If you have been around for a while, you know that my favorite weekday lunch is a green quinoa salad, which explains why I have so many quinoa salad recipes on this blog. I know you are a fan as well because my Southwestern Quinoa Salad, Quinoa Avocado Feta Salad, Thai-Style Quinoa Salad and Chickpea Quinoa Mediterranean Salad are amongst the most popular spring recipes on my blog.
Today, I am adding one more recipe to the collection with this Kale Quinoa Salad. It is packed with every day veggies and easy to make. I tossed it with my go-to quinoa salad vinaigrette, Lemon Salad Dressing, as it is quick and easy to put together and, honestly, works pretty much with every salad recipe.
Why Should You Make This Recipe
If you are trying to add more greens to your diet without sacrificing flavor while still feeling full, this kale and quinoa salad is the perfect salad recipe for you.
I also like it because it:
- Comes together in less than 20 minutes from start to finish
- Is made up of ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. If you are missing a few ingredients, no need to worry because below, I will provide you with substitution/variation ideas
- Stays fresh for up to 3 days, which means you can make a batch and enjoy it for a few days.
The ingredient profile for this quinoa kale recipe is threefold:
I usually cook a batch of quinoa over the weekend and add it into salads and soups throughout the week.
Lately, I have been cooking my quinoa in a microwave, which is the quickest way of cooking it. However, I have also shared detailed instructions for cooking quinoa in a rice cooker and in a pressure cooker if you need a refresher on cooking quinoa.
This 5-minute homemade lemon vinaigrette is my go-to quinoa salad dressing. To make it, you will need olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.
- Kale: Rinse kale and remove the kale leaves from the ribs and slice thinly
- Broccoli: Cut broccoli into small bite-size chunks.
- Chickpeas: Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas under running water
- A ripe avocado: Slice into bite-size cubes
- Sliced Almonds: I went with almonds but any nut would work here
- Pomegranate arils: I chose pomegranate but sliced apples or dried cranberries would also work
- Crumbled Feta: Cheese is optional in this recipe. If you are following a vegan diet, simply omit the cheese
How To Make It?
When I said this kale chickpea quinoa salad recipe was simple, I wasn’t kidding. Here are the steps:
- Make the Salad Dressing: Place all the lemon vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl and give it a whisk. Set aside.
- Massage Kale: Pour half of the dressing into a large bowl and add in chopped kale. Then, using tongs or your own hands, massage the dressing into the leaves for 1-2 minutes.
- Add Remaining Ingredients: Then, add the cooked quinoa, chickpeas, avocado, and pomegranate arils. Drizzle it with the rest of the ingredients and give it a gentle toss using tongs.
- Garnish and Serve: Top it off with almonds and feta cheese. Toss, serve, and enjoy!
- Warm Kale Quinoa Salad: If you want to turn this into a warm salad (especially if you are enjoying it in the colder winter months), you can saute kale lightly with olive oil for a few minutes and use freshly cooked (still warm) quinoa.
- Kale Apple Quinoa Salad: Just swap the pomegranate arils in my recipe with cubed or sliced sweet apples, like Honeycrisp or Granny smith. This would be the perfect autumn kale salad!
- Quinoa Kale Cranberry Recipe: Swap the pomegranate seeds for dried cranberries. This version would be perfect for the holidays!
- Kale Quinoa Salad with Avocado Dressing: If you’re looking for a creamier salad dressing, swap my lemon vinaigrette for my avocado dressing. Kale salad with avocado lemon dressing is just as vibrant, tasty, and filling.
- Baby Kale and Quinoa Salad: If you’re not a fan of curly kale or lacinato kale, you could swap it for baby kale. This variety does tend to be a bit bitter because it’s not fully matured, but the rest of the ingredients will help you mask the bitterness and will still deliver a great salad in the end.
How To Store?
Thanks to kale’s sturdy leaves, this kale quinoa avocado salad stays fresh for up to 3 days, which also makes it great for meal prepping. Just assemble the salad as instructed in the recipe, store it in your fridge in an airtight container, and enjoy it whenever you want.
Kale Quinoa Salad Recipe
For the Salad Dressing:
- ½ cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 small cloves of garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
For The Salad:
- 6 cups kale leaves cut into thin strips
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (15 oz.)
- 1 head of broccoli chopped into small pieces
- 1 avocado cut into cubes
- 1 cup pomegranate arils or dried cranberries
- 1 cup sliced almond lightly toasted
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese optional
- To make the salad dressing: Place all the ingredients in a bowl and give it a whisk.
- To make the salad: Place kale leaves in a large salad bowl. Drizzle half of the dressing over it. Using tongs (or clean hands) incorporate/massage the dressing into leaves for 1-2 minutes.
- Add in the quinoa, chickpeas, broccoli, avocado, and pomegranate arils. Drizzle it with the rest of the dressing and give it a gentle toss using tongs.
- Top it off with sliced almonds and feta cheese (if using). Toss and serve.