Kale and Quinoa Salad

Quinoa??? But…but…it’s a GRAIN! Nope. Botanically speaking, it’s the seed of a flowering plant (not a grass), that happens to be marketed as a grain. That’s all we have to say about that.

Our ginormous Kale and Quinoa Salad is a nutritional beast that keeps the veggies in the spotlight and uses quinoa as a topping. It’s a fantastic party dish since the quinoa can be prepared the night before and everything can be refrigerated separately and assembled right before serving.

Our black cherry tomato plants from North End City Market are exploding so we took advantage of the opportunity to use them (they’re super rich and sweet). Try different varieties of locally grown tomatoes to add a unique punch of flavor and make it your signature party dish.

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Kale and Quinoa Salad

Kale and Quinoa Salad

  • Author: Fresh. Out.
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 810 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Plant-Based


Kale and Quinoa Salad



For the Quinoa

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups unsalted vegetable broth (or unsalted chicken broth for omnivores)
  • 2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed and strained
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste after cooking
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper, plus more to taste after cooking
  • 1/8 tsp ground coriander

For the Salad

  • 2 sweet bell peppers (combination of red/orange/yellow/aloha), diced
  • 1 English cucumber, quartered, deseeded, and chopped
  • 1 bunch kale, rinsed, stems removed, and leaves finely chopped
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, loosely packed, measured then finely chopped
  • 3 large fresh basil leaves, chiffonade cut
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • Pinch of salt, to taste


For the Quinoa

  1. Combine all quinoa spices in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat a medium pot with a lid over medium heat and add oil and onions. Cook until translucent and beginning to caramelize. Add minced garlic and stir, cooking until fragrant, about another minute. 
  3. Add vegetable broth to deglaze and scrape the bottom of the pot, then add the spice mixture and rinsed quinoa. Stir and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low to simmer. Continue cooking until all excess liquid is absorbed, stirring as needed to prevent burning.  
  4. Once fully cooked, transfer to a large dish to cool.

For the Salad

  1. Combine all salad spices in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Prep all vegetables, then add the kale to one large bowl and the cucumber, tomatoes, and peppers to another bowl. Juice the lime and half a lemon into a measuring cup or mug. Pour 2 teaspoons of mixed juice over the tomato mixture and the rest over the kale. Toss each bowl of vegetables to coat evenly. 
  3. Sprinkle half of the salad seasoning mixture over the kale and toss, then sprinkle with half of the remaining mixture and about 2/3 of the parsley and fresh basil and toss again. You’ll be left with a quarter of the original spice mixture – sprinkle that and the remaining basil and parsley over the mixed vegetables and toss to coat.

Putting it Together

  1. To serve as one large salad, add cooled quinoa to kale and toss to combine, then add mixed vegetables and gently toss again. Serve immediately. 
  2. To serve individually, divide the kale between 8 plates or bowls and top with quinoa and mixed vegetables. Serve immediately. 
  3. If you are cooking for one or a smaller crowd, halve the recipe and refrigerate kale, mixed vegetables, and quinoa separately in airtight containers. Leftover vegetables will last a couple of days. The quinoa will keep for about 4. 


Cooked quinoa freezes beautifully. Divide and firmly pack into an ice cube tray and freeze, then transfer to a zip top bag with air removed. Store up to 3 months. Each cube is about two tablespoons, perfect for topping a single-serve salad. This recipe makes about 2 cups of cooked quinoa.



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