Quinoa Salad Recipe

a bowl of quinoa salad with kale

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To make this versatile quinoa salad, you combine quinoa, chickpeas, kale and parsley with a zesty vinaigrette. Top with crunchy nuts or seeds and thinly sliced red onion for more flavor.  

Read the blog post above for addition ingredients that can be added, like feta, chicken or roasted vegetables. 


Units Scale
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup thinly sliced or shredded kale, either Tuscan or curly (see notes section below)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (you can also roast the chickpeas, see notes section below)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup roasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or nuts (such as slivered almonds, pine nuts, pecans or hazelnuts)

Salad Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot or red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Optional Add-ins

  • Feta cheese
  • 1 cup roasted vegetables, roughly chopped
  • Dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries, currants or cherries.


  1. To cook the quinoa, use either the stove top or Instant Pot method (see notes section below).
  2. To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, shallot or red onion, garlic and salt. Make the salad dressing and let it sit while you prep the rest of the ingredients. This will give the garlic and red onion time to mellow
  3. In a large bowl, toss the shredded kale with the salad dressing. Mix really well to coat the kale. 
  4. Add the quinoa, chickpeas and parsley. Gently mix well to combine. You’ll need to add salt and maybe a grind or two of pepper to boost the flavor. 
  5. Add any additional ingredients you want to add, such as roasted vegetables, feta and/or thinly sliced red onion.
  6. Top with seeds or nuts. You can also add dried fruit.


Quinoa Cooking Instructions

Instant Pot (easiest method)

  1. Combine 1 cup quinoa, 1 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon salt in the Instant Pot. 
  2. Cook for 1 minute on high pressure. 
  3. Let the pressure release naturally (10 minutes). Fluff with a fork.

Stove Top

  1. Combine 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a pot on the stove. 
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce to a low simmer, cover, and cook until all of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork. 

How to Shred Kale

You have two options for shredding kale. The first is pulsing kale leaves or a handful of bagged, chopped kale in the food processor until the leaves are finely chopped. This recipe for kale slaw shows you how. The second method is tearing the leaves from the stems, stacking and rolling the leaves like cigars, then thinly slicing. This video shows you how to cut kale. 

Roasting Chickpeas

Roasting the chickpeas is optional. It gives them a crispier texture. Roasted chickpeas are a tasty salad topping and also good for snacking.  

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F
  2. Drain, rinse and pat dry 1 can of chickpeas. 
  3. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the chickpeas with 1 tablespoon olive oil. You can also add salt, other spices and/or grated parmesan cheese.
  4. Roast for about 20 minutes, until the chickpeas are crispy. Stir once or twice while they roast.