This warm lentil salad with butternut squash and shiitake mushrooms is the most comforting vegetarian main! You can serve it with roasted chicken or salmon, but I love how completely satisfying it is on its own.
If you’ve never eaten a warm lentil salad, you are in for a treat. The lentils become creamy on the inside, but still hold up extremely well to the dressing, roasted squash, and mushrooms. Don’t forget the fresh arugula, which brightens the whole thing up!
I think the shiitakes are the surprise secret ingredient here. Mushrooms and fresh herbs are a total match, and they make this dish feel rustic and homey. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and enjoy this hearty salad all fall long.
Warm Lentil Salad with Butternut Squash and Shiitake Mushrooms
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 6-8 servings
This warm lentil salad with butternut squash and shiitake mushrooms is the most comforting vegetarian main! Completely satisfying on its own or served with roasted chicken or salmon.
- 2 cups small green lentils, washed
- ¼ cup + 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 and ½ teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
- ½ lb. shiitakes (an 8 oz. package), stems removed and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
- 2 cups arugula microgreens
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, then add lentils. Cook at a boil for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover loosely with a lid. Cook until lentils are creamy, about 15-20 minutes more. Check the lentils every 5 minutes or so to make sure the bottom of the pot doesn’t burn.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing. Combine ¼ cup olive oil, sherry vinegar, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper in a small container or mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425 F. While lentils are cooking, place butternut squash on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until squash is tender and browned. Set aside.
- In a large cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. When very hot, add mushrooms and leave untouched for about 3-4 minutes. Toss, then season with ½ teaspoon salt, fresh rosemary, and sage. Continue cooking until mushrooms are caramelized, about 3 minutes more.
- Toss the warm lentils with dressing, then add squash and mushrooms. Serve topped with arugula micro greens (I added a handful to each finished plate) and lemon wedges on the side.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Salad
outstanding! instead of sherry vinegar, added quick-pickled red onions; served with garlic toast. so good!
Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme says
Thank you so much! Thanks for sharing your substitutions.