
- Can be served as a main or side dish
- Made with simple ingredients available in most grocery stores.
🛒 What do I need to make this recipe?
This recipe requires 10 key ingredients that should be easy to find at your local grocery store.
Note that the recipe has not been tested with all the substitutions and variations below, so the results cannot be guaranteed.
- Carrot - try out other veggies that are good for roasting including sweet potatoes, squash, parsnips and aubergine/egg plant.
- Honey - can be switched for maple syrup
- Red wine vinegar - red wine vinegar has a richer and deeper flavour than white wine and cider vinegar and pairs nicely with the earthy taste of the beluga lentils. You can use white wine vinegar or cider vinegar if you don't have red wine vinegar in stock. Swapping vinegar for the same volume of lemon juice will also add much needed acidity to the dressing.
- Beluga lentils - I love to use beluga caviar style lentils in salads. They have a delicious earthy taste and soft texture in addition to their striking caviar like appearence. They can be switched for french green lentils, brown or red lentils and there are also a number of grains that would work well in this salad including quinoa and freekah.
- Feta - I personally think it's difficult to beat feta. It's hard to match its cool creaminess and mildly tangy and slightly salty flavour. However, goat cheese and ricotta are good options if you need a substitute.
- Mint - Switch for other fresh herbs like basil and parsley
- Mediterranean black lentil salad / Greek Lentil Salad with red onion, kalamata olives and cherry tomatoes.
- Green veg lentil salad with green veggies like tuscan kale and tender baby spinach.
- Italian style: With sun-dried tomatoes or cheery tomatoes and a dressing made from extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
🧑🍳 Recipe Steps
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions! *
1. Roast the carrots: Heat the oven to 220C or 425F. Place the chopped carrot sticks into a large roasting dish and pour on the olive oil, honey, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands until the honey and seasoning are distributed evenly across the carrots and roast in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, turning halfway.
2. Make the salad dressing. Mix olive oil, honey, red wine vinegar and salt in a small jug or bowl and set aside.
3. Prepare the salad and serve
Put the cooked black beluga lentils, pomegranate seeds, feta and fresh mint into a salad bowl. Add the roast carrots when they are done and pour on the dressing. Toss it all together, plate up, serve and enjoy.
- Don't crowd the carrots - the carrots will roast more quickly and evenly if you give them a little space. For best results, use a large roasting dish or two roasting dishes to ensure they have some room.
- Save time by using pre-cooked beluga lentils and pre-packed pomegranate seeds.
- Check the doneness of the carrots - the roast carrots are done and have the best taste when you can easily put a fork through them. If in doubt try one to see. You might need to adjust the cooking time a little depending on your oven.
❄️ Leftovers and freezing
Any leftovers you have can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Try and store the salad and dressing separately if you can for maximum freshness the next day. This is a great salad to make ahead and eat over a couple of days. It will also pack up well in a lunch box.
The salad is not suitable for freezing but note that you can freeze leftover pomegranate seeds if you are using a whole pomegranate. I do not recommend freezing leftover pre-packed pomegranate seeds. You can't guarantee their freshness and they may have been frozen before.
If you still have carrots after making this salad, why not try my Carrot, Cucumber & Mooli Salad. Or if you'd prefer a warm option, check out my 5 ingredient Carrot and Coriander soup or Spicy Carrot and Parsnip Soup.
🙋 Recipe FAQs
This is not necessary but can reduce the cooking time. If you are cooking dry beluga lentils, give them a rinse first and remove any debris before you boil them.
This isn't strictly necessary but it removes any nasty dirt and pesticides and just makes them look cleaner and more appetising. If you decide not to peel them make sure you scrub them thoroughly before you cook them.
When pomegranate goes off the seeds lose their reddish-pink colour and begin to turn brown. The seeds from a whole pomegranate should last about a week in the fridge but the pre-packaged seeds will often only keep for 2-3 days.
Other easy and healthy salad recipes
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Black Beluga Lentil Salad
- 4 carrots cut into sticks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp sea or kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp honey
- ¼ - ½ tsp sea or kosher salt
- 2.5 cups (480 g) cooked beluga lentils (Note 1)
- 1.3 cups (200 g) crumbled feta
- ½ cup (80 g) pomegranate seeds (Note 2)
- ¼ cup (7 g) fresh mint roughly chopped
- Heat the oven to 220 C or 425 F.
- Place the carrot sticks into a large roasting dish and add the olive oil, honey, salt and black pepper. Mix together with your hands until all the ingredients are incorporated and place in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, turning halfway.
- Meanwhile, combine the dressing ingredients in a small jug or bowl and set aside.
- Add the lentils to a salad bowl or other large bowl with the pomegranate seeds, mint and feta.
- Remove the carrots from the oven when they are ready. (Note 3)
- Leave them to cool for a few minutes before adding them to the salad.
- Pour on the dressing, toss everything together, plate up and enjoy.
- This is the equivalent of 2 400g (or 14oz) cans or 2 packets of cooked lentils. If you are using canned lentils make sure that you drain and rinse them first. You can also cook up some dried beluga lentils. Allow 60g or ¼ cup per person and an additional 15-20 minutes.
- Approx half of a pomegranate. Buying seeds will save you time, but a whole pomegranate will stay fresher for longer. If you opt for the whole pomegranate you can freeze the leftover seeds.
- The carrots are ready when they begin to brown on the outside and it's fairly easy to put a fork in them. This should take around 20 minutes but you might need to adjust the cooking time slightly depending on your oven.