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Kale Quinoa Salad Bowl

This Kale Quinoa Salad with orange miso citrus dressing is crazy delicious and so easy to make. An amazing nutrition powerhouse salad of kale, quinoa, mandarin oranges, and so much more!

kale salad with quinoa and orange slices in white bowl

We all know that kale is good for us, but who knew it could be so delicious as well?

We love this kale quinoa salad because it’s…

  • Bursting with flavor
  • Protein-packed
  • Veggie-loaded
  • Rainbow-colored
  • Zesty
  • Vegan & Gluten-free
  • Simply delicious!

Raw kale salad ingredients

This raw kale with quinoa salad is packed with healthy ingredients and mixed with an easy to prepare dressing. And, it’s vegan and gluten-free!

raw massaged kale salad ingredients
We love to add a grain like quinoa, bulgur, brown rice, and lots of veggies and fruit.

In the case of quinoa, you’ll be adding protein, fiber, and healthy complex carbohydrates.

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

These are some of my favorite kale salad ingredients–besides the kale, of course.

  • shredded carrots
  • broccoli slaw
  • cabbage (green, purple, Napa)
  • grain (quinoa, bulgur, brown rice, etc)
  • edamame beans
  • mandarin oranges
  • raisins
  • cranberries
  • sunflower seeds (pumpkin seeds, crushed peanuts, etc)
  • dressing of choice (orange miso dressing below is perfect)

How to prepare kale for salad

Kale has been called the angry lettuce, because is it much more fibrous and less delicate than say baby spinach, romaine, or other leafy greens. The good news is that you can eat kale raw in a salad with one easy trick.

raw kale on cutting board

I have found that massaging kale with lemon or orange juice and a little sea salt make it much more tender and flavorful. And who can blame it? We all could use a little massage to soften our attitude every now and then!

massaged kale salad
Massaging kale only takes about 2-3 minutes.

How long should you massage kale? Surprisingly, it only takes about 2-3 minutes.

Though the stems are edible, they are the most fibrous part of the plant, so I advise taking them out to make a more delicate dish.

One thing I’ve noticed with the pre-cut kale in bags is that the leaves are sliced horizontally which causes the stems to be included in them. The stems are so fibrous that it’s best to take them out for most recipes.

Those cut bags of kale are great for things like smoothies, but not so much for raw kale salad. I always buy the whole leaf kale and de-stem it, because it only takes a few minutes.

hand holding bunch of kale

There is even a kitchen tool called Loose Leaf Kale, Chard, Collard Greens and Herb Stripper to make it very simple.

What is quinoa?

Quinoa is a highly nutritious grain that was a staple in the diet of the ancient Incas. It has a delicious flavor and a light, fluffy texture. It’s also packed with protein!

There are so many ingredient options for massaged kale salad, and it really depends on your preferences. Adding quinoa or any type of whole grain to your salad is a great way to make it more filling and boost the nutrition in it.

cooking quinoa
Quinoa has a delicious flavor and a light, fluffy texture.

Can you cook quinoa in a rice cooker?

Quinoa cooks on the stovetop just like rice in about 15-minutes, but I prefer to make it my rice steamer. The rice steamer simplifies everything. I just add the quinoa and water, press the button, and walk away.

No need to worry about overcooking or sticking. It just does its thing and then clicks over to Stay Warm until we’re ready to eat.

Orange salad dressing

It’s the orange miso dressing that really pushes this kale and quinoa recipe over the top. The great thing is that the dressing–made with orange juice, rice vinegar, miso, garlic, ginger, sweetener, and black sesame seeds–taste so great that it can be used with other recipes or even as a salad dressing.

Tips for making kale quinoa salad

  • Storage- This is a hearty salad that keeps a few days in the refrigerator for a nutritious lunch option or a dinner side dish during the busy work week.
  • Make Double- I highly suggest making extra dressing while you’re at it and use it on other salads and pasta during the week.
  • Healthy- Great way to keep a healthy lifestyle on track and keep you feeling amazing!
orange miso dressing in white bowl surrounded by orange slices

Other great salad recipes

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If you try this recipe, please let us know how you like it by rating it and leaving a comment. We love to hear from you!

quinoa kale salad in white bowl with fork

Kale Quinoa Salad with Orange Miso Dressing

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This Kale Quinoa Salad with Orange Miso Dressing is crazy delicious and so easy to make. An amazing nutrition powerhouse salad of kale, quinoa, mandarin oranges, and so much more!


Kale Quinoa Salad

  • 3/4 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 bunch fresh kale leaves, (or 5 cups chopped kale, slightly packed)
  • 1.5 cups shredded broccoli slaw
  • 1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup edamame beans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup mandarin oranges (packed in juice not syrup)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp crushed walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice for massaging kale
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt for massaging kale

Orange Miso Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup orange juice (juice from 2 oranges)
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp yellow or white miso
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp ginger (grated, minced, or dry ground)


  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. This usually takes about 15 minutes. 
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, wash and strip kale. Then tear into bite-sized pieces and place in a very large bowl.
  3. Add the 1/2 cup orange juice and 1/2 tsp salt to the bowl with kale and begin to massage for 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Once the kale is tender, add other salad ingredients and finished dressing to the large bowl and stir thoroughly, making sure the dressing is mixed throughout. Serve.

Orange Miso Dressing Instructions

  1. Place all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk together well. Note: I really like to use the jar minced garlic in this recipe because it is milder. Fresh works well too. miso ginger dressing close up with orange slices


Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 151Total Fat: 1.6gSodium: 323mgCarbohydrates: 30.6gFiber: 3.2gProtein: 4.6g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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Please rate and leave a comment because I love hearing from you. Remember SHARING IS CARING!

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Monday 19th of August 2019

WOW!!! LOVE this salad. Have made it 2x’s in 10 days. So EASY, yummy and filling. I did not add the miso to the dressing as I did not have it. I did not feeling that anything was missing. THANKS for the FABULOUS recipe!!!

Terri Edwards

Monday 19th of August 2019

Oh, how I love hearing such positive feedback! So glad you love the recipe, and thanks so much for letting me know.

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