Congratulations, you found the King of kale salad recipes, Kale Quinoa Salad! Not only is this a super easy kale salad recipe, it’s also deliciously healthy for you as well.
Kale and quinoa salad is one of our family’s favorite quinoa salads, possibly our favorite salad of ALL. It’s definitely a hit with our friends and family – especially when we go to the lake in the summer. Serve it up with Beef Brisket, Parmesan Orzo With Basil, Creamy Coleslaw, and Homemade Baked Macaroni and Cheese!
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It’s perfect on a hot summer day with something grilled on the BBQ, like a great steak, barbecued chicken drumsticks or even baked fish. We eat it throughout the winter too, enjoying the benefits of the healthy ingredients, with the fresh zesty dressing reminding you of the summer days to come.
This easy quinoa salad is such a crowd-pleaser because of the variety of ingredients such as pumpkin seeds, tomatoes, edamame, avocado, and mango. We’ve had people swear they don’t like kale, or don’t like quinoa, and they love this salad, and even ask for the recipe (just like when I make Thai Quinoa Salad)!
It’s a great salad that is super flavorful and very versatile. You can also change out or add ingredients that you and your family love. Feta cheese, chopped peaches, cranberries, and goat cheese can be used to amp up this quinoa and kale salad. You can even make a quinoa black bean salad!
Whenever we make this salad, which is quite often, I literally want to eat it for every meal. Well, maybe not breakfast, but definitely for lunch and dinner! We sometimes have it as a main meal with simple grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, or amazing smoked chicken on the top. We also have it with baked pork chops, Hamburger Pasta Medley, alongside spaghetti (made in the crockpot!) or our favorite skillet lasagna. Really, this mango quinoa salad goes with pretty much any main course.
The kids love this salad too, and it is often included for their lunches as well as ours. For lunch, I may add a slice or two of cheese, and a piece of our no knead bread, sausages wrapped in crescent dough, or our easy homemade bread maker bread.
Kale salad holds up well and will last the week easily. That is one of the highlights of this salad; how long it will last in the fridge versus other traditional lettuce salads like Red Leaf Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette. The trick is adding the fruit to the kale salad as you are ready to serve. We usually add the tomato, mango, and especially avocado, as we serve (or as we prepare the lunches).
I love serving the toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) on the side so that they maintain their crisp texture. And everyone can add as much as they want. The kids often eat the pumpkin seeds before they make it onto the salad. They’re so tasty and delicious that I usually make twice as many as we need so that we can snack on them!
How to Make Quinoa Salad
You may have heard that you should massage the kale. I don’t massage kale leaves and instead, I finely chop the kale. I find that finely chopped kale will meld nicely with the kale salad dressing and that massaging is not needed for this cold quinoa salad. It’s more like a chopped kale salad or shredded kale and quinoa salad recipe.
I taught my nine year old daughter how to make kale quinoa salad. She’s so creative in the kitchen and she loves to find new ingredients to try. One of her favorites is to make this kale and quinoa salad with cranberries and feta.
What is the Best Dressing for Kale Salad?
My personal favorite combination is kale and quinoa salad with lemon-garlic dressing. While this is a raw kale and quinoa salad with lemon vinaigrette, for a change of flavor, you can add a teaspoon or two of dijon mustard, or could switch out the lemon juice for balsamic vinegar. You could also make this with an Italian Dressing, made from Italian Dressing Mix.
How Do You Cook Quinoa for a Salad?
I love kale and quinoa salad recipes! The first step for making a successful quinoa salad recipe is to make perfect quinoa.Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is an excellent source of protein and fiber (and many other nutrients) and adds a nice texture to the salad. It works so well with kale and balances the flavors of the salad and soaks up some of the fresh dressing. Kale quinoa avocado salad helps to fill you up with healthy ingredients!
This is one of those easy quinoa salad recipes that is jumping with flavor. The pumpkin seeds give a nutty taste and texture, the mango gives a little sweetness, and the onion gives a little bite.
Give this Kale Quinoa Salad a try and fall in love with it. Let us know what you’ve added to yours to give us some more ideas! Enjoy!
Kale Quinoa Salad
- 2 cups cooked quinoa cooled (cook according to package directions), approximately 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 ½ cup edamame beans cooked and cooled
- 3 cups kale finely chopped (ribs removed)
- ¼ red onion diced, optional
- 1 cup grape tomatoes sliced
- 1 mango pitted and chopped
- 1 avocado pitted and chopped (or sliced)
- 3 Tablespoon pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted, optional (can use other seeds or nuts)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 6 leaves basil chopped (substitute 1 teaspoon dry basil)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
- Place all dressing ingredients in a bullet blender, blender or food processor. Blend for 15-30 seconds until well mixed.
- In a large bowl, mix cooked and cooled quinoa, edamame, and kale together. Add dressing and toss together. Refrigerate 30 minutes (or until serving) to allow flavors to meld.
- A few minutes before serving time, add onions, tomatoes, mango, and avocado. Serve and sprinkle with toasted pepitas.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
This recipe is adapted from Ambitious Kitchen.