It is Time for a Warm Salad

Bacon Lentil Salad

January 29, 2014   8 Comments

Do you think the words “warm” and “salad” work together? Well, they can if you use lentils.

I love the idea of a warm lentil salad because it is cold outside and a REAL salad is a turn off. All I can think about is cheese, potatoes, and beer.

Lentils are not like other beans. Here are some little known facts:

  • You do not have to soak them.
  • They take only 20 minutes to cook.
  • Canada grows the most lentils in the world.

I know this because I went on a trip to meet Canadian lentil farmers in July 2012. I gotta tell you, if you want to hang out with some super nice people, choose Canadian lentil farmers. Also they have a great website with many yummy lentil recipes: Canadian Lentils.

They gave me a bag of Beluga lentils, which I cannot find in stores near me which makes me sad. They have a great flavor and consistency and I did find them on (see below).

You don’t need Beluga lentils to make this recipe work. Just buy a bag of green lentils usually found next to the other dried beans in your grocery store.

Why eat lentils? One half cup of cooked lentils gives you:

113 calories, 0.4 g fat, 0.1 g saturated fat, 19.4 g carbohydrates, 1.8 g sugar, 9.0 g protein, 7.8 g fiber, 38 mg sodium, 2 Points+

Look at all that fiber and protein! Wow! And lentils are inexpensive. A one pound bag cost me a mere 79 cents.

I used center cut bacon to flavor the lentils. Center cut has less fat than regular bacon and I think it tastes the same. The bacon also provides a satisfying crunch.

This salad will take you 20 minutes to make. You start your lentils and then work on the rest. By the time the lentils are finished cooking, you toss it all together for a warm healthy salad that will comfort you after a long day in the cold.

Have you made a warm lentil salad? Please share.

This product was received for review consideration. No other compensation was provided.

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Warm Lentil Salad

Makes 6 servings, ¾ cup for a serving

1 cup lentils
3 cups water
3 strips center cut bacon
1 onion, chopped
parsley (optional for garnish)

For dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Heat lentils and water in a saucepan until boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain lentils and put back into saucepan.

In a frying pan, cook bacon until crispy over medium heat. Drain bacon on paper towel and pour most of the fat out of the pan. Chop bacon. Add onions and cook until browned.

When lentils are done and in warm saucepan add bacon, onion, and dressing ingredients. Be sure to add lots of salt and pepper. Serve with a parsley garnish if so inclined. Enjoy!

¾ cup is 173 calories, 5.8 g fat, 1.0 g saturated fat, 24.1 g carbohydrates, 1.6 g sugar, 9.7 g protein, 10.3 g fiber, 94 mg sodium, 4 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only.
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Black Lentils, 1 lb.


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I've not made my own warm salad, only cold ones-but I can imagine they are terrific. I'd have to leave out the bacon since I'm a vegetarian but I'm thinking a sprinkle of feta wood add a similar elegant saltiness...

on January 29, 2014

I have never had luck with cooking lentils without soaking them first. It ends up taken hours for them to get soft. Am I missing something?

on January 29, 2014

Hi. I have made cold lentil salads to take camping. They hold together well for travel. I just made a sweet potato & lentil soup that is wonderful. I can't wait to try this. I'll probably throw some carrots in just for color and more veggis are always better. Thanks!

on January 29, 2014

Trader Joe's has precooked, preseasoned lentils that would be fabulous in this dish!

on January 29, 2014

Melissa brand has vacuum-packed, cooked French lentils which have become an addiction of mine. To this warm salad recipe I usually add about 1/2 chopped sweet bell pepper, sliced olives and a bit of feta. If there's leftover rice, I add a little of that. By the way, since these lentils don't require cooking--and I do like the warm salad--I simply steam them a scant few minutes or, I suppose, you could toast them quickly in a skillet.

on January 29, 2014

This looks delicious! I wish I could get hubby to eat lentils. I make them the French way with lots of onions, celery and carrots. ; ) I suppose I could puree them and make a dressing. That way he may not recognize them. Hmmmmmmmm . . .

on January 29, 2014

Love lentils of any kind. Now that I don't eat meat it is a great substitute. Can's wait to try this without the bacon (maybe goat cheese and eat it cold). And yes love TJ's already cook lentils, makes a quick dish.

on January 31, 2014

I would have never thought to try lentils as I am a Black Bean kinda Gal and have warm salad with Organic Black Beans quite often this time of year. I will certainly get lentils when I go shopping today. I usually add feta, red onion and green onion or scallions to my warm salad and NO dressing! Doesn't need it...Yummy goodness. Thanks for another great recipe idea Lisa!

on January 31, 2014

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