Packed with flavor, protein, fiber, and a whole lot of flavor, this kale and quinoa salad and lemon tahini dressing recipe is the best way to get your veggies in! It takes just 20 minutes to prepare and is hearty and filling!
Most people don’t instantly start salivating when they think of a kale salad. Honestly, I love kale, so maybe I would LOL, but I think I fall within the minority on that one. You probably think boring, bland, and unsatisfying.
I’m going to try to prove you wrong with this kale and quinoa salad recipe however. This salad has a base of kale (which you probably could’ve guessed), lots of fluffy quinoa, warm garlicy chickpeas, pumpkin seeds for some crunch, and a creamy lemon tahini dressing for healthy fats and flavor. A good creamy dressing is key to a good salad, so don’t skimp!
Health benefits of kale
- Incredibly nutrient dense, containing high amounts of beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C and calcium
- Contains powerful antioxidants like quercetin (source)
- Like other cruciferous veggies, kale contains a compound called sulforaphane which helps support liver detoxification
- Mineral rich to support healthy skin, hair, and bones
What kind of kale goes on salad?
Personally, my favorite kind of kale is traditional curly kale. There are a few varieties of kale, another one is dinosaur kale (A.K.A. lacinato kale), but I’m not the biggest fan of that variety. However, for this recipe you are welcome to use whatever kind of kale you want!
I generally use curly kale. Dinosaur kale does not need to be massaged the way curly kale does, but it has a stronger flavor so I generally avoid it.
Tips for the BEST kale salad
- Be sure to fully remove the stems of the kale. Check out this post for tips on how to de-stem kale. This will make it easier to chew, but also more pleasant to eat! Who wants big tree trunk like blobs in their salad? Not I!
- After chopping the kale into teeny tiny pieces, add it to a colander and run it under warm water. This will wash any dirt off but also help soften the kale.
- After you wash the kale, squeeze about 1/2 lemon on top and massage it well with your hands. This will break down some of the fiber, making it a little less tough. You can then proceed with the rest of the recipe as usual, or let it sit an additional 15 minutes to break down some more.
- It’s ok to use kale that has turned slightly yellow at the edges. I mean, it won’t kill you, but it also won’t taste the best. It will be a bit bitter, but the dressing should mask the flavor just fine.
- This kale and quinoa salad will store in the fridge for about 3 days. To make it last longer, keep the dressing on the side until you are ready to eat.
Looking for more delicious sides & salads?? Try these!
- Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Crispy Garlic Chickpeas
- Quick & Easy Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
- Spinach Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
Delicious, full of flavor, and actually filling, this simple kale salad is a winter favorite!
- 1 large bunch kale
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup runny tahini
- 3–6 tbsp water (will depend on the consistency of your tahini)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or freshly minced garlic)
- Juice from 1 large lemon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- Black pepper to taste
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas and to a skillet.
- Add in the olive oil, garlic powder, and salt and heat on medium heat.
- Cook for about 5 minutes or until they start to brown slightly.
- As the chickpeas cook, prepare your quinoa using the instructions outlined in this post.
- While the quinoa is cooking, de-stem the kale, wash, and chop finely.
- To make the dressing, simply whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl until your desired consistency forms.
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss together. Top with additional salt and pepper if desired.
For the best consistency for the sauce, I recommend using a runny tahini like Soom Foods.
To make the kale easiest to chew and eat, you’ll want to massage it well. I suggest using lemon juice to make it easier!
Check out this guide for how to de-stem your kale.
Once prepared, this recipe will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. It will keep for longer if you store the dressing separately, otherwise it will get soggy.
Keywords: kale salad, kale and quinoa salad, lemon tahini dressing, tahini dressing recipe, salad for a party