Kale, Lentil, & Roasted Beet Salad

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Big plate of healthy and satisfying Kale, Lentil, Roasted Beet Salad

When we got back from Mexico last week I decided to swear off coffee, alcohol, dessert and fried foods for a week in the name of health.

Well, that backfired in the way of a massive caffeine headache, minor flu, and my body being all like “why you think you can take away everything we love at once? Not happening.”

Not happening indeed.

That little cleanse lasted about 3 days before I was like “give me all the coffee and wine and tortilla chips. Muahahahaha.”

Roasting leeks on a baking sheet for a healthy vegan winter salad

Even though things are back to “normal” these days and I have all of my loves back in my life, I’m still craving lotsa whole foods. There’s nothing like a vacation filled with overindulgence to send you running back into the arms of your beloved salad.

Me: “I’m so sorry I ever left you. Please, please, please take me back.”

Salad: “OK, fine.”

Showing one of the steps for How to Cook Lentils for adding to salad

This salad is everything good about winter all rolled into one.

Hearty greens
Leeks
Beets
Lentils
Nuts
& a tangy lemon-tahini dressing to marry it all together.

Friends, I think I’m in love. With a salad. (Don’t tell John.)
Bowl of Roasted Beets, Lentils, Kale, and Leeks for a delicious gluten-free vegan saladPouring dressing onto our vegan Roasted Beet, Lentil, Kale Salad

What’s this salad like? A big hug from winter. It’s

Hearty
Crisp
Savory, sweet, + tangy
Comforting
& Mega satisfying

Make this salad for a hearty weeknight meal or for lunches on the go! It’s highly portable and loaded with good-for-you nutrients and serious fuel (16 g protein per serving!).

Dinner plate filled with our winter salad recipe of Kale, Lentils, Roasted Beets, and Leek

If you try this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and let us know! Better yet, show us by taking a picture and tagging it #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We seriously love seeing what you guys cook up. Cheers!Healthy light meal of our refreshing Abundance Salad with Kale, Lentils, Leeks, and BeetsBig plate of our healthy winter kale salad recipe with lentils, beets, leeks, and pecans

Kale, Lentil, & Roasted Beet Salad

A simple kale salad with lentils, roasted leeks and beets, and toasted pecans in a tahini-lemon dressing! Seriously satisfying and so healthy.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Big plate of our Kale, Lentil, & Roasted Beet Salad made with pecans and apple
4.76 from 25 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3
Course Entree
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days

Ingredients

  • 3 medium leeks (ends trimmed, sliced lengthwise then chopped, thoroughly rinsed, and dried)
  • 1 medium beet (rinsed clean, dried, and quartered - remove any rough skin)
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup green lentils (rinsed clean)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock (or sub water)
  • 4 big handfuls kale, baby spinach, or spring greens

TAHINI DRESSING

  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1/2 medium lemon (juiced)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
  • 3-4 Tbsp good olive oil
  • 1 pinch each salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and lightly grease a baking sheet.
  • Once thoroughly rinsed, add lentils and stock or water to a small saucepan and bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes uncovered or until all liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
  • Add chopped leeks and beets to the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Then bake for 15-20 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. For crispier beets, remove leeks from pan and continue roasting beets for an additional 10-15 minutes (I prefer mine crispier). Set aside.
  • While veggies and lentils are cooking, prepare dressing by adding all ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • If using kale, add to large mixing bowl with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice and massage with hands to soften. For all other greens, skip this step.
  • Add greens, beets, leeks, and lentils to a large mixing bowl, add dressing and toss to coat. For additional protein / crunch, add your favorite nut or seed (such as lightly salted sunflower seeds or roasted pecans).
  • Leftovers keep for up to a few days, though best when fresh.

Notes

*Lentils preparation from The Kitchn.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without additional nuts or toppings.

