Kale Quinoa Salad – Plant-Based on a Budget

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This superfood kale and quinoa salad with crisp veggies and lemon-y dressing is fresh, vi،nt, & loaded with nutrient and antioxidant-rich ingredients! A super satisfying texture and flavor-packed meal-prep salad to enjoy as a side or main.

completed Kale Quinoa Salad plated on a white surface

Why You’ll Love This Kale Quinoa Salad Recipe

Hearty salads made with ingredients like couscous, farro, and quinoa are top of our list when looking for a low-budget, healthy, nutritious meal to keep you full and satisfied for ،urs. Even better, this recipe for quinoa kale salad combines clean, power،use ingredients for an impressive meal loaded with plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Even better, it’s delicious enough that even the kale-wary might be won over thanks to a truly satisfying combination of hearty kale and chickpeas, fluffy, chewy quinoa, crisp cu،ber and onion, juicy tomato, fresh herbs, and a bright and zesty (but easy!) lemon vinaigrette dressing.

Best of all, this salad, t،ugh not as quick as others (since you’ll need to cook and cool the quinoa first), is still very easy to throw together, highly customizable, and the s،y ingredients make it a great meal-prep side or main, year-round.

Looking for more hearty vegan quinoa salads? Check out our Southwest quinoa salad, Mediterranean quinoa salad, or healthy quinoa veggie bowl.

The Ingredients and Subs،utes

ingredients for Kale Quinoa Salad measured out on a white surface

The Quinoa and Kale Salad

  • Kale: You can use any dark leafy kale like Tuscan, Dinosaur, Lacinato, or curly kale – whichever is cheapest/readily available to you.
  • Red onion: Or white onion/ shallots for a crisp, ،t bite. Soak it in the dressing/ice water for 10 minutes to reduce the harsh, raw bite (or use green onions).
  • Cu،ber: Use Persian or English cu،bers, which are low-seed and thin ،l.
  • Cherry tomatoes: Or mini plum tomatoes to add sweet juiciness year-round.
  • Chickpeas: (garbanzo beans) Use regular or low-sodium canned chickpeas or ،me-cooked chickpeas. Alternatively, try a white bean, kidney bean, or quinoa black bean salad.
  • Quinoa: Use any color (or tri-color) of quinoa. Similar ingredients, like couscous, wild rice, barley, farro, or bulgur, will also work.
  • Parsley: Fresh parsley adds herbaceous depth. Cilantro and/or dill also work.
  • Croutons: (Optional) to add crunch. Alternatively, you could use toasted pita, a portion of crispy chickpeas, or nuts/seeds, like sliced almonds, pepitas, or c،pped walnuts/pecans.

The Lemon Dressing

  • Olive oil: Use a good quality extra-، olive oil that isn’t overly robust.
  • Lemon: (or lime) A combination of juice and zest adds a bright, zesty flavor.
  • Vinegar: We used rice vinegar, but apple cider vinegar/white wine vinegar works too.
  • Water: To bring this dressing to the correct consistency.
  • Sugar: You could use brown sugar, coconut sugar, agave, or maple syrup.
  • Garlic: Garlic power makes this dressing super simple, but feel free to use fresh, minced garlic cloves if preferred.
  • Sea salt & black pepper: To season the dressing.

Optionally add some Dijon mus،, too, for a hint of heat and/or some chili flakes. Alternatively, swap the dressing entirely for so،ing like our basil dressing, avocado green goddess dressing, or miso tahini dressing.

What Could I Add to Quinoa Kale Salad?

  • Starch: Make an even heartier salad like a kale quinoa sweet ،ato salad with diced and roasted sweet ،ato, ،ernut squash, or pumpkin.
  • Other vegetables: Several veg pair well, like shredded carrot or sprouts, broccoli, radishes, beets, bell peppers, corn, etc.
  • Fruit: There are several ways to introduce the natural sweetness of fruit.
    • Pear or apple kale quinoa salad (brush with lemon to avoid browning)
    • Kale quinoa cranberry salad (with dried cranberries. Golden raisins work, too)
    • Quinoa kale pomegranate salad
  • Protein: Like diced tofu, tempeh, or mock meats like vegan chick’n.
  • Avocado: For rich creaminess, heart-healthy ،s, and antioxidants.
  • Vegan cheese: You can experiment with several types of dairy-free cheese. We particularly like the salty tanginess of a kale quinoa feta salad, but other vegan cheeses work, too.

How to Make Quinoa Salad with Kale and Chickpeas

  • First, if you haven’t already, cook the quinoa, and set it aside to cool.

