quinoa kale salad avocado feta

Healthy Quinoa Kale Salad with Avocado, Feta & Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette

quinoa kale salad avocado feta

I was looking for something vegetarian/vegan to eat earlier this week since I had eaten a lot of meat on my trip up to Canada. I’ve made kale salad many times. Sometimes I use brown rice, farro, beans, to make it a complete meal. Or if it is just a side, I will use just the leaves themselves. This was one of the better recipes I have made using quinoa.

It has been a busy week I also didn’t want to do anything time consuming or complicated and this fit the bill. It looked and sounded wholesome and healthy.

I had this recipe bookmarked for a while and liked how it had a good quinoa:kale ratio. In my experience when you order a quinoa salad at a restaurant, it’s like 80% greens to 20% quinoa, which is pretty weak in my opinion. I’d probably be hungry in an hour after eating something like that. But with this salad, the ratio is good and quinoa is filling.

You could make the recipe as originally written and it would be vegan, but it didn’t sound as good to me that way so I added some feta to take the flavor profile up a notch. Totally up to you though, see how it looks without feta.

quinoa kale salad avocado feta

Also I toasted the uncooked quinoa for a good minute or two before adding the water to cook it. Toasting helps to develop some more flavor in the quinoa and I always try to do that before cooking it.

Another modification I made was using hot quinoa straight out of the pot. The benefit of using hot quinoa is that I think the heat helps to soften the kale. It also tastes better to me. I would rather eat hot quinoa or cold quinoa. Not room temperature quinoa. Since it was just cooked and I was hungry I wasn’t going to wait around for it to cool.

Overall this turned out better than expected. The lemon and balsamic acidity cut the earthy flavor of kale back a bit. While the avocado and feta add creamy dimensions to balance out the sharpness of the acids. It was a really easy dish to throw together and you could be eating it in less than 30 minutes.

If you are looking for an easy and healthy weeknight meal this could be your answer!

Thanks for reading!

In case you missed them, here are some of my other salad recipes!

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Quinoa Kale salad with Avocado, Feta and Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette

quinoa kale salad avocado feta

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  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: side
  • Cuisine: New American


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water (+ Pinch of sea salt)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Zest from 1 medium lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper (to taste)
  • 5 cups curly kale (1 bunch, chopped or torn into small pieces)
  • 1 large avocado (seeded, peeled and diced)
  • 1 large avocado (seeded, peeled and diced)


  1. Toated quinoa in an empty saucepan for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Then combine the quinoa, water and salt and bring to a boil, and after the water begins to boil.
  3. reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 12-15 minutes until water has been absorbed and remove from heat.
  4. While quinoa is cooking, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper.
  5. In a large bowl, toss together the kale leaves with the dressing.
  6. After quinoa has been cooked add directly to the salad bowl with the kale. Mix and top with feta and avocado. Serve while still warm.


I ended up using the juice from all the lemon. Depending on your taste and if you like lemons, you might want to keep some on the side.

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Konnichiwa! (Hello!) I'm Pat Tokuyama, a Japanese tofu cookbook author, who travels for music, food, and adventure. If you like Japanese tea, checkout some of the newestorganic japanese tea, matcha bowls and noren and more!

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