Lentil salad with some sort of roasted root vegetables, or pumpkin, is an autumn and winter staple. This roasted carrot salad is so easy, takes no time at all, it’s a balanced meal, and most importantly tastes great. You need less than half an hour from start to finish, including cutting time (minimal) and making the sauce.
I make this roasted carrot salad for a quick lunch on the weekends, as a main during the week, and it’s almost as good cold, so it can be packed up and brought to work or school. If you’re looking for a super-quick weeknight dinner, you’ve found it!
For some more warm salads like this one, try this roasted new potato salad with lentils and herbs, pumpkin salad with tahini dressing, or a Moroccan roasted vegetable salad with quinoa. I make all of these at least a couple times a month depending on the season.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Carrots: if you have huge carrots, they should be quartered instead of halved to keep within a reasonable cooking timeframe.
- Greens: try baby spinach, kale, or chard in place of the rucola (all babies). Don’t go for lettuce as it’ll be wilt unpleasantly when it comes into contact with the warm carrots and lentils.
- Lentils: green, brown, or black lentils all work well here. Don’t use red lentils.
- Sumac: if you don’t have sumac, cumin is a good substitution.
- Balsamic vinegar: if preferred, switch this out for lemon juice. It will make for a less acidic vinaigrette.
Carrots are naturally higher in sugar and they can burn easily. To prevent yours from charring, place them cut-side up on the baking sheet. You can see that I didn’t do this for some of mine, and they got a little dark in places.
Use a small jar to mix the vinaigrette, especially if you want to make extra to save for later. Simply add everything to the jar, add the lid, and shake very well to combine. That way if you don’t use it all, it’s already handily in a sealed container.
How to Store
Storage: this will keep for a couple of days in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Cool fully before storing.
Freezing: I don’t recommend freezing this.
- Soak those lentils: try to soak the lentils ahead of time if you can – just cover them in cold water with a splash of apple cider vinegar and let them sit overnight. This makes them easier to digest, and they’ll cook faster.
- Thin it out: some tahini varieties will really thicken up when mixed into the vinaigrette. Thin it with a splash of water if needed and don’t worry if it thickens a few minutes after mixing. It happens, and can be fixed.
- Omit the garlic: if you have a propensity to heartburn, I would recommend leaving the garlic out of the vinaigrette altogether. It tastes great without, too.
More Carrot Recipes
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Spicy Roasted Carrots with Tahini Lentil Salad
- 150 grams dry brown or green lentils*
- 7-8 medium carrots halved lengthwise (~300 grams)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon sumac
- 60 grams rucola or other mild greens
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt to taste
- 1 clove garlic minced
- pomegranate seeds for topping
- Rinse the lentils and place into a medium pot. Cover generously with water, bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes. Strain any remaining water and stir in a sprinkle of salt. While the lentils are cooking, prepare the carrots.150 grams dry brown or green lentils*
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Place the carrots onto a baking sheet with the oil and spices, then use your hands to mix until the carrots are coated. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until they are softened and browned.7-8 medium carrots, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sumac
- To serve, separate the rucola between two dishes and add half the lentils and carrots. Top with the tahini sauce (see instructions below) and some pomegranate, and serve immediately. If you want to pack this for lunch, let the individual elements cool before packing them together in a sealed container.60 grams rucola or other mild greens, pomegranate seeds
- Place all of the ingredients into a small dish or jar and mix until fully combined. Keep and leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days.3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon tahini, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon maple syrup or honey, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1 clove garlic
This was first posted in January 2018. It has been updated with no changes to the recipe as of February 2023.