Lentil Salad with Cumin and Sumac

A simple lentil, vegetable, and herb salad, jazzed up with the addition of cumin and sumac.

Lentil Salad with Cumin and Sumac

Sometimes you just need a big container of lentil salad sitting in the fridge to get you through the work week. Lentils are hearty, packed with protein and fiber, and, of all the dried beans, the fastest to cook. You can whip up this salad for a weeknight dinner in under an hour -- once the lentils are simmering, it's just a matter of chopped vegetables and whisking together dressing ingredients. This salad keeps beautifully in the fridge, and its flavors, bolstered by Vanns Cumin and Sumac, only improve over time.

Spices used in this recipe

California Sea Salt, Fine
Peppercorns, Black, Grinder
Cumin Ground
Sumac, Ground


  • 1 cup brown or green lentils, picked through and rinsed
  • 2 Tbs. lime juice
  • 6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Vanns Sea Salt, or to taste
  • ½ tsp. Vanns Black Peppercorns, freshly ground, or to taste
  • 2 tsp. Vanns Ground Cumin
  • 2 tsp. Vanns Sumac
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated on a Microplane or minced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced small
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, diced
  • Small handful cilantro, leaves and tender stems chopped
  • Small handful flat-leaf parsley, leaves and tender stems chopped


  1. Place rinsed lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until lentils are tender but not mushy, 30 to 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. While lentils cook, make dressing. Whisk together olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper, cumin, sumac, scallions, and garlic in a bowl large enough to eventually hold the lentils. Taste dressing for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if desired.
  3. Prepare the red onion - place diced onion in a small bowl and cover with water. Let stand for 10 minutes and then drain. Toss with the rest of the dressing in the large bowl.
  4. When lentils have cooled to a warm, not hot, temperature, toss with the dressing in the bowl. Allow to stand until mixture is room temperature, then stir in remaining ingredients -- cucumber, carrot, and herbs.
  5. Taste for seasoning before serving and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Serves 6-8. Adapted from Food of Life.


You might also like

Carrot, Red Lentil, and Cumin Soup

Cumin and a blend of other spices add complexity to this carrot and lentil soup that is surprisingly simple to prepare.

Simple Red Lentil Dal

Simple, healthy, and delicious, this red lentil dal is the perfect addition to any Indian-inspired meal.

Chickpea Salad With Red Onion, Sumac, & Lemon

Have you ever heard of sumac? If you live in the American South, you may think of it as a weed. But hopefully after making this recipe, you will now think of it as a delicious weed.

Cumin, Sumac, and Chili Lamb Meatballs

Juicy lamb meatballs seasoned with a Turkish spice blend make for a delicious sandwich filling or appetizer.

Spicy Cumin Lamb Meatballs with Sichuan Cucumber Salad

Vanns Sichuan Peppercorns add a spicy twist to cumin-scented lamb meatballs, counterbalanced with a cooling cucumber salad.

Red Lentil and Bulgur Spread (Kibbe)

Hummus isn't the only bean-based dip that's easy to make at home -- this red-lentil based spread is a vegetarian version of kibbe, a Lebanese dish that takes many forms, but always involves bulgur wheat and a mix of delicious spices.

Grilled Carrots with Cumin and Tahini

Carrots grilled over low heat take on a sweetness, enhanced by a sprinkle of cumin and a drizzle of tahini.

Turkey Taco Salad

A lighter take on a taco salad, featuring ground turkey spiced with Vanns Taco Seasoning, and a homemade pico de gallo salsa.

Jalapeño and Cumin Coleslaw

Maybe you have your grilling recipes all set for this weekend. Maybe you're letting someone else do the grilling. Either way, don't forget about the sides! This coleslaw hits all the right notes.

Turkey-Zucchini Burgers with Cumin and Green Onion

This is my ideal summer dish. It’s healthy, packed with flavor, and makes use of the bounty of zucchini that appears in gardens and stores each June.