Thanksgiving Lentil Salad | A Healthy Life for Me


This Thanksgiving Lentil Salad is hearty sufficient to be the vegetarian star of your vacation or the right facet dish. Roasted squash, inexperienced lentils, honey-roasted pecans, and tart cranberries are wearing an out-of-this-world garlic-sherry French dressing. Healthy, vegetarian, and 100% scrumptious.

A bowl of Thanksgiving lentil salad in front of the rest of the platter

One of My Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes

In our home, we’ve tried to make Thanksgiving much less about an all-you-can-eat binge fest and extra about celebrating life whereas having fun with good meals. I’m certain it received’t shock you to be taught that our inexperienced beans aren’t coated in Funions, and if we serve candy potatoes, they received’t be slathered in marshmallows. There’s nothing fallacious with indulging in a little bit of decadence at times, however I’d moderately take pleasure in a meal made with actual elements any day of the week.

This Thanksgiving Lentil Salad is a dish you may proudly serve to your family and friends this yr. It’s hearty sufficient to be the star of a vegetarian vacation however gentle sufficient to be one in every of your wholesome Thanksgiving sides. This dish is crammed to the brim with fall flavors. Roasted butternut squash, earthy inexperienced lentils, honey-roasted pecans, and tart cranberries are all dressed with a roasted garlic sherry French dressing. It’s oh, so good…

Served heat or at room temperature, this can be a dish that provides shade and incredible taste to your vacation desk. Plus, it provides anybody who isn’t consuming turkey this yr one thing thrilling – and nutritious – to stay up for.

Thanksgiving lentil salad on a white serving platter

Is Lentil Salad Fancy Enough for Thanksgiving?

I certain assume so! This dish is visually gorgeous, and the flavors are to die for.

One of the delicate – however important – flavors is the roasted garlic. In this recipe, we roast just a few cloves of garlic with the opposite veggies to caramelize and soften them sufficient to change into the bottom for our sherry French dressing. Roasted garlic provides a depth of taste and delicate sweetness to the dressing that’s onerous to position. Your visitors will solely know that they adore it.

We then add that flavorful dressing to the lentils whereas they’re nonetheless heat, permitting them to absorb all that richness. Fresh herbs added on the finish carry brightness and extra shade to the dish.

Close up of Thanksgiving Lentil salad on a white plate

What You’ll Need

This wholesome Thanksgiving salad packs an unbelievable quantity of taste and vitamin into just some contemporary elements. Scroll all the way down to the recipe card for precise quantities.

For the Salad

  • Butternut Squash – Look for both one giant squash or two medium-sized. You wish to have between 2 1/2 to three kilos in complete. You’ll peel, take away the seeds, and minimize the squash into 1/2-inch cubes.
  • Red Onion
  • Garlic – Look for elephant garlic or use the biggest garlic cloves you will discover; they’ll maintain up higher to roasting.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • French Green Lentils – I like to recommend inexperienced lentils for this salad since they maintain their texture and form whereas cooking. Make certain you give them rinse and pick any particles or stones previous to cooking.
  • Bay Leaves – For taste.

For the Dressing

  • Sherry Vinegar
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I like utilizing , fruity EVOO for dressings.
  • Dijon Mustard

For the Toppings

  • Pecans – If you don’t like (or have) pecans, walnuts would work nice right here too.
  • Honey
  • Cranberries – Look for pure dried cranberries and steer clear of the Craisins!
  • Parsley – Chopped parsley provides unbelievable freshness to this dish.

How to Make Thanksgiving Lentil Salad

This hearty lentil salad can stand by itself as a vegetarian important dish or pairs superbly with Turkey as one in every of your wholesome Thanksgiving facet dishes. Either method, your visitors will love the mix of taste and texture.

