Food

Spring Salad with Chicken and Lentils

Spring Salad with Chicken and Lentils

Like a lot of people, I’ve been doing a lot of project cooking these past few weeks. It’s therapeutic, it’s distracting and, as always, eating something delicious is a small way to let a little light in every day. But that doesn’t mean I always want to spend the whole day in the kitchen. (Even Michelin-starred chef Eric Ripert makes a frozen pizza now and again.) That’s where these kinds of salads come in…

If I have greens and chicken, I know I can improvise the rest with minimal effort. Here’s a version of that standy-by from Kitchen Repertoire‘s Frances Boswell, who is the master of creating fresh, healthy, high-flavor dinners. If you start with a store-bought rotisserie chicken and pre-cooked lentils, the salad is a 100% assembly job. Here’s how to make it.

Spring Salad with Chicken and Lentils

1 cup picked parsley leaves, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
Juice of one lemon, about 3 tablespoons
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups cooked brown lentils (such as Trader Joe’s, or see instructions below)
1 small cooked chicken (roasted or poached or your preferred method) about 3 1/2 pounds, meat shredded
A few handfuls fresh, crisp lettuce leaves of your choice

Combine parsley and capers in a bowl. Add lemon juice and whisk in olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Arrange lentils, chicken and lettuce in a serving bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Douse in dressing and serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil if desired.

For cooked lentils
Bring salted water or broth (vegetable or chicken) to a boil. Add brown lentils and simmer until they are cooked through and tender, but still hold their shape. Start tasting and testing for doneness after about 12 minutes.

If you’d like more recipe inspiration from Frances and Kitchen Repertoire photographer Dana, follow them on instagram.

P.S. A one-pan roasted chicken dinner and five-ingredient lemony chicken.

(Photo by Dana Gallagher for Kitchen Repertoire.)

  1. Sara says...

    I always cook them 1:2, just like other grains, no need to drain the water (and loose nutrients?), just make sure to cover the pot and lower heat once it reaches a boil.

  2. Jessica Camerata says...

    I love anything with lentils, this looks so easy and delicious!

    xo Jessica

  3. This receipe looks fresh and easy especially in the time of lockdown when you virtually run oit of new ideas.
    I am going to swap some ingredients to make a vegetarian version too. Lets see how it comes out.

  4. This looks delicious! Good for lunch or dinner.

  5. nadine says...

    Thank you Jenny!! I’m vegetarian so I’ll swap the chicken with something else anyway this looks delicious.
    I’ve been loving your Project Pantry Purpose, it is brightening my days.
    Off topic, next week is my 35th birthday, any idea on how to celebrate?

  6. jeannie says...

    These recipes all look so good. I especially love the lemony chicken. Thank you!

  7. Bobby says...

    How many cups water to boil to cook the lentils?

    • Raquel says...

      I am always questioning how much water to cook lentils with!

    • Genevieve Martin says...

      I always just use a lot of water and drain them at the end (think how you’d cook pasta), you’re not looking to have the water all absorb like say cous cous or rice. Hope that helps :)

    • Raquel says...

      Thank you, Genevieve!

    • bob says...

      so they can be fully drowned

  8. RS says...

    Thank you for posting a recipe that is Passover-friendly during Passover. Much appreciated. There’s nothing more tortuous than scrolling through a delicious cake recipe during the week of no leavened foods. *I know some don’t eat lentils on Passover, but that can be modified if desired

  9. Sara says...

    Could anyone think of a good veg substitute that would work here in place of chicken? The lentil – capers – salad mix looks divine!

    • Charli says...

      I’d do some crispy spiced chickpeas! Toast them in a skillet with olive oil, salt, pepper, and maybe cumin. Or another idea is oven-roasted broccoli. You can even use frozen broccoli when oven-roasting!

    • Jenny says...

      eggplant, mushroom or zucchini would be my picks!

    • Mary says...

      Feta, grilled halloumi if you’re not vegan would be tasty I think! If vegan what about grilled cauliflower? Even without all these ie just lentils and lettuce and maybe some bread it’d be delicious. 😋

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      ooh grilled halloumi! is there anything better?

    • Claire says...

      just about anything you could think of would work well here, I bet.

    • Andrea says...

      I always wonder why these comments appear with every recipe—asking for subs for people who don’t eat flour, meat, dairy, etc. If you don’t eat x, you are the person who knows the subs, not the recipe writer. I say this as someone who doesn’t eat x.

    • Julie says...

      I bet roasted cauliflower would be amazing.

    • Claire says...

      Andrea- I’ve wondered the same, but I think a lot of people just don’t cook very much and are not used to following and/or making variations to a recipe. Back when I first started cooking and trying new things I also was unsure about which ingredients could be added or left out – and I am an omnivore. Now that I have more confidence and experience I just do it however I want to. My guess is they are actually a wondering about flavor compatibility.

    • Sara says...

      THANK YOU! All of these sound delicious!

      Andrea – honestly, I just don’t feel I have a good feel for these things, hence the question. My apologies?

  10. JenJen says...

    We do a variation of this – cooked lentils into a hot frying pan with garlic and olive oil, fry for a bit until some start to crisp up, then dump in a shredded little gem lettuce till it starts to wilt. Take off the heat, season, squeeze lemon juice over, then into a bowl with chicken, tomatoes, peppers and cucumber. Add some sort of yogurt based dressing – more garlic, or mint or whatever, mix and demolish. Always good!

  11. Escondista says...

    Throw in some feta and you have a deal!

  12. amy says...

    this looks delicious! my favorite kind of lunch.