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Recipe: Kale and Quinoa Salad

Delicious and nutritious This salad is sure to please the crowd And with so many options to mix and match to your tastes, you cant go wrong. You can play with the kale-to-quinoa ratio to make this your own. Use alternative nuts and dried fruit to customize to your own taste buds.

Kale And Quinoa Salad Ingredients

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 cup quinoa

  • 10 leaves kale, cut into small pieces

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced

  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

  • teaspoon ground sea salt

  • 1 cup pecans

  • 1 cup currants

  • cup crumbled feta cheese

How to Make Kale And Quinoa Salad

  1. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir quinoa into the boiling water, reduce heat to medium-low, place cover on the saucepan, and cook until water absorbs into the quinoa, about 12 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and let rest covered for 5 minutes. Remove cover and allow quinoa to cool completely.

  2. Put kale in a large mixing bowl.

  3. Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, pepper, and salt together in a bowl until oil emulsifies into the mixture; drizzle over kale. Add cooled quinoa, pecans, currants, and feta cheese to the dressed kale and toss to incorporate.

Kale And Quinoa Salad Nutritions

  • Calories: 439.3 calories

  • Carbohydrate: 43.9 g

  • Cholesterol: 16.7 mg

  • Fat: 27 g

  • Fiber: 6.3 g

  • Protein: 10.7 g

  • SaturatedFat: 5.2 g

  • ServingSize:

  • Sodium: 397.3 mg

  • Sugar: 17.8 g

  • TransFat:

  • UnsaturatedFat:

Kale And Quinoa Salad Reviews

  • Nice recipe. A nutritional powerhouse but...Why would you not massage the kale? Massaged kale salads are everywhere. After cutting into ribbons, add 1tsp. sea salt. Massage for 2 min. It will become silky, shiny and very pliable. Its delicious

  • I bought the huge Costco bag of baby kale and was looking for something to do with it. Just tried this recipe and it is super easy and delicious. I added the quinoa while it was a little warm and wilted the kale just slightly, really good. Thanks for sharing the recipe

  • I needed a quick Sunday lunch, and this was perfect Ive never enjoyed kale in a salad because it can be so crunchy, but the quinoa and dressing really helped soften the kale perfectly I didnt have pecans or currants, so I chopped up some of the orange bell pepper I had left and tossed in some unsalted peanuts. It was still wonderful Definitely want to try this more often

  • This was a great salad Made it for a group of 16, and they all asked for the recipe and gobbled it up. I did take one reviewers advice and put the quinoa with the kale while it was hot to help wilt the kale a bit, which I liked. The kale isnt so chewy that way. I also used raisins instead of currants, but followed the recipe other than that. Fabulous Will make this again

  • This was so wonderful and quick I used bagged organic kale from Trader Joes (one bag was a perfect amount). I made the dressing and then massaged it into the kale for a minute and then added the quinoa while it was warm which further softened the kale. Once cool, the cheese, raisins and nuts went in. I make a different kale salad all the time, but this has just become my favorite. With the addition of quinoa, it is a nutrition powerhouse

  • This was a great salad the next day. I cooked the quinoa in chicken stock, left out the mustard and used raisins instead of currants and pine nuts instead of the pecans. Poured the hot quinoa over the kale to wilt some. Same day it was good but not great. That evening I took the leftovers and added about 3 T. red wine vinegar and 1 T. seasoned rice vinegar and tossed good to coat. Had it just now for lunch the day after and it was really, really good. Will definately make again

  • Love it Followed the recipe to the letter. A healthy tasty way to make kale, and a nice refreshing "different" salad to take to an event. From the reviews, I would also echo the need to shred the kale really tiny or its too chewy. I also rubbed the dressing in with my hands after I warmed it up a little to help wilt the kale. If I were to make it for myself and not for a group, I would significantly reduce the quinoa (just adds extra carbs I dont need and it makes it more of a quinoa base not a kale base. I prefer to get my protein from a meat source, not a grain), add more garlic, and skip the currants/raisins as its my preference. However, since I hate it when people rate the recipe and then list all the ways they changed it...I still give it a 5 according to its original instructions

