Winter Kale and Quinoa Salad

Hubby and I got a kick out of this salad. You see, while we lived in Boston, we did a CSA share that we split with our good friends. Last summer we got kale almost every week in the CSA. Now I love me a good massaged kale salad, so I didn’t mind all that much. But our friend Michelle isn’t that big of a fan. For a long time during those weeks of kale, I ate kale and quinoa salads almost every day for lunch

Winter Kale Salad

Now quinoa is another thing that Michelle doesn’t like. I have been at her place when she tried to cook it and it just didn’t turn out. I agree that by itself, quinoa doesn’t taste like much of anything. I like to use quinoa as a substitute for rice or noodles in dishes.

Winter Kale Salad

So as Hubby and I were mixing up this salad, we commented on how it was composed of a bunch of our favorite foods. Butternut squash has always been a favorite of mine, and I have been on a huge pomegranate kick recently. I love the little burst of juice you get when you bite in to the seeds. They also give a great texture to any dish.

Winter Kale Salad

As we were commenting about loving everything about this salad, we joked that we should make it the first time Michelle comes to visit us in Cincinnati. We figure maybe we can get her to like kale and quinoa all at once. Then again, it might be risky and she might never come see us here in Ohio if we try to feed this salad to her.

Hopefully you enjoy kale and quinoa at least a little bit. And if you do, I think you’ll love this salad. It keeps fairly well in the fridge for a day or two, so we have been eating this for lunches at work the last couple of weeks.

One Year Ago: Hot Chocolate Cookies and Broccoli and Fruit Salad
Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls and How to Freeze Cinnamon Rolls and Indian Spiced Beans
Three Years Ago: Cranberry, Caramelized Onion, and Goat Cheese Dip
Five Years Ago: Vegan Brownies

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Winter Kale and Quinoa Salad

This salad highlights flavors of winter with butternut squash and kale. The pomegranate arils provide a pop of color, juicey fruitiness, and texture.

Yield: serves 4-6


1 small butternut squash (~3.5 lbs)
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
pinch smoked paprika or ground chipotle pepper
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
2 bunches kale
1 cup water
1 pomegranate, seeded
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
salt and pepper


First, roast the butternut squash. Preheat oven to 375F.

I like to nuke the squash in the microwave for 5 minutes after peeling it to soften the squash so it's easier to cut. Cut the squash into consistently sized pieces ~1 inch on each side. Toss with honey, olive oil, and paprika.

Spread squash onto a foil lined baking sheet and bake 30 minutes or until roasted. Stir every 15 minutes.

Remove squash from the oven and allow to cool while preparing the other components.

Next, prepare the quinoa. Follow the instructions on your package or combine 2 cups water with 1 cup quinoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until quinoa is cooked.

While the quinoa and squash are cooking, prepare the kale by removing any of the thick stems. Tear into bite-sized pieces. Add 1 cup water and the kale to a large pan or dutch oven. Cover and cook on med-high to steam the kale for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, toss the kale, and cook another 5 minutes.

Remove kale from heat and allow to cool.

Once squash, quinoa, and kale are cooked and cooled to room temperature, combine in a large bowl. Add goat cheese, walnuts, and pomegranate seeds. Toss to combine. Add salt/pepper as needed

Recipe adapted from Foodtastic Mom

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16 Responses to “Winter Kale and Quinoa Salad”

  1. #
    Kelsey — January 12, 2013 at 10:02 am

    I’m with you–every ingredient in this salad is a winner on it’s own. Together? Forgetaboutit! The colors are beautiful and I can imagine how great it tastes with the balance of bitter, sweet, and tart.

    Love the new layout, also. Way to go!

  2. #
    Wicked Goodies — January 12, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Yum! I am also addicted to kale since doing a CSA here in Boston 🙂

  3. #
    Jill McOwen — January 12, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    It’s so funny, because as I was scrolling through Tastespotting tonight and saw this post, I had to click because it looked so familiar to my winter couscous bowl… and then, I couldn’t believe it when I saw my blog credited at the bottom! This is a first for me 🙂 Thanks so much for the credit!

    So you’ve recently moved back to Cincinnati? Which part? My family and I live in Anderson Township.

    • beantownbaker — January 13th, 2013 @ 10:02 am

      Thanks so much for the recipe!!

      We work in West Chester and are living in Oakley right now. Trying to find a house at some point…

  4. #
    Megan — January 13, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    I think this sounds amazing, Jen! And I love how colorful it is. I am always looking for new winter salads that are colorful, flavorful, and interesting.

    • beantownbaker — January 13th, 2013 @ 10:06 pm

      This is definitely colorful, flavorful, and interesting. I have seriously been OBSESSED with pomegranates this winter, and this salad totally feeds into that obsession.

  5. #
    Sues — January 14, 2013 at 7:39 am

    I’m on a major quinoa AND kale kick so this salad is right up my alley. So colorful and pretty, too!

    • beantownbaker — January 14th, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

      Pretty food is definitely always tastier than ugly food 🙂

  6. #
    Shannon — January 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    looks a lot like the one i posted last week 🙂 obviously, i’m all over it!!

    • beantownbaker — January 14th, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

      Very similar indeed!

  7. #
    Michelle — January 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    This is perfect for that kale and pomegranate I have in the fridge! I’m always excited to find new things to