Zesty Gluten-Free Citrus, Kale, and Quinoa Salad

Zesty Gluten-Free Quinoa and Kale Salad
EA Stewart, MBA, RDN
Total Time: 35 min
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Servings: 5 (1 1/2 cups each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

513 calories
33g fat
43g carbs
16g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5 (1 1/2 cups each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 513
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 33g 42%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 27mg 9%
Sodium 305mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 8g 29%
Total Sugars 11g  
Includes 3g Added Sugars 6%
Protein 16g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 324mg 25%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 736mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

This zesty citrus kale and quinoa salad is a hit at every party I’ve been invited to, and my friends have always loved it. Loaded with greens, nuts, and fresh citrus, it's a true "superfood" salad that you can enjoy year-round.

Not only is it a perfect make-ahead dish to bring to a potluck, it’s also a family friendly vegetarian meal. My kids never complain when I make this, but if your own kids aren’t into kale, try chopping it up very finely (the onions too!) and throw in a little extra feta cheese in for good measure.


  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • 1 cup finely chopped red or sweet onion (~½ large onion or 1 small onion)
  • 2 large oranges, peeled and chopped into ~¼ inch pieces
  • 4 cups kale, lightly chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese


  1. Make the dressing: Combine lemon juice, olive oil, and maple syrup in a small bowl or mason jar. Stir or shake well to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside or store in refrigerator until ready to use.

  2. Cook the quinoa: Add quinoa and water to a medium size saucepan. Heat on high until boiling, then reduce heat to low and simmer until all the water has evaporated—about 15 minutes. Fluff cooked quinoa with a fork.

  3. While quinoa is cooking, heat a small to medium pan over medium heat. Add almonds and stir for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until light golden brown in color. Remove almonds from pan and allow to cool in a small bowl.

  4. Chop the onions, oranges, and kale and add them to a large salad bowl. Then add cooked quinoa, toasted almonds, and feta cheese. Stir all ingredients well.

  5. Add ⅓ cup of the dressing to the quinoa salad. Stir well to combine and add additional dressing to taste if desired. Serve immediately, or you can cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Mostly all of the ingredients can be substituted based on your food preferences or what you have on hand. Try baby spinach or chopped swiss chard in place of the kale. Use chopped green onion (green part only) in place of the red/sweet onion for a delicious low-FODMAP version. Substitute almonds with pine nuts, chopped pecans, or macadamia nuts, as desired.

Cooking and Serving Tips

This salad is equally delicious served warm or cold. My family and I eat this for dinner, then I enjoy leftovers for lunch the next day—either served cold or lightly reheated in the microwave.

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