A delicious alternative to a deli meat sandwich, this vegetarian Smashed Lentil Salad delight is made with canned lentils and a bunch of healthy fixings!
I am and have always been a lover of sandwiches. I never grow tired of eating them, but I do grow tired of them always having the same toppings. Sandwiches never have to be boring, because there are literally millions of flavour combinations out there.
Most of them contain meat though, which I don’t mind, but since John.e is a vegetarian, I often feel badly whenever sandwiches are on the menu. His sandwiches are usually just bread, mayo, mustard and lots of veggies, with dill pickle slices and cheese.
There had to be a way to make some great tasting vegetarian sandwiches that we could all enjoy without going the seitan or tempeh route. Enter canned lentils – who would have known that this humble ingredient could help to make such a great sandwich filler!?
I swear, Dear Reader, this filling is better when it’s all combined and placed in the fridge for a few hours. It’s great right when you mix it up, but if you have time to let it sit covered in the fridge for an hour or two, do it!
Let’s talk about substitutions!
If you’re not a fan of lentils, or if you don’t have any in your pantry right now, you can use just about any legume you like. This sandwich filling is really good with canned navy beans too!
Another really good option is canned chickpeas. You can do just about anything with chickpeas it seems! I think pinto beans would work as well, but obviously these substitutions will change texture, so think of that before you jump in.
I tried my best to make this sandwich light and healthy. If you are not too concerned about those things, you can certainly use full fat sour cream and mayonnaise.
You can also use whatever type of bread you like and you can leave out celery if you want. I say that because my daughter had a fit when she bit into a piece of raw celery! The same goes for the greens – use lettuce or spinach leaves if you prefer.
Microgreens are my latest obsession!
Microgreens are vegetable greens which have been harvested just after the leaves have developed. Don’t confuse them with sprouts or shoots. Microgreens are smaller than “baby greens” (e.g. spinach, arugula), but harvested later than sprouts (e.g. broccoli, mung bean).
I love them on a sandwich like this or added to salads, especially to pasta salads. They add a great visual appeal, not to mention great taste and a lot of nutritional value. I’m also obsessed with broccoli sprouts lately and can’t wait to try my hand at growing my own!
Smashed Lentil Salad Sandwiches might not be a sandwich you pack for your kids’ school lunchbox. This is a big sandwich and deserves to be eaten at the table. In fact, that’s just what we did! I made these for dinner and served them with dill pickles and kettle chips.
If you loved this recipe, here are some others that might interest you as well:
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Smashed Lentil Salad Sandwiches
- 19 ounces canned lentils, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup chopped cucumber
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped carrots
- 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon light sour cream
- 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise, plus more for spreading on bread
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 8 slices multigrain sandwich bread
- 2 large tomatoes, sliced
- 2 cups watercress
- 1 cup microgreens
- Place the drained and rinsed lentils into a mixing bowl. Using the back of a fork, smash the lentils until they are mushy, but still have lumps.
- Add in the cucumber, celery, carrot, red bell pepper, salt, black pepper, sour cream, mayonnaise, and chopped chives. Toss all together until well combined.
- Lightly smear each slice of bread with mayonnaise, if desired.
- Evenly distribute the lentil mixture over 4 slices of the bread. Top each of those sliced with sliced tomatoes, watercress, and microgreens. Place the remaining slices of bread on top and cut sandwiches in half.
- Plate and serve with a dill pickle.
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