This Wild Rice Lentil Salad is a plant-based recipe with a satisfying, chewy texture. This veggie-loaded has tons of flavor and is a great lunch option that you can eat cold or at room temperature. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

lentil and wild rice salad with chopped vegetables on a tabletop.

This is one of those staple healthy salads that is nice to have on hand for a busy week.

You can meal prep it on Sunday and enjoy it for lunch for at least several days. It can be served chilled or at room temperature which means you can take it on the road with you if necessary.

Why You Need This Recipe

  • The ingredients are budget-friendly and easy to find. Adapt it to whatever vegetables you have on hand.
  • Bright flavors including lemon, olives, and onion help make this plant-based salad anything but boring.
  • If you’re tired of the same old salads, try this one that has tons of texture and color.

Key Ingredients

wild rice and lentil salad ingredients

Brown or green lentils are a great salad ingredient! They cook up tender and have a meaty texture. Learn how to make Instant Pot Lentils to make your life easier.

Wild rice is another great plant-based ingredient that has tons of texture and nutrition. I recommend making Instant Pot Wild Rice for the most efficient cooking method.

Chopped fresh vegetables like cucumber, red bell pepper, and onion add even more heartiness and flavor to this vegan salad.

Avocado and olive oil add healthy fats and makes this dish satisfying. Simply leave out the olive oil if you’re on an oil-free diet.

Sunflower seeds add crunch and even more healthy fats.

Olives and fresh lemon juice make this salad sing!

How to Cook Lentils

Don’t be intimated by cooking lentils. They are actually really easy to make. I do recommend choosing brown or green lentils for this recipe because they hold their shape nicely even after they are cooked. Don’t use red or yellow lentils as they will be too mushy.

The first step is to rinse your lentils in a fine-mesh sieve. Take a quick look at the lentils and pick out any rocks or debris. This doesn’t happen often, but it can. You don’t want to bite down on a pebble!

Next, place your rinsed lentils in a medium saucepan. Cover the lentils with filtered water plus about 1 inch of water. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

After about 20 minutes cooking time, the lentils will have soaked up most of the water and they will be tender and ready to eat.

Or, you can also make Instant Pot Lentils!

Cooking Wild Rice 

The other main ingredient in this salad is wild rice. It is such a fascinating ingredient because it is actually a seed that grows in water, and not a grain. It acts and tastes like a grain, though, so it is perfect for this recipe.

To cook wild rice, you need to rinse it first. Then, add it to a medium saucepan with 3 cups of water. Bring the rice and water to a boil and then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid, and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. 

Then, just fluff the rice with a fork and serve. You can make the rice and lentils to 3 days in advance of making the salad.

You can also make Instant Pot Wild Rice which is a whole lot faster than cooking it on the stovetop.

wild rice texture in a pot.

Recipe Steps

Step One

The first step is to cook your brown rice and wild rice. You can do this up to several days in advance and store in the refrigerator.

Step Two

Add the cooked wild rice and lentils to a large mixing bowl. Chop your veggies and add them to the bowl.

chopped cucumbers, olives and onion.

Step Three

Squeeze in the lemon juice, add the olive oil and sunflower seeds, and toss to combine. Chill or serve immediately.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use brown or white rice instead of wild rice?

Yes, absolutely! Wild rice is not a grain, but white and brown rice are grains, but feel free to use whatever you prefer. You can also use a mixture of wild rice and brown rice.

Can I cook the rice and lentils together?

Sadly, no, because they have different cooking times. It’s better to cook them separately.

Can I use green lentils instead of brown lentils?

Yes, green and brown lentils substitute very well for each other. Red lentils might be mushy, so I recommend sticking with green or brown.

I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.

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Wild Rice and lentil salad served in bowl.

Wild Rice Lentil Salad

This Wild Rice Lentil Salad is a plant-based recipe with a satisfying, chewy texture. This veggie-loaded has tons of flavor and is a great lunch option that you can eat cold or at room temperature. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup uncooked brown or green lentils
  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 1 medium cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pitted green or black olives, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 large ripe avocado, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 lemon, juiced (about 23 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (leave out if you are on an oil-free diet)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook the lentils and wild rice in separate saucepans according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cucumbers, olives, red bell pepper, onion, avocado, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. Drain any excess liquid from the cooked wild rice and lentils. Pour in the drained cooked and cooled lentils and wild rice into the bowl with the vegetables and stir one last time to combine.
  4. Serve warm or chilled.

Notes

  1. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days.
  2. This salad can be meal prepped by cooking the lentils and wild rice up to several days ahead of time. Then, you can add the vegetables, dressing, and other ingredients when you’re ready to serve it.

Keywords: lentil salad, wild rice salad, cold lentil salad

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