This healthy, Kale Quinoa Salad is so easy to make! It’s filled with nutritious quinoa, toasted pine nuts, golden raisins and a sweet-tangy dressing.
This is my favorite kale quinoa salad recipe, as it’s really simple to make and has just the right amount of sweetness that pairs nicely with the natural bitterness of the kale. And it’s packed with some serious nutrition, which is a huge plus.
How to make this Kale Quinoa salad:
To begin, prepare the pine nuts, if necessary. Personally, I buy pre-toasted pine nuts. If you need to toast the raw pine nuts, put them on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 5-6 minutes, stirring or shaking the pan every 2 minutes or so.
Be VERY careful when toasting pine nuts; I burned one batch while shooting this recipe, as I was trying to do a million things in the kitchen and wasn’t paying attention (not my first time). =) Luckily I had more pine nuts on hand, or I would have taken a dreaded trip back to the store.
So that being said, check often. They go very quickly from toasted to burned (and lose flavor) so take them out as soon as they start to brown.
If you are tempted to skip the toasting and just use raw pine nuts, keep in mind that toasting them brings out a really nice flavor. It’s good- but just not the same if they aren’t toasted. Once you remove them from the oven, set them aside to cool.
Wash the kale and break into bite-size pieces, making sure to take out the hard rib part (unless you like it; I do not).
Put the kale in a large bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the rice vinegar, maple syrup or agave, tahini, dijon mustard, lemon juice and black pepper. Stir with a small whisk until smooth.
At this point, I usually start snacking on those golden raisins. If you’ve never had golden raisins, they have a sweeter taste than their traditional cousin and I generally like them better.
To the large bowl of kale, add the cooked (cooled) quinoa, golden raisins and pine nuts.
Add the dressing to the kale and mix all ingredients together until combined. I use my hands to get the dressing to stick to the kale better.
It’s as easy as that. Serve immediately. If planning to serve later (more than an hour), I would recommend keeping the dressing separate until serving.
I hope you love this Kale Quinoa Salad as much as I do.
In the mood for quinoa? Also try my Basil Pesto Quinoa for a simple way to dress up quinoa.
If you make these Kale Quinoa Salad, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your photo with #veggie__chick on Instagram.
Kale-Quinoa Salad (Vegan, Gluten-Free)Pin Rate
- 1 fresh bunch raw kale - washed, stems removed, and leaves broken into pieces (about 4 cups packed)
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts*
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 3/4 cup cooked quinoa - cooled**
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup - or agave nectar
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Add kale to a large bowl.
- To make dressing, in a small bowl, add rice vinegar, maple syrup, tahini, dijon mustard, lemon juice, and black pepper. Stir with a whisk.
- To the large bowl of kale, add in the quinoa, golden raisins, and toasted pine nuts. Add the dressing and using hands, massage the dressing into the kale. Serve immediately. If making for later, keep dressing separate until serving.