Nutrition (1 of 3 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 542 Carbohydrates: 57 g Protein: 16.4 g Fat: 30 g Saturated Fat: 4.3 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 319 mg Fiber: 15 g Sugar: 15 g

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  1. Larry says

    I’ve made this recipe twice now because my wife raved about it the first time. I didn’t really change a thing but used more lemon juice and for the crunch I used a lot of pine nuts. My favorite part is the massaging of the of the kale, it improves the texture and flavor and is quite relaxing too.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Larry. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  2. MindfulH says

    This was perfect! I loved the beets and walnuts as well as the dressing! I had it for lunches all week. If you are going this route, also second the suggestion to thin the dressing with boiled water as the dressing does get thicker in the fridge.

  3. Jacki C says

    Awesome salad. Next time I will double the lentils because more is more in my book. My husband thought the dressing was perfect—I needed a little extra acid so splashed in a touch of balsamic. Toasted pepitas on top for crunch. Will definitely make again!

  4. Tami Vogel says

    Haven’t made this recipe yet, but thanks for the good chuckle this morning (about your Mexico story.) Vacations will certainly do that! Funny how you start craving healthy, whole foods after just a short period of time. Cheers!

  5. Sarah says

    I love this salad! I make it probably twice a month all for myself (with three servings!). Just wanted to share my modifications:
    1. I cook the lentils in water but add a half teaspoon each of turmeric, cumin, and smoked paprika, then a dash of salt
    2. I boil the beets and sauté the leeks – just my personal preference!
    3. I put 1/3 of a cup of tahini in the dressing and follow the rest of the recipe, then use a little hot water to thin – makes the dressing last for three servings instead of two.
    Thanks so much! I love this salad!!

  6. Ashley says

    Made this tonight for dinner for my boyfriend and I. This is seriously amazing! Thanks for sharing! Went perfect with a glass of jammy wine we just picked up, very filling and rich :-)

  7. Hope says

    This salad was delicious. I followed the recipe using kale. I thought for a cold winters night a salad would not satisfy, but it sure did! This is a keeper. Thank you.

  8. Debbie says

    Loved it! This is a go to salad for entertaining. Unexpected ingredients and beautiful, thanks so much. Love your recipes, always delighted with the results!

  9. Stephanie says

    Delicious and easy recipe. I made this and brought to a party where everyone raves about it. Now my husband also begs me to prepare it for him often. I’ve altered it with more beets and without leeks and it’s still super yummy.

  10. Shelley Spalding says

    THIS IS SOOOOO GOOD. I made this and ate it with more lentils, however. I also cut the olive oil intake in half. Instead of thinning the tahini with olive oil, I just used water. I also had to substitute kale for spinach, but of course it was still great. But anyway, it is SOOO GOOD. And chock full of fiber. It’s filling, too. I want to make this again. It was my first time cooking with beets, and I’ll be coming back!

  11. Terra says

    I am hoping to make this tomorrow night, but after looking at the nutritional value, the fat content especially, I’m thinking twice! That’s ALOT of fat! And after looking at the ingredient list, I can’t figure out where that much fat would come from per serving.
    It looks delicious and am still hoping to try it.
    Any info would be appreciated as far as where the fat is coming from.

    Thank you!!!

    Terra from Washington

  12. Pamela says

    I can agree that this recipe also was great, even on a very snowy day….I made it with quinoa and not lentils, because I had those for lunch already. I liked the roasted pecan nuts the most and I looooved the tahini dressing but the crisp beet slices were yummie too…Thanks for this one: it will stay and made many times from now on!

  13. Stacy Davis says

    I have never cooked a beet in my life. I have to say I am now a beet fan!! Thank you for another great recipe. Delicious!!

  14. Brittany says

    This salad was a showstopper when I had houseguests in October. (I served it alongside crab legs and everyone fought over the seconds of salad… that puts it in an award-winning category in my mind. Crab legs are hard to beat!)

    I’m coming back to it now for a Christmas family gathering and just wanted to send a note of thanks for your creations! Happiest of holidays.

  15. becky says

    This is the first time I’ve been to the website. We loved the ingredients in the salad but were not at all fans of the dressing. I highly recommend not putting dressing on the whole thing until you know you like it. the texture was pasty and the flavor combo was oddly sweet. Something brighter with more acidity would be better in my opinion.

