Without fail, every time I post a lentil recipe somewhere on social media, I’ll get a “yuck” or a “gross.” Holy wow, are there are a lot of lentil haters out there! I understand it. Poorly cooked lentils are mushy and bland—if that’s the way lentils had to be, I’d hate ’em, too! But trust me, when done right, lentils totally and completely rock.

They are über affordable, packed full of protein and fiber, cook super quickly (they require no soaking like dried beans), and since they are nearly flavorless, they work beautifully as a meat-substitute in your favorite flavor-packed dishes—like Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes and Lentil-Walnut Veggie Burgers.

Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes

Today, I’m partnering up with my friends from USA Pulses and Pulse Canada to open up your eyes to the glory of lentils. Don’t think you know what Pulses are? You totally do! Pulses are the delicious, protein-packed, sustainable foods known as dry peas, chickpeas, lentils, and beans.

They are so tasty, so versatile, incredibly healthy, and so affordable to cook with. The average cost of beef per serving is $1.49, whereas you can serve dry peas, chickpeas, lentils, or beans for about 10 cents per serving. TEN CENTS! If you’re looking for affordable ways to eat healthier, pulses need to be on your grocery list. Starting tomororw, make sure to sign up for the Half-Cup Habit, and see how easy it can be to add a ½ cup serving of pulses to your diet 3x per week.


Canned pulses are a great deal, too, but to stretch your budget even further, drive your cart down the grocery store aisle a little more and pick up some bags of dried beans, lentils, chickpeas, or split peas. A pound of dried pulses runs between $1-$2, and trust me, you can streeeettttcchhh each of those bags into multiple meals. Today, I’m going to show you how to stretch a one pound bag of green lentils into three delicious, healthy, meatless meals! Let’s do this.

Mediterranean Lentil Salad

Mediterranean Lentil Salad

Let me introduce you to one of my absolute favorite meal prep dishes—Mediterranean Lentil Salad! This salad just gets better and better as it sits in the fridge. You can pre-portion it into lunch-size servings for easy grab-and-go. The feta in this salad is optional, so if you’re dairy-free or plant-based, this one is for you, too!

Mediterranean Lentil Salad

Mediterranean Lentil Salad

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

This Mediterranean Lentil Salad gets better as it sits in the fridge and the flavors meld, making it perfect for meal prepping. Leave out the feta if you don't do dairy, and it will still be just as delicious!


  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup dried green lentils
  • 1 small cucumber, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup halved, pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 small red onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced dill
  • 1/4 cup fresh minced parsley
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)


  1. In a medium size saucepan, combine the broth and lentils over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce to low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender and the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  2. Once lentils are cool, combine with cucumber, tomatoes, olives, onion, dill, parsley, and feta (if using) in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
  3. In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Close and shake until well-combined.
  4. Pour dressing over the lentil mixture, and toss to coat. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld.


  • The feta adds a rich, savory taste to the salad, but if you’re dairy-free, you can leave it out and still have a delicious salad.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 917mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 5gSugar: 12gProtein: 7g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

And here are the other two!

Vegetarian Lentil Tacos

Lentil Tacos

Easy Lentil Vegetable Soup

Lentil Vegetable Soup

Each of these recipes uses about 2/3 cups of dried green lentils, meaning you can buy a single pound of dried green lentils (for a whopping $1.50) and make all three of these dishes. Now that’s how you stretch your grocery budget!

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  1. I tried the Mediterranean Lentil Salad, different to our taste but I am having to change up our food, i.e., experiment with things we have never eaten before and have to get used to. Like Gloria from a year ago, we have to eat less salt, so I simply put less salt in the dressing. The broth was never fully absorbed, and the lentils were mush. How do I get the lentils to keep their shape?

    1. Hi Joanna! It sounds like either the lentils were overcooked or the wrong type of lentils was used. You want to use brown or green lentils in this salad, and only simmer them until just tender. If all of the liquid isn’t absorbed, that’s okay! Start checking the lentils after about 15-20 minutes. Then keep checking every few minutes until they’re tender. Ours usually take between 20 and 25 minutes, but it can take up to 30. I hope this helps!

  2. The sodium count on this is so high! My husband is on a low sodium diet due to high blood pressure and a heart attack. How can I lower the sodium content?

    1. Hi Gloria! The biggest sources of sodium in the recipe are likely the broth, feta, and olives. If you use low- or no-sodium broth and omit the feta and olives, the sodium count should be much less. We can’t say for sure if that will make it within an acceptable range for your husband’s low-sodium diet, but you can always check in with your healthcare provider for that! I hope this helps!