Camilla’s Lemony Lentil and Quinoa Salad Recipe

Light Healthy Lemon Lentil Quinoa Salad

Light & Healthy Lemony Lentil & Quinoa Salad

Finally a quinoa recipe I really really honesty and truly can say I like. This lemony lentil and quinoa salad recipe is a winner for me and I owe it all to Camilla Saulsbury and her latest cookbook, 5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking: 500 Recipes for Lifelong Wellness. So thanks, Camilla, for this delicious quinoa recipe that has helped transform me into a quinoa lover.

Have you ever cooked with quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa)?  It’s a South American grain-like seed that you cook like rice, simmering it in water or broth until the liquid is all absorbed. It’s high in protein and gluten-free. Most well-stocked supermarkets have it. (I figure if I can find it in Eagle River, Wisconsin, Population: 1,626, it’s available most everywhere.)

Quinoa has been really popular with the healthy eating set for several years now, so I’ve been kind of embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t a fan. After attempting to cook it like rice a couple of times, I thought it was bland and looked more like fish eggs than a grain.

On the plus side, quinoa is very quick and easy to cook. (It’s important to rinse the seeds well, because they are naturally coated with a bitter substance called saponin, that protects them against birds and other predators. Most packaged quinoa has already been cleaned, but it won’t hurt to soak and rinse it before cooking, just in case.)

As I think more about my quinoa experiences to date, I realize I just didn’t give it a fair chance. After all, rice and oatmeal are pretty bland on their own too. You’ve got to show them a little love to make them delicious and that’s exactly what Camilla did in this lemony lentil and quinoa salad recipe.

If you’re already a quinoa fan, this recipe is a great one to add to your repertoire. And if you are looking for a recipe to turn you into a fan, this may just be the one. It was for me.

Do you have a favorite quinoa recipe? If so, I hope you’ll share.


Ingredients for Lentil Quinoa Salad with Lemon Tarragon Dressing

Lemony Lentil Quinoa Salad Ingredients

The recipe calls for cooked lentils, and since I had a package of these little beauties in the fridge, I opted to use them instead of cooking my own. All I had to do was open the bag, and break up the clumps with my fingers, before stirring them into the cooled quinoa.

Trader Joes Steamed Lentils

Trader Joes Steamed Lentils

Drizzling on the lemony dressing…

Lemony Lentil Quinoa Salad

Quinoa, Lentils, Sliced Green Onions and Lemon Dressing


5.0 from 1 reviews

Camilla’s Lemony Lentil and Quinoa Salad Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
a light yet substantial salad you can serve as a main dish or side dish
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 6
  • 6 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of the water to a boil over high heat. Add the lentils and reduce the heat to medium low, allowing the lentils to simmer, until tender, but not mushy, about 30 minutes. Drain and let them cool completely.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, prepare the quinoa. In another medium saucepan combine the remaining 2 cups water and quinoa. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the temperature to low, cover the pan and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and cool completely.
  3. Make the dressing: in a small bowl, whisk together the tarragon, salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil and mustard.
  4. When the lentils and quinoa are completely cool, in a large bowl combine them with the sliced green onions, tossing them gently together. Add the dressing and toss again gently until everything is coated.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until chilled, or for up to 4 hours. Just before serving, stir in the chopped fresh parsley.
Martha’s Notes
Nutritional Estimates Per Serving (about 1 cup): 254 calories, 7 g fat, 38 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 11 g protein and 6 Weight Watchers PointsPlus value. I had a box of Trader Joe’s steamed lentils in the fridge, so used them instead of cooking my own. I like to make use of what’s readily available whenever I can.


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  1. Laura says

    Fantastic and makes a good size portion. I didn’t have Tarragon and yet the dressing was still excellent! I will be making this again. Also, the tip on buying the cooked lentils at Trader Joe’s was great…saved me a step to have to cook them because we are experiencing heat wave and I didn’t want to heat up my kitchen.

    • says


      Glad you liked it, even without the tarragon. I love the convenience of Trader Joe’s lentils for that very reason. With temps in the triple digits here in Phoenix, heating up the kitchen is something I try to avoid as much as I can.

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