One-Pot Sweet & Spiced Quinoa Lentil Salad

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This flavorful one-pot sweet and spiced quinoa lentil salad is the perfect easy, vegan dish to make for lunch or dinner! Fresh parsley and cilantro, green and red onions, and ground spices provide loads of bold flavor that pairs beautifully with chewy, sweet dried berries and crunchy sliced almonds. Finish it off with a squeeze of fresh lime and you’ll find there is absolutely nothing bland about this colorful dish that can be served hot or cold!

Vegan Quinoa Lentil Salad

One-pot quick and easy meals are my life right now! I LOVE to cook and I spend more time in the kitchen than almost anywhere else…but most days, when 5:00 rolls around, I’m looking for EASY! A dinner that I don’t have to stress and fuss over is always a win. This One-Pot Sweet and Spiced Quinoa Lentil Salad is ready in just 25 minutes and makes enough for leftovers. Yup, it’s dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow! This also makes it awesome for meal prep, and it’s even delicious hot or cold. I’ve even packed it up for lunch, picnics, and potlucks and it travels so well!

Easy Quinoa Lentil Salad
Spiced Lentil Quinoa Salad

Ingredients in Sweet & Spiced Quinoa Lentil Salad

This lineup of ingredients seriously makes me sooo happy…it’s just so colorful and flavorful! This is a true rainbow of veggies, spices, grains, and herbs, and I love gathering these ingredients knowing they’re going to fill me up, make my body feel amazing, and taste absolutely divine.

  • Red onion – Dice it up small! Red onion provides the first flavorful layer in this dish.
  • Spices – Ground turmeric, curry powder, salt, and pepper are going to make your kitchen smell incredible and this dish taste amazing!
  • White quinoa – Important tip for cooking with quinoa: rinse it first! Quinoa can taste bitter and even soapy if you don’t give it a good rinse. Most of the time, when people tell me they don’t like quinoa, this is the reason.
  • Lentils – I suggest French green lentils or black Beluga lentils. Black beluga lentils are my favorite in terms of texture. Lentils are a wonderful way to add nutrients and filling content to vegan dinners.
  • Vegetable broth – I always use low-sodium vegetable broth…or you can make your own No-Waste Vegetable Broth!
  • Aromatics – Green onions, cilantro and parsley, all chopped up with the large stems removed.
  • Almonds – Sliced almonds work great here. Omit these for a nut-free version! You can replace them with sunflower seeds, pepitas, or leave it out completely.
  • Unsweetened dried cranberries – I LOVE the chewy, tart sweetness that dried berries add to this salad! It’s unexpected and do delicious. You could also try chopped dates!
  • Maple syrup – My favorite natural sweetener! I buy pure maple syrup in bulk because I use it in so many recipes.
  • Lime – You’ll need the juice of one lime to finish this dish, and I’ll be honest…I think it’s the secret ingredient that sends this dish into close-your-eyes, oh-my-goodness territory!
One-Pot Quinoa Lentil Salad

All About Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is an incredible base for so many of my meals. It’s quick to make (I always make Perfectly Cooked Quinoa in the Instant Pot!), absorbs the other flavors in the dish, and is light and fluffy in texture while also being filling and nutritious. Quinoa is loaded with fiber (over five grams in one serving!) and is considered a complete protein with all eight essential amino acids. It actually has more protein than any other grain, which is so important for vegans! Quinoa is also a good source of folate, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and many phytochemicals.  It also offers important minerals such as calcium, potassium, copper and zinc.

Meal Prep Lentil Quinoa Salad

Meal Prep Quinoa Lentil Salad

This flavorful salad is perfect for meal-prep and can be served warm or cold. It is incredibly satisfying and loaded with plant-based protein and fiber. I find this salad to be incredibly filling since it is loaded with plant-based protein from the quinoa, lentils, and sliced almonds! You can omit the sliced almonds for a nut-free option.  It is naturally gluten-free and grain-free (and yet quite hearty).

Weeknight Quinoa Lentil Salad

This Sweet & Spiced One-Pot Quinoa Lentil Salad is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, and can easily be made nut-free! I hope it’s a recipe that you make and love as much as I do. Please don’t forget to tag me on Instagram so I can see your delicious, colorful meals, and leave a review below if you make this dish. If you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll receive a free printable download with 10 one-pot dinners like this one!

