Curried Lentil, Chickpea, and Kale Salad with Citrus Dressing

Nutrient-packed lentil, chickpea, and kale salad warmly spiced with curry powder and studded with dried cranberries, citrus fruit, and feta. This well-rounded salad makes for an excellent side dish, or even a meal!

This post is sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada.  

Curried Lentil, Chickpea, and Kale Salad with Citrus Dressing | #healthy #recipe #vegetarian #glutenfree

In certain ways, I’m a creature of habit. For instance, every single morning must begin with a large, steamy mug of bulletproof coffee, life doesn’t seem quite right without a couple squares (slash full bar) of dark chocolate after dinner each night, and there are certain books I can read over and over (The Alchemist, The Giver, Atlas Shrugged).

But, true to my Geminiac nature, the flip side of my much coveted day-to-day habits is I crave variety fiercely. I need to venture, to explore, need new terrain, and by golly, lots of color and flavor.

When it comes to salad in any form (greens, legumes, or grains), I’m all about many types of textures and flavors to keep things super crunchy, munch-worthy, and interesting. I guess you could say I’m in the habit of never eating the same salad twice.

And check out all the goodies in this lentil salad!

This particular adventure is packed with pulses for a healthful dish filled with plant-based protein. For those of you who are unfamiliar with pulses, here’s the skinny: pulses include dry peas, chickpeas, lentils, and beans – they’re a sustainable protein source, and as you probably already know, they’re super tasty! Pulses are easy and versatile to use in your regular meals and can be added to just about any recipe to ramp up the nutrient profile.

I’m a big fan of pulses over here, as they’ve made their way into every type of recipe on this site, from dessert (yes, dessert!) to side dishes, soups, breakfast, and main dishes. If you’re looking for some pulse inspiration, just let my Double Chocolate Chickpea or Black Bean Brownies, Rustic Minestrone Soup, Thai Lentil Vegan Meatloaf, Ultimate Healthy Breakfast Bowls, and Roasted Butternut Squash and Pear Salad with Lentils show you the way.

Curried Lentil, Chickpea, and Kale Salad with Citrus Dressing | #healthy #recipe #vegetarian #glutenfree

1 cup of cooked lentils or beans contains 18 grams of protein. Pulses are also low in fat, high in fiber, and are easy to keep in your pantry for regular use.

Curried Lentil, Chickpea, and Kale Salad with Citrus Dressing | #healthy #recipe #vegetarian #glutenfree

Every time I make a salad using lentils, I wonder why I don’t do it more often given how healthful, easy to prepare, and cost effective they are. I love the way this one turned out – the curry flavors with the citrusy dressing, dried cranberries, and feta all game together rather seamlessly. It’s that perfect salad to throw together any time of year to enjoy for lunch throughout the week, and is awesome to pack and take with you on any outdoor adventure slash road trip.

Options for recipe change-ups:

  • Add raw or roasted nuts or seeds, such as walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or pine nuts.
  • Omit the feta to make this vegan
  • Not a fan of curry? It’s okay, man, we can get through this. Simply use a different spice blend, such as garam masala, Jamaican Jerk seasoning, or even chili powder (start with about 1 to 2 teaspoons if you go this route, then add more to taste). Alternatively, give this salad an Italian flair by incorporating dried oregano, thyme, and/or basil.
  • Use any pulse you have on hand for this salad – black beans, and/or peas would work great!
  • This salad stores very well – you can make it ahead of time and store it in a sealed container for up to 1 week.

Curried Lentil, Chickpea, and Kale Salad with Citrus Dressing | #healthy #recipe #vegetarian #glutenfree

Learn more about the health benefits and sustainability of pulses at Pulse Pledge, and enjoy this flavor-blasted nutrient-packed salad!

Curried Lentil, Chickpea, and Kale Salad with Citrus Dressing | #healthy #recipe #vegetarian #glutenfree

Curried Lentil, Chickpea, and Kale Salad

Course: Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 1 14-ounce can chickpeas , drained and rinsed*
  • 3 large leaves kale , chopped
  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 navel orange , zested and peeled into sections
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced


  1. Add lentils to a pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Cover and bring to a full boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until lentils have softened, but are still al dente, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain any excess water and transfer lentils to a mixing bowl.

  2. Add the chickpeas and kale to the mixing bowl with the lentils. Add in the curry powder, sea salt, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic, and orange zest. Toss well until everything is well-combined.

  3. Toss in the peeled orange, dried cranberries, feta, and red onion. Add sea salt and/or additional curry powder to taste. Serve alongside your favorite entree, or enjoy as a meal.

Recipe Notes

*If using dry chickpeas, you're looking for just under 2 cups of cooked chickpeas


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  1. Shilpa

    Do not throw away excess lentil water from step number two.It’s most powerful broth ever. The most important nutrient are in lentil water.

  2. Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health

    AHHH!! I love love LOVE your new site!! It’s so clean and purdy. Your beautiful photography shines right through it like a ray of sunshine. 🙂

    And this salad looks all kinds of amazing. You know I’m all about them pulses so that fact that you get double the dose along with superfood kale and delicious curry flavor is over the top. So much goodness!! <3

  3. Emily

    I came to your website for a savory soda bread recipie and fell in love with everything else, too. The variety you have is amazing and I really appreciate that you have recipes for people all over the map; from meat-lover to vegan and everywhere inbetween. I actually have all the ingredients for this salad already in my fridge/pantry and am definitely excited to try it for lunch today!

    1. Julia Post author

      I’m so happy to hear it, Emily! Sometimes I think I should keep my recipes more focused (for instance, only post vegetarian recipes, or only post paleo), but I enjoy the variation as well. I’m so glad you like what you see so far, and feel free to reach out any time with questions!! 🙂 xoxo

  4. Char

    I just made this yesterday…I found the 2 tablespoons of curry powder to be overpowering in this recipe . I would try again but with less curry.

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Char, I’m sorry the salad didn’t turn out well for you! I re-visited the recipe myself and can see how the curry would be a bit much for some people. I dialed down the amount in the recipe as I think others may find it had too much to start out with as well. Thanks a bunch for your input, and I hope the next round goes better 😉


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