Kale and Quinoa Salad

5 from 1 vote
This Kale and Quinoa Salad is healthy and hearty, protein-packed with quinoa, hemp hearts and crunchy cashews. Drizzled with my favourite green goddess dressing for a flavourful crunchy salad.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
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Apr 30, 2020 (Last updated Apr 22, 2022) by Hannah Sunderani

Kale and Quinoa Salad

This kale and quinoa salad recipe is one of my favourite kale recipes! It’s healthy and hearty, protein-packed with quinoa, hemp hearts and crunchy cashews. And drizzled with my favourite green goddess dressing for a flavourful crunchy salad.

If you don’t already know, I am big into kale salads! Certainly, kale is my leafy green of choice. And although there are many ways to prepare kale,  I love using it to make kale salads.

Now, many people prefer other leafy greens like spinach and arugula, since kale is tougher in texture. But in fact, that’s the best part about it! Because kale is tougher, it keeps longer than other leafy greens, so you can prep in advance, and even enjoy for next day leftovers and 1-2 days after.

And, learning how to prepare your kale for salads will help tremendously for getting a ready-to-eat salad that’s not too tough.

So, let me dive into the details for how to to make kale salads, and specifically – how to make this kale and quinoa salad recipe.

this kale and quinoa salad is healthy, vegan and protein packed!

Kale and Quinoa Salad Recipe

The Ingredients:

To make this kale and quinoa salad you will need:

  • kale
  • red cabbage
  • quinoa
  • cashews
  • hemp hearts
  • sea salt and pepper

ingredients for this recipe

As for the dressing, we are making fresh and creamy green goddess salad dressing.

You will need:

  • parsley
  • apple cider vinegar
  • coconut yogurt
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • mustard
  • agave
  • sea salt

As you can see, the ingredients are fresh, wholesome, and straight-forward. You don’t need to be a master chef, or know a lot about vegan cooking to make this recipe. Which is why I have given it my newbie cook stamp of approval.

Certainly, anyone can make this simple recipe.

How to make kale salad

Now, if you thought you didn’t like kale salads, it might have to do with how you’re preparing it.

Truth is, kale needs to be prepped for salads, otherwise it can result in a tough and dry salad. And trust me, nobody wants to feel like a cow grazing grass at the dinner table!

Lucky for us, preparing kale for salads is simple. It’s all about readying the leaves to soften slightly and absorb flavour. So you’re left with a ready-to-eat, crunchy and easy to chew salad.

how to make kale and quinoa salad

How to prepare kale for salad:

There are 3 steps to preparing your kale for salad.

1) Remove the stems

Now, I don’t mind as to whether you prefer to use purple kale, black kale, or green kale, but you must remove the stems!

To remove, simply pull the green leafy part from the tough centre stems (and any other tough ribs that fan out).

Discard the stems and ribs. Or, try giving the kale stems to your dog! Penny loves to chew on these! It doesn’t upset her tummy at all! (And she has a sensitive one).

2) Rip leaves into bite-sized pieces

Next, take the kale leaves and rip into bite-sized pieces. The smaller the better. This makes it easier to absorb dressing, and it’s much more enjoyable chewing on small pieces than large ones.

I speak from experience.

3) Massage your kale salad

Okay, when did we start massaging our plants? Surely we need a massage more than our kale does!

Well, I beg to differ. Although it seems silly, I urge you not to skip massaging your kale. In doing so, we are softening the kale to be less tough and more absorbent to the dressing.

I promise it’s easy – Just grab your kale by the handfuls, and scrunch it a few times – for 30 seconds or so.

And that’s that! Now you have prepped your kale for salad making.

I promise these simple steps will make all the difference to enjoying ready-to-eat,  not-too-tough kale salads.

Trust me in that these recommendations are not novel. Cookie and Kate gives similar recommendations for preparing kale, and also recommends adding salt to the salad for prepping. Although I don’t find it necessary.

how to prepare kale for salads

Green goddess salad dressing recipe

Now, the green goddess salad dressing truly brings this salad up a notch. I absolutely LOVE this salad dressing. Made with fresh parsley, apple cider vinegar, coconut yogurt, olive oil and a bit of mustard. It’s bright and refreshing, herby, creamy, tangy and smooth.

Use this dressing for this kale salad and your other favourite salad combos, and drizzle it on buddha bowls.

this green goddess dressing is creamy, herby, bright, and smooth

How to make green goddess dressing

To make this green goddess salad dressing we will toss everything in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Drizzle onto your salad and toss to combine.

This green goddess salad dressing will last in the fridge for up to one week.

how to make green goddess dressing

Other recipes you might like:

If you’re digging this kale salad, you might also like these recipes:

kale and quinoa salad with green goddess dressing

So, now you know how to make kale salad, and this simple and stellar kale and quinoa salad recipe!

It’s protein packed, crunchy, healthy and flavourful. Made with a tangy and creamy green goddess salad dressing that you will adore. I’m certain you’re going to love this salad as much as we do.

And, if you do make this recipe please let me know in the comments below what you think! I love hearing from you. And of course, tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #twospoons. Nothing makes me happier than to see your recreations.


Kale and Quinoa Salad

5 from 1 vote
This Kale and Quinoa Salad is healthy and hearty, protein-packed with quinoa, hemp hearts and crunchy cashews. Drizzled with my favourite green goddess dressing for a flavourful crunchy salad.
kale and quinoa salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Serves 6 people


  • 8 oz kale (226g)
  • 1 cup red cabbage shredded
  • 1 1/2 cup quinoa cooked* (1/2 cup dry)
  • 1/2 cup cashews chopped
  • 3 tbsp hemp hearts
  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch pepper

Green Goddess Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup parsley chopped, tightly packed
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup coconut yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp agave
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • pinch sea salt


  • Begin by removing kale leaves from the stems. Discard stems and toss leaves in a large mixing bowl. Then rip leaves into tinier bite-sized peices (the smaller the better).
  • Scrunch kale with hands for 30s to soften. (This makes the leaves less tough, and for better absorption of dressing). Add shredded cabbage, cooked quinoa*, chopped cashews, hemp hearts and pinch sea salt and pepper to bowl.
  • Make your green goddess dressing: In a blender add parsley, apple cider vinegar, coconut yogurt, garlic clove, olive oil, agave, mustard and pinch sea salt. Blend until smooth consistency.
  • Pour green goddess dressing over salad and toss to combine. Serve.


*If cooking quinoa from dry: In a pot bring 1/2 cup quinoa and 1 cup water to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cover with lid. Cook for 12-15 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with spoon. Then cover with tea towel and let sit 10 minutes. For faster cooling, pour quinoa into a shallow bowl to allow steam to release.
Salad can be prepared in advanced, and will last 1-2 days in the fridge. Kale salad makes for great lunch leftovers. 
Green goddess dressing can also be prepared in advance, and will keep in fridge for up to 5 days. 
Nutritional information is a rough estimate. 



Calories: 370kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 39mg | Potassium: 581mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 4612IU | Vitamin C: 66mg | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 5mg

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    • Hi Fiona! All the recipes on the blog have the option to convert from cups to grams. You can find the “Metric” button after the listed ingredients. Hope that helps!

    • Thank you Stef! I’m so happy you liked the salad recipe. Love that Green Goddess Dressing too! Enjoy.

  1. Omg, this salad looks amazing! I haven’t ever thought to combine all these flavors!