  • I really loved this recipe as Ive been wanting to cook more with kale and quinoa for better health. :) I happened to have some frozen quinoa, so I just microwaved that, and added the kale to that to help it wilt. I had to make some substitutions with what I had on hand: I used parmesan reggiano, walnuts, and dried cranberries. This will be a go-to recipe for a super-quick, filling, tasty and healthy meal

  • This is so funny. I just made Quinoa for the first time and I made it almost identical to this one. I didnt think about the currants but I have some in my freezer so I will throw them in. I used pine nuts instead of pecans. Goat cheeses instead of feta. I love it

  • Love I chopped the kale really fine and cookedd the quinoa in chicken stock. This is a great winter recipe due to its substance.

  • I steamed the kale (trader joes organic in a bag) in 1/4 C of chicken broth for 1 min. and used leftover quinoa. This salad was so good. I Did not have any cheese, probably would not have added it even if I did- ruins the nutritional benefit for my diet, and we did not miss it. Both DH and Teen Son declared it a winner and so the 5 stars. Thanks kicius

  • This dish was amazing - sweet, slightly bitter, crunchy and creamy. Not to mention so good for you. The quinoa pops in your mouth. LOVED IT. Ate it for breakfast the next AM.

  • We loved this recipe. I have made it a couple of times now. We had to use bulgar wheat because I was out of quinoa. I also added it in warm. It helps with lessening the chewiness of the kale. One time we threw in dried cranberries instead of the currants and no feta because we were trying to cut a few after Christmas calories. All versions were delicious. The dressing is key to the great flavor.

  • Since I was low on time, I added the quinoa to the kale while still hot. I actually liked it better slightly wilted rather than totally raw. I also used roasted pumpkin seeds in place of nuts and a mixture of craisins and dates. The craisins were better but I was out. This is an excellent recipe for getting in more dark leafy greens and good protein.

  • This was much better than I even expected I did modify it, but only a bit. I did not add nuts because I do not like them. Also, I didnt add the oil because I was out and it turned out not to need it I only added about half the amount of dried cranberries (all I had) and chopped the kale to throw in with everything else. Also added some finely chopped red onion and diced avocado. It was WONDERFUL Tasted even better the next day. I like to keep it in the fridge for lunch and it stays good for about 5-6 days. Healthy and yummy. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  • This is now my default salad, when I have guests coming, or when I am heading to a potluck. Heres my shortcut version: Kale, quinoa, feta, and bottled Greek salad dressing.

  • One of my favourite recipes. Tastes even better the second day. Be sure to add pecans, currents and feta cheese just before eating so they dont get soggy

  • Very good Great, light, healthy salad. The feta is perfect in this dish. Also love the dressing - Ive started using this in other salad recipes also. Only weird thing is the currants. Texture compliments the salad, but the flavor of currants are a little weird to me. Tried subbing with raisins but not quite right either. I think craisins would overpower it though. Didnt get a lot out of the pecans. Could make without them and wouldnt miss much.

  • Easy to make, nutritious, and delicious Recommend highly.

  • A change of fresh spinach for kale and pomegranate for currants is just as delish.

  • This salad is amazing I followed the recipe to the letter, except I cooked the quinoa in chicken bouillon. I removed the rib from the kale and cut the kale into thin ribbons. I mixed the dressing exactly, then tossed the kale, dressing and quinoa together while the quinoa was still hot, in order to wilt the kale. AmazingAfter it cooled I added dried cranberries and salted sunflower seeds, and feta cheese. This is so good My daughter, who wanted me to set aside some cooked quinoa for her to make a different dish, took one taste and asked me to add the extra quinoa to more kale (essentially making another salad exactly the same) so we would have it for a few days Sooo good, and good for you too

  • It is healthy, but blah taste added white balsamic vinegar to it.

