Tangy Lentil Salad with Dill & Pepperoncini

While some of my dishes are created to sate a hunger, others begin with a compelling concept or challenge. The latter category includes this lentil salad. It fulfills a recent yearning I’ve had perfectly.

This salad is flavorful, crispy-tender, mildly spicy, and very filling. The more intense tastes are balanced by the earthy lentils and carrots, making them less overpowering.

I am aware that not everyone like the flavors of dill, tahini, and pepperoncini peppers. More of them, the better; I adore them. In the notes, there are some alternatives to the recipe if you’re not a fan.

Even better, try my lemony lentil and chickpea salad with mint or my Greek lentil salad with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. Both of those are safer wagers!

Ideas for Serving a Lentil Salad

This salad is delicious served as is for lunch and stays well in the refrigerator for several days (it tastes even better the next day). Therefore, it’s ideal for lunch packing.

Alternatively, you may serve this salad as dinner and garnish it with roasted cauliflower or a fried egg. It tastes good over leafy greens as well, perhaps with a little additional lemon juice and olive oil on top.

You may like recipe for Easy Tomato Salad



  • Black beluga lentils, 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 teaspoons of fine sea salt and 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (about 3/4 pound or 5 to 6 medium carrots, peeled and grated on a box grater’s big holes or in a food processor with a grating attachment)
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley, 1/4 cup
  • 14 cup (1 ounce) fresh dill leaves, broken into little pieces after removing the rough stems.
  • 2 cups of celery, chopped (about 2 ribs)
  • 12 cup of green onions, finely sliced
  • Chopped pickled pepperoncini pepper, half a cup
  • Cheese, optional: 1/2 cup of crumbled feta, havarti, havarti dill, mild cheddar, or little cubes of each.

dill-tahini dressing

  • Extra virgin olive oil, 1/3 cup
  • Lemon juice, 1/4 cup
  • Fresh dill leaves, 14 cup (13 ounces), rough stems removed.
  • Tahini, 2 tablespoons
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • to taste, 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 12 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste (reduce or eliminate if you’re sensitive to spicy).
  • black pepper, freshly ground, to taste


  • How to cook lentils: Water should be poured into a medium-to-large saucepan, leaving a few inches of space at the top. Using a high heat, bring it to a boil.
  • Then, rinse the lentils in a fine-mesh strainer under running water until the water is clean after you have checked them for debris. Place aside.
  • Add the rinsed lentils when the water is boiling. Add salt and the bay leaf. Timer for 16 minutes has been set. To prevent overflow and to maintain a brisk simmer, lower the heat as needed.
  • Make the dressing in the meantime using a food processor: Olive oil, lemon juice, dill, tahini, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and a few grinds of black pepper should all be combined. Blend until completely smooth, pausing occasionally to scrape the edges and bottom of the basin. Place aside.
  • Use a fork to remove a few lentils after the timer has sounded to check their doneness (be careful, they’re hot). Your lentils are prepared when they are evenly soft (not mushy or crumbling), and they have a good earthy flavor (undercooked lentils tend to taste somewhat metallic). Repeat the test every 1 to 2 minutes until the lentils are fully cooked. After cooking, remove all the extra water by straining.


  • Discarding the bay leaf, pour the lentils into a medium serving bowl. Add the entire amount of dressing and toss to mix. Add the celery, green onion, pepperoncini peppers, grated carrots, parsley, and the remaining dill. Wait until the lentils are just heated before adding the optional cheese (not hot enough to melt the cheese).
  • To blend, stir. Add more salt (for overall flavor), red pepper flakes (for heat), and/or black pepper (for flavor) to taste. If you don’t think the salad has enough tang, you can add another tablespoon of lemon juice or some pepperoncinis, diced.
  • Although it tastes even better after a 20-minute rest, the salad is now ready to be served. For about 4 days, it keeps nicely in the refrigerator, covered.


 MAKE IT VEGAN/DAIRY FREE: Leave out the cheese.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Although this salad is delicious on its own, you may add a fried egg, roasted cauliflower, or cauliflower “steaks” to make it more of a complete meal.

CHANGE IT UP: Although they do add a wonderful flavor, you can skip the bay leaf and tahini if you don’t have them on hand. Skip it if you detest dill; perhaps adding additional parsley will do the trick.