Nourishing Kale and Quinoa Salad with Edamame
This nourishing kale and quinoa salad with edamame and a juicy ginger sesame dressing is SO delicious and bonus: it comes together without a lot of chopping. It’s a nutrient-dense, meal-prep friendly vegan salad, packed with tummy-friendly fiber, energizing minerals and plant-based protein for those days when you need a boost.
I’m not gonna lie: this girl knows her way around a bag of kale slaw.
As someone who loves her salads – but doesn’t have all day to chop vegetables – there is something deeply satisfying about tearing open a bag of prechopped, prewashed salad whenever I need an infusion of plants. (I know, the plastic though…but I recycle all my soft plastics!)
I have to admit though, sometimes I’m hesitant to write recipes using convenience foods even though as a dietitian, I’m all about convenience foods that make it easier to eat well. But since I’m sharing a bunch of quick-to-prepare salad recipes this month, I wanted to create this nourishing kale and quinoa salad with my old friend, kale slaw, to show you that plant-based recipes can be as simple as they are delicious.
This salad is lavished with a juicy, ginger sesame dressing made with lime juice that is so good, it’s practically drinkable!! I’ve added hemp hearts, edamame and quinoa for multiple hits of plant-based protein, making this a nourishing salad you can enjoy as a complete meal. It also makes a great side dish or salad for a picnic or potluck..especially because this recipe is accessible to all types of dietary needs!
This salad is vegan (but no one will notice!), gluten free, nut free, and yes, low FODMAP, should you find yourself on a low FODMAP diet for IBS. If you’re looking to get your gut health on track, grab a copy of Good For Your Gut cookbook, which is packed with delicious gut-friendly recipes plus 100 pages of evidence-based gut health info.
Grab your ingredients to make this yummy kale and quinoa salad
Hungry? This nourishing salad is made with just 5 ingredients (plus the salad dressing!) and minimal chopping.
- Kale slaw: a bag of kale slaw means WAY less chopping. By the time the quinoa is done, the rest of the salad is ready to go! You can totally just finely chop a big bunch of curly kale too which is ideal if you’re low FODMAP.
- Cilantro: I LOVE cilantro, and this salad may convince even cilantro skeptics…but if you’re one of those folks for whom cilantro tastes strongly like soap (it’s a genetic thing!) then just swap cilantro for flat leaf parsley.
- Edamame: these green soy beans are a surprisingly good source of plant-based protein: clocking in at almost 12 grams protein per ½ cup cooked! Buy shelled edamame to save yourself from having to peel them.
- Quinoa: this salad is a great way to use up leftover quinoa, but quinoa cooks quickly enough that you can still have a 30 minute meal even starting from scratch!
- Hemp hearts: hemp hearts are one of my favourite ways to boost protein and get your omega 3 fatty acids. Hemp hearts have a nutty flavour and are packed with vitamins and minerals.
- Sesame Dressing: my yummy sesame dressing with ginger and lime is addictively good.
How to make this kale and quinoa salad with edamame
If you’ve got leftover quinoa, this salad comes together in 15 minutes – or about 30 minutes if you’re cooking quinoa from scratch. In fact, by the time the quinoa is cooled, everything is done and you’ve even had time to tidy up! This salad is meal prep friendly, so you can take care of lunches for the week.
Cook the edamame and quinoa: Add the edamame to a small pot of boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes until heated through. Drain edamame and place quinoa and water in the same pot (if you don’t have leftover quinoa already!). Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes until water is absorbed. Cool the quinoa in a strainer or on a baking sheet.
Make the dressing: as the quinoa cooks, shake up the sesame dressing.
Prep the salad: chop the cilantro and place it in a large salad bowl with the kale slaw and hemp hearts.
Toss it all together: add the cooled quinoa and edamame to the bowl and toss with half the dressing to start, adding more as needed. Enjoy!
FAQ: How to cool quinoa for a salad, faster!
This salad works even if the quinoa is a bit warm (which is nice when it’s cool out!) but if you don’t want to warm up your salad, here’s a hack for cooling quinoa off faster:
Spread cooked quinoa on a baking sheet! Yep, that’s it. The metal of the baking sheet will transfer heat away from the spread out quinoa faster than if the quinoa is in a big clump in the pot (which essentially means it’s insulating itself!).
