Kale and Quinoa Salad is the perfect pairing for any time of the year, but especially in the summer when tomatoes have the best flavor. It is refreshing, delicious, and holds up well for potlucks, barbeques, or family night dinners. You will want to make extra so that you have lunch prepared for the entire week.
This Kale and Quinoa Salad is one of my "go-to" salads during the summer because both kale and tomatoes are in season.
Unlike so many other kale and quinoa salads, you do not have to massage the kale in this recipe. That is one less preparation step, which is a win for all cooks. No one wants to spend a lot of time in the kitchen in the summer. Right?
Quick, easy, and delicious is my mantra, and this salad hits all those points.
Prep and assembly are minimal. First, cook the quinoa. While it is cooking, remove the stems from the kale and slice the leaves into thin strips. Cut the tomatoes in half or fourths. To quickly cool the quinoa, transfer it to a bowl and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the lemon dressing.
Assemble the salad by placing all the ingredients in a bowl and then toss it with the lemon dressing.
That's it! Serve the salad immediately or refrigerate until serving.
Why I love this recipe
- It is refreshing, especially on a hot day.
- NO need to massage the kale! Yay!
- The salad is packed with healthy ingredients: vitamin-rich kale and tomatoes, high protein quinoa, and the whole thing is tossed with lemon dressing made with vitamin C-rich lemon juice and heart-healthy olive oil.
- I can make it ahead of time.
- Leftovers make delicious lunches.
- The ingredient list is short-only 6 ingredients (not including salt and pepper).
Simple and Short Ingredient List
- Quinoa-is a high protein grain (8 grams of protein in 1 cup) that adds texture and a nutty flavor to the salad.
- Kale-Lacinato kale, also called dinosaur or Tuscan kale, Is the best kale to use for this salad. Unlike curly kale, it does not have a bitter taste and it is more tender.
- Feta Cheese-adds great flavor and creaminess to the salad.
- Tomatoes-use either grape or cherry tomatoes. They add color as well as flavor. In a pinch, you can chop up a whole tomato, but remove the seeds before adding the tomato to the salad.
- Olive oil and lemon juice-are combined to make a simple and refreshing dressing.
Let's make this easy kale salad
- Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package. Set aside to cool.
- While the quinoa is cooking, remove the stems from the kale and slice in thin strips.
- Place the kale, tomatoes, and feta cheese on the kale.
- Whisk lemon juice and olive oil and season with salt.
Toss with dressing and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks
- Be sure to remove the stem from the kale becuase it is tough and bitter and will ruin th salad.
- If possible, let the salad rest about 30 minutes before serving.
Kale and Quinoa Salad: FAQS
Curly kale is tough and bitter; therefore, I would not recommend it for this salad.
Yes! Kale and quinoa salads are delicious if they are made ahead of time.
Yes, follow the manufacturer's instructions to cook quinoa in the microwave.
Yes, quinoa is gluten-free.
Store the kale salad in a covered container until ready to serve.
Leftovers can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
It is easy to customize this salad by switching out some of the ingredients. Try any of the following ideas:
- Replace the tomatoes with dried fruit such as cranberries, apricots, or cherries, and add some nuts like sliced almonds.
- Substitute diced apples for the tomatoes and add a few dried cranberries and toasted almond slivers.
- Add shredded carrots for additional flavor and color.
- Fresh herbs such as thyme, basil, parsley, or cilantro would be delicious additions.
- Add shredded rotisserie or other cooked chicken.
- Substitute goat cheese for the feta.
Kale salad leftovers make delicious lunches. I like to prepare a double batch of this salad and pre-portion it for grab-and-go lunches during the week.
What to serve with kale and quinoa salad?
Kale and quinoa are filling, which makes this a delicious and light meal on its own.
I hope you try this recipe! Please rate it and comment below. I love hearing from you! ❤️Print
This kale and quinoa salad with a lemon dressing is a light meal on its own, or pair it with grilled chicken or pork for a heartier meal.
- ½ cup quinoa
- 5 leaves Lacinato kale (3 cups shredded)
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (juice from 1 lemon)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½-1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Cook the quinoa. Bring 1 cup water to boil in a small to medium saucepan over medium heat. Add quinoa, cover pan, and reduce heat to low. Simmer 8-10 minutes or until all the water has absorbed. Let rest 5 minutes. Transfer to salad bowl to cool.
- While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the kale, tomatoes, and lemon dressing.
- Rinse kale under cold running water. Place kale in a salad spinner or dry with paper towels. Remove the stems from the kale. Stack the leaves and slice them into ¼ inch strips.
- Rinse tomatoes and cut them in half or fourths, depending on their size.
- Make the lemon dressing by combining lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Whisk together until the dressing is emulsified.
- Once the quinoa is cool, add the kale, tomatoes, and feta cheese. Toss. Pour the lemon dressing on the salad and toss until combined.
- Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until serving.
- Salad can be eaten at room temperature.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 169
- Sugar: 1 g
- Sodium: 238.5 mg
- Fat: 12.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 12.9 g
- Protein: 3.1 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: kale and quinoa salad, kale, quinoa, salad, healthy,
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