Crispy Kale and Quinoa Salad

Is it health food or comfort food? It’s both! Crispy Kale and Quinoa Salad, loaded with cozy flavors, textural appeal and nutrients. 

Crispy Kale and Quinoa Salad #healthy #glutenfree #vegan #quinoa #kale

I had a conversation a few days ago with another mom about packing school lunches. We were both slightly put off that our children would rather eat school cafeteria lunches than our home-packed lunches.

“It’s the comfort food and the freedom.” I told the other mom.

My kids would rather eat the school lunches with mashed potatoes, hot sandwiches, chips, and pasta than the healthy stuff we buy to pack. Plus, they love the fact that they have choices at lunch time. Who doesn’t?

I’ve got to give our school a little credit, they do a pretty good job of providing relatively healthy lunches that taste good. Yet even so, any parent wants to believe they can do better.

Simple Crispy Kale and Quinoa Salad #healthy #glutenfree #vegan #quinoa #kale

It helps to make healthy dishes taste like comfort food.

Is that even possible?

Our Crispy Kale and Quinoa Salad is packed with vitamins and nutrients, yet offers a homey quality that is hard to resist.

Must-Try Crispy Kale and Quinoa Salad #healthy #glutenfree #vegan #quinoa #kale

I’m not really sure why this Crispy Kale and Quinoa Salad is so addictive.

I think it’s the balance of soft fluffy quinoa tossed with super crunchy kale shards… or the nutty essence from the quinoa mixed with garlic.

But honestly, we cannot get enough of it! Each bite is light and crunchy with a deep satisfying flavor.

In fact, this is going to be the “green” on my Thanksgiving table this year.

Need more thanksgiving ideas?

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Oven “Fried” Turkey

Maple Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes with Oat Crumble

Pumpkin Spice Latte Yeast Rolls

Bacon Wrapped Veggie Bundles

Raspberry Cranberry Sauce

Find more recipes on our Turkey Day Pinterest Board.

Crispy Kale and Quinoa Salad

Yield: 6-8 servings

Prep Time:15 minutes

Cook Time:23 minutes

5 / 5 (3 Reviews)
Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »

Crispy Kale and Quinoa Salad – healthy, tasty and loaded with nutrients! This is a healthy dish even your pickiest eaters will love.


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/4 cup dried quinoa
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2-3 dashes cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium sauce pot and set over medium heat. Once the oil is hot add the quinoa and toast for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly. Pour in the stock and stir in the garlic. Cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for 18-20 minutes. Once the stock has absorbed and the rings around each seed have separated, remove from heat and keep covered to steam.
  2. Meanwhile, tear the kale into small 1-2 inch pieces. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with the remaining oil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, garlic powder, cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Toss and hand with your hands to coat well. Then spread the kale pieces out on 2 baking sheets in a single layer and bake for about 10 minutes until crisp.
  3. Once the quinoa is tender and fluffy, toss with a fork. Season lightly with salt and pepper if needed (remember the kale chips are salty). When ready to serve, toss in the crispy kale pieces. They soften over time, so do this at the last minute. Serve warm.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 6-8 servings, Serving Size: 8

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 248 Calories
  • Total Fat: 10.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.6g
  • Cholesterol: 34mg
  • Sodium: 161mg
  • Carbohydrates: 21.2g
  • Fiber: 2.5g
  • Protein: 17.7g
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5 comments on “Crispy Kale and Quinoa Salad

  1. Phoebe @ Feed Me Phoebeposted November 28, 2014 at 9:40 pm Reply

    I love the use of crispy kale! This is such a nice light lunch after all of the holiday feasts!

    Rating: 5
  2. Amandaposted November 26, 2014 at 9:12 pm Reply

    This salad is pretty close to perfect!!!

    Rating: 5
  3. Gabyposted November 26, 2014 at 1:48 pm Reply

    This looks so good, I love the crispy kale!

  4. Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountainposted November 26, 2014 at 8:31 am Reply

    I feel this salad needs to be consumed tonight before the meat sweats start tomorrow! Love it:)

    Rating: 5
  5. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugarposted November 26, 2014 at 5:19 am Reply

    Loving how easy this is! Yum!