  • I steamed the kale for 45 seconds to reduce its bitterness and it was amazing

  • Really nice when the quinoa is added while hot so that the kale wilts a little...this also makes it easier for little teeth (my one-year old gobbled it up). I would recommend doubling the dressing to serve a little on the side. Will definitely make this again

  • This salad was fantastic Everyone loved it. I did use dried pomagranates because I could not find currants but I would not change a thing.

  • Served this to company - but used Olive Oil infused with butternut squash seed - it was AMAZING my brothers family are mainly vegetarians and they just loved it I will make this again

  • Really really good. We didnt have lemon juice so we just added a little more olive oil and mustard. Mixed in the quinoa while it was still a little warm, but waited to put the dressing on until just before we ate it.....the only problem was trying to not eat the whole bowl

  • Delicious. I toasted the pecans and broke them into bits so every bite has that sweetness. I used raisins since I didnt have currants. I didnt have time to wait for the quinoa to cool, so just mixed it up warm and still tasted great-probably cut 25 mins off total time for recipe. Pinning this one to make again.

  • I had some nice organic kale and went to make this salad when lo and behold I was out of quinoa I searched my shelves and decided to make it with Thai purple rice instead and an extra garlic clove- FABULOUS and gorgeous at the same time. Im sure its also divine with quinoa - its a keeper

  • My husband gave this one star. I liked it enough to say 3.5 after adding more dressing. Knowing how healthy it is I will make & eat again.

  • This was my first time using Kale. I have fixed quinoa before but my family didnt like it. Last night; they loved it I bought the Kale from BJs and it was already cleaned, cut and the spine removed. I wilted the Kale in a steamer basket, cooled it, and then added the dressing and the quinoa. I didnt let the quinoa cool, which really melted the kale. I know that the kale was not supposed to be that wilted, but it was delicious. I used walnuts as I didnt have pecans, and it was great. Had the leftovers for lunch the next day

  • Great recipe and easy to substitute with Craisins, etc. Used a little apple cider vinegar as well in the dressing. Delicious

  • Unbelievably delicious New SuperFood staple

  • Delicious Thanks for this wonderful recipe. I significantly decreased the amount of nuts and raisins and topped with bit of feta cheese. Tried it before with parmesean and was even better.

  • This is a GREAT base recipe. The dressing is light so for those who want a heavy dressing - perhaps youll want to spice it up but our family prefers the "touch" of flavor. Do salt and pepper to taste as I found the salt to be a bit much but taste it by dipping a leaf or two of kale; off the spoon its VERY salty but with the kale it goes perfectly. I preferred about 1/2 the amount the salt and 1/4 the amount of pepper as the dijon is already peppery. The garlic was way too overpowering for me. 1/4 the amount as well, if at all. I actually preferred it with garlic powder.

  • I used fresh kale from the garden, however, next time I will use more kale than what is listed on this recipe. The salad was more quinoa than kale, and I would prefer it with more kale than quinoa. The salad dressing was not the greatest. I added some white balsamic vinegar and that seemed to make it taste better. I liked the Best Greek Quinoa Salad, Quinoa & Black Bean, and Mediterranean Quinoa Salad recipes on this website better than this one. TIPS: From what I read on the other recipes, its best to rinse water over the quinoa before cooking. I also set aside the stalks and ribs of the kale for my morning green drink and only use the leafy tender part in salads.

  • I cut the quinoa down to 1/4 cup dry, and cut the oil down by half and left all the other ingredients the same. Also substituted dried cherries for the currants. I thought it was okay, but did get tired of eating it pretty quick. Raw kale is so healthy so this is good for that :)

  • Really, really enjoyed this one. The flavors are addictive. Light and yummy. Even the leftovers were awesome the next day I forgot to buy feta and subbed mozzarella because I didnt have anything even close to feta on hand at the last minute. Also used dried cranberries rather than currants.

  • Yum Love this one - not only tastes great but good for you too Omitted feta and added avocado and crasins.

  • Slivered almond and dried cranberries instead plus shredded carrot and added honey to the dressing. Yum Oh, and no feta. I guess I basically made a different recipe.

