Kale Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Roasted Carrot
This vegan kale quinoa chickpea salad with roasted carrots and tahini sauce is nutritious, filling, and easy to make in 45 minutes.
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
If you’re looking for an easy whole food plant-based recipe or beginner-friendly introduction to plant-based eating, this wholesome kale quinoa chickpea salad is a great option!
It’s made with just a few simple ingredients, is full of yummy flavors and textures and provides plenty of nutrition.
Whether you make it for meal prep or a quick, healthy dinner, you’ll love this feel-good bowl any night of the week.
- Vegan (dairy-free, egg-free) gluten-free and nut-free!
- Rich in plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
- Easy to prepare with minimal prep.
- Ready to enjoy in 45 minutes.
- It’s made with simple, whole food ingredients.
- It’s easy to customize.
- It’s great for meal prep!
- Carrot: You can use any variety of carrots. I use 2-3 whole carrots per bowl depending on their size but the amount doesn’t have to be exact so feel free to use more or less. Alternatives would be roasted butternut squash or sweet potato.
- Quinoa: You can use any variety of quinoa such as white, red or tri-color. This can be swapped for another whole grain like brown rice or farro.
- Chickpeas: Canned chickpeas are quick and easy for this recipe though you can use chickpeas cooked from scratch if you prefer. Baked tofu, crumbled tempeh, edamame or marinated tempeh would be good too!
- Kale: Use any variety of kale or you can substitute spinach, Swiss chard or another green of choice. I like kale here because it holds up well for leftovers.
- Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds): You can use raw pepitas or roasted salted pepitas for more crunch and flavour. These can be substituted with any nut or seed such as sunflower seeds, walnuts, or hemp seeds.
- Tahini: Good tahini should be smooth, creamy, and not overly bitter. I like Soom or Arz Fine Foods but there are plenty of good brands or you can make your own from sesame seeds.
- Maple Syrup: This is used to sweeten the dressing a little. You can omit it or use agave syrup or honey as a substitute.
- Lemon: You’ll need 1-2 lemons to make the juice for the dressing.
- Garlic Powder: I used garlic powder (rather than cloves) in the dressing so it’s smooth without needing to blend it. If you want to use fresh garlic, you can grate or mince it or blend the dressing for a smoother result.
- Oil: You’ll need just a little oil to roast the carrots. You can use olive oil, avocado oil or another cooking oil of choice.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1. Roast the Carrots
Give the carrots a quick scrub then place them on a baking tray. I use some parchment paper for easy clean up and to prevent sticking.
Drizzle the carrots with a 1/2 tsp olive oil or avocado oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roll the carrots around on the tray until they’re all coated in the oil and seasonings.
Roast the carrots for about 20 minutes at 425 F, then shake the pan and roast for another 15-20 minutes until they’re browned and fork tender.
Step 2. Cook the Quinoa
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil on the stovetop to cook the quinoa. Once it’s boiling, add the quinoa, cover, and reduce the heat to slow.
Lightly simmer for 15 minutes then remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for another 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
Step 3. Make the Dressing
To make the dressing, add everything to any bowl or container and whisk until fully combined, starting with 2 tbsp of water and slowly stirring in more until you reach a thick and creamy but pourable consistancy.
Whisk up all the dressing ingredients in any bowl or container until smooth and creamy.
Quick Tip: The sweetener (maple syrup) is optional but adds a nice balance to the acidity of the lemon. It’s still good without it though if you want to go sugar-free.
Step 4. Prepare the Kale
Wash the kale and remove the leaves from the tough stems. Finely chop it then drizzle it with about 1/2 tsp oil of choice. You can add a little squeeze of lemon juice and/or a pinch of salt as well if you like.
Massage the kale with your hands for 1-2 minutes until softened and dark green.
Step 5. Assemble the Bowls
Start with a scoop of quinoa in each of 4 bowls then top with equal amounts of the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle with the tahini dressing and enjoy!
