This hearty quinoa, kale, and pomegranate salad has an amazing mix of textures and flavors! It's great served warm or as a make-ahead meal.
This quinoa salad with kale and pomegranate seeds comes from my first cookbook, Bowls! If you love this recipe, I hope you'll pick up a print or e-book copy of Bowls! The book walks you through whole bowl meals, like this one, plus gives you a roadmap to creating easy vegan bowl meals of your own.
Quinoa makes a great base for a salad. It's chewy, nutty, and full of protein and fiber. It's simple and satisfying paired with earthy kale, sweet pomegranate seeds, creamy avocado, and a little lemon juice and olive oil.
Ingredients and substitutions
- quinoa - Use regular or tricolor quinoa for this colorful salad.
- water - To cook the quinoa. If you're doing the oil-free variation, you'll use mushroom broth instead of water and use more lemon juice in place of the oil and salt when you massage the kale.
- lemon juice - For massaging the kale and adding acidity.
- olive oil - Also to massage the kale and make the salad dressing all at the same time. See the recipe for an oil-free option!
- salt - A little salt helps break down the kale as you massage it.
- pomegranate seeds - These sweet, tender, crunchy seeds give this salad an amazing flavor! You can use dried cranberries, dried apricots, orange pieces, or other favorite fruit instead, if you prefer.
- avocado - Creamy avocado is a must in this recipe. It's just so delicious!
- red onion - Red onion brings the umami and brings out the flavor of the other ingredients.
How to make quinoa, kale, and pomegranate salad
In a large bowl, combine the kale, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Get in there with your hands and massage the kale, so it's well coated, and set it aside.
Add the quinoa to the kale mixture along with the pomegranate seeds, avocado, and onion.
Toss well. You can serve immediately or make this salad a day ahead and refrigerate overnight.
- If you're starting with a whole pomegranate, slice it into quarters, then place the quarters into a bowl of water while you remove the seeds. You'll end up with a lot less mess!
- It's going to seem like a lot of lemon and oil when you're massaging the kale, but that's because we are making the dressing for the whole salad, not just the kale!
You can serve this salad warm or chill it for 10 to 15 minutes in the fridge. It's even better after it rests, so the flavors get a chance to meld.
This salad will keep for three to four days in the fridge, so you can prepare it the night before, if you prefer. It also works great as a grab-and- go lunch, perfect for meal prep!
More vegan quinoa recipes
Quinoa, Kale, and Pomegranate Salad
- In a large bowl, combine the kale, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Get in there with your hands and massage the kale, so it's well coated, and set it aside.
- Add the quinoa to the kale mixture along with the pomegranate seeds, avocado, and onion. Toss well. You can serve immediately or make this salad a day ahead and refrigerate overnight.