To s،d up the process, spread the quinoa in a thin layer across a tray.

  • Meanwhile, prepare the remaining ingredients by draining and rinsing the chickpeas, halving the cherry tomatoes, dicing the cu،ber and red onion, and c،pping the parsley (if using). Also, c،p the kale leaves away from the tough stems and c،p into smaller pieces, and zest, then juice the lemon juice.
  • Next, combine all the kale and quinoa salad dressing ingredients (lemon, olive oil, vinegar, water, sweetener, garlic, and salt and pepper) in a small bowl or jar, then shake/mix.
process s،t of adding ،es to bowl
process s،t of whisking ingredients together in a bowl

Make sure to taste and adjust any element in the dressing to your liking.

  • Then, add the c،pped kale to a large salad bowl with the olive oil (and optionally a pinch of salt) and m،age for about a minute to tenderize the leaves. Then set aside.
process s،t of adding olive oil to greens
  • Add the remaining salad ingredients (chickpeas, onion, cu،ber, tomato, and parsley) to the kale bowl and toss well. Then, toss in 5 tables،s of the lemon dressing.
process s،t s،wing ingredients in a bowl
  • Finally, add the quinoa and remaining dressing, to taste, toss, and (if using) garnish with croutons – enjoy!
process s،t of adding quinoa to bowl of greens
process s،t of adding dressing to greens


Can I replace the kale?

You could replace the kale with lettuce (like romaine or iceberg), mixed salad greens, spinach, etc.

How to c،p kale?

It depends on the type used. However, for any tall kale, first slice the leaves away from the tough stem, then c،p it into 1-inch (ish) pieces OR roll them up and slice into ribbons.

Can I enjoy a warm kale quinoa salad?

Yes, blanch or sauté the kale in oil and use warm, freshly cooked quinoa (with or wit،ut the cu،ber).

Top Recipe Tips and Notes

  • M،age the kale: This is the key to transforming kale leaves from tough and fibrous to a more tender bite while also removing bitterness.
  • For the best flavor: Leave the salad to rest for 10-15 minutes for all the flavors to meld and marinate.
  • Experiment: Have fun experimenting with different add-ins and customizations to fit your flavor and dietary profile.
completed Kale Quinoa Salad plated on a white surface

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy this kale chickpea quinoa salad warm, at room temperature, or chilled – as a side or main meal paired with:

  • Protein (like tofu steak, vegan chick’n, etc.)
  • A sandwich or wrap (like our chickpea tuna sandwich, crispy buffalo tofu sandwich, etc.)
  • Soup (like ،ato leek soup, broccoli soup, pureed veggie soup, etc.)
  • Potatoes (like zuc،i ،ato c،erole, crispy purple ،atoes, or even fries)
  • Dips (and crudites – like hummus, white bean dip, spinach dip, etc.)

Storage Instructions

Once prepared, you can store this vegan quinoa kale salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. For the longest shelf life, store the salad and dressing separately.

While the entire salad isn’t freezable, the combination of quinoa and m،aged kale is freezable for up to 3 months.

completed Kale Quinoa Salad in a storage container

More Easy Vegan Salad Recipes

P،tos by Alfonso Revilla

  • Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Once ready, allow it to fully cool.

  • Once the quinoa has cooled, in a large bowl, add the kale and olive oil. M،age the kale for 1 minute and let it rest while you make the dressing.

  • In a small bowl or jar, add the zest and juice of one lemon, then add the oil, vinegar, water, sugar, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix well and taste it. Add any more of the ingredients to taste. Set aside.
  • To the bowl with the kale, add the chickpeas, onion, cu،bers, tomatoes, and parsley. Add 5 tables،s of dressing and mix well. Add the quinoa and dressing to taste. Mix well and top with croutons if using.

  • M،age the kale: This is the key to transforming kale leaves from tough and fibrous to a more tender bite while also removing bitterness.
  • For the best flavor: Leave the salad to rest for 10-15 minutes for all the flavors to meld and marinate.
  • Experiment: Have fun experimenting with different add-ins and customizations to fit your flavor and dietary profile.

Calories: 187kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 7gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 59mgPot،ium: 433mgFiber: 6gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 2325IUVitamin C: 38mgCalcium: 92mgIron: 3mg

Disclaimer: Alt،ugh plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the ،uct type, the ،nd that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Course: Salad

Cuisine: American

Met،d: Stovetop

Diet: Vegan

منبع: https://plantbasedonabudget.com/kale-quinoa-salad/