This warm quinoa kale salad with roasted vegetables, cranberries, balsamic vinaigrette and avocado makes a healthy meal that’s delicious any time of year!

Kale quinoa salad with cranberries and roasted vegetables topped with avocado in a bowl.

This healthy salad recipe is packed with nutrients, has a delicious mix of flavours and is easy to customize with different vegetables and toppings.

With the addition of quinoa, it’s hearty enough for lunch or dinner but it also makes a great side dish for everyday meals and special occasions.

To make these power bowls, roast the favourite veggies, whisk together an easy balsamic maple dressing and toss with quinoa, kale and any toppings you enjoy.

Recipe Features

You will love these bowls because they are:

  • vegan, gluten free and nut free (can be oil-free)
  • easy to customize with different veggies, toppings and dressings
  • great for meal prep and can be enjoyed cold or reheated
  • delicious side dish for holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter
  • yummy way to include nutritious kale and quinoa in your diet

Ingredient Notes

Visual list of ingredients for making a quinoa kale salad with roasted vegetables and maple balsamic dressing.

Complete list of ingredients with amounts and instructions is located in the recipe card below.

Below are the ingredients included in the kale quinoa salad along with possible substitutions and additions.

  • Vegetables: You’ll need kale, Brussels sprouts, carrots and broccoli. Other vegetables that work well for roasting are any winter squash like delicata or butternut squash, red onion, parsnips, sweet potato or cauliflower so feel free to mix and match those with the carrot, broccoli and Brussels.
  • Quinoa: Any variety works (white, red, etc.). It can be substituted with brown rice or farro.
  • Dried Cranberries: Use fruit-juice sweetened if you can find them. They can be omitted if preferred, or substituted with raisins or chopped dates.
  • Avocado: An optional but yummy topping!

Other ingredients that work well as a topping or mixed into the salad are walnuts, diced apple, slivered almonds or raw pumpkin seeds.

Dressing Ingredients

Visual list of ingredients for making a quinoa kale salad with maple balsamic dressing.

Below are the ingredients needed for the dressing along with possible substitutions and a few alternative dressing options.

  • Balsamic Vinegar: Substitute with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar.
  • Olive Oil: Substitute with avocado oil. For oil-free dressing, you can use vegetable broth.
  • Dijon Mustard: Regular mustard or any other mustard you like works.
  • Maple Syrup: Substitute with agave syrup or honey (not vegan).
  • Garlic: Use 1/2 tsp garlic powder if you don’t have fresh garlic on hand.

Alternative dressings include miso tahini dressing, lemon tahini dressing or maple lime almond dressing.

How to Make Quinoa Kale Salad

Step 1: Prepare & Roast the Vegetables.

This includes the Brussels sprouts, carrots and broccoli for roasting, and the kale for the salad.

Chop the Brussels, carrots and broccoli into roughly equal-sized pieces and toss them with the avocado or olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast them 400 F on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan for 30-35 minutes.

To prepare the kale, tear the leaves away from the tough stems and chop into bite-sized pieces.

Step 2: Cook the Quinoa & Mix with the Kale.

While the veggies are roasting, cook the quinoa according to its package instructions. If you already have cooked quinoa on hand, perfect!

Once the quinoa is cooked and drained, mix the quinoa and kale together in a large mixing or serving bowl.

Step 3: Prepare the Dressing.

Overhead view of balsamic maple dressing in a small jar, bowl of kale and bowl of cooked quinoa.

To make the dressing, whisk the ingredients together until fully combined or add them to a sealable jar and shake well. Be sure to mix again just before adding to the salad as the oil may separate.

Step 4: Assemble the Salad.

Add the roasted veggies to the bowl with the quinoa and kale, then add the dressing and mix well. Finally, add your toppings and enjoy!

Topping Ideas

  • Avocado
  • Apple
  • Dried Fruit: Cranberries, raisins or dried apple chips are great choices.
  • Nuts or Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, cashews, pine nuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are all delicious.
  • Try a light sprinkle of tofu feta or tofo ricotta on top.
  • Protein: You can add additional protein like edamame, baked tofu, marinated tempeh or marinated chickpeas.

Notes & Tips

Low-Calorie Option: Swap the olive oil in the dressing and roasted vegetables for vegetable broth to reduce the calories per serving to 291 with 8 grams of fat.

Gluten-Free: The salad is naturally gluten-free but be sure to use gluten-free certified quinoa if needed.

Kale quinoa salad with cranberries and roasted vegetables topped with avocado in a bowl.

Storage

Store the assembled quinoa bowls in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can reheat the bowls or eat them cold.

I’d recommend leaving the avocado off until just before serving if you’re storing the bowls for later.

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Kale quinoa salad with cranberries and roasted vegetables topped with avocado in a bowl.

Quinoa Kale Salad with Roasted Vegetables

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

This warm quinoa kale salad with cranberries, roasted vegetables and maple balsamic dressing is filling enough for a meal but also makes a wonderful side dish, especially during the autumn months.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (450 g, about 4 cups)
  • 3 cups broccoli florets (450 g)
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (300 g)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil (15 mL)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rinsed quinoa (90 g dry, or approx. 1 cup cooked quinoa)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water (250 mL)
  • 3 cups finely chopped fresh kale, stems removed (90 g)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (32 g)

For the Dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (60 mL)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (30 mL)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (15 mL)
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard (10 g)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (4 g)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Place Brussels sprouts, broccoli and carrots in a large bowl. Add oil, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
  3. Spread the vegetables in an even layer on the prepared pan. Roasted for 30-35 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until tender.
  4. While the vegetables are roasting, add quinoa and broth (or water) to a small pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until quinoa is fluffy and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. 
  5. Remove from the heat, uncover and stir in kale, allowing it to wilt.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Divide the quinoa kale mixture evenly into 4 bowls, then top with equal amounts of the roasted vegetables and a drizzle of dressing. Garnish with sliced avocados and dried cranberries. Alternatively, mix the quinoa, kale, roasted vegetables, dressing and cranberries together in a large mixing or serving bowl. Mix well and serve topped with sliced avocado.

Notes

Vegetables: Use any variety of kale (tuscan kale, curly kale, etc.). The Brussels sprouts, carrots and broccoli can be mixed and matched with butternut squash (or other winter squash), sweet potato or cauliflower.

Olive oil: Substitute with avocado oil or for oil-free dressing, you can use vegetable broth. Using broth instead of oil for the dressing and roasting will reduce the calories to 291 per serving with 8 g fat.

Storing: Store the salad in a sealed container for up to 4 days in the fridge. Can be enjoyed cold or reheated. If storing, leave off the avocado until serving.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 441
  • Fat: 25 g
  • Carbohydrates: 52 g
  • Fiber: 13 g
  • Protein: 11 g

Keywords: quinoa power bowl, quinoa kale salad