Moroccan Lentil Salad


This healthy date, carrot and lentil salad recipe is flavored with a spiced preserved-lemon dressing. While most salads taste best when freshly assembled, lentil salads appreciate time for the flavors to marry so try to make it at least a few hours ahead if you can. Bring the salad to room temperature before serving and adjust salt if needed.

Cook Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
10 servings


Preserved Lemon Citrus Dressing

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper

  • cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • ¼ cup chopped preserved lemon peel (see Tips) or 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Lentil Salad

  • 1 cup French green lentils, rinsed (see Tips)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 cups diced carrots

  • 1 ½ cups diced onion

  • 12 dates, pitted and sliced

  • ½ cup very thinly sliced fresh mint


  1. To prepare dressing: Cook paprika and cumin in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and add lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Whisk in 1/3 cup oil, then stir in preserved lemon peel (or lemon zest).

  2. To prepare salad: Place lentils in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Stir in salt and continue cooking until just tender, but not at all mushy, 5 to 10 minutes more. Drain well.

  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add carrots and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

  4. Add the lentils, vegetables and dates to the dressing; stir until well combined. Stir in mint just before serving.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days; stir in mint just before serving.

Preserved lemons are lemons that have been soaked in a salt-lemon mixture for at least 30 days. Their salty sourness is a signature flavor in Moroccan dishes. Find them at specialty-food stores or online at

We like French green lentils instead of brown when we want lentils that hold their shape (instead of breaking down) when cooked. Look for them in natural-foods stores and some supermarkets.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

250 Calories
9g Fat
39g Carbs
6g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 250
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 8g 29%
Total Sugars 23g
Protein 6g 13%
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Vitamin A 4625IU 92%
Vitamin C 8mg 9%
Folate 121mcg 30%
Sodium 149mg 6%
Calcium 55mg 4%
Iron 3mg 16%
Magnesium 45mg 11%
Potassium 558mg 12%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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