Cranberry Lentil Salad


I'm reading more and more lately about the importance of a vegetarian diet for our bodies and the planet. I know that the healthier we eat the better our bodies run, which is especially true when it comes to children. I get a lot of emails from people with misconceptions about vegetarian diets. Chief among them are concerns about vegetarians not getting enough protein. To the contrary, by incorporating legumes (e.g. beans, lentils, peas, soy, and peanuts) into their diets and combining them with grains, vegetarians get all the protein they need.

We've been trying to eat a lot more legumes in our house lately and lentils are at the top of the list. Not only are they inexpensive and fast to prepare, they're an incredible source of protein, dietary fiber and amino acids. They're also inexpensive, which is a bonus when you're trying to stretch your food budget.

The combination of the sweet of the fruit and the crunch of the nuts with the soft texture of the lentils makes a nutritious dish that my family flipped for -- and no one asked where the meat was!


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Cranberry Lentil Salad (Makes 6 Servings)

Prep Time: 0 mins Cook Time: 25 mins

egg free

dairy free

gluten free


  • 1 Cup Lentils
  • 1/2 Cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 Cup Parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 Cup walnuts, chopped
  • Juice of 1 Small Lemon
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil


1. In a saucepan bring 4 cups of water and lentils to a boil.
2. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until tender.
3. Pour lentils into a strainer and rinse with cold water.
4. Fold all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
5. Serve.
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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.

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  • Jessica

    This looks so good! I discovered your site recently and it's my new favorite blog! I've been trying out all kinds of recipes on my 9 month old. Hands down, the Avacado Shake is his favorite. He is really only interested in sweet things at this point, but I am trying to expand his tastes. One of your other recipes for lentils caught my eye...the Red Lentil Puree. After the savory flavors were met with some really interesting faces, I made a new pot of red lentils and this time mixed it with your Roasted Pears and Bananas. Yum! He just finished a bowl of this for lunch and ate it up. Thanks so much for the great blog and recipes!

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  • Urs

    Yummy! I used fresh Mint instead of Parsley, and it was good.

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  • Sonia

    I just made this to take to a couple of cookouts this weekend. I made a double batch. It is SO amazingly good I wanted to sit down with the big bowl and a spoon and eat it all myself!

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  • Rebeca The Average Parent

    this does look really yummy. I was wondering if there was another \"crunchy\" substitution you would suggest for the walnuts. My son is allergic to peanuts and almonds so we're a nut free house. But I'm thinking this recipe would really benefit from something crunchy. Any ideas?

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    • Catherine

      You can put toasted pepitas :) (pumpkin seeds)

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  • Katelyn

    I made this recipe as a side-dish for Thanksgiving. My sister and I are both vegetarian and I was looking to add something to our holiday meal that had some protein without lots of starch and fats and this was perfect! It was even very well received by the \"meat-eaters\" at the table. (In my mom's words)

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  • Tracy

    I just discovered this recipe -- so good! Am thinking I'll make it again soon when we have vegetarian friends coming over for dinner. I used TJ's pre-cooked lentils.

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  • audNoL

    Adding to my potential Thanksgiving day list....which type of lentils do you recommend?

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    • Catherine McCord

      I like to use brown or green lentils!

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  • Samana Gardezi

    Catherine, your recipes are sooo good. Each and every one of it. I love the fact that they are easy, simple, nutritious yet full of flavor.

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