23 May 2023: Quick Lentil Salmon Salad


Ann Maloney is a Washington Post Recipes Editor and Food Reporter focused on, in her words, “quick and easy home cooking.” Honestly, what’s not to like here?

Her recipe for Quick Lentil Salmon Salad is adapted from Cooking Light and comes together in about the same time as it takes to cook the lentil. It can be served either warm or cold. Now that’s what I would call a great weeknight, homecooked meal.


  • For the lentils
    • 1 cup (7 ounces) brown lentils
    • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • For the dressing
    • 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced (about 2 teaspoons)
    • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • For the salad
    • 15 ounces canned salmon, drained, or 15-ounce cooked salmon fillet
    • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
    • 1 cup diced carrot (about 1 large carrot)
    • 4 lemon wedges, for serving (optional)


  1. Make the lentils:
    • In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils, onion, bay leaf and oregano.
    • Add enough water to cover the lentils by a scant 1 inch and bring to a boil over high heat.
    • Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
    • Drain well and spread the lentils on a large flat platter or rimmed baking sheet. Let cool for about 10 minutes.
  2. Make the dressing (While the lentils are cooking):
    • Mash the garlic and salt into a paste with the side of a chef’s knife (or a fork).
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mashed garlic, thyme, paprika and pepper.
    • Taste, and season with more salt and/or pepper as desired.
  3. Assemble the salad:
    • Remove any skin and/or bones from salmon, if necessary, transfer it to a large bowl and flake into pieces.
    • Add the sliced onion, carrot and 3 tablespoons of the dressing.
    • Gently toss to coat. 
  4. Add the lentils to the remaining dressing; gently stir to combine. 
  5. Divide the lentils among 4 bowls and top with the salmon salad. Serve chilled or at room temperature, with lemon wedges.

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