Lentils with Shallots, Strawberries, and Goat Cheese

My mother doesn’t trust me, and I blame myself entirely. Let me explain…

A white mug full of cooked lentils topped with shallots, strawberries, goat cheese and flavored with balsamic vinegar.

Here’s the thing about my mom that I can’t quite accept: she despises goat cheese.

But as a cheesemonger with a very tenacious spirit, I refuse to quit until I find one that she does like.

Fresh and raw peeled purple shallots on a dark wooden background.

I’ve tricked her over and over again into tasting them. I’ve lied to her. I’ve coaxed her. I’ve begged her. So much so that there’s this slight fear that she is going to disown me as her only daughter.

Despite all the goat’s milk gouda, fresh chevre, brie, and cheddar that I have attempted to feed her, she still hates it. And now approaches every plate I make with a hint of caution.

A thinly sliced strawberry on a dark wooden background.

She may be a lost cause. But I’ll keep trying…

Thankfully, for every one Mama Cervone in the food world, there is a happy handful of goat cheese lovers.

Whole strawberries on a dark wooden background.

This recipe is for you! A heartfelt ode to fresh, tangy, creamy chevre!

Enjoy this warm salad of lentils sauteed with shallots and balsamic vinegar, gently mixed with fresh, juicy strawberries and dollops of chevre.

A white porcelain mug full of a recipe which includes Lentils with Shallots, Strawberries, and Goat Cheese. On a dark, wooden background.

It’s luxurious, comforting. The perfect blend of rustic and hearty legumes and indulgent fruit and chevre. The balsamic vinegar gives the dish acidic balance, while the walnut oil lends a subtle nutty, fatty taste and mouthfeel.

Top down view of a white mug with a recipe containing Lentils with Shallots, Strawberries, and Goat Cheese and flavored with balsamic vinegar.

Topped with freshly cracked pepper, you’ll be entranced with every bite. Make one of my favorite side dishes now!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Top down view of white mug full of Lentils with Shallots, Strawberries, and Goat Cheese sitting a dark, wooden table.

Lentils with Shallots, Strawberries, and Goat Cheese

  • Author: Shanna Mallon
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 3 servings 1x


Enjoy this warm salad of lentils sauteed with shallots and balsamic vinegar, mixed with juicy strawberries and dollops of chevre.


  • 1 1/2 cups organic dried French lentils (or, 3 cups cooked lentils)
  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil or olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 12 ounces soft goat cheese (chevre)
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • Black pepper, to taste


  1. Start by cooking the lentils: Place lentils in a stockpot with two to three cups of water (water should cover lentils), and resist the urge to add salt since that will increase cooking time and prevent lentils from softening. Bring mixture to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer on low heat. Be sure to check that they do not boil over while covered (release the steam once in a while).
  2. Cook until tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Drain lentils (depending on the age of your lentils, cooking may take longer).
  3. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, sauté shallots in walnut oil for 5 to 10 minutes, until fragrant and starting to brown. Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, stir and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add reserved, cooked lentils, which will deglaze the pan. Add sea salt, stir for 15 to 30 seconds and remove the pan from heat.
  4. Place lentil mixture in a large serving bowl. Add small dollops of goat cheese and sliced fresh strawberries to the top, but do not mix them in. Drizzle 1 tablespoon walnut oil and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar over lentils, goat cheese and strawberries. Then, use a spoon to mix gently.
  5. Season to taste with additional sea salt and pepper, as desired. Lentils are best served immediately or at least on the same day due to the strawberries in the mixture.
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Category: Legumes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Dinner

Keywords: lentils, shallots, strawberries, goat cheese, legumes, beans

A Tasty Shoutout to Chevre

My mom will be forgive me (eventually) for all the times I’ve made her try her least favorite dairy product. One of these days, mark my words, one of these days, I’ll find one she likes!

Close up of a half of a white, ceramic bowl full of Lentils with Shallots, Strawberries, and Goat Cheese. On a dark wooden table top.

In the meantime, I’ll enjoy this hearty salad with strawberries and chevre by myself…

What do you think of this style of cheese? Like it? Hate it? Did you make this recipe? Let us know you thoughts in the comments below and please rate this recipe!

And if you love lentils, then these tasty recipes will tantalize your tongue:

Photos by Shanna Mallon, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on June 24th, 2014. Last updated: November 30, 2020 at 14:52 pm.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Nikki Cervone

Nikki Cervone is an ACS Certified Cheese Professional and cheesemonger living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

6 thoughts on “Lentils with Shallots, Strawberries, and Goat Cheese”

  1. One of the first things we did when we decided to trim a few things without putting nutrition and good food at risk was to add more lentils and beans to our diet. i’m very slowly learning about soaking the beans and cooking them over the weekend for the week’s consumption. they make great additions to salads.
    i like the idea of strawberries & tang of the goat cheese to this lentil dish.

    • Lan! I forgot to talk about soaking ahead of time in this post, but that’s what we did last week, too, and it was a HUGE help. So much easier to whip up dinner when the soaked and cooked lentils are all ready at the last minute.


Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.