Healthy Protein-Packed Quinoa & Kale Salad is loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and heart healthy fats. A budget-friendly, easy vegan dinner.
This is one of my favorite salads. I enjoy the crunchy texture of the crispy soy-glazed pepitas and slivered almonds, paired with the tangy pomegranate seeds. Plus, it's a complete meal all on its own!
Protein-Packed Quinoa & Kale Salad:
- Slivered almonds
- Ground cumin
- Chili powder
See recipe card for quantities.
Maple Dijon Dressing:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Dijon mustard
- Lemon juice
- White wine vinegar
- Maple syrup
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
See recipe card for quantities.
The toasted pepitas and almonds in this Protein-Packed Quinoa & Kale Salad are so flavorful, and addictive. Plus, they are very versatile and easy to make. Try adding them to other salads and mains.
Place them in the oven at 350ºF for about 5 minutes.
Set aside. The will become more and more crunchy as they cool.
Meanwhile, make the Maple Dijon Dressing. Either shake the ingredients in a medium jar with a lid, or whisk in a medium bowl until fully incorporated.
Transfer the kale to a large bowl and add about one third of the dressing.
Add the quinoa, pomegranate, chickpeas, parsley, pepitas, almonds, and avocado. Toss with the remaining dressing for serving.
🥬 Substitutions & Variations
This recipe for Protein-Packed Quinoa & Kale Salad is very versatile. Just stick to the same quantities as listed in the recipe when making substitutions.
- Kale - instead of kale, use iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce or baby spinach
- Pepitas & almonds - use your choice of nuts and seeds (walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, sunflower seeds)
- Chickpeas - replace the chickpeas with kidney beans, white beans, or pinto beans as desired
- Pomegranate - substitute pomegranate for blueberries or chopped apple
- Quinoa - instead of quinoa, use barley, orzo, bulgur, or farro
- Dressing - use your choice of dressing
See this High-Protein Bean & Corn Salad on my website!
Use a large bowl to wash the chopped kale. Replace the water about three times, or until it is clear.
I typically use a jar with a tight fitting lid to mix my salad dressings. Shake the ingredients to combine. Shake again just before serving to make sure the ingredients are fully incorporated.
Refrigerate any remaining salad in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Store the dressing in a separate container.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
Pepitas are a type of pumpkin seed, but they are not found in every pumpkin. Pepitas grow shell-free and are only found in Styrian or oil seed pumpkins.
Quinoa is naturally gluten-free. It is a type of edible seed, but is typically classified as a type of wholegrain. Quinoa is a compete protein and a good source of fiber.
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Protein-Packed Quinoa & Kale Salad
- ⅓ cup pepitas
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves finely minced or grated into dressing
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 cups chopped kale
- 1 ½ cups cooked quinoa
- ⅔ cups pomegranate seeds or chopped apple, or blueberries
- 15 ounces chickpeas canned, drained and rinsed
- ⅓ cup chopped parsley
- 1 medium avocado
- Toast nuts & seeds: Transfer pepitas and almonds to a medium rimmed non-stick baking sheet. Toss with tamari, cumin, paprika, and chili powder. Bake at 350ºF for about 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside.
- Make dressing: Add the olive oil, garlic, Dijon, lemon juice, vinegar, and maple syrup to a medium jar. Cover and shake well until fully incorporated.
- Assemble salad: Transfer the kale to a large bowl. Add about one third of the dressing. Massage the kale with the dressing until just wilted. Add the quinoa, pomegranate, chickpeas, parsley, pepitas, almonds, and avocado. Toss with the remaining dressing for serving.
- This recipe is very versatile. Substitute the nuts, seeds, chickpeas, and quinoa with different nuts/seeds, beans, or grain of choice. The pomegranate is optional.
- Substitute the canned chickpeas for 1 ½ cups cooked.
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an ESTIMATE only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe.