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Kale Quinoa Salad with Cranberries

This Kale Quinoa Salad is packed with flavor and texture. Cranberries, walnuts, and a simple apple cider dressing are mixed with fresh kale and quinoa for a refreshing side dish. This recipe is vegan and oil-free.

Dressing being poured into the kale quinoa salad.

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I’m going to be up front and tell you I have never been a huge fan of quinoa. I’ve tried a few recipes I found online, but I was never really impressed. Also tried a seasoned boxed quinoa from the store – eh.

On it’s own, quinoa can be a little boring (my opinion of course!) I love lots of texture and different depths of flavor in my dishes. It keeps me interested in eating healthy when I actually want to eat it. I’m a firm believer that food should always be enjoyable, healthy or not.

I decided to give quinoa another chance when an idea for a kale quinoa salad recipe popped into my head. Of course, I couldn’t just stop with greens and quinoa. The additional flavors really take this salad to the next level.

And then, this is my FAVORITE part, the salad is dressed with an easy dressing made using just 3 ingredients – apple cider, apple cider vinegar, and sage!

This quinoa salad is:

  • vegan
  • packed with flavor
  • chock full of texture
  • crunchy
  • slightly sweet
  • healthy
Dry quinoa, kale, walnuts, and cranberries on a table.



  • Quinoa
  • Kale
  • Vegetable stock
  • Salt
  • Dried cranberries
  • Walnuts


  • Apple cider
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Dried sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Two bowls of vegan kale quinoa salad with walnuts and cranberries.


There are a couple of components to making this salad, but the recipe still remains simple.

First, you’ll need to cook the quinoa. As it’s cooking, chop the kale up or hand tear into bite-sized pieces (my preference!) and sauté it in a little veggie stock and salt.

This cranberry quinoa salad can be eaten either warm or cold. I’ve tried it both ways and each way is yummy. For a warm salad, you can go ahead and mix everything right away. To make a cold salad, place the cooked quinoa & kale into the fridge until cool, then mix with the remaining ingredients.

A hearty quinoa salad with walnuts, kale, and cranberries.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Please leave a comment and a ⭐ star review below!

A hearty vegan salad with quinoa, kale, and cranberries.

Kale Quinoa Salad with Cranberries

Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen
Packed with flavor and texture, this Kale Quinoa Salad will knock your socks off! Quinoa is elevated to the next level when it's mixed with cranberries, walnuts, kale and – drumroll please – apple sage dressing made with real apple cider.
4.65 from 17 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 6 sides
Calories 256 kcal



  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups kale – chopped or torn into bite size pieces
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable stock
  • pinch of salt
  • cup dried cranberries
  • cup walnuts


  • ¾ cup apple cider
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried sage
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Prepare the quinoa according to the package instructions.
  • To make the kale, add it into a pan with the vegetable stock and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. On medium heat, sauté the kale for about 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the cooked quinoa, sautéed kale, dried cranberries, and walnuts.
  • Stir in desired amount of dressing.



This salad is delicious both cold and warm. I prefer it cold, so I stick the quinoa in the fridge after it’s cooked to cool it off before mixing with the other ingredients. 


Calories: 256kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 7gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 23mgPotassium: 346mgFiber: 5gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 2242IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 88mgIron: 2mg
Did you try this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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