Budget-friendly lentils are combined with strawberries and a tangy dressing to make this great summer salad.Balsamic strawberry lentil salad recipe

This is a great recipe to make when strawberries are in season – and looking extra plump and juicy. (And as a bonus, strawberries are more affordable when they’re in season!)

This recipe combines several flavors and textures – sweet strawberries, creamy mozzarella, hearty lentils, crunchy almonds, and a tangy dressing with a balsamic reduction.

When a cheap ingredient like lentils is the base of a dish, it’s easier to justify splurging on other ingredients. The lentils for this recipe cost less than 30 cents. Therefore, spending a little bit more on fresh mozzarella and strawberries wasn’t out of the question.

Recipe is adapted from Healthy. Delicious.

How To Save Money On Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

It’s worth checking out the grocery store salad bar for fresh mozzarella. Purchasing just the amount you need may be cheaper than buying a whole container or package.

If mozzarella is not available on the salad bar, consider buying fresh mozzarella that is not packed in water, which tends to be a dollar or more cheaper than the regular type.

Learn how to make a perfect batch of lentils.

How to make lentils


Cheap balsamic strawberry lentil salad recipe. A unique recipe to make when strawberries are in season!

Balsamic Strawberry Lentil Salad

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Be careful not to overcook the lentils. They should be soft yet intact. Use brown or French lentils for this recipe, not red.


For salad

  • 1 cup dried French lentils, rinsed and sorted
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted and chopped almonds

For dressing

  • Juice from one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Pinch of fine grain sea salt
  • Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling


  1. To cook lentils, place water and lentils in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Heat until boiling and boil for about three minutes. Reduce heat and cook lentils for additional 20 to 30 minutes stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft and water has been absorbed. Set aside to cool.
  2. Transfer lentils to a mixing bowl and add strawberries, red onion, mozzarella, and almonds.
  3. To make dressing: Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, and salt. Pour into lentil mixture and place in refrigerator to cool.
  4. To make balsamic reduction: Place balsamic vinegar and sugar into a small sauce pan. Heat just until the liquid starts to boil and reduce heat to medium. Cook until the vinegar thickens slightly, about five minutes. Set aside to cool.
  5. Just before serving, add balsamic reduction to the lentil mixture.

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