Kale and Quinoa Salad

Wednesday nights are quickly becoming my favorite weeknight. Alex and I have small group bible study with some friends from church, and we start every meeting off with a meal together. There is something about eating dinner around a big table that just brings people together.

Of course, there is an added challenge of a few dietary restrictions mixed in the group. I’m a vegetarian, Alex is a semi-pescatarian, Daniel has a peanut allergy, and Emily was avoiding gluten.

Wow, we’re quite a bunch, right?

Well I know cooking meatless can be a little confusing for lots of people, so I like to bring side dishes that can act as a main dish. Since Jeanie was bringing chicken and veggies in a crockpot on Wednesday, I came armed with a salad that packs in more protein and nutrients than you could imagine!

First of all, Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods out there. (Meaning, calorie for calorie, this stuff has got tons of good-for-you vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.) Then we’ve got quinoa, a complete source of protein that contains all nine essential amino acids that your body needs. Great, right? Now we just have to make these things taste good.

I started with a basic garlicky kale recipe, but pumped it up so it could round out as a main dish. Give this one a try!

kale and quinoa

Kale and Quinoa Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • Kale and Quinoa Salad
  • Vegan, gluten free. Serves 8 as a side, or 4 as a main dish.
  •    2 cups dried quinoa
  •    2 cups vegetable broth
  •    2 bunches of kale
  •    2 tbsp tahini
  •    1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  •    1/4 cup liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
  •    1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  •    juice from 1 lemon
  •    1/4 tsp minced garlic
  •    1/4 cup sliced almonds
  1. Rinse the quinoa in cold water. Then drain, and add to a large pot.
  2. Toast the quinoa over medium heat, just until it begins to dry. You'll have to stir it a lot so it doesn't burn!
  3. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
  4. Simmer for about 12 minutes, or until most of the water has been absorbed.
  5. Set aside to cool.
  6. Wash the kale and pat dry.
  7. Tear the kale into pieces, removing the stems.
  8. In a small bowl, or salad dressing shaker, combine the tahini, nutritional yeast, liquid aminos, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic.
  9. Shake until combined.
  10. Pour it over the kale and massage the dressing over the leaves.
  11. Let sit for 30 minutes, to let the kale soften.
  12. Add in the quinoa and almonds, and mix thoroughly. Serve!


kale salad with quinoa

This kale and quinoa salad recipe is super filling. I had some leftovers for lunch yesterday, and it kept me full until the evening. Not to mention this recipe is full of good ingredients! I know some of these things aren’t your standard pantry items, but I promise it’s worth it! (You can also pick up a bottle of Garlic Tahini dressing from Whole Foods if you don’t want to make your own!)

This garlickly kale and quinoa salad is vegan, gluten free, healthy, and delicious! It's loaded with protein and healthy fats with no oil!

Do you have any allergy-friendly recipes?


  1. I’m allergic to Quinoa but that looks delicious! Sounds like you had a lot of things to cater for in terms of allergies and food preferences, well done for coming up with this one that ticked all the boxes 🙂

  2. This recipe is awesome!!! My lab at my work had a potluck recently and here’s what needed to be avoided: gluten, dairy, nuts, seafood, 1 vegetarian, 1 vegan. Needless to say it was tough to find something we could all eat! I made brownies that were basically made of air because I couldn’t use any ingredients lol!! This recipe (minus the almonds) would have been a lifesaver. Next time!

  3. This looks great! Plus, I think I have all of those things in my pantry right now. 🙂 I’ll keep this on mind for people with certain food allergies!

  4. The funny thing about me is that I am slightly allergic to almonds therefore I really try to avoid them. Most people are allergic to peanuts but luckily I am not…This recipe looks delish though! I roast kale chips every day as a snack. Have a great weekend.

  5. I have quite a few allergy-friendly recipes, but I’m so blessed to hardly ever need them. I’ve only cooked for one person who has to eat GF, and this past weekend I made us all a brunch frittata with bacon-wrapped asparagus. It went over pretty well!

  6. Such an easy healthy salad! Perfect for a pot luck. I don’t have any food allergies but I am vegan so I stay away from a lot of different foods. Dinner parties are especially hard because you have no clue what people put in their food.

  7. I always love all your yummy clean recipes. My last roommate/best friend was vegan (dairy allergy and didn’t like meat) so it was really fun to learn how to tweak recipes!

  8. This salad looks & smells amazing!… It was soooo good seeing you last night!!


  9. I am currently obsessed with kale, especially in juices and in the chip form! This salad looks delicious, and I can just imagine how filling it is.

    Oh, and I made your tahini stir fry sauce last night, but instead of red pepper flakes I used sriracha. It was delicious! Thanks!

  10. That looks tasty ma’am!!

  11. I have such a love hate relationship with kale. When I have kale chips, my stomach sometimes feels upset after. I don’t know why! Other times it doesn’t bother me at all. I do love the veggie so I always want to incorporate it but never know how to add it to recipes. This looks super yum!

  12. i’m not a big quinoa fan but i love kale salads! i find that many veggie sides like this are allergy friendly.

  13. I love that you are not gluten free, but still include so many recipes and so much information for those of us that are! I have a major gluten allergy and I first thought going gluten free would help me lose weight, but I have actually found it harder to lose weight with the restriction. Keep up the awesome healthy recipes- you’re a huge help and inspiration!

    • I definitely think gluten-free can make it tougher, because a lot of gluten free substitutes actually have more calories! However, this recipe is SUPER healthy you could totally add it to the lunch time rotation 🙂

  14. This looks delicious and healthy! I recently tried quinoa for the first time and I was surprised by the taste. I actually loved it.


  15. this is the kind of salad I like on my weekday rotation.

  16. kale + quinoa = love

  17. This looks so good! I love kale and quinoa, so I would definitely make this.

  18. Wow good job at coming up with something that suits everyone!! I don’t have anyone in my family who has a food allergy, although I try to limit my dairy since my tummy tends to go wonky if I have too much. This salad reminds me of my broccoli, kale and quinoa dish. I love it!

  19. Well, I have ALL of these ingredients in my pantry…but that’s because I’m a total food hoarder…er, umm, I mean FOODIE!! Yeah, yeah, that’s what I meant! Love the addition of the almonds…makes me want to throw some raisins and curry in there for a bit of Indian flair! 😉

  20. I’ve never made/eaten quinoa, but I picked some up the other day. What does toasting it do for the taste?

  21. Mmm this looks delicious! I haven’t had quinoa in a while and this combo looks yums 🙂

  22. I love the addition of almonds to this recipe – such a great idea! Will have to do that next time I make kale and quinoa (which is one of my favourite combinations!) thanks for the great idea and recipe!

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  1. […] Garlicky Kale and Quinoa Salad […]

  2. […] and soon it was lunch. I don’t pack my lunch all the time but sometimes I’ll make this garlicky quinoa and kale salad ahead of time since it packs really […]

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