Kale Quinoa Salad

5 from 2 votes

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Packed with flavor and texture and color, a grain salad to play with for a long time.

Kale Quinoa Salad with Honey, Lemon and Dijon Dressing

The directions for cooking quinoa can and should be adapted if your package of quinoa has different cooking instructions. The point is really to use half vegetable broth and half water, which is how I like to cook a lot of grains—enough broth to add flavor to the grains, but not so much that the flavor of the grains is masked. It’s one of my favorite little kitchen tricks.

For more on cooking quinoa, click here.

Kale Quinoa Salad with Honey, Lemon and Dijon Dressing

What to Add to Kale Quinoa Salad

I’ve used dried apricots and dried pears in this salad, but you can use any small or chopped dried fruit as you like. Dried pears are a fun change of pace, and I like to combine them, thinly sliced, with thinly sliced fresh pears in a green salad as well.

And now for the ways you can play with this salad (and you’ll surely come up with your own): use other cooked grains, use spinach or other chopped greens instead of the kale (nothing too tough or fibrous, since you will be eating them just wilted), use your favorite vinaigrette in place of this one—or swap out the honey for maple syrup or agave.

Kale Quinoa Salad with Honey, Lemon and Dijon Dressing

Use diced red onions instead of the scallions. Add diced chicken or shrimp (and once it’s not vegetarian you can also use chicken broth instead of vegetable). Switch the type of vinegar. Add other vegetables, cooked or raw, cut into small pieces.

Kale Quinoa Salad Dressing

The dressing is made of olive oil, white wine vinegar (feel free to try other vinegar instead), mustard, honey lemon juice and zest and salt and pepper. You can adjust the proportions of the ingredients as you wish.

Vegan Kale and Quinoa Salad

To make this salad vegan, use agave in place of the honey in the dressing and skip the goat cheese. Or use a vegan cheese instead.

Packed with flavor and texture and color, a grain salad to play with for a long time.

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Kale Quinoa Salad with Honey, Lemon and Dijon Dressing

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5 from 2 votes

Kale Quinoa Salad

Packed with flavor and texture and color, a grain salad to play with for a long time.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 People
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For the Quinoa

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups baby kale roughly chopped (remove tough ribs first)

For the Dressing

For the Salad

  • ½ cup chopped dried apricots or dried pears
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta or goat cheese


  • Bring 1 cup of water and the vegetable broth to a boil in a small pot over high heat. Add ½ teaspoon salt and stir in the quinoa. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed. Stir in the kale, which will wilt from the heat of the quinoa. Turn the mixture into a shallow serving bowl and let cool.
  • Meanwhile make the dressing. In a small container combine the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, lemon juice and zest, and salt and pepper. Shake to combine.
  • When the quinoa has cooled to room temperature, Pour over the dressing and toss to combine well. Add the apricots, scallions, oregano and goat cheese, and toss again to combine. Serve at room temperature.


Make Ahead

This can be made up to 2 days ahead, and kept well covered in the fridge. In a perfect world, make the kale quinoa mixture, the dressing, and prepare the rest of the salad ingredients, and then toss all together just before serving.


Calories: 294kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 17mg, Sodium: 610mg, Potassium: 541mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 5086IU, Vitamin C: 55mg, Calcium: 194mg, Iron: 3mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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