Kale Quinoa Salad is the perfect healthy side dish. Made with simple ingredients this quinoa and kale salad is delicious and easy to make!
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If you see the word kale and immediately shudder because you just think it’s bitter and gross… I don’t blame you. Normally it is, but this recipe has none of that!
The secret to kale that is tender and delicious is to chop and massage the kale and the dressing on this kale and quinoa salad just takes it over the top by cutting the bitterness with balsamic vinegar.
So full of flavor and incredibly easy to make, we know you will love this kale and quinoa salad for a healthy lunch, side salad, or just part of healthy eating.
why we love this Healthy Quinoa Salad Recipe
There is a lot to love about this kale and quinoa salad recipe. It’s one of our favorites because it’s:
- Quick and Easy – this salad only takes 35 minutes to make and even quicker if you are using leftover quinoa.
- Healthy Lunch – this kale and quinoa salad is best served cold, so it’s perfect for a packed healthy lunch!
- Great for meal prep – because it lasts 4 days in the fridge, this is perfect for your weekly meal prep.
Ingredients for Quinoa Kale Salad
To make this kale and quinoa salad you’ll need:
- dry quinoa
- lacinato kale
- dried cranberries
- sliced almonds
- balsamic vinegar
- dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
You can find substitutions for all of these ingredients below in the green shaded box.
How to Make Quinoa and Kale Salad
- Cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Let cool.
- While the quinoa cooks, chop the kale leaves. Massage for a few minutes with your hands until it softens.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
- Add the cooked quinoa, chopped kale leaves, chickpeas, cranberries, almonds, pepitas, and dressing to a large bowl. Toss to combine.
SUBSTITUTIONS FOR KALE QUINOA SALAD
Quinoa: You can substitute quinoa with farro or orzo or use leftover quinoa.
Kale: Lacinato kale is our favorite kale but curly kale will also work. We also love this Easy Kale Salad!
Chickpeas: can be substituted with another bean like black beans or pinto beans.
Cranberries: can be substituted with any other dried fruit. Fresh apples would also be delicious.
Almonds & Pepitas: These can be substituted with an equivalent amount of any nut or seed. Sunflower seeds, chopped pecans, and chopped pistachios would all be delicious
Balsamic Vinegar: We don’t recommend substituting balsamic vinegar. You can use red wine vinegar but it won’t taste the same.
Dijon Mustard: You can substitute dijon mustard with whole grain mustard.
Kale Quinoa Salad FAQ
It can be! Kale is very nutrient dense and is also low calorie.
Massaging the kale is the best way to make sure your salad isn’t bitter. Also, combining with the vinegar in the dressing helps cut the bitterness. If you want another zesty dressing, check out this Lemon Dressing.
This salad is best served cold! This salad uses salad greens that will wilt when heated.
What to Serve Quinoa Salad With
This kale and quinoa salad is best served fresh and is such a delicious, healthy lunch or dinner. Here are some of my favorite things to serve it with:
How to Store Kale Quinoa Salad
How long does cold quinoa salad last? : This will last in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container
Freezing: We don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
Reheating: We don’t recommend heating this recipe. It’s best served cold.
Other healthy dinner recipes:
Looking for other easy meals and salad recipes? Check out these 40+ Healthy Dinner Recipes. Click here to grab our free healthy 30 minute dinners cookbook.
Kale Quinoa Salad
- 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
- 3 cups water
- ½ lb lacinato kale
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas low or no salt added drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cups dried cranberries
- 1/2 cups sliced almonds
- 1/2 cups pepitas
- 1/4 cups balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Cook the quinoa with 3 cups of water according to the package directions. Let cool.
- While the quinoa cooks, chop the kale. Massage for a few minutes with your hands until it softens.
- In a small bowl whisk together the balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
- Add the cooked quinoa, kale, chickpeas, cranberries, almonds, pepitas, and dressing to a large bowl. Toss to combine.
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