  • Wow Made this for dinner tonight and it is a winner This was first time I have fixed kale, other than making kale chips. I was rather unsure how it would taste, it smelled really strong when I was tearing it into pieces. The reviews were so good I had to try. Im so glad I did.. Only thing I changed was I put in dried tart cherries (didnt have currants). This is a keeper and best of all leftovers for our lunches. YUM

  • Fantastic recipe This salad is healthy, delicious and adaptable. I added half of an avocado and used dried cranberries instead of currants, because it is what I had on hand and the salad looked beautiful and tasted great - even on day 2 This will definitely become a regular at our house

  • I was really surprised with this salad. This was my first Kale salad and I really enjoyed it. I added red wine vinegar and substituted the pecans with walnuts.

  • I made this with a few substitutions, used what I had on hand and it was terrific I had to use Walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese and Spicy brown mustard. I will make this again and again, I loved it

  • Delicious and nutritious Washed and ready baby kale is now available, making this recipe very easy. I substituted golden raisins for the currants and grated fresh Parmesan cheese for the feta. The lemony dressing and the pecans are perfect.

  • This was fabulous Like others, I added the quinoa while still warm - just barely wilts the kale a bit, which I prefer. I toasted the pecans, added one chopped scallion and used raisins instead of currants. I also probably doubled the lemon juice - I just kind of winged the dressing a bit. Great recipe Flavors contrast each other perfectly - sweet, salty, tart, nutty. Very healthy and delicious Cant wait to experiment by using different nuts or seeds and other dried fruits.

  • I really enjoyed this recipe, but I edited it a little bit. I cut out the pepper, salt, garlic, pecans and currants. Instead of those ingredients I used blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Then, I substituted the regular Dijon mustard for honey Dijon. Mixed it all up and viola The perfect, healthy summertime salad

  • Very good Has a great blend of crunch, salty, sweet

  • Love this, I make a big batch at least once a week, and eat it for lunch for a couple of days. I usually make it as written but if I am missing anything this recipe is very adaptable. LOVE IT

  • No Flavor. Followed recipe to the letter. Recipes should be able to stand on their own. Couldnt even tweak it, because no one wanted to bother with it after the first few tries. We ended up ordering a pizza. I would give it less than one star if I could.

  • I loved this recipe Nutritious, delicious and an easy lunch in the office. Its now in my regular rotation.

  • Cut kale in small pieces, steamed it for 1 min. Added 2 Tbsp honey to dressing. Next time I will try substituting 1/2 of the lemon juice with Red Wine Vinegar. Added only enough quinoa to taste, probably not all that was called for. Used Craisins instead of currants.

  • My husband hasnt really cared for kale or quinoa, but loved this recipe, as did the rest of the family. Served with halibut and provided a very nice, complimentary flavor. Very good

  • I gave this 4 stars because I subbed some of the ingredients for what I had on hand. Dried cranberries instead of currants, walnuts instead of pecans and shredded parmesan cause I dont like feta. I did massage the dressing into the kale and added quinoa while it was still warm. Also added a splash of rice wine vinegar. I liked it so much that I ate it every day for 5 days. Even had it for breakfast a couple of times.

  • This salad is AMAZING. Before adding the dressing, I massaged the kale with a little olive oil and salt. I was trying to use what I had on hand, so I subbed craisins for the currants, stilton for the feta, and almonds for the pecans. One of the best salads Ive ever had

  • I have made it every time without the fruit & nuts because I dont like them & this is still an amazing & favorite salad Tonight I made it with goat cheese for my aunt with a dairy allergy & it adds an awesome twist to the flavor :-)

  • I didnt have pecans, so I used walnuts, and it still worked just fine. I loved this healthy recipe

  • Tastes even better the next day I thought it was a lot of pepper to put in but it gives a nice kick to the salad. I also swapped the pecans for toasted walnuts and half the currants for freshly cut apple pieces. So so so good

  • I skipped the currants b/c I dont like fruit in my salad and I substituted pine nuts for pecans and garlic vinegar for balsamic. I took it to a pot luck and it was a big hit.

