Autumn Kale Apple and Quinoa Salad

This kale salad has totally changed my entire outlook on raw kale! Fresh kale leaves are tossed with crisp sweet apples, nutritious quinoa and chewy dried cranberries, crunchy walnuts, tangy goat cheese and it's finished with a bright vinaigrette. It's the perfect side dish to roasted chicken and mashed or roasted potatoes.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Apple Salad, Kale Salad
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 7
Calories: 388 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

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 and cool: Cook quinoa according to directions on package and cool completely. 

  2. Whisk dressing ingredients: While quinoa is cooling, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, honey, dijon and salt in a jar or bowl. 

  3. Pour 3/4 dressing over kale, chill: 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).

  4. Toss in remaining mix-ins and dressing: Remove salad from refrigerator, add apples, quinoa, walnuts and cranberries. Pour remaining dressing over salad then toss. Add goat cheese and toss just lightly. 

  5. Serve or store covered in refrigerator for up to 4 hours (see notes).

Recipe Notes

  • 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.