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French Lentil Salad

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French lentil salad is best served chilled. It’s a flavorful, protein-packed, side dish, or it can serve as a vegetarian main course with only one minor adjustment to the recipe.

A white bowl filled with lentil salad including carrots, celery, shallots and an olive oil bottle in the background.

This is a super easy to make dish that will be a welcome addition to any table, for any occasion!

What makes this chilled lentil salad even better is that it’s best prepared ahead of time making it perfect for entertaining or as a fast meal for on-the-go!

**Please Note – The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making Chilled French Lentil Salad is available at the end of this post. OR you can hit the “jump to recipe” button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe. 


A closeup photo of a chilled lentil salad with carrots, celery and a serving spoon.

The ingredient list:

**Note – The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned

Kitchen tools and equipment needed:

Closeup image of lentil salad in a bowl with carrots, celery, shallots, and celery leaves.

How this recipe came to be:

I love watching cooking shows. They’re my absolute favorite form of entertainment.

I recently watched an episode on Amazon Prime called French Food Safari in which they demonstrated how to make a French lentil salad.

This is my interpretation of that salad.

I can highly recommend:

If you’re also a fan of great cooking shows with cuisines from around the world, I highly recommend the Food Safari series starring Maeve O’Meara.

Don’t have Amazon Prime? No worries, check out all the Food Safari shows and episodes you can find on YouTube by searching Food Safari!

How long will this lentil dish last in the fridge?

Since French lentil salad is best prepared in advance, and then chilled, it will stay fresh (stored properly in an air-tight container) in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Can this lentil side dish be frozen after cooking?


Make sure the dish is completely cool before storing in an air-tight freezer container.

French lentil salad can be frozen for up to 3 months.

To thaw, place in the refrigerator for 24 hours, or until no longer frozen.

A closeup of a big serving spoon with French lentil salad in the foreground and a bowlful of the salad in the background.

What are lentils?

Lentils are a legume.

They’re in the same family as beans, chickpeas, soybeans, and peanuts.

Lentils are a little protein-powerhouse!

Are lentils nutritious?

You bet!

If you’d like to learn more about lentils and their nutritious health benefits check out the underlined link for an article from Cooking Light for everything you need to know.

How to make chilled French Lentil Salad:

  • In a medium sauce pan, cook the lentils in chicken broth, water, and salt for 20-25 minutes. *Note – for the vegetarian version omit the chicken broth and replace it with vegetable stock or additional water.
  • Peel and dice carrots, celery, and shallots.
  • Once tender, drain the lentils and add them to the bowl with the prepared vegetables.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
  • Pour the vinaigrette over the lentils and stir well to combine.
  • Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
  • Serve chilled.
Overhead photo of French lentil salad in a large white bowl with a serving spoon and an olive oil bottle in the background.

For additional side dish recipes, please click on the following titles:

*Best Ever BBQ Side Dish Recipe Roundup (pictured below)

With the help of this BBQ Side Dishes recipe roundup, your BBQ menu will keep your family and friends very full, and extremely happy!

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*Old Fashioned Red Bean Salad (pictured below)

This fast, easy, no-cook and economical recipe for red bean salad calls for only a handful of ingredients. It’s the perfect chilled side dish to serve for any and every occasion!

Closeup spoon filled with red bean salad.

*Sunflower Crunch Kale and Cabbage Salad (pictured below and showcased in the featured video)

Crunchy, healthy, and completely addictive. This Sunflower Crunch Kale and Cabbage Salad has it ALL going on!! Dig in! You’re going to love this colorful salad!

Sunflower Crunch Kale Cabbage Salad - @kudoskitchen

*Chilled French Lentil Salad (pictured below) This is the place!!

A colorful closeup photo of a French lentil salad with carrots, celery, shallots with title text.

Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today’s fast and easy lentil side dish.

French Lentil Salad

Renee - Kudos Kitchen
French lentil salad is served chilled. It's a flavorful, protein-packed, side dish, or it can serve as a vegetarian main course with one minor adjustment.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Additional Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 35 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 6 cups
Calories 94 kcal


  • 2 cups dried lentils any color
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable stock for vegetarian version
  • teaspoons salt
  • cups peeled and diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • ½ cup chopped shallots
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling before serving
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or your favorite vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves for garnish


  • In a medium saucepan, simmer the lentils in the chicken broth, water, and salt (or 5 cups of the liquid of your choice, if making the vegetarian version) over medium heat for 20-25 minutes. Drain and cool slightly.
  • While the lentils are cooking, prepare the chopped carrots, celery, and shallots and place them in a large bowl.
  • Add the cooled lentils to the bowl with the vegetables. Stir to combine.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the ¼ cup olive oil, vinegar, black pepper, and Dijon mustard.
  • Pour the vinaigrette over the lentils and stir well to combine.
  • Refrigerate the salad for 4 hours (overnight is best).
  • Before serving drizzle the salad with additional extra virgin olive oil and the chopped celery leaves.
  • Serve chilled.


Calories: 94kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 4gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 476mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2g
Keyword bbq side dish, chilled side dish, French lentil salad, healthy side dish, lentil salad, protein packed side dish, side dish
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Thank you so much for visiting me here today in my Kudos Kitchen! 

I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed today’s tasty and healthy side dish or vegetarian main course for French lentil salad as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing it to you!

Kudos Kitchen by Renee – Bringing you easy, economical, and delicious dishes to feed the people you love!

Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!!

Should you have any questions or comments regarding this recipe or anything else you’ve seen on my site, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. It is always my distinct pleasure to get back with a reply just as soon as I possibly can!

Kudos Kitchen by Renee – Bringing you easy, economical, and delicious dishes to feed the people you love!

Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!!

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**Note – The post above includes affiliate links. As always, I truly thank you for your support!

Recipe Rating


Friday 22nd of May 2020

This is the perfect summer side dish and great for picnics. I love finding new ways to use lentils.


Saturday 23rd of May 2020

Thanks so much, Jessica. I love lentil recipes too. This is a good one.