A healthier spin on our popular Koshari recipe, this Chickpea and Lentil Salad is hearty, healthy, and budget-friendly. Topped with a homemade spicy cumin vinaigrette, it’s an easy recipe that will fill you up and leave you feeling great! Serve it on its own or with your favorite main dishes and sides!
Why You’ll Love This Chickpea and Lentil Salad
If you’ve ever tasted Koshari, you already know why it’s an Egyptian national dish. Warm, hearty, filling, and budget-friendly, it’s unbelievably delicious and super cheap to make! We grew up eating our mom’s recipe and still make it to this day. However, while we love the original recipe, sometimes we want something a bit lighter. So, we created this Koshari-inspired chickpea and lentil salad to satisfy our cravings while still being kind to our waistlines! It’s:
- Prepared in minutes.
- Full of vitamins, nutrients, and fiber.
- Hearty and filling to keep you full for hours.
- Perfect to serve as a main meal, side, or appetizer!
For the Chickpea Lentil Salad
- Lentils – We use brown lentils, but any lentils will do. They form the base of Koshari and add a hearty texture and loads of fiber and plant-based texture.
- Arugula – Used to form the base of the salad, bulking it up and adding tons of nutrients.
- Ditalini Pasta – Small and satisfying, this makes for a super fling chickpea and lentil salad recipe.
- Veggies – Not found in traditional Koshari, tomatoes, red onion, and English cucumber are included to make this salad even more filling and full of vitamins, nutrients, and fiber, too!
- Chickpeas – Used to add extra texture and plant-based protein.
- Fried Onions – You can’t have a Koshari-inspired recipe without fried onions! To save time, we use store-bought varieties, but you could also make your own with a recipe like this.
For the Spicy Cumin Vinaigrette
- Olive Oil – This forms the base of the dressing, helping combine the ingredients and providing a great source of healthy fats.
- White Vinegar – The bright flavor balances out the flavor of the dressing and boosts its health benefits.
- Flavor Enhancers – Garlic, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper create a savory, spicy flavor that makes for the best salad you’ll ever taste!
Note: Feel free to adjust the amount of spices used, adding more or less of each to fit your tastebuds and preferences! Start with a little, and gradually add more until your desired flavor is reached.
How to Cook Lentils for This Chickpea and Lentil Salad Recipe
One of the most common questions we get is, “How do I cook lentils?” While it might seem intimidating, it’s super easy to do!
- Soak the Lentils. Not entirely necessary, soaking lentils can help make them easier to digest. To do so, add them to a bowl, submerge them in water, and let them soak for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
- Boil. Drain and rinse the lentils. Then, add them to a large pot, and cover them with water. Bring the ingredients to a boil.
- Simmer. Reduce the heat, and let the lentils simmer for 20-25 minutes until they are tender.
- Drain. Drain them again, and let them cool slightly while preparing the rest of the salad
How to Prepare Your Chickpea and Lentil Salad
Now that you know how to make the perfect lentils, it’s time to prepare the rest of your salad!
- Prepare the Ingredients. Cook your lentils and pasta. Drain and rinse your chickpeas, and slice your veggies.
- Combine the Salad Ingredients. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the salad except for the fried onions, tossing until they are well distributed.
- Create the Dressing. Add all of the salad dressing ingredients to a mason jar. Mix until smooth.
- Toss the Salad. Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss to combine.
- Top. Sprinkle the fried onions on top, and enjoy!
You can definitely serve this chickpea and lentil salad on its own for a complete meal. We definitely do! However, it also pairs well with your favorite sides and appetizers like:
- No Knead Foccacia
- Whipped Feta with Tomato and Cucumber
- Homemade Garlic Bread with Spinach and Artichokes
How to Store
This chickpea and lentil salad is best served right away. However, if you want to prepare it in advance, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days! For the best results, we recommend storing the dressing and crispy onions separately until just before serving.
Chickpea and Lentil Salad Common Questions
Sure! This salad makes for a super filling vegetarian recipe on its own, but feel free to add whatever protein you like best. For instance, we love grilled shrimp, steak, beef kofta, and coconut chicken tenders!
Not quite. Although based on traditional Egyptian Koshari recipes, preparing it as a salad is a new spin.
Sure! Just be sure to rinse and drain them thoroughly.
More Salad Recipes
Looking for more delicious salads that will keep you full? Try out some of our favorites below!
- Lentil Salad
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
- Southwest Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing
Chickpea and Lentil Salad (Koshari Salad)
For the Chickpea and Lentil Salad:
- 2 cups uncooked brown lentils (soaked for 30 minutes in cold water)
- 4 ounces dry ditalini pasta
- 8 ounces arugula
- 1 ½ cups tomatoes (chopped)
- ½ cup red onion
- 1 ½ cups English cucumber (chopped)
- 1 15 ounce can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
- 1 cup fried onions
For the Spicy Cumin Vinaigrette:
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic (grated)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt or to taste
- 1 ½ – 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper + more or less to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a large pot, submerge the lentils in water. Soak for 30 minutes.
- Drain and rinse the lentils. In a large pot over high heat, add the lentils and 5 cups of water. Bring the ingredients to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Drain and cool slightly. Set aside.
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the cooked lentils, pasta, arugula, chopped veggies, and chickpeas. Mix to combine.
- In a mason jar, add all of the ingredients for the dressing. Mix until smooth.
- Pour the dressing over the prepared salad, and toss to combine.
- Top with fried onions, and serve immediately.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.