  16. Kristina says

    So I just made this tonight but had to make a few edits since I didn’t have tahini or leeks. I subbed red onion for the leeks and peanut butter for the tahini. I also used leftover beets that I had steamed. I sautéed the onions and cooked beats in sesame oil and then added the kale at the last minute, then mixed it all together. Very tasty! I probably made too much dressing so mine was a bit heavy, but it was still good and very filling!

  17. Breda says

    Loved this salad. Hearty and delicious. I did roast some sweet potatoes withe the beets and leeks. The lemon dressing was divine – I added lemon zest just because. I had to stop myself from eating the dressing by itself – it was even better the next day, tasted like lemon curd. Oh, so good. Thank you for this recipe.

  18. Christina says

    I’ve never commented on any blog before, but this recipe is way too good to not shout it out to the world! I discovered your recipe a year ago, and it has become a staple in our house ever since. My husband and I are both completely in love with this salad, we could probably just live off of it for days. The dressing is a little thick when using it on day 2 or 3, but I just add a splash of water, gently stir it up, and it seems to be good to go again. So hearty, healthy, filling, and most importantly, DELICIOUS!

  19. dorothy Hensinger says

    I like lentils warm and now will try them in salads. I will cook the beets in oven and make this wonderful salad…I am an old women 86 and in excellent health because I love vegies and fruits and nuts and whole wheat pasta….thanks for the creative ideas…dorothy

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    This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am really impressed to read everthing at one place.

  21. Julia says

    I don’t usually make recipes from random sites as there’s too much risk involved. Epicurious is my usual go to. But I needed to use some lentils and had the other ingredients so I took a chance. Bad idea. I’ve made and enjoyed tahini dressings before but what was that?? No garlic? It’s like putting halvah on a salad. Too sweet and I had decreased the syrup. And I think you forgot to mention to add water to thin. That was not remotely close to dressing consistency. It ruined the salad and my meal. Fortunately I had garlic granules to add some dimension and flavour.

  22. Sierra says

    I stumbled upon your site today looking for a lentil kale recipe, and I’m so happy I did! As a 5 month pregnant vegetarian, I’m always happy to find a yummy recipe that adds more protein into my diet. This salad is so good!!! Can’t wait to try your other recipes!

  23. Amber says

    Hi Dana,

    So I’ve recently tried to give up coffee, refined sugar and liquor during the week and give myself 1 treat on the weekends. I tried to reset with this buzzfeed clean eating plan, but the food is absolute garbage. Now I have all these ingredients and I want to be creative in how I incorporate them. Do you think I could substitute fennel for leeks in this recipe?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I really prefer fennel fresh, so leave it fresh! When you roast it, it turns into mush. But yes, I think it would be a suitable swap!

  24. bridgitte says

    eating this as i type and cant believe how good it came out, even without the leeks! looking to replace bread heavy lunched with fun filling salads and this is a keeper!
    thanks!!

  25. Lauren says

    Question about the beets – are you quartering and skinning them raw? I’ve never done that because I thought the beet juice would just basically drain out? How do you get the skin off without roasting them first? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I just peeled them and quartered them (raw). The beet juice is a little messy, but it doesn’t drain out. I just find roasting them PRE sliced yields the best flavor!

  26. Sonia says

    Made this the other day and LOVED it. It was the envy of my coworkers! I’ve never roasted beets before and they are amazing!

  27. Frances says

    This is PHENOMENAL. I’m a full-blown omnivore (with vegetarian leanings) doing a month of vegan eating, and your blog has been my full-time reading for the past week – you have so many amazing recipes! This was so good I was sad my tummy wasn’t bigger to fit more in… :p But I’ve enjoyed the leftovers for lunch the past couple of days. I’ve forwarded the recipe to so many people already, thank you so much! I used kale and topped with dry roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds and will be making again very soon for my meat-eating boyfriend – I’m absolutely positive he’ll love it.
    Making your tofu stir fry tonight and will be reporting back (no doubt just as excitedly). Thank you again! If I stick to your recipes, I’m thinking becoming a full-time vegan will be a piece of cake.

