Packed with flavor and so easy to make this kale and quinoa salad and lemon dijon dressing recipe is the best way to get your veggies in! It’s perfect for a simple vegan lunch or paired with lemon pepper salmon for a delicious dinner.
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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 quinoa salad recipe however!
This salad has a base of kale (obviously), lots of fluffy quinoa, warm garlicky chickpeas, pumpkin seeds for some crunch, and an east lemon dijon dressing for lots of flavor. A good dressing is key to any good salad, so don’t skimp!
As far as the best type of kale goes, 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.
How to make this recipe
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas and to a bowl. Add in the olive oil, garlic powder and salt and toss to combine
Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 40 minutes or until crispy.
As the chickpeas cook, prepare the quinoa following these instructions.
While the quinoa is cooking, de-stem the kale, wash, and chop finely. I like to use kitchen sheers to get it really small.
To make the dressing, simply whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl or add to a salad dressing shaker and shake to combine.
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss together. Top with additional salt and pepper if desired and enjoy!
The beauty of salads is that you can really add whatever you like to them and they’ll probably still taste good. In this particular recipe, I love some roasted sweet potato, other nuts or seeds, salmon if you’re not keeping it vegan, pomegranate, cranberries, whatever you like! Don’t hesitate to get creative, but it’s also delicious exactly as written.
Tips & tricks
- 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 more than using cold water. Raw kale can be unpleasant to some, but massaging it and dressing it properly makes it delicious in salads.
- 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, but try to use fresh kale if you can. I mean, it won’t kill you, but it also won’t taste the best. It will be a bit bitter, but the dressing will mask the flavor just fine.
- This kale 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? Try these!
Kale & Quinoa Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing
- 1 bunch curly kale
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 can Chickpeas
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas and to a bowl.
- Add in the olive oil, garlic powder and salt and toss to combine
- Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 40 minutes or until crispy.
- As the chickpeas cook, prepare the quinoa following these instructions.
- While the quinoa is cooking, de-stem the kale, wash, and chop finely. I like to use kitchen sheers to get it really small. Add to a large bowl along with the chickpeas, quinoa, pumpkin seeds and sliced almonds.
- To make the dressing, simply whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl or add to a salad dressing shaker and shake to combine.
- Toss the dressing with the salad. Top with additional salt and pepper if desired and enjoy!