Why quinoa is so dang good for you
It’s funny, we used to eat a TON of quinoa maybe a decade ago but we got away from it (maybe we overdid it ha!) and started eating more millet. But I’m kind of into quinoa again in a major way. It’s quick cooking, super versatile and absolutely packed with health benefits.
- Quinoa is a source of plant-based protein…although it’s not as high in protein as people think! A half cup of cooked quinoa has 4 grams of protein and about 2.5 grams of fiber, making it a relatively high fiber food.
- Quinoa isn’t technically a grain, it’s a seed, so it’s naturally gluten free and even low FODMAP for my folks with irritable bowel syndrome on a low FODMAP diet.
- Quinoa is mineral-rich, so important on a plant-based diet. A half cup of cooked quinoa has 1.5 mg of plant-based iron as well as 1 mg of zinc plus heart healthy magnesium, potassium, manganese and copper
- Quinoa is also a source of folate (so important for building red blood cells and healthy pregnancies) as well as the phytochemicals lutein and zeaxanthin for healthy eyes.
Tips, Tricks and Substitutions
- This salad is awesome for a vegan meal prep! It keeps well for 3-4 days in the fridge, even when dressed.
- Want a more filling salad? Double the edamame for extra fibre and protein!
- If you have a big bunch of kale lying around, you can absolutely finely chop the kale instead of using a bagged kale slaw mix.
- Low FODMAP? Ensure your kale slaw mix doesn’t have high FODMAP ingredients like broccoli stalks. It might be easiest to just buy pre-chopped kale or chop it yourself! Then, just leave the garlic out of the sesame dressing. Edamame is low FODMAP up to ½ portion per person.
- You can absolutely add the quinoa and edamame to the salad while it is still warm as kale slaw is hardy enough not to wilt!
- Want a bit more crunch? Add some of my sriracha-roasted pepitas or chopped almonds!
More yummy, healthy kale salads
- Winter Panzanella Salad with Kale and Roasted Squash
- Winter Pear and Kale Salad with Creamy Tahini Dressing
- Vegan Butternut Squash Kale Salad
- 15 Minute Vegan Kale Caesar Salad with Smoked Tofu
Nourishing Kale and Quinoa Salad with Edamame
- 12 ounce bag kale slaw, or bunch of kale, finely chopped for Lo FO folks
- 1 cup shelled edamame
- 1 cup cilantro, leaves and tender stems, chopped
- ½ cup dry quinoa, or 1½ cup leftover quinoa
- ¼ cup hemp hearts
- 1 batch Sesame Dressing with Ginger and Lime, minus the garlic for Lo FO folks!
- Prepare the edamame: bring water to boil in a small pot. Add edamame and cook for 4-5 minutes until cooked through. Drain.
- Prepare the quinoa: In the same pot, bring quinoa and 1 cup water to a boil. Turn down heat to medium low, place lid slightly ajar and cook until liquid absorbed, about 12-15 minutes. Let cool.
- Prepare the dressing: while the quinoa is cooking, shake up the dressing.
- Assemble the salad: place kale slaw, cilantro, hemp hearts, edamame and quinoa in a large salad bowl. Drizzle over half the dressing, toss well and then add more dressing as you wish. I usually use most of it!
68 Comments on “Nourishing Kale and Quinoa Salad with Edamame”
This looks so delicious. I will definitely be making it.
Hope you love it Lori!
Such a great recipe. I’m trying to get more hemp hearts into my diet. This is a “keeper”. Thank you.
They’s SO good for you! I’ll take any chance I can to sneak them in 🙂
I wish I could eat quinoa! But , sadly, it doesn’t agree with me at all. Is there a substitute you would recommend?
That’s not uncommon! Try millet. It’s got a fluffier, more couscous like texture and it’s lovely.
I am definitely making this ASAP. It sounds incredible!
Hope you love it Tori!
Yum! I love all the ingredients so will try this recipe out. I have a similar dressing recipe that switch’s the sesame oil for tahini.
That would make a great, creamier twist on this!
This is my go to side for company, you have provided some extra additions to what I prepare. THANK YOU
This looks amazing!! 😋
Hope you love it, Katie!
On the menu for tonight -looks delicious!
This sounds like perfection!! Making this for lunch!!
So crunchy, simple to prepare, and delicious! Will be definitely be adding this into my weekly meal prep rotation 🙂
Hope you love it Courtney!
