Are you ready to meal prep? Here's how to turn one batch of lentils and quinoa into two different salads, so you can eat it all week without getting bored!
The cool thing about lentils and quinoa is that they have pretty similar cooking times, so you can cook them together in a single pot. They're the perfect base for all kinds of meals!
This recipe is a collaboration with my friend Nichole Dandrea-Russert from purely planted. Nichole is a registered dietician who creates ah-mazing plant-based recipes. I am so excited to be teaming up with her!
Let's do this.
In the recipe card below, you'll find full recipes for the salads and the sauces. That's going to make this look complicated, but it's not!
You make the roasted veggies all on just a couple of sheet pans in the oven. We want this to be easy for you!
The recipe card below also includes both stovetop and Instant Pot directions. You're just doing one or the other -- ignore whichever method you're not using.
Whether you make these on the stove or in your Instant Pot, the method is the same. Add the lentils, quinoa, water, and broth to your pot. Cook until the lentils are tender, and you're all set!
This recipe uses green, brown lentils, or beluga. Do not use red lentils or any other type. Other types have different water needs, cooking times, and textures. They will not work in this recipe.
While the lentils cook, get your veggies into the oven and prepare your sauces and toppings. Then, it's meal prep time!
Bowl 1: Nichole's cruciferous goodness salad
Roasted broccoli and radishes are the stars of this simple, cozy salad. If you've never had roasted radishes before, you're in for such a treat.
Radishes turn into a whole different vegetable when you roast them. Their flavor mellows, and they turn tender and sweet.
While those veggies are in the oven along with the sweet potato for the other bowl, you're going to quick pickle some onions and make your dressing. Add the ginger-miso dressing ingredients to a mason jar, and shake to combine.
Toss half of the lentils and quinoa with the roasted cruciferous veggies, fresh salad greens of your choice, and the dressing. When you serve, top your bowls with the pickled onion and some chopped peanuts for crunch.
Bowl 2: Becky's lentil quinoa kale salad
The second recipe is a simple lentil and quinoa kale salad with roasted sweet potato. I love a grain salad at lunchtime, and this one is super satisfying!
While you roast the sweet potato in the oven, make the simple citrus dressing. Then, use a little bit of the dressing to make citrusy massaged kale.
Toss the remaining cooked lentils and quinoa with the sweet potato, kale, dressing, and some chopped green onions.
Boom. Meal prep!
How to store and serve
To store these, I recommend assembling all of the bowls and keeping them in meal prep containers in the fridge. That way, you have a quick lunch to grab each day. They'll keep for four days in the fridge.
You may want to store the dressing for the cruciferous salad separately, so the salad greens don't get soggy.
Both of these lentil quinoa salads are delicious straight out of the fridge. Such a perfect, healthy lunch to have on hand for busy weekdays!
Lentil and quinoa salad recipes
For the lentils and quinoa
- 1 cup dry green or brown lentils - rinsed
- 1 cup dry quinoa - rinsed
- 1 ½ - 2 cups water - You'll need less water, if you are using the Instant Pot.
- 2 cups vegetable broth - or more water
Vegetables to roast
- 1 medium sweet potato - chopped into ½" pieces, about 2 cups
- 2 cups broccoli - cut into 1-inch florets
- 2 cups radishes - cut into quarters, or halves if they're small
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil - divided
- ½ teaspoon salt - divided
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Citrus dressing ingredients
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 small clove garlic
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the miso peanut sauce
- 1 tablespoon organic white or chickpea miso
- ¼ cup peanut butter - unsweetened, crunchy or smooth
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1-2 tablespoons chili paste - or other hot sauce of choice (optional)
- 2 teaspoons finely minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- ¼ cup water
Remaining lentil salad ingredients
- 4 cups kale - stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 green onion - chopped
Remaining cruciferous bowls ingredients
- pickled onions
- 4 cups leafy greens
- ¼ cup peanuts
- Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Instant Pot lentils and quinoa
- Add the lentils, quinoa, 1 ½ cups water, and broth. Cook at high pressure for 6 minutes, then do a 10-minute natural release. You may have some water left in the bottom of the pot, and that is fine. Just use a slotted spoon to dish up your lentils and quinoa, leaving any excess water in the pot.
Stovetop lentils and quinoa
- Combine the rinsed lentils, quinoa, 2 cups water and vegetable broth in a large stovetop pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat a bit to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the lentils and quinoa have absorbed all of the water, uncovered, about 20 minutes. When the lentils and quinoa are tender, remove the pot from heat, cover, and let them steam for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.
Roast the vegetables
- In a large bowl, toss together the sweet potato with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Transfer to one of the baking sheets.
- Add the broccoli and radish to the empty, large bowl. Add 1 tablespoons of olive oil and the remaining salt and pepper. Stir well to coat the vegetables. Space the broccoli and radish out evenly on the other parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet of sweet potato into the oven, and bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Add the pan of broccoli and radish to the oven when you have 20 minutes left.
Make the citrus dressing
- Add all of the dressing ingredients to your blender, and puree until smooth.
Make the miso peanut sauce
- Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until the peanut butter and miso are completely dissolved. Alternatively, you can add all of the ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
Assemble the lentil quinoa salad
- In a large bowl, add 2 tablespoons of the citrus dressing to the kale, and massage until it turns bright green.
- Add half of the cooked lentils and quinoa, the remaining citrus dressing, the roasted sweet potato, and the chopped green onion. Serve warm or chilled.
Assemble the cruciferous bowls
- Divide the leafy greens between four bowls. Add about 1 ½ cups of the lentil and quinoa mixture. Add ½ cup each of the broccoli and radish. Top with the pickled onions.
- Spoon 2-4 tablespoons of the garlic ginger peanut sauce on top of each cruciferous bowl.
- Sprinkle peanuts on top for some extra crunch.