To Make the Salad

  • Prepare for Baking. Arrange a rack in the midst of the oven and warmth it to 425°F.
Cut up butternut squash, onion, and garlic on a sheet pan
  • Roast the Vegetables. Place the squash, pink onion, and garlic in a big mixing bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer the seasoned veggies to a rimmed baking sheet and unfold them in a good layer. Roast for 25-Half-hour till the greens are tender and caramelized.
Green lentils and bay leaves in a pot of water
  • Cook the Lentils. While the squash and onions are roasting, place the rinsed lentils and bay leaves in a medium saucepan. Add sufficient water to cowl the lentils by 1 inch, after which carry to a boil. Once boiling, stir, and cut back the warmth to a simmer. Simmer the lentils for 15-20 minutes or till they’re simply tender. You don’t need your lentils to get mushy so take care to not overcook them. Drain the lentils – discarding the bay leaves – and return them to the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Set Aside the Garlic. Once the greens are roasted, take away the garlic cloves and set them apart to chill. We’ll be utilizing them in our dressing.

To Make the Toppings 

  • Lower the Oven Temperature. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. If you’re in a rush, you might must preserve the oven door open for a minute or two to assist the temperature decrease extra shortly.
Chopped pecans and honey in a pan
  • Toast the Pecans. Drizzle the honey over the pecans in a small bowl and stir till they’re evenly coated. Place the honeyed pecans on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook dinner for quarter-hour. Set them apart to chill on the pan.

To Make the Dressing

Once the roasted garlic is cool sufficient to deal with, it’s time to make the sherry French dressing.

sherry dressing in a glass bowl
  • Combine the Ingredients. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their paper right into a medium-sized bowl and mash them with a fork. Add 6 tablespoons of olive oil, vinegar, mustard, a pinch of salt, and a little bit of pepper to the bowl and whisk to mix. Whisk lengthy sufficient that the dressing totally emulsifies.
  • Plate the Dish. While the lentils are nonetheless heat, pour the dressing excessive and toss to coat evenly. Next, add the roasted veggies, honey-roasted pecans, and cranberries and toss gently to mix. Taste and add further salt and pepper as wanted. Before serving, switch the salad to a big platter and add the contemporary parsley. Serve heat or at room temperature.
Thanksgiving lentil salad on a white plate

How to Store and Reheat

This Thanksgiving Lentil Salad will retailer in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 3 days. If you anticipate to have leftovers, add the honey-roasted pecans to particular person servings moderately than tossing them with your complete salad. This will can help you retailer the nuts individually, stopping them from getting mushy.

To reheat your lentil salad, place particular person parts in a bowl and warmth within the microwave for 45-60 seconds. Top with pecans, and luxuriate in! You may eat this salad chilly.

Try These Other Salads for Thanksgiving

Prep Time30 minutes

Cook Time30 minutes

Total Time1 hr

For the Salad

  • 1 medium butternut squash 2 1/2 – 3 kilos
  • 1 pink onion minimize into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 2 cloves garlic unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp additional virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly floor black pepper
  • 3 cups French inexperienced lentils 16 ounces
  • 2 bay leaves

For the Dressing

  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 6 tbsp additional virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

For the Toppings

  • 1 cup toasted pecans coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup contemporary parsley coarsley chopped

To Make the Salad

  • Arrange a rack in the midst of the oven and warmth to 425°F.

  • Place the squash, onion, garlic, 2 tablespoons of the oil, a giant pinch of salt, and some grinds of black pepper in a big bowl and toss to mix. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and unfold into a good layer. 

  • Roast till the greens are tender and really caramelized, 25 to Half-hour.

  • Meanwhile, place the lentils and bay leaves in a medium saucepan. Add sufficient water to cowl the lentils by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then cut back warmth and simmer till simply tender, 15 to twenty minutes. Drain the lentils and discard the bay leaves. Return the lentils to the pan and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Taste and season with extra salt as wanted.

  • Once the greens are roasted, take away the garlic cloves and put aside till they’re cool sufficient to deal with, about 5 minutes. 

To Make the Dressing

  • Squeeze the roasted cloves out of their paper into the medium bowl and mash them with a fork. Add 6 tablespoons of oil, vinegar, mustard, a pinch of salt, and some grinds of black pepper to the bowl and whisk to mix.

  • While the lentils are nonetheless heat, pour over dressing and toss to coat. Add the roasted greens, honey roasted pecans, and cranberries and toss to mix. Taste and season with salt and pepper as wanted. Just earlier than serving, toss within the parsley. Transfer the salad to a big platter and serve heat or at room temperature.



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