This hearty Kale and Quinoa Salad is a really tasty salad, it's packed with flavour and very filling. Loaded with veggies, kale and quinoa this salad is hearty enough for lunch or dinner.
I've been making this salad for some time now. It's perfect for those days when you want a salad but you need it to be super tasty and filling! I'm not one for boring salads, I like my salads to have some oomph! Like this Apple and Kale Salad or my Roast Cauliflower Salad, if I'm having a salad this time of the year it needs to be satisfying!
For this salad tender kale and fluffy quinoa, are paired with roasted beets and sweet potatoes along with creamy feta, red onions, crunchy almonds and a deliciously tangy mustard dressing. The salad and dressing are easy to make, and we love it with creamy feta added, but if you want to keep it vegan just ditch the feta.
📝What You'll Need
This kale and quinoa salad is a really easy recipe using some simple ingredients.
🥣How To Make It
This is just a quick visual guide, please see the recipe card below for full instructions and ingredients list.
- Start by massaging the kale! Add the kale to a large bowl along with salt, lemon juice and oil. Then rub the kale leaves for about 10 minutes. Then set it aside until you are ready to use them.
- Roast the beets and sweet potatoes until they are tender.
- Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions.
- Make the dressing.
📋 Tips and Variations
- Try spinach instead of kale for a milder flavour salad. If you do use spinach go for young leaf spinach and there's no need to massage the spinach!
- Swap sweet potato for butternut squash. Squash will need less time to roast then beetroot so you will need to adjust the cooking timings for that.
- If you find raw red onion too strong you could roast it with the beets and sweet potatoes. This makes for a lovely addition to the salad.
- Swap the quinoa for couscous, whole wheat couscous is really good in this.
- Pro-Tip - Massaging the kale, breaks down the cell walls of the kale, making it taste better and easier to digest so definitely don't skip that part!
- Dressing - I like to serve the dressing separately so that everyone can choose just how much they want.
- Pro-Tip - Learn how to make the perfect fluffy quinoa here.
This kale and quinoa salad is really great for lunch and substantial enough for dinner too. It keeps well in the fridge so you could get a couple of days out of it. We love this with some feta crumbled on top but you can leave it out if you want to keep it vegan.
More Tasty Salads You'll Love
If you are in need of some salad inspiration then I have you covered! My Halloumi Salad with roasted butternut squash, spinach and quinoa is a tasty, filling salad. Great for lunch or dinner ready in 30 minutes and packed with flavour. My Falafel Bowls - crispy falafel salad bowls with brown rice and veggies are so tasty. Served with creamy tahini sauce, these falafel bowls are great for a tasty vegan lunch or dinner. This Apple Walnut Salad with crunchy apples and walnuts, sweet pomegranate and smooth feta is tossed in a perfectly tangy dressing. This is great as a side dish or a main dish.
Kale and Quinoa Salad
- 100 g (4 cups) kale washed, woody stems removed then roughly chopped
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 small beetroots peeled and cut into cubes
- 330 g (3 small )sweet potatoes peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 100 g ( ½ a cup ) quinoa dry weight
- ½ a medium red onion thinly sliced
- 80 g feta (optional)
- a handful of almonds roughly chopped (optional)
For the dressing
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp maple syrup add more if needed
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Pre-heat oven to 180C/ 356F (160C/320F fan forced)
- Add the kale to a large bowl, add the juice of half a lemon, half a teaspoon of sea salt and ½ a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Rub the lemon juice, salt and oil mixture into the kale leaves for about 10 minutes then set aside until you are ready to use it.
- Place the beetroot on a baking tray, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil ¼ teaspoon of sea salt and ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Toss the beetroot in the oil and place in the oven.Cook for about 15 minutes then remove from the oven and add the sweet potatoes. Carefully toss the sweet potatoes in the oil. Return the tray to the oven and cook for another 15 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked. If you pierce the beets with a sharp knife they should be tender.
- While the vegetables are roasting cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions. Once the quinoa is cooked leave it to cool.Make the dressing. To make the dressing add the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar and mustard to a small bowl and mix, then slowly add the extra virgin olive oil, whisking all the time. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Make the dressing. Add the 1 tablespoon of wholegrain mustard to a small bowl along with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, garlic and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Use a whisk or fork to whisk everything together. Slowly whisk in the extra virgin olive oil, one tablespoon at a time. Once the oil has been incorporated stir in a little maple syrup and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.Adjust the seasoning according to your taste.
- Once the vegetables are cooked you can leave them to cool slightly.Assemble the salad by adding the kale and quinoa to a large serving bowl, add the sweet potato, beetroot and red onion. Toss gently then add crumbled feta if using, and the chopped almond. Serve with the dressing on the side.
- Kale - Massaging the kale breaks down the cell walls of the kale, making it taste better and easier to digest so definitely don’t skip that part!
- Dressing – I like to serve the dressing separately so that everyone can choose just how much they want.
- Make it Vegan - to keep this dish vegan just omit the feta.
- Making ahead/freezing/storing - this dish is best made fresh and in unsuitable for freezing. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge and should be used with 2 or 3 days. If you have many dressing leftover store it in a jar with a lid, keep it in the fridge and use it within a week
- Nutritional Information - is calculated using an online nutrition tool and is approximate. It is based on one serving including a serving of the dressing.
- Weights and measurements - For US readers, I use Cuisipro measuring cups and spoons, and a Pyrex measuring jug for liquids. These are the industry standard. Cup/spoon volumes can differ from brand to brand, for accuracy, I recommend weighing all ingredients if possible.
*This recipe was first published in January 2016. Updated with improvements to the recipe, new photos, tips and nutritional information in February 2021.