  28. Janne says

    Made this last weekend and loved it! The tastes were great together. Tonight I’m making the Mexican Quinoa Salad, really looking forward to it! Thank you for an inspiring website!

  29. Jacklyn says

    I want to make this for Easter, but i know not everyone loves kale like i do. What other leafy green would you suggest?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Just a spring lettuce mix would be best! Either that or baby spinach. Good luck and happy Easter!

  30. Harriette says

    This was fantastic, I couldn’t resist pinching a few beets and leeks from the pan. I’m not a huge fan of lentils, but found they fit in really well with the salad. Thanks for the recipe!

  31. Amanda says

    This salad rocks, so yummy!
    If I wanted to add tempeh to this, do you have a marinade you would suggest for the tempeh?

  32. Brandi says

    I have so many beers I need to eat, can’t wait to make this salad! Can a sub red lentils for the green ones?

  33. Kristin says

    Can’t wait, making this tonight – prepped everything quickly ahead of time :) Love fast, healthy yet satisfying recipes like this.

  34. Maggie @ Veg Fiend says

    Ya know, I love the taste of leeks, but hate the sand. I feel like no matter how long I soak them in water, they still have dumb sand particles in them!

  35. Cliodna says

    I made this salad today for lunch and omg it is delicious! Awesome recipe! I will be making this often!! (along with your sweet potato muffins which is already a weekly dessert at our house haha)

  36. Lorna says

    This recipe looks great. I mean, really great. (I’ve just returned from Poland so am gushing a bit about all beetroot recipes at the moment!). That gold fork really caught my eye in the photos. It’s just such a nice fork!! (I have no excuse for my fork gushing…..)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks Lorna! Gold fork is from West Elm. So jealous you were in Poland! I’ve heard it’s beautiful. Hope you love this salad!

  37. Emily says

    this looks phenomenal! beets are a new things for me, so i am always looking for recipes to incorporate them into something yummy!

  38. Nadja says

    I have absolutely fallen in love with your recipes! I’ve been looking for a simple dressing–I just hate all the sugar in most bottled varieties. Do you know how long the dressing will keep (if kept separate from the salad)?

  39. Michele @ Two Raspberries says

    I always LOVE new ideas for salads! this looks delicious! I love the lentils added in here! pinned!

  40. Abbie @ Needs Salt says

    ASODNASKJNU. This salad! Like, literally everything about it looks just superb. I love the idea of beets and pecans and leeks all in the same bowl (WITH tahini!) Imma faint now. Perfection, check. Pinning this!

  41. Nutty Nutrition Heather Mason says

    Yummy! This salad looks good! I hear ya on the cleanse not lasting very long. I swore off No added sugar after Vday until my cruise in a couple weeks. Well today I ate a reeses, nope, not gonna happen!

  42. Mindy says

    I’m on vacation right now drinking way too much coffee and other no so good foods. This weekend I am running straight into the arms of this much needed salad.

  43. Nicole {VeganShowOff.com} says

    I’ve never put lentils on salad before! This is a super healthy salad and perfect for “vacation recovery”. The dressing looks like it’d also be awesome on a grain salad (which I’ve been lovin’ lately)!

  44. Liz @ Lizinpdx says

    Love love love the high protein content. Always looking for more ways to get protein in my diet. Your photography is so gorgeous, Dana. I always look forward to what you shoot.

  45. Lynn @ Order in the Kitchen says

    UMM wow this looks amazing. Pinning this for next time I need a healthy meal because these flavors look unbelievable together! Love!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hey Lynn! You are pretty much the cutest and I am so glad I got to meet you last year! Hope all is well!

  46. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says

    Your salads are always super impressive. This one is no different!! I love the sauce annnnnd the lentils in there! I’ve never done that before, but definitely need to start!

  47. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables says

    Wow, loving all that veggie-friendly protein! :) I totally know what you mean about wanting healthy food after a vacation!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Glad you get me! I think I need to “detox” a little less intensely next time – maybe not everything all at once!