Hearty and wholesome, this pasta salad is loaded with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, lentils, salty cheese and parsley, all cloaked in a light and bright red wine vinaigrette.

Source: Midwest Living


Credit: Brie Passano

Recipe Summary

20 mins
1 hr 10 mins
16 cups


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place lentils in a small saucepan and cover with 2 cups water. Add garlic, bay leaf and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. Remove and discard bay leaf and garlic.

  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add penne and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the pepper and sugar. While whisking, slowly pour in olive oil and continue whisking until emulsified.

  • Add the still-warm lentils and pasta to the bowl with dressing and toss to combine. Let cool 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow flavor from dressing to be absorbed.

  • Add cucumber, tomatoes, onion, olives (if using), parsley and feta to pasta mixture; toss gently to combine. Let stand up to 4 hours at room temperature. For longer storage, cover and chill overnight. Before serving, taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt, pepper or lemon juice as needed.


Before rinsing, always sort through dry lentils in the sieve to remove any grit and small stones.

Nutrition Facts

464 calories; fat 16g; cholesterol 19mg; saturated fat 5g; carbohydrates 63g; mono fat 9g; poly fat 2g; insoluble fiber 5g; sugars 4g; protein 17g; vitamin a 767.7IU; vitamin c 20.2mg; thiamin 0.8mg; riboflavin 0.5mg; niacin equivalents 5.3mg; vitamin b6 0.4mg; folate 278.7mcg; vitamin b12 0.4mcg; sodium 437mg; potassium 500mg; calcium 149mg; iron 4.3mg.