  • Ive made this recipe twice, and my family loved it. Even my husband who claims he wont eat kale didnt complain. I add what I have on hand, so I substituted walnuts and dried cranberries. I also wilted the kale with the hot quinoa, as others have suggested. Kale is a super food and I eat it as much as possible.

  • So simple and truly delicious This recipe is very versatile, I made it a second time with toasted almond slivers and cranberries, yummy.

  • This had a great taste to it. I like the idea of fruit and grain. I added a little seitan to make it a full vegetarian meal.

  • So delish I used cous cous instead of quinoa bc thats what I had. Also I used baby kale and massaged it to make it easier to eat. Finally, I used parmesan instead of feta because I wanted something less sharp.

  • What a delicious powerhouse of nutrition salad Wonderful combination of ingredients and flavors. The Dijon mustard and lemon makes the dressing pop with bright flavor, the saltiness from the Feta, the surprise bite of sweet from a plump moist raisin (I used raisins instead of currants as I find currants to be dry), the nutty tones from the Pecan and Quinoa ... Not a thing needs to be changed. I used baby Kale greens and used my judgment regarding the quantity of individual ingredients used for an individual size salad and fell in love; will be eating it a lot. Its important to use quality Kale as old and bigger leafed Kale can be bitter and tough.

  • Great and easy recipe. for a twist, i recommend adding some grated parmesan cheese.

  • This is very good. I put some salt in the kale and massage it until silky. Mixed in the quinoa, and dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette (because that is what I had in the kitchen). Really flavorful.

  • Love this recipe just as listed. I did make a few variations: lightly steamed to wilt the kale as I dont prefer it raw; prepared horseradish in place of garlic; 1 stem of Thai basil torn into 1/2" pieces; fresh bean sprouts; sauteed zucchini; no nuts or currants, so more of a warm dish than salad. Still extremely delicious.

  • I recently tried this recipe on a Company Retreat - awesome I had never tried quinoa previously. This was a wonderful chnage from the norm.

  • Hubby and I loved this salad. My kids still wont eat kale, but I consider it a huge success when there is a recipe that makes it good enough for my husband. Thanks

  • I didnt have pecans and currants, so I used pepitas and raisins. Also added chopped carrots for a little more veggies. It was so delicious I will definitely make this again.

  • So good i also cooked the quinoa in chicken stock, wilted the kale in the quinoa right after turning off the heat, and used a bell pepper instead of currants (mainly because i can never remember to buy currants but always seem to have a lonely bell pepper in the veggie drawer). its yummy and i feel so healthy eating it

  • Very nummy. I added some minced red onion and garbanzo beans.

  • What a tasty healthy salad It seems the trick with kale is to cut it in thin ribbons, remove the woody white stalk first by just pulling the green leafy part off. I loved the idea of massaging it with sea salt, it turns it a lovely shiny green colour and softens it. The odour is a little off putting, a bit like alfalfa or mowed grass ( a nice enough smell...but to eat???). Anyway after the massage I put the dressing on and let it marinade for a bit then added the quinoa while it was still warm. I left off the feta as a matter of preference and used pumpkin and sunflower seeds (toasted in a frying pan first) instead of pecans. I think fresh fruit such as peach, orange or apple could be used instead of currants. A great recipe that I will use often

  • Mmm, mmm. This is one of those recipes that sounds like its good, then surprises you by being awesome. The mix of flavors and textures is wonderful, and it is very filling so makes a good meal in itself. I followed reviewers advice and massaged the dressing into the kale, and added the quinoa while it was still warm. Then let it chill before adding toasted pecans, golden raisins, and feta. Oh, and I used dragon kale sliced into ribbons. I think one could easily double the kale and keep the rest of the ingredients the same...there are enough "toppings" to go around. I will definitely be making this one again. Thanks Kicius for a healthy, delish, new favorite

  • Great Steamed my kale in microwave for 3 min then put everything together. Used currants and raisins that I soaked in hot water then drained.

  • This recipe makes a wonderful salad. I made the recipe exactly as written. It is perfect and absolutely delicious. This is a definite keeper.

