Kale Quinoa Salad with Edamame

I first wrote this blog post when I was 23 years old. Here’s what it said:

“It’s coming to a point on my Facebook where everyone is becoming engaged. I don’t know what’s happening?

I mean, any time I even think about having a boyfriend I can’t help but laugh; all of the guys I go on dates with are either A) committed to work, B) completely awkward, or C) have questionable intentions. But I guess that’s what happens when you are 23.

So for now I think I’ll stick to single lady things until the man of my dreams (who might resemble Joshua Jackson aka Pacey from Dawson’s Creek) comes into my life. Plus if I had a boyfriend I probably couldn’t get away with making him eat quinoa and kale instead of manly beer battered onion rings and cups of BBQ sauce… or whatever Burger King is advertising this week.

What are your thoughts on that?


Hmmm, got it.

Let’s move on and discuss adult things. Like salads.”

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Reading it made me laugh real hard. Life’s got a funny way of changing quickly. Tony (my husband) and I met when I was 24 (only a year later). He still eats onion rings and pretty much hates all things quinoa (except when I make these truffles) and we now have 3 little boys.

Let’s talk about this ridiculously good kale quinoa salad. It’s basically the perfect salad for spring & summer party season people. My love of kale salads first began in 2010 when I would always find my mom making a big batch of raw kale salad with lemon, olive oil, garlic, and all the bell peppers. She would let it still a few hours until the lemon juice broke down the kale and the flavors became melded together; it was sensational.

Ingredients in this kale quinoa salad

This salad is like a healthy little fairy tale I dreamt up. The happy ever after is that flavor explosion in your mouth with juicy mangoes, crisp veggies, nutty quinoa, and more. Here’s everything you’ll need to make it:

  • Quinoa: is there anything better than quinoa in salads? I think not. It gives this salad a wonderful texture and a boost of protein.
  • Edamame: for another source of plant-based protein we’re adding some delicious edamame.
  • Kale: the base of this salad is gorgeous kale! See below for tips for adding it to salads.
  • Fruits & veggies: we’re rounding out this salad with grape tomatoes, red onion, mango, and creamy avocado. SO much flavor and goodness.
  • For the dressing: I tossed this salad in a little lemony basil vinaigrette which takes about 5 seconds to mix together with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dijon mustard, honey, fresh basil, salt & pepper. You can put it in a blender, or mix it up in a bowl (just make sure to mince the basil first).
  • To garnish: I love topping this salad with toasted sliced almonds for extra crunch.

Kale quinoa salad with mango and edamame in a bowl

Customize your salad

The flavors and textures in this kale quinoa salad are absolutely perfect together, but there are some great ways you can make it your own, too:

  • Pick your produce: I think pineapple and red bell pepper would be great swaps for the mango and tomatoes if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Swap the nuts: pistachios would also be delicious in this salad in place of the almonds.
  • Try a new protein: don’t have any edamame? Add a can of rinsed, drained chickpeas instead!
  • Choose a new grain: you could easily swap the quinoa for pearl couscous as well. LOVE.

Looking for another boost of protein?

If you’re not vegetarian or vegan, try one adding chopped chicken breast (my baked or grilled honey mustard chicken would be perfect), shrimp or salmon (my Honey Lemon Garlic Salmon would be delicious).

Kale, edamame, quinoa salad in a bowl

Tips for making salads with kale

If you’re wondering what the trick to a really good kale salad is, it’s simple: massage in the dressing with your hands! Sounds crazy, but the dressing actually helps to break down the bitterness of the kale and infuse it with flavor. Here are some extra tips:

  • Be sure to chop it very finely so that the bites aren’t too large.
  • Add the dressing to the kale by itself first and toss it all together really well. You can even do this with your hands and “massage” the dressing in so that all of the kale is well coated.
  • Let it marinate! That’s right, you’ll want to let the dressed kale sit for at least 15 minutes before adding the other toppings so that it soaks up all of the flavor. It makes all the difference.

Kale quinoa salad with in a bowl with mango and edamame

Storing tips

This easy kale quinoa salad will keep well for about 3-4 days in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator.

More salad recipes you’ll love

Get all of my salad recipes here!

I hope you love this kale, edamame quinoa salad recipe! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

cover of the ambitious kitchen cookbook

Ambitious Kitchen

125 Ridiculously Good For You, Sometimes Indulgent, and Absolutely Never Boring Recipes for Every Meal of the Day

Kale, Edamame, and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Serves4 servings

Gorgeous kale quinoa salad packed with juicy mango, tomatoes, heart-healthy avocado, and nutty quinoa. This easy kale quinoa salad gets tossed with a light lemon basil vinaigrette for the perfect lunch or party side dish with over 13g of plant-based protein!


  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ cup frozen edamame, thawed
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and very finely diced
  • 1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
  • cup diced red onion
  • 1 large mango, pitted and diced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • For lemon basil vinaigrette:
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or agave nectar)
  • 4-6 large basil leaves, very finely diced
  • Freshly ground salt and black pepper, to taste
  • To garnish:
  • ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds


  • First, cook your quinoa: Add quinoa and water to a medium pot and place over high heat; bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from heat, fluff quinoa with a fork and transfer quinoa to a large bowl to cool down.

  • To make dressing: place olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, dijon, honey (or agave), basil, and salt and pepper in blender. Pulse for 10-15 seconds; set aside. You can also whisk in a small bowl if you don’t have a blender (just make sure your basil is very finely chopped.)

  • In large bowl add your kale and pour half of the dressing over. Use clean hands to massage the kale for about 3 minutes or until it breaks down. This allows the kale to take on the dressing flavors.

  • Next add in quinoa, edamame, diced onion, and remaining lemon vinaigrette; toss so that the salad is fully coated.

  • Before serving, toss salad again and add tomatoes, mango and avocado. Sprinkle toasted sliced almonds over the top. Serves 4. Great for meal prep, picnics or parties!

Recipe Notes

See the full post for tips, tricks, and ways to customize this salad!


Serving: 1serving (out of 4)Calories: 390calCarbohydrates: 47.7gProtein: 13.9gFat: 17.4gFiber: 9.1gSugar: 11.6g


This post was originally published on May 17th, 2018, and republished on July 9th, 2024.


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