Warm red lentil salad with roasted butternut squash, spinach and goat’s cheese

Warm red lentil salad

I normally make a soup out of red lentils but I saw it in the cookbook which I have at home that you could make a salad as well. The problem with red lentils is that they don’t hold shape very well and they can become lentil purée very quickly if you are not very careful about how long you cook them for. I still decided to give this salad a try. The inspiration came from this vegetarian cookbook I have at home and also from Becca (Amuse Your Bouche) who coated her sweet potato with smoked paprika before roasting it. I decided to do the same with butternut squash. It gives it a really nice flavour and I actually prefer butternut squash from sweet potato as it’s not that sweet.

Unfortunately, I cooked my lentils for a little bit too long and in the end it managed to look like a purée. 🙂 Nonetheless, the salad was a success. Roasted smoked paprika butternut squash went very well with red lentils and spinach and fried red onions and goat’s cheese on top added more flavour to the salad making it super delicious. It was very filling salad too due to its high protein and fibre content.

If you are not a big fan of spices like cumin seeds and ginger, then just don’t add them or add only a little bit as I did. You could also add some coriander if you like it. Add salt and pepper if you feel it needs it.
I am not very sure how long it took me to make but with all the preparations I am sure it was more than 30 minutes.

Warm red lentil salad with roasted butternut squash, spinach and goat's cheese

Healthy, nutritious and delicious dinner
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 1
Author: Petra Kravos


  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • rapeseed oil
  • ginger (fresh or powder)
  • 400 ml vegetable stock (approximately)
  • 1/2 big red onion
  • 50 g young spinach leaves
  • 1/2 butternut squash
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • goat's cheese
  • 1/2 lemon (to squeeze over the salad at the end)
  • salt and pepper (if/when required)


  • Cut the butternut squash into cubes and coat them into rapeseed oil, salt and smoked paprika. Roast on 200C for around 15-20 minutes depending on how big the cubes are.
  • While the butternut squash is roasting heat up some rapeseed oil (1-2tbsp), add cumin seeds and garlic and gently fry on medium heat for a minute or so (don't let the garlic to get brown). If you are using fresh ginger, also fry ginger together with cumin seeds and garlic; otherwise, add the ginger later.
  • Add rinsed lentils to the pan together with the vegetable stock (enough to cover all the lentils). Let it cook for around 20 minutes and when needed add more vegetable stock (or water).
  • Gently fry sliced red onions on a few tablespoons of rapeseed oil, just enough so they go slightly soft.
  • On a big plate arrange spinach leaves which you drizzled with some olive oil, cooked red lentils, roasted butternut squash and red onions. I layered lentils and butternut squash and added red onions on top of the salad.
  • Finally, add the goat's cheese on top.
  • Squeeze some lemon over the salad just before you eat it.

Have you ever made red lentil salad before? How did it turn out?

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  1. This looks delicious. I’m always looking for lentil recipes and I’d never thought about having red lentils as part of a salad but I can’t wait to try it 🙂

    1. It was quite delicious indeed.. Lentils are my staple food and I am also always on the lookout for new lentil recipes but sometimes I experiment and try and come up with something of my own.If you try it let me know how it turned out!

  2. I love the look of this! Adding goat’s cheese or feta on top of my salads is one of my favourite things right now.

    1. The salad was really nice and you should try it aswell, just don’t overcook the lentils! I also love cheese on top, I just always try to go for a lower fat version if I can. I saw your salads and they are also quite inspiring – your photography is much better than mine. I use my phone at the moment! What do you take your pictures with?

  3. Love the sound of this Petra, all my favourite ingredients!! Thanks for the shout out! 🙂

    1. I am glad you like it Becca! You’re welcome, your blog has so many great recipes which are an inspiration to me and I hope my readers also check it out and try some of the recipes!

  4. I just tried lentil soup recently and it was lovely. I have been trying to think of other recipes to use for lentils and this looks lovely

    1. Thanks Alison, I am glad you like this recipe! I will try and come up with more lentil recipes in the future. Thanks for the comment!

    1. It’s definitely a lovely combination of ingredients. All those flavours come together really well. This reminds me I should make this salad again very soon!