A spring vegan potato asparagus salad, hearty enough for a meal, loaded with asparagus, potatoes, lentils, radishes, sugar snap peas, and mint - all dressed with a bright lemon vinaigrette.
This potato salad recipe is even better if you make this salad a couple of hours ahead, and allow it to macerate in the dressing. Reserve some of the dressing to add some just before serving.Jump to Recipe
Want to make this recipe perfectly the first time? I want to help with that. So, check out this Table of Contents to see which sections of this post will help you the most.
Spring wakes slowly here in the mountains. After relishing the explosion of spring for decades just outside San Francisco, and before that in Atlanta, I'm now adjusting to something more tentative. More gentle.
I see four fuzzy buds one day on a bush when walking little Paprika. The next day, two more gather up their nerve to join them. And then snow flurries dust those brave buds. Two steps forward. One step back. Life, you know?
Regardless of the weather, my body begins to crave salads that balance the vegetables of spring with the hardiness of winter fare. Especially if they involve asparagus. Asparagus is available year-round, but in spring they are at their most tender.
🧅 Asparagus Salad Main Ingredients
The secret to faster and easier meals often lies in the ingredients. For example, store-bought items and ingredients you make ahead and store in the refrigerator (or freezer) can turn a 60-minute recipe into a 30-minutes meal or less.
For the all of the ingredients, measurements and directions, go to the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post.
- French green lentils - These lentils hold their shape well when cooked. Black beluga lentils work too, for the same reason. Brown lentils do not.
- Asparagus - Either thin or thick asparagus is fine.
- Yukon gold potatoes - Baby potatoes are ideal in this recipe if they're Yukon gold potatoes. Red potatoes are also fine in this recipe.
- Sugar snap peas
- Fresh mint
- Lemon vinaigrette
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🔪 Recommended Equipment
Having the right equipment for recipes makes prepping soooo much easier. If you want more fuss-free prepping and cooking, check out my updated list of favorite kitchen tools and equipment.
- Medium pot - for cooking the lentils and potatoes.
- Baking sheet - if you roast the asparagus, or you can air fry it in an air fryer, or sauté the spears in a skillet.
- Whisk - for the vinaigrette
🤷♀️ What's the best way to cook asparagus?
We can debate this all day, but asparagus is best lightly roasted IMO. Although I acknowledge both slender and fat spears can be simmered in water, steamed, sautéed, and even grilled.
Since I have an air fryer (yay!), air fryer asparagus is my #1 favorite method unless the recipe calls for sautéing it with onion, garlic, etc.
If you don't have an air fryer, roast in a 400˚F oven for 10 - 15 minutes, depending on the thickness.
If you want to know how to cook different types of lentils, check out this primer on lentils.
👩🍳 Why This Recipe Works
- Both asparagus and lentils benefit from some acid, so they're perfect with vinaigrettes, and particularly ones with lemon juice.
- Having both potatoes and lentils in the recipe turn it into a fabulous meal that requires little else. Here's a roasted potato lentil salad I often make.
- Sugar snap peas add some texture, along with the radishes. And the radishes add a little bite.
⏰ Tips to Simplify and Save Time
- Cook the lentils ahead of time, or purchase them pre-cooked in cans or frozen.
- Make the vinaigrette up to 1 week ahead.
- Cook the entire salad ahead of time, assemble, and dress with ½ of the vinaigrette. When ready to serve, dress with the remaining vinaigrette.
🤷♀️ Asparagus Potato Salad FAQ
Can I make this salad ahead of time?
Yes. Make and assemble the entire salad, and dress with ½ of the vinaigrette. Transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate. When ready to serve, dress with the remaining vinaigrette. Serve chilled, at room temp, or re-warm in a 350˚F oven or in the microwave oven.
📇 More Asparagus Recipes
Potato Asparagus Salad with Lentils and Lemon Vinaigrette
- ¾ cup uncooked French Green Lentils (1 ½ cups cooked)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
- 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into chunks
- 1 cup sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
- 5 - 6 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh mint
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Cook up the lentils while you make the rest of the salad. Bring salted water to a simmer, and ¾ cup dry lentils. The typical ration is 3 cups water for every cup of dry lentils. Follow the directions on the package for cooking them. French green lentils typically require a 40 - 45 minute simmer. Pro-tip: More details for cooking French Green Lentils.
- Roast the asparagus in a 400˚F oven for 10 minutes on a parchment paper lined sheet pan, or until just tender, or make Air Fryer asparagus in the air fryer.Slice into 1-inch pieces.
- Place the potato chunks in a medium pot, and add enough salted water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring it to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender (about 10 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes). Drain.
- Combine the sugar snap peas, radishes and mint in a large bowl. Add the potatoes, roasted asparagus and cooked lentils.
- Whisk together all of the Vinaigrette ingredients except the olive oil. Pour in the olive oil while continuing to whisk.
- Pour one-half of the vinaigrette over the salad and very gently toss, using a large metal spoon. Let sit for 10 minutes on the counter to absorb some of the dressing, and add additional dressing - according to your own preference just before serving.
- Serve at room temperature.