Black Lentil Pesto Salad with Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts

Gem-like black lentils are the start of a dramatic, plant-based dish. Quick-cooking, nutritious, and earthy, these lentils form a jet black canvas to your colorful meal. In this hearty, meal-in-one salad, simmered black lentils are the foundation of this seasonal recipe Black Lentil Pesto Salad with Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts. The lentils set off the brilliant colors of roasted butternut squash and brussels sprouts, which are in season even in the colder months. The cooked lentils are mixed with a fresh, herbal pesto dressing, then piled onto a serving platter before arranging roasted vegetables and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds and fresh basil leaves on top. This hearty recipe is great for meal prep, potlucks, and parties. It holds up well for days, and may be served warm or cold.

Slice brussels sprouts (these are heirloom purple brussels) in half, and cube butternut squash. Then season with olive oil, salt, and pepper before roasting them.
Cook up black lentils and mix in the pesto dressing. Then top with the roasted veggies and pumpkins seeds.


Black Lentil Pesto Salad with Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts

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  • Author: The Plant-Powered Dietitian
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 14 servings
  • Diet: Vegan


Gem-like black lentils are the start of this dramatic, colorful, gluten-free, plant-based dish, which is flavored with a pesto dressing and topped with brilliant roasted butternut squash and brussels sprouts.


Roasted Vegetables:



Pesto Dressing:

  • ¾ cup prepared pesto, vegan
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Garnish: (optional)

  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Slice butternut squash in half, scoop out seeds, peel and slice into cubes. Arrange on half of a baking sheet.
  3. Slice brussels sprouts in half and arrange on the other half of the baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Toss with tongs to distribute.
  5. Place in the top rack of the oven and roast for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and tender.
  6. While vegetables are roasting, cook lentils. Combine black lentils, 2 cups water, and 2 cups vegetable broth in a medium pot, cover with lid, and cook for about 20 minutes, until just barely tender, but not mushy. Allow to cool slightly.
  7. Mix together vegan pesto, water, and vinegar in a small dish to create a dressing.
  8. Gently mix dressing and diced red onions into lentils.
  9. Place dressed, cooked lentils on a large serving platter.
  10. Arrange roasted squash and brussels sprouts, pumpkin seeds, and basil leaves (optional) over the lentils.
  11. Serve immediately.
  12. Makes 14 servings (1 cup each).
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vegan salad, best vegan salad, easy salad recipe, butternut squash salad, butternut squash

Try a few of my other favorite plant-based salad recipes:

Purple Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Mandarin, Quinoa, and Kale Bowl
Arugula Salad with Radishes and Avocado and Truffle Lemon Vinaigrette

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