This hearty, fall Kale Quinoa Salad packs a lot of wonderful flavors and textures! My recipe is made with tri-color quinoa, fresh chopped kale, crumbled cheese, and tossed with lemony Caesar salad dressing. It’s quick, simple, and delicious! Sometimes a wholesome salad is needed in the fall.
If you enjoy quinoa for its light, crunchy texture and slightly nutty flavor, then this recipe is for you! Quinoa makes a great salad that will last at least 2 days. We love the zesty flavors in this one and bet you will too.
Tri-colored quinoa is paired with fresh greens, creamy goat cheese, lemon juice, and classic organic Caesar salad dressing. These ingredients together create an amazingly tasty salad that will explode in your mouth!
For Vegans, you can use a Vegan Caesars dressing with this kale quinoa salad.
Or you can make it yourself with vegan mayonnaise as the base, and add some Dijon mustard, crushed garlic, lemon juice, honey, olive oil, white vinegar, and capers (and sometimes nutritional yeast, but not necessary).
The other day we posted our Baked Salmon with Dijon Basil Pesto and paired it with this delicious kale quinoa salad. It was the perfect match!
In addition, this kale quinoa salad makes a great meal all alone, or you can serve it as a side dish. It also works very well with most seafood dishes. Plus, it helps us stay full longer.
What you’ll need for this Kale Quinoa Salad:
1. Fresh Kale: a small bunch of fresh raw kale.
2. Tri-Color Quinoa: one small package of an organic brand from Trader Joe’s, or on Amazon, but any brand will do.
3. Fresh Lemon: to give a fresh and zesty flavor.
4. Water and Vegetable Broth: you will need a little of both to cook the quinoa for more flavor.
5. Caesar Salad Dressing: prefer organic brands, without fillers. They give a fresh taste to the salad. You’ll pay a little more at the price, but it’s worth it.
6. Goat Cheese: crumbled goat cheese is always a welcome addition to salads!
7. Seasonings: only salt and black pepper are needed.
Kale comes in many forms, curly and smooth, green and reddish-purple. It’s always best to trim off its thick stalk before cooking with it.
For this kale salad, you will need to trim all the stems and discard them. You want only its leafy parts, give it a good rinse and spin with a salad spinner to remove excess water.
You can also buy the already cleaned and trimmed fresh baby kale from those organic packages at your local supermarket.
Quinoa is the other star food in this salad, and it is loaded with protein. Yes, we know that.
But did you know it’s 14.2 grams of protein per cup? And it’s also high in fiber, magnesium, iron, potassium, and folate. Quinoa contains twice the protein and about 5 grams of more fiber than the same amount of white rice, leaving you feeling fuller and longer.
OK… perfect! … now let’s make this kale quinoa salad!
To make Kale Quinoa Salad:
Step 1: Cook the tri-color quinoa in a medium-size pot. Turn off heat.
Step 2: Clean and chop kale. Then toss it into the quinoa and cover it with a lid. Allow the quinoa to soften and wilt.
Step 3: Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set it aside to cool down.
Step 4: Stir in the Caesar salad dressing, lemon juice, and seasonings and chill for at least an hour or more before serving. Finally, toss in crumbled goat cheese just before you serve.
Make it Your Own…
Toss in 1/4 cup dried cranberries, adding a little sweet and tart flavors can’t hurt.
Toss in 1/4 cup of crumbled Feta cheese in place of goat cheese.
Stir in some salted or roasted nuts for texture and flavor.
Toss in some chopped or thinly sliced Honey-crisp apples for an autumn salad.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
- 1 cup tri-color quinoa ( organic)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 to 5 cups fresh kale,stems removed - finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Caesar salad dressing
- 1/4 tsp. pink (Himalayan salt), or kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- In a 3 quart pot ( 2.9 L), pour in the vegetable broth, water, and quinoa and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 13 to 15 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Then turn off the heat.
- Meanwhile, remove stems from kale, rinse and spin kale. Then finely chop the leaves.
- Stir kale into the quinoa and cover again. Allow the kale to wilt for about 5 to 8 minutes more.
- Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl or serving bowl; fluff with a fork and set it aside to cool slightly.
- Stir in 1/2 cup Caesar dressing, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Sprinkle with cheese over the salad. Serve.
- Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 326Total Fat: 11.3gSaturated Fat: 3.6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 714mgCarbohydrates: 43.5gFiber: 4.3gSugar: 5.4gProtein: 14.2g
Here are a few more delicious recipes for Quinoa…
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Anna and Liz