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A kale salad tossed with apples, walnuts, and quinoa.

Picnic Perfect Kale Quinoa Salad + Cider Vinaigrette

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5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Shannon Emery
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


The PERFECT salad for picnics, BBQs, or travel! Quinoa, kale, toasted walnuts, juicy apples, and cranberries are tossed in a cider vinaigrette for a super tasty main dish or a delicious side dish. Naturally gluten-free and vegetarian.



Kale Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped kale (I used Redbor Kale, just look for the frilly kale with reddish-purple veins and stem)
  • 1 apple, chopped (I like the sweetness of Honeycrisp or Pink Lady apples)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (preferably cranberries sweetened with apple juice versus refined sugar)

Cider Vinaigrette


  1. Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit with the lid on for 5 more minutes. Then remove the lid, fluff the quinoa with a fork, and allow the quinoa to cool to room temperature.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, prepare the cider vinaigrette by placing all the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously until combined.
  3. Once quinoa has cooled to room temperature, in a large bowl combine quinoa with the chopped kale, chopped apple, toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, and cider vinaigrette.
  4. Marvel at how simple this recipe is.
  • Category: Salads
  • Method: Toss
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free
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