Serve this Kale Cranberry Quinoa Salad this holiday season. This kale quinoa salad is loaded with flavor and sure to delight guests!
The perfect side salad for any meal
This kale quinoa salad is one of my favorite side salads. It is made with just a few ingredients, but still has a complex flavor. It is healthy, filling, and delicious.
This quinoa salad with cranberries rounds out a meal and pairs well with many proteins. Serve it as a side dish for your holiday meal or top it with chicken for a simple meal prep. Wish a salad this flavorful you are sure to delight even picky eaters.
- Measuring spoons and measuring cups
- Liquid measuring cup
- Cutting board and sharp kitchen knife
- Small sauce pot
- Nonstick skillet
- Large bowl for tossing and serving
This is the perfect side salad to serve with your favorite protein. It is fantastic with this Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin. I also like to serve it with some of the following recipes:
This kale and quinoa salad with cranberries would also be a great addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas meals. Add it to this simpleThanksgiving dinner menu for a balanced meal!
It pairs well with all the traditional holiday meal staples like turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole or sweet potatoes! A robust salad with your holiday feast sounds pretty great to me.
Kale and Quinoa Salad Ingredients
- Sliced almonds
- Curly kale
- Dried cranberries
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Maple syrup
- Black pepper
Additional topping ideas
This kale and quinoa salad is completely vegan, but if you like dairy I recommend adding a crumbly cheese. Goat cheese and feta cheese would both make really great additions to this salad.
I used curly kale for this kale salad recipe, but you could also use lacinato kale or baby kale instead. If you use baby kale you do not need to spend time massaging the kale with the dressing.
I used white quiona, but you can certainly use red quinoa or tri-color quinoa instead. If you don’t like quinoa, you can use the same amount of brown rice or wild rice.
To add a little more flavor you can mix a finely diced red onion into the dressing.
How to make this Kale Cranberry Quinoa Salad
Step 1: prepare the Quinoa
To begin, bring water and quinoa to a boil in a small sauce pot. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover the pot.
Simmer until the water is absorbed. Then, fluff the quinoa with a fork.
Step 2: Toast the Almonds
Next, heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Toast the almonds in the skillet until they are golden brown.
Be sure to toss frequently and watch closely so they don’t burn. Remove the almonds from the pan and set them to the side to cool.
Step 3: Chop kale and prepare vinaigrette
Then, pour the dressing over the kale. Massage the dressing into the chopped kale with clean hands.
Step 4: Toss together and serve
Finally, add the cooked quinoa, toasted almonds, and dried cranberries to the bowl with kale and dressing. Toss to combine everything and serve!
Store this kale and quinoa salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You can prepare this salad ahead of time although it is best when eaten immediately after tossing in the dressing. If you want to make it ahead of time, prepare all of the ingredients. Then, toss it in the dressing until just before you serve it.
Check out these other simple salad recipes
You can find the full recipe below. If you make this recipe, please rate and review it in the comments, or share it with me on Instagram!
- Bring 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in a small sauce pot. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover the pot. Simmer until all of the water is absorbed. Fluff quinoa with a fork.
- While the quinoa cooks, heat a nonstick skillet over med-low heats. Toast almonds in the skillet until golden brown. Toss frequently and watch them so they don’t burn.
- Chop kale into thin shreds. In a small bowl combine olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and dijon mustard. Pour dressing over kale and massage into the kale with your hands – it may seem like there is too much dressing but the quinoa will absorb it.
- Pour cooked quinoa, toasted almonds and dried cranberries into the bowl with the kale. Toss to combine fully and serve!
Best if enjoyed immediately. Can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.