Simple Kale and Quinoa Salad

Yum-o! Great for a lunch at home, side salad with dinner, entree salad with added protein or holiday entertaining! Versatile and delicious! Naturally gluten free and vegetarian! Easily made dairy free by subbing a dairy free Parmesan. I think it’s best when the quinoa is still a bit warm but you can’t go wrong with this one!

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Simple Kale and Quinoa Salad

Course: Lunch, Salads
Keyword: Easy Lunch, Gluten Free, Under 30 Minutes, Weeknight Meals
Author: Denise


  • 1 shallot
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 16 oz bag kale chopped and steams removed (roughly 8 cups)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan


  • In a food processor, combine first seven ingredients (shallot through olive oil).  Blend until nicely emulsified, roughly 90 seconds.
  • In a medium bowl, combine kale and half of dressing.  Using clean hands, gently massage the dressing onto the kale.  This will help break down and soften the kale.  Be careful not to overwork.
  • Add quinoa and grated parmesan to kale.  Gently toss.
  • Serve salad with remaining dressing on the side, allowing guests to add extra dressing as desired.  Garnish with additional freshly grated Parmesan.


Serves 4 as entree or 8 as side salad. Note: My favorite way to prepare quinoa is easy and fast!  Heat 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp of water over high heat in a small saucepan.  Lightly season with salt.  Bring to a boil.  Add 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (I like red or tricolor quinoa).  Cover and turn down to low.  Cook 12 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit for 8-10 minutes.  Gently fluff with a fork and add to salad as directed above.
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