Sauteed Garlic and Tomato Lentil Salad

Garlic and tomato lentil salad in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

Hey. Lentils. I love them.

I think we’ve talked about that.

But I really do love them because they’re a really pretty brown color (ahem, NOT). They are so versatile and healthy and cheap and texturally amazing. I’ll cut myself off before you start to feel like this just a repeat of all of my lentil posts that I’ve ever done.

Garlic and tomato lentil salad on a white plate on a blue napkin.

Guess what? My friend Angie was here in Cebu this last week! I am working on a picturey-post for all you guys who like to follow along with all our adventures and mishaps here in the Philippines. In a superbusy week, we made it in and out of the market alive, soaked up a wee bit too much sun at the beach, and of course, played/sweated our afternoons away at the shelter.

Even though I feel like I’m in and out of there all the time, it’s really fun to have an excuse to just BE there when we have family and friends visiting.

Ok fine, I’ll show you one picture.

Young girls looking at camera.

I can’t tell you how much I love these moments, to just be. Never mind that the 3pm sun is beating down through the window, or that sweet girl’s head looking, um, giant. She’s leaning in close to the camera, okay?

Sigh. My heart overflows.

Garlic and tomato lentil salad on a white plate.

Sometimes I feel like my eating life is… hot and cold. And by hot and cold, I mean healthy and unhealthy. Sometimes my friend comes to Cebu for the week and I eat, oh, I dunno, pizza by the pool. x200. Love.

This lentil salad is good for that, so I made this for a kind of RESET button on my eating life after a week of vacation eating. It was a total on-a-whim salad that just kinda used everything I had on hand. And yummmmmm! It was so good! So lemony and fresh and colorful. The lentils and bulgur (a small wheat grain) soak up all the flavor of the sauteed tomato and garlic. Plus that citrus dressing and the fresh parsley? Yes, yes, yes. I felt better about myself after just one big ol’ bite.

Garlic and tomato lentil salad in a skillet with wooden spoon.

I am also avoiding foods that involve hotness or warmness at all costs, and this salad fits the bill because you can eat it hot, right after you cook it, orrrrr you can eat it cold! COLD COLD COLD COLD COLD! That was me chanting “cold”.

Cold foods are making me so happy right now. I know you guys think you want to be in this tropical heat, because it’s really fun and beachy? right? People say that to me all the time. And it is fun and beachy during … the other months. But we’re in the summer and I’m hardly ever at the beach. So I’m just gonna tell you – you don’t want to be in this heat. Not without this salad (cold version) or that gorgeous, life-saving invention we call air con.

Seriously, Filipinos call it air con.

Garlic and tomato lentil salad with white plate.

And that’s where I’m headed now: to the air con with a big bowl of this freshy salad to refuel my life. Mmmm.

A picture of Sauteed Garlic and Tomato Lentil Salad

Sauteed Garlic and Tomato Lentil Salad


This sauteed garlic and tomato lentil salad is a delicious and healthy way to enjoy lentils! Colorful, bright, and fresh flavors.


  • 1 cup dry green (brown) lentils
  • 1/2 cup dry light bulgur (light just refers to the coarseness of the grain)
  • 34 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 68 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup parsley, very finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup citrus/vinaigrette dressing (I used a lemon tarragon dressing)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh lemon juice to taste


  1. Cook the lentils and the bulgur according to directions, using vegetable broth instead of water. When cooked, combine and set aside.
  2. Saute the tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil over low heat for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes and garlic are soft and fragrant. Remove from heat. Add the lentils, bulgur, and parsley to the pan and stir to combine.
  3. Season with dressing, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Serve hot or cold.


The lemon dressing just happened to be something I had on hand so I tossed it in there to keep things flavorful. Any kind of oil or vinegar based sauce or dressing that you have on hand could work for this one!

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Lunch
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: lentil salad, garlic and tomato salad, tomato lentil salad

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Just so-ya-know, I have some fun and different posts coming up this week including a giveaway! Woop.

And just so-ya-know again, this photography website just published a review of my ebook, Tasty Food Photography! In case you’re into that kinda thing.

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