Autumn Meal Prep Lentil Salad is packed with nutrition and full of beautiful fall flavors.
Perfect to prep-ahead and take for lunch, or enjoy as a side dish anytime. A gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan recipe.
Fall is my absolute favorite time to cook.
The crisp, cool air, the coziness of the kitchen, and the flavors of fall produce just make me want to make allllllllll the fall recipes.
And while I know that pumpkin is the darling of the fall season (not hating on pumpkin, we’re crazy about it around here), but there are tons of other autumnal ingredients that deserve their day in the sun.
This beautiful, real food recipe is all about pulling together some of my fall favorites into a simple, make ahead salad.
Brown lentils are the perfect backdrop for the bright butternut squash and sweet & tangy dressing.
If you’ve never made lentils from scratch, it’s definitely time to give it a try.
They’re inexpensive, packed with protein and fiber, and totally simple to make.
Trust me, if you can make pasta you can make lentils.
Just be sure to start testing for doneness around the 15 minute mark. They should be tender and slightly chewy, but not crunchy.
Keep checking every 5 minutes until they taste done, and before they go mushy. Then drain, add the dressing, and you’re good to go.
I hope you’ll make this one soon. If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!
Now, let’s make some Autumn Meal Prep Lentil Salad!
Recipe & Kid Friendly Adaptations
1 | Use green or black lentils in place of green, arugula in place of microgreens, sweet potato in place of butternut squash, and sunflower seeds in place of pumpkin.
2 | Top with sliced avocado, feta cheese, or fresh figs.
3 | Store the greens and pumpkin seeds separately, then add, toss and serve with a pinch more salt to freshen up the flavors.
This Recipe Is
gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, mayo-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegetarian, and vegan
Tools to Make Autumn Meal Prep Lentil Salad
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Autumn Meal Prep Lentil Salad is packed with nutrition and full of beautiful fall flavors. Perfect to prep-ahead and take for lunch, or enjoy as a side dish anytime. A gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan recipe.
2 cups dry brown lentils, rinsed and picked through
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups diced butternut squash
2 cups microgreens or baby sprouts
¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds
For the Dressing
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
Optional toppings: Sliced avocado, feta cheese, fresh figs
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Add the lentils to a medium saucepan and cover with at least four inches of water. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 15-25 minutes, or until the lentils are just tender but not mushy. Cooking times vary depending on the type and freshness of lentils used, so start testing at 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, add the butternut squash to a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Place in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until the squash is golden brown on each side and cooked through.
- Make the dressing by whisking the vinegar, garlic, maple syrup, mustard, and salt in a medium bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil and whisk until the dressing is smooth and well combined.
- Combine the warm, drained lentils with the dressing in a large bowl, tossing to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes for the dressing to absorb.
- Add the roasted squash, microgreens, and pumpkin seeds tossing to combine. Serve immediately, or store, tightly sealed in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Make ahead notes: Store the greens and pumpkin seeds separately, then add, toss and serve with a pinch more salt to freshen up the flavors.
Substitution notes: Use green or black lentils in place of green, arugula in place of microgreens, sweet potato in place of butternut squash, and sunflower seeds in place of pumpkin.
Top with sliced avocado, feta cheese, or fresh figs.