Sweet and Spiced Quinoa Lentil Salad

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One-Pot Sweet & Spiced Quinoa Lentil Salad


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This one-pot sweet and spiced quinoa lentil salad is the perfect easy dish to make for lunch or dinner and serve hot or cold.  It is full of nutrient-rich ingredients and is vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free.  The recipe only requires five minutes of hands-on time and uses mostly pantry ingredients.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked white quinoa
  • 1/2 cup French green lentils or black Beluga lentils
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 6 green onions, ends removed and diced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, large stems removed and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, large stems removed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried mixed berries or dried cranberries
  • 1 juicy lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

Instructions

  1. In a large rimmed saute pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add red onion, turmeric, curry, salt and pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes until onions are soft and start to turn translucent.
  2. Add the quinoa, lentils and vegetable broth and stir until well combined. Bring to a boil. Place the pan lid securely on top and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 17-20 minutes without lifting the lid. My pan is non-stick and ceramic and cooks everything evenly without burning the bottom. It took 20 minutes exactly in my pan and I checked on it by viewing through the clear lid at 17 minutes. At that point not all the liquid was absorbed so I let it cook for the full 20 minutes.
  3. Once all the liquid is absorbed, turn the burner off and stir in the green onions, cilantro, parsley, almonds, dried berries, lime juice, and maple syrup. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. You may want to add more salt, pepper, lime juice, maple syrup or herbs. Enjoy immediately hot or warm or store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to five days. This salad is also delicious served chilled. It can be reheated in the microwave in a microwave safe container if desired.

Notes

Many of you ask about these storage jars.  I love them so much.  They can be found here.

  • Category: Entree or Lunch
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Moroccan

Keywords: quinoa lentil salad

Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen’s One Pot Moroccan Chickpea Quinoa Salad.

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30 Comments

  1. Christy Alvarado

    Omg! These salad jars look great! Could you share where they are from?

    Reply
  2. Ellie B.

    This was delicious. Made it for a pool party and everyone loved it. Only adjustments were that I broth sautéed instead of oil and I added mint because I like mint. Thanks for the recipe.






    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Awesome! So happy to hear it! This is one of my go-to favorite dishes on the blog… I love your adjustments… mint sounds incredible especially during summer! Glad it was a hit at your pool party! Did you serve it cold?

      Reply
      • Ellie B.

        I sampled it while it was warm – so good – for the gathering, I served it cold with a bag of spring mix.

        Reply
        • Elaine Gordon

          Sounds incredible!

          Reply
  3. Anne Marie

    I don’t like parsley and my husband doesn’t like cilantro. Any ideas for other herbs to use? Mint?

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      I think mint would be a great idea… not too much though.. maybe with chives too! I haven’t tried it this way but mint could work well here I think…

      Reply
      • Elaine Gordon

        Also you could try finely chopped fresh baby arugula! Do you like arugula?

        Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Do you like baby arugula? You could finely chop that up and use that instead!

      Reply
  4. Marie

    I was wondering if you use uncooked or cooked lentils?

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      uncooked

      Reply
      • Marie

        I made this tonight and it was really good! We loved it 🙂

        I used a can of cooked lentils instead of the uncooked ones and it worked great, i just used half the broth to make it work.






        Reply
        • Elaine Gordon

          Amazing! So happy to hear that! Thank you for the feedback and for letting us know cooked lentils work just as well (with half the broth). That is super helpful to know for other readers. Thanks again for taking the time!

          Reply
    • Britini Sombke

      Would using regular lentils throw off the whole flavor profile? I don’t have any french green or beluga

      Reply
      • Elaine Gordon

        Just don’t use red or yellow lentils – the texture is mushier. Have you ever bought canned lentils? I buy canned black lentils from Sprouts and sometimes toss them in at the end if I don’t have dry lentils.

        Reply
  5. Christina Albert

    This was delicious! I added spinach halfway through the lentils and quinoa were cooking (after like 10ish min) to add extra greens in my life.






    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much, Christina! So happy you hear you enjoyed it and were able to get in those greens!

      Reply
  6. Mandy

    I’m making this recipe times 3 – am I reading correctly that I am going to cook 3 whole red onions with the spices? Just wanted to double check!

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Awesome! Yes, that is correct. Best, Elaine

      Reply
  7. KAREN MCINTYRE

    I love this salad. The flavors are delicious. I put some lettuce and the salad on a wrap. It was delicious. Thanks Elaine.






    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much, Karen! I love that you wrapped it up! What a fun idea! So happy you enjoyed this one so much! Best, Elaine

      Reply
  8. Diana Cooper

    I am just in love with this salad. It is so delicious and addictive. I am just hoping there will be some leftover for tomorrow’s lunch. Thinking I might stuff some in a pita with onions and cucumbers.






    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much, Diana! I’m so happy you love this one too! Stuffed in a pita with onions and cucumbers sounds amazing!! 🙂

      Reply
  9. Tricia

    Wow! This recipe does go together fast and makes the kitchen smell amazing! Yum






    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much, Tricia! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this one! I agree it does fill up the kitchen with the best smell! Thank you again! Best, Elaine

      Reply
  10. I also use quinoa, black lentils, millet and buckwheat groats. Great combination. Vegan_hen

    We love this recipe so much that it has been in my refrigerator nonstop for a month and a half. I put it on our salads and snack on it through the day. Such an awesome recipe. But, I cook the Grains separately and add the rest of the ingredients after the grains have cooled. I also use quinoa, black lentils, millet and buckwheat groats. Great combination.






    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      OMG amazing! Thank you so much for letting me know! I’m so happy you have been enjoying this one and were able to put your own spin on it! Best, Elaine

      Reply
  11. Ella

    This looks delish. Can’t wait to try it.

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you so much, Ella! I hope you enjoy it! Best, Elaine

      Reply

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