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A bowl of quinoa with kale and pine nuts in a white bowl.

Simple Kale Quinoa (Vegan, Gluten Free)

4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
This Simple Kale Quinoa can be made in just 25 minutes with only 10 ingredients. It's packed with plant-based protein and also super versatile. Add extra veggies, chickpeas or tofu for a fuller meal.


  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter - can substitute with 1 teaspoon olive oil or 1 tablespoon vegetable stock/broth
  • 1 1/3 cups white quinoa - rinsed
  • 2 cups unsalted vegetable stock/broth
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion or onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup raw pine nuts - can also use pre-toasted pine nuts and skip step #4 below
  • 2 cups packed fresh kale - chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  • In a medium saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter (or olive oil) over medium heat.
  • Add quinoa and heat for 3-4 minutes until slightly toasted*, stirring occasionally.
  • Add vegetable stock/broth, water, minced onion, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly, cover and simmer for 14-15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Uncover and remove from heat. 
  • Meanwhile (while waiting for quinoa to cook), in a small or medium dry skillet over medium heat, add the raw pine nuts. Stir constantly for about 2-3 minutes until slightly browned, being careful not to burn. You'll know it's ready when it's a little brown and smells nutty. Remove from pan immediately to cool. 
  • To the pot of cooked quinoa, add the chopped kale (the hot quinoa will wilt the kale), lemon juice and pine nuts. Stir until combined. Add additional salt and pepper to taste, or additional spices (see suggestions below).
  • This recipe makes 4 (1-cup) servings. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.


*Toasting quinoa before cooking brings out a "nuttiness" of the quinoa adds a nice depth of flavor.
  • Get creative. Try adding sautéed mushrooms or roasted red peppers, veggie sausage, or chopped sun dried tomatoes.
  • Add some baked tofu or roasted chickpeas, or enjoy it as a side dish to your favorite burger.
  • Experiment with spices or herbs! Add chopped parsley, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, nutritional yeast, or even Za'atar Seasoning blend for a Middle Eastern take on this quinoa recipe.
  • My favorite addition to this meal is a 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon of truffle salt. Yum.
  • Nut-Free Option: Omit the toasted pine nuts and sub with roasted sunflower seeds.
  • Note: The type of vegetable stock/broth you use may affect the color and the taste of this dish slightly. If you don't have vegetable stock/broth on hand, you can use water. Just note that additional spices may be necessary.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 239kcal | Carbohydrates: 38.7g | Protein: 8.3g | Fat: 5.7g | Sodium: 388mg | Sugar: 1.3g
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