Tips & Notes
- Extra toppings that work well are finely chopped cilantro, green onions, kalamata olives, pickled red onion, roasted red pepper, hot sauce, or avocado.
- Add any additional protein source you like such as tofu, tempeh or seitan.
- Aside from the tahini dressing, all of the bowl ingredients can all be eye-balled or adjusted to suit your nutritional needs.
- Maple Dijon Dressing
- Almond Satay Sauce
- Vegan Caesar Dressing
- Glory Bowl Dressing
- Hemp Herb Dressing
- Maple Chili Dressing
- Ginger Peanut Sauce
Yes, this recipe is naturally gluten-free without needing to make any changes.
- Let the quinoa and carrots cool a bit before storing.
- Fridge: Store in a sealed container for up to 4 days.
- If storing, I recommend leaving the dressing off and storing separately until serving.
- Reheating: Enjoy the bowls cold or reheat in the microwave until heated through.
Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.
Roasted Carrot, Kale and Quinoa Bowl
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Roasting
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
This cozy, nourishing carrot, kale and quinoa bowl is vegan, gluten-free and oh so flavourful and delicious. Whole roasted carrots melt in your mouth and pair perfectly with tangy lemon tahini dressing and crunchy pumpkin seeds.
For the Roasted Carrots
- 8–12 medium whole carrots (2–3 carrots per bowl)
- 1/2 tsp olive or avocado oil
- sprinkle of salt and pepper
For the Lemon Tahini Sauce
- 5 tbsp (75 g) tahini
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2–1 tsp sea salt, to taste
- 2–6 tbsp water, as needed to adjust consistency
For the Bowls
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup dry, about 1/2 cup cooked per bowl)
- 4 cups de-stemmed and finely chopped kale (about 1 big handful per bowl)
- approx. 2 cups chickpeas (about 1/2 cup per bowl)
- 8 tbsp pepitas (2 tbsp per bowl)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Roast the Carrots: To make the roasted carrots, give whole carrots a good scrub to clean then place on a baking pan lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then roll them around to coat.
- Roast the carrots for 20 minutes, shake the pan, then continue roasting for another 10-15 minutes until the carrots can be pierced with a fork but still have some firmness to them.
- Cook the Quinoa: To make the quinoa, bring 2 cups of water to a boil stovetop in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the quinoa, cover and reduce heat to low. Lightly simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes, covered. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.
- Make the Tahini Sauce: To make the tahini dressing, add all the dressing ingredients to a bowl or container and until smooth and creamy. Slowly add water to adjust the consistency, it should be thick and creamy but pourable.
- Prepare the Kale: On a cutting board or in a bowl, drizzle the kale with 1/4 tsp olive oil or avocado oil. Massage and squeeze the kale for 1-2 minutes until softened.
- Assemble Bowls: Divide the kale, quinoa, chickpeas and carrots between 4 servings. Top each with tahini sauce and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and enjoy.
Store leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container or up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or enjoy cold. Store dressing separately until just before serving.
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 461
- Sugar: 14 g
- Sodium: 400 mg
- Fat: 19 g
- Carbohydrates: 61 g
- Fiber: 14 g
- Protein: 17 g
Keywords: quinoa chickpea salad
This recipe was originally published on October 1, 2017.
This one is a hit with my whole family. In our part of the US, I’ve found the Once Again brand of tahini to be the best in flavor and texture. I’ve made this one several times and each time I find something else to throw in. I personally love adding red onion and dried cranberries. Even with roasting the carrots and making the quinoa, this meal still feels like it comes together in a snap!
Love that! Ya, it’s a super easy one to play around with! I’m so glad you and your family have been enjoying it. Thanks for the review!
I made this salad using all the ingredients and exact measurements, and it was absolutely delicious! I’m new to making plant based meals. It’s my new years resolution to start eating more plant based. I’m so happy I picked this recipe as my first meal! The tahini dressing is so good!
That’s awesome, Rochelle! Have fun with it. So glad you enjoyed this!