I have to try this… it looks delicious!! ☺️
Hope you love it Sonia!
This dressing sounds delicious!! I’m on a salad kick so I will definitely be trying this and the bagged salad is super handy!
I don’t know what’s happened to me this January. Typically, I am anti-salad and smoothie in the cold but I am so loving smoothies in the morning and salads for lunch right now. Like, it’s a hard core craving!!
One of my favourites ❤
So glad you like it Wendy 🙂
Can’t wait to try the Kale and Quinoa salad with the Sesame Ginger dressing! Mmmm!
Thank you for your inspirational salads Desiree!
You DO make friends with salad 🙂
Thanks for recipe!
Hope you love it Tina!!
I think ill make this in the next couple of days , tomorrow im making your edamame miso dip , i love it , make it all the time
I am so glad you like it!! It’s such a fun change from hummus
This is a great recipe! Filling foods with essential nutrients. Easy to prepare and even carry to work or potlucks. I love the sesame dressing!!
So glad you like it Stutee!!
Sounds really good!! Gonna have to try it out
Love this recipe. Not a huge fan of edamame so used peas instead. Not sure how that changes the makeup of nutrition but made it made it palatable to me. I have a condition that my dr says I should eat kale every day. So love any new way to eat it
I love that you made the switch, you have to make it your own! Peas are actually more nutrient-dense than you think. They don’t have as much protein as edamame but they do have plenty of fiber and protein!
Can’t wait to try this, looks and sounds delicious! Dressing sounds amazing too!!
Looking forward to making this salad! Lots of flavors 😋 and great for meal planning and work lunches
Ha, this is timely! I’ve had a 1kg bag of quinoa in the freezer since last year and so last week I added ‘cook quinoa’ to my to do list. I was planning to cook up a big batch and add some to my overnight oats. This salad will be another great option to use some of in. The problem for me is that I have to pre-soak it with some vinegar first, since I’ve found that even though I rinse it thoroughly, if it’s unsoaked it seems to give me tummy problems.
Thanks again for another quick and tasty looking recipe:)
Hi Leela, the saponins that coat quinoa grains can do that for some people! I’m glad you found a fix that works for you.
This salad looks so good – thank you, Desiree.
Trying it next week!
Making this today for lunch!!
Yay! Let me know how you like it, Kris!
Thanks Desiree for this recipe! I absolutely LOVE kale. I can’t wait for garden season to be here so I can have it in my backyard. The recipe sounds SO nutritious with lots of protein, calcium. Yay 😃
Oh my gosh, I am counting down the days until garden season…can’t wait!!
This looks delicious, will be trying this out tomorrow.
The kale and quinoa recipe looks delicious and healthy! Looking forward to trying it 🙂
Hope you love it, Cynthia!
This looks great! Really appreciate the tips on keeping recipes low fodmap.
Hi Cece, as much as I can, I’m going to try and have low FODMAP swaps for my recipes. I know how hard it is to find yummy plant-based low FODMAP recipes online!
What a timely blog post. Just thinking earlier this week what I could use my edamame and quinoa for and this salad sounds perfect
Ha ha, ask and you shall receive 🙂
Looks great! I’m going to make it for lunch today!
I’m definitely making this salad on the weekend. It looks delicious!
This salad is delicious and a great way to eat a lot of nutrition at once. It keeps well in the fridge – a definite repeater!
So glad you are enjoying it Linda!
I’m in! The ginger dressing sounds so amazing…..
Thanks for the edamame version! That makes it a more-filling dish.
Edamame are such a great food! Protein, fibre, calcium…so much goodness.
I made the nourishing kale salad and LOVE it! I subbed Chia seeds for the hemp hearts because I didn’t have any, and added toasted pumpkin seeds, and it was amazing! I love how it will last chilled for days, and I dug into it daily for lunch! This is definitely a keeper, and I even got some hemp hearts!
So glad you enjoyed it Enid!! This one is going to be in heavy rotation for me too…thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and rating!
I made this last night for dinner…I’m eating it again now… And I’m dreaming about making it again! THE DRESSING!!!! Deeeelish! I added some shredded carrots and pumpkin seeds to your amazing combo. Thank you for a healthy and yummy recipe!
I am so glad you are liking it Alana!! And I hear you on the dressing…I know some folks have been wary because it’s a lot of sesame oil but it’s SO fresh…and not too nutty 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!