This Lentils Corn And Pepper Salad is a refreshing, healthy, colorful, and easy-to-make recipe that can be served by itself or next to grilled salmon.
My inspiration for this Lentils Salad with Corn And Pepper came during one of my visits to Baja California, to see a dear friend. She loves to entertain and always brings to the table dishes that look very elaborate and simple to put together.
She made this salad using basic ingredients from Trader Joe's, like already-cooked lentils and corn salsa.
I took the idea from her recipe and made my own version of it.
My husband had it for lunch the other day and said: "Hmmm, this salad would be great for entertaining and go really well with salmon!"
I told my friend how much my husband loved the salad and then told her about his comment. She laughed and said: "He is perfectly right! I served this salad with salmon many times! "
Why should you try the recipe
Nutritional value: Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein and fiber, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied. Corn adds a touch of sweetness and additional fiber, while the bell pepper provides a good dose of vitamin C. This salad is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients that contribute to a balanced diet.
Versatility: This salad can be served as a main dish, a side dish, or even as a filling for wraps. It's perfect for a quick lunch, a picnic, or a potluck. Plus, it can be easily customized. Readers can add their favorite veggies or herbs, or even some feta cheese or avocado for extra creaminess.
Easy and Quick to Prepare: This recipe is straightforward and doesn't require any complicated cooking techniques or hard-to-find ingredients. It's perfect for those busy weekdays when you want something quick and healthy. Plus, the lentils can be cooked in advance and stored in the fridge for a few days, making this salad even quicker to throw together.
- Lentils: Lentils are small legumes that come in a variety of colors, including green, red, and brown. They're a great source of plant-based protein and fiber. If you don't have lentils, you could substitute them with other legumes like chickpeas or black beans.
- Canned Corn: This is sweet corn that has been preserved by canning. It adds a touch of sweetness and a nice crunch to the salad. If canned corn isn't available, you could use frozen corn (thawed) or fresh corn kernels cut off the cob.
- Green Onions: Also known as scallions, these have a mild flavor that's not as strong as other onions. They're used both for their taste and their bright green color. If you don't have green onions, you could use red, white, or yellow onions, though they have a stronger flavor. Chives could also work as a milder alternative.
- Red Bell Pepper: This is a sweet variety of pepper that adds a pop of color and a slightly sweet flavor to the salad. If you don't have red bell pepper, you could use yellow or orange bell peppers for a similar taste. For a bit of heat, a jalapeño or serrano pepper could be used, but keep in mind these are much spicier.
- Cilantro or Parsley: These herbs add a fresh, bright flavor to the salad. If you're not a fan of cilantro, parsley is a good substitute. You could also use fresh basil or dill, depending on your preference.
- Vinegar: This adds acidity to the vinaigrette, balancing out the flavors. If you don't have vinegar, you could use lemon or lime juice instead.
- Coriander and Mustard Seeds: These spices add depth and complexity to the vinaigrette. If you don't have coriander seeds, you could use ground coriander. If you don't have mustard seeds, you could use a small amount of prepared mustard. Alternatively, you could leave these out or replace them with other spices you enjoy, like cumin or fennel seeds.
Remember, the best part about cooking is making a recipe your own, so feel free to experiment with these substitutions based on what you have on hand and your personal taste preferences.
A basic way to cook lentils
1 cup dry lentils + 3 cups of water
Bring them to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender but not mushy. The key is to simmer the lentils gently and start checking for doneness after about 15 minutes. They usually take about 20-30 minutes, and it depends on how dry the lentils are.
How to serve this salad
The lentils, corn, and pepper salad is versatile and can be served in a variety of ways. Here are some suggestions to present and pair this dish:
Main Dish: Garnish the salad with some extra chopped herbs, perhaps a sprinkle of crumbled feta or queso fresco for added flavor and texture. Accompany it with crusty bread or garlic toast.
Side Dish: This salad pairs wonderfully with grilled meats, especially chicken or fish (salmon). It can also complement dishes like tacos, enchiladas, or other Mexican or Spanish main courses, given your interest in international cuisines.
Grain Bowls: Mix the salad with cooked quinoa, rice, or couscous to make a hearty grain bowl.
Dip: Serve with tortilla chips or pita bread as a dip.
A glass of wine goes well with it too. The recipe is perfect to be made when you entertain and are not in the mood to spend too much time in the kitchen.
How to store this salad
If you have leftovers, just place them in an airtight container and refrigerate them. The salad will stay fresh and tasty for about 3 to 5 days.
When ready to serve, remove it from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before you dig in.
While you can freeze anything, I honestly wouldn't try with this salad. Nobody likes a mushy salad, if you ask me.
If your salad has been sitting in the fridge for a couple of days and looks a bit sad, just drizzle a little extra vinaigrette or squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice over it. Give it a good stir and it will be as good as new.
You can freeze cooked lentils on their own for up to 6 months. If you want to make this salad in advance, you could cook and freeze the lentils, then add the fresh vegetables and vinaigrette when you're ready to serve.
If you like this recipe, you might also like my other recipes for lentil salads you can find here.
More recipes to love
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Lentils Corn And Pepper Salad
- 1 tablespoon red or white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- In a medium salad bowl, place the cooked lentils.
- Drain the liquid from the can of corn and add the corn to the lentils.
- Add chopped onions, bell pepper, and a handful of chopped cilantro or parsley.
Make the vinaigrette:
- Grab a small bowl and whisk together vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, coriander and mustard seeds. Taste for salt and adjust the flavors.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the rest of ingredients and mix well.
- Serve chilled.
- 3 cups of water
- 1 cup dry lentils