My go-to kale salad! This Massaged Kale Quinoa Salad is super simple, loaded with plant protein, vitamins, and healthy fats (yet, oil-free!) It has tons of flavor and texture! Even the kids gobble this one up! And it only take about 20 minutes to make!
I love making a big bowl of kale salad to eat throughout the week. Kale is hearty and sturdy and, even coated in dressing, will stay fresh for days.
Massaging the kale with the avocado, lemon juice, and salt, breaks down the fibrous texture and makes it tender and easy to eat.
Packing this salad with quinoa and almonds boosts the protein and makes it all the more satiating. Sweet, juicy clementine segments balance the flavors and makes it more kid friendly.
This Massaged Kale Quinoa Salad is sure to become a staple at your house, too!
Kale might not be quite as on-trend as it was a few years ago, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still as healthy and nutritious as it was then.
The vitamin K levels in Kale is off the charts. It’s also extremely high in vitamins A and C. Manganese, copper, calcium, fiber, iron, vitamin E, potassium, protein, healthy omega-3 fats, and folate are also present in impressive numbers. Whew! That’s a long list of nutrients!
Kale is anti-inflammatory and has antioxidants. It provides cardiovascular support and potential cancer-preventative benefits.
You need to be eating leafy greens and this Kale Quinoa Salad is a great place to start!
I have a bit of an obsession with adding fruit to savory salads. The fruit brings a lovely sweetness that balances the flavors perfectly and in a healthy way. They also bring another level of texture, which is so important in a salad.
I use oranges in my Broccoli and Brussel Sprout Salad and my Lentil Quinoa Salad.
I use apples in my Lacinato Kale Superfood Salad, Curried Tofu Salad, and my Quinoa Spinach Salad with Butternut Squash.
I use grapes in my Vegan Chickpea Salad, Raw Veggie Chopped Salad, Vegan Quinoa Salad with Fresh Dill and Lime, and my Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lentils.
I even use strawberries in my Creamy Balsamic Summer Pasta Salad.
I know there are quite a few people that frown upon using sweet fruits in savory dishes, but you’ll never get me to agree with them! Do you like fruit in your savory salads?
This Kale Quinoa Salad is filling enough to stand on it’s own, just like these other salads for dinner. I love it for a light lunch or an easy summer dinner.
But, it’s also perfect as a starter or alongside a larger meal.
It won’t wilt, so pack it up in a lunchbox or any air-tight container for eating on-the-go.
More vegan kale recipes
- Kidney Bean and Kale BBQ Burger
- Mint Matcha Smoothie (a.k.a. Healthy Shamrock Shake!)
- Vegan Stuffed Shells
- Vegan Minestrone Soup
- Kale Walnut Pesto
- Kale Apple Slaw
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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For even more easy family recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook!
Massaged Kale and Quinoa Salad
- ½ cup white quinoa rinsed well with cold water
- ¾ cup water
- 1 bunch curly kale, chopped small stems and ribs removed
- 1 avocado peel and pit removed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 clementine mandarin oranges segmented
- ½ cup slivered raw almonds
- Add the quinoa and water to a pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 12 to 15 minutes until the quinoa is cooked through and the water is absorbed. Take off heat, fluff with a fork and let cool.
- Meanwhile, add the kale, avocado, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to a mixing bowl. With clean hands, "massage" the the kale making sure the avocado is completely mashed into the kale. Massage for several minutes to allow the ingredients to soften. Set aside.
- Once the quinoa is mostly cool, add it to the kale along with the orange segments and almonds and mix well.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.
This salad rocks! I used canned mandarins (sort of high in sugar, but I drained them well) My husband and I ate the entire bowl! I love your recipes Jenn!
Jenn Sebestyen says
That’s wonderful to hear, Chris! Thank you so much!
This was great. I had cooked rice already on hand and used that and it worked fine.
Jenn S. says
So happy to hear that, Colleen! Thanks for your comment!