  • Very versatile dish I used dried cranberries for color and walnuts to give a little kick. Ive also used chopped chicken when I didnt have nuts. I agree with the reviewer who used the warm quinoa to wilt the kale a little. Its a better texture.

  • Wow, yummy I read some reviews before I made it, and decided to "massage" the kale, and put it together with warm quinoa. I didnt think Id like raw kale, so the idea of wilting it somewhat sounded appealing. So I massaged the dressing into the kale, then poured the warm quinoa over it and mixed it up, adding the other ingredients as well. I had dried cherries so thats what I used instead of currants. It turned out amazing, and I bet the leftovers will be even better after it sits in the fridge a while.

  • Very good. I used a pouch of quinoa and brown rice that took 90 seconds to heat so this was almost fast food. I used dried cranberries, no currants.

  • I liked but didnt love this recipe. Not sure why it didnt end up as a "love" recipe as it has lots of my favorite ingredients - kale, quinoa, feta. I massaged the kale with salt to soften it (then rinsed kale to wash off the salt). Still a good and healthy salad.

  • I like it best with goat cheese and pears

  • I loved this salad I didnt use pecans (allergic) or currants (not a fan) and still loved it. I was very disappointed when I realized I ate it all and would have to make more lol.

  • I loved this salad. I didnt have feta cheese but my husband doesnt like that cheese.

  • Delicious Substitutes based on what I had/ raisins and pine nuts. Also added kale when still warm. Really tasty Thanks

  • Fantastic base recipe. I love to alter the extras. You can change the lemon juice out for vinegars and then add whatever youd like Todays stars asparagus and red peppers, but you can basically put anything in it

  • Good base recipe. Needs more flavor, I found it pretty bland.

  • I really like this recipe. Added too much kale once so it was a bit dry, used Italian bottled dressing in addition & it was loved by all. I use craisins instead of currants, regular mustard & regular salt & pepper as I cannot get the more gourmet ingredients. I do massage the kale with the dressing & add the quinoa warm then refrigerate before adding the feta. This is a great salad for the holidays, a step above "normal"

  • I absolutely love this recipe. If youre wanting a great salad for a meal and a great way to eat more kale, this is for you I have substituted toasted pine nuts for the pecans and cranberries for the currants.

  • Definetly will make again

  • One of my new go to recipes. The store was out of currents so I used dried blue berries instead, which I actually preferred. I massaged the kale as one other member suggested. That was a great tip As for it being "blah", feel free to adjust the mustard and lemon to your liking, and cook the quinoa using vegetable or chicken stock.

  • This recipe is terrific -- its healthy, filling, a great mix of salty and sweet. I had eaten a similar salad at Moss Beach Distillery in Half Moon Bay, CA and was looking for one similar to it. I replaced the currants with dried cranberries, and replaced the pecans with macadamia nuts. The salad was a huge hit with my daughters too. Will definitely make again

  • I added the quinoa while still warm to wilt the kale somewhat. I also used vinegar instead of the lemon juice because I didnt have any on hand. I added crushed walnuts and Mediterranean feta. Super nutritious and delicious

  • AMAZING This salad is wonderful. I massaged the kale. I didnt have lemon so used cider vinegar instead. I cant wait to have this again

  • Delish, easy to prepare and very healthy. Used golden raisins and they were great. Will be making this again for sure

  • Ive made this three times. Loved it more each time. I have found for my house (boys) I put the fruit and cheese on the side and let them add those to their liking. Definately message the dressing into the oil. I have a 12 year old boy (carnivore) that will eat this by the big bowlfulls. I always make twice the recipe. Also, any good nut/fruit will do. We are fond of walnuts and craisins.

  • I love this recipe. I make it almost every week and have it for breakfast on most mornings. It is delicious and super healthy.

  • All the flavors worked very well together. Will for sure make this again

  • This was sooo good. Will try it with craisins next time. Simple, nutritious and delicious.

  • Its healthy - a powerhouse in fact... however, its just not good. Strange combinations of texture, and not particularly flavorful.

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