Autumn Kale Apple and Quinoa Salad

09.24.2016

I’ve finally found a way to eat raw kale and have it actually taste good…and here you have it. This Autumn Kale Apple and Quinoa Salad has totally changed my entire outlook on raw kale. We couldn’t get over how good this salad was and I’m already thinking of when I’ll be making it again!

Autumn Kale Apple and Quinoa Salad | Cooking Classy

What helps a lot with this salad is letting the dressing rest on the kale for 15 minutes before serving it to help soften the kale. The flavor of the dressing, thanks to the lemon juice and honey in it, also really helps tone down the flavor of the kale. Plus, it also just compliments all of the others flavors in this salad – like that of the quinoa, walnuts, apples and goat cheese. I love each and every ingredient in this salad so I don’t recommend leaving anything out. Substitutions could be made based on what you have on hand, like regular quinoa is fine, pecans could replace the walnuts and feta could replace the goat cheese (although try it at least once with the goat cheese, it’s so good with this salad and isn’t it just the cheese of fall?). Another thing that would work fine here is baby kale, but do note that it won’t require a resting period and it won’t hold up as long as the regular curly leaf kale.

I just served this kale salad as a healthy side to grilled chicken for dinner and it was such a delicious meal! Now that it’s getting so cold though I’m sure I’ll be saying good bye to grilled chicken dinners and hello to a lot more roasted chicken dinners but that is more fitting for a fall meal anyway. Save this recipe and make it soon. It’s a fall must, trust me!

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Autumn Kale Apple and Quinoa Salad

5 from 10 votes

Yield: About 7 servings

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1/2 cup tricolor dry quinoa
  • 6 cups slightly packed chopped kale (it will take about 1 1/2 bunches. Remove thick ribs before chopping, 6 oz chopped)
  • 2 crisp sweet apples , cored and chopped* (I used gala apples)
  • 1 cup walnuts , lightly toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 oz goat cheese , crumbled

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa according to directions on package and cool completely. While quinoa is cooling, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a jar or bowl. Add kale to a salad bowl, whisk dressing once more then pour 3/4 of the dressing over kale and toss until kale is evenly coated. Cover bowl and chill 15 minutes (adding the dressing and letting it rest helps soften kale a bit).
  2. Remove salad from refrigerator, add apples, quinoa, walnuts and cranberries. Pour remaining dressing over salad then toss. Add goat cheese and toss just lightly. Serve or store covered in refrigerator for up to 4 hours.
  3. *Note that this salad actually does hold up really well for a few hours, but with that said I recommend dipping the apples in a lemon water solution (1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice with 1 cup water in a bowl), let apples rest in the mixture for about 1 minute then remove and drain on paper towels. This helps reduce browning if you aren't going to be eating the salad right away.
  4. Recipe source: Cooking Classy

 

 

 

52 comments

  • Urszula Zurawicz: I just made this salad last night, it’s delishes. Love it. October 19, 2016 at 10:32am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked it Urszula! Thanks for your comment! October 19, 2016 at 10:40am Reply

  • Vicky @ HowDaily: I really like Quinoa, it made the dish looks so attractive. October 15, 2016 at 10:21am Reply

  • Nancy: This is an actual meal for us as we’re vegetarian! With the nuts, cranberries and quinoa it’s complete!!! Mmmmmm October 13, 2016 at 4:53am Reply

  • Sandy Hillenbrand: Do you add the quinoa with the apples, walnuts and cranberries….don’t see where it is referenced after it is cooked.
    Looks delicious! Taking it to a party today!! October 8, 2016 at 12:57pm Reply

  • razi: You are foods like painting.
    enjoyable and beautiful.
    Thanks September 25, 2016 at 11:03am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much for the compliments Razi :)! September 26, 2016 at 11:18am Reply

  • Paige Flamm: This salad looks incredible! I need to try it out for lunch tomorrow!

    Paige September 25, 2016 at 10:30am Reply

  • Jackie: This is a keeper. I have made many salads with Apple,kale cranberries and walnuts with a similar dressing many times. Just reading the recipe tells me it’s a great recipe. Thank you for posting. September 24, 2016 at 1:08pm Reply

  • Neelam Jayna: This looks delicious and festive!! Love that it’s so easy to make! September 24, 2016 at 11:15am Reply

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