Turkish Green Lentil Salad Recipe – Ideal For Summer!

What to eat when the weather is hot, hot, hot? You know you need to eat but you just don’t know what you feel like. Nothing too stodgy, that’s for certain. That’s what we’ve been feeling like recently, now that it’s the height of the Fethiye summer. Here’s where dishes like this green lentil salad recipe really come into their own.

Turkish Meze And Salad Dishes

Turkish meze & salads mean you can choose what you want to eat & nibble at leisure

One of the most pleasurable aspects of Turkish cuisine is the meze culture. It means you can nibble on light, healthy foods without feeling overfaced.

We’re always on the lookout for new dishes to try so that we can add them to our ever-growing portfolio of meze & salad recipes and keep ourselves interested in eating tasty foods when the heat of the day is doing its best to persuade us otherwise.

Easy Turkish Green Lentil Salad Recipe

At the moment, we’re both back in training for one of the many runs in Turkey. And trying to eat more healthily to lose a few pounds in the process, too.

Turkey Makes A Salad Great

Salads are great for that – and they’re perfect for the hot weather, too, of course. And Turkish salads are even better because they’re so varied.

They pull you away from that habit of just throwing a bit of lettuce, tomato and onion into a bowl and becoming bored to tears with the same old, same old. Think piyaz (white bean salad), think kısır (bulgur wheat salad), for example.

So tasty and different. And what about doing something with those green lentils you’ve had sitting in the cupboard since you can’t remember when?

Green Lentil Salad Recipe (Yeşil Mercimek Piyazı)

We add all the ingredients first & then mix them together later so that all the lentils remain intact

Green Lentil Ideas

We usually use our green lentils for making green lentil soup but it just feels far too hot for that at the moment. So what else do the people of Turkey do with their green lentils?

Well, if they’re not cooked for too long, they’re more robust than red lentils and they make a great base for a light and refreshing (but also filling) salad.

Are you vegan and looking for some inspiration in the kitchen? Good news – this Turkish green lentil salad recipe can be added to your list of easy and healthy vegan recipes.

Why Green Lentil Salad?

This green lentil salad recipe (or yeşil mercimek piyazı) is the new favourite in our house and we can’t get enough of it! Here are a few reasons why, for you…

Easy Green Lentil Salad

Green lentil salad recipe – Quick, easy, healthy…and sooo good

  • It’s packed with all the simple salad ingredients we usually have in the fridge; especially at the height of summer – onions, spring onions, tomatoes, lemons and parsley.
  • This green lentil salad recipe only requires a simple salad dressing of olive oil, vinegar and lemon – although, you’ll see in the recipe that we add a bit more tang.
  • It’s a salad – we can play around with ingredients and their quantities. If we want more tomato, we can add more tomato into the green lentil salad recipe – our choice.
  • Little added extras are always on the cards for us – pickled chillies make an appearance in our green lentil salad recipe but they are, of course, optional. Apart from the extra heat, it’s also a bit more ‘pickly zing.’
  • It doesn’t require too much forethought or effort to make. Perfect – it’s summer and we’re too hot to think and work in the kitchen.
  • And the best part is, even with so little effort or forethought, the final reward is joyous. Yeah, we love this salad!

Right, Here’s Our Green Lentil Salad Recipe

5.0 from 4 reviews
Turkish Green Lentil Salad Recipe
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 4
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
A light, healthy and refreshing salad that is tasty year round - but perfect in summer.
For The Salad
  • 1 cup of green lentils (around 200g)
  • 1 large tomato (or two medium ones), deseeded and diced
  • 1 bunch spring onions, trimmed, cleaned and finely chopped
  • 1 red onion quartered and cut into thin slices
  • ½ bunch flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
  • 2 red pickled chillies, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried mint

For The Salad Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon nar ekşisi (sour pomegranate sauce - optional)
  • Small pinch of salt and black pepper
For The Salad
  1. Soak your green lentils in water for a couple of hours until they start to soften and swell.
  2. Drain your lentils.
  3. Bring 3 cupfuls of water to the boil and add your lentils.
  4. Cover and simmer for around 30 minutes - check them occasionally as you want to keep them whole. They will start to break up if they become too soft.
  5. Once cooked, drain them in a colander and pour cold water over them to cool them down and stop them cooking further.
  6. When they have cooled, add your lentils to a serving bowl.
  7. Now add the rest of your salad ingredients, except the tomatoes, and mix together gently.
  8. Scatter your chopped tomato over the top.

For The Salad Dressing
  1. In a small bowl, mix together all your dressing ingredients and do a taste test.
  2. Add more lemon or oil if necessary.
  3. Drizzle your dressing over the salad and gently mix everything together.
Please note, nutritional values are only a rough guide and depend on how much of each ingredient you use.
Prep time includes a couple of hours for soaking your lentils.
Pickled chillies and nar ekşisi are both optional ingredients.
If you are using fresh mint rather than dried, add around 4-5 leaves, finely chopped.
For the vinegar in the salad dressing, you can use white wine vinegar but we like tangy flavours so we use the regular grape vinegar widely available in Turkey.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 130

Green lentils might not be the prettiest foodstuff to look at but they do make a cracking salad! This green lentil salad recipe can make up part of your salad and meze table for summer barbecues.

You can eat it on its own with some lightly toasted bazlama or other crusty breads…or you can even just do what we do and skip the bread and eat it from a bowl as a light lunch.

Green Lentil Salad Afternotes

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  1. Been looking for this recipe for a while… now you help me with my “long forgotten” green lentil in my cupboard 🙂

  2. Just yesterday I was wishing for a good, lentil salad. This sounds absolutely fantastic. 🙂

  3. This looks delicious.

  4. Looks Yummy! Look forward to taste those yummy Salad!

  5. We are on a pulse binge at the moment, so I’ll definitely give these suggestions a try next week.

    • Don’t think you’ll regret yeşil mercimek salatası, Mette. We’re living off it at the moment as it tastes so refreshing but it fills you, at the same time. 🙂 Thanks a lot for the rating, too. Much appreciated.

  6. handan moroney says

    Thank you for sharing this. Going to make this tomorrow. I don’t like to cook hot meals.Have forgotten about this.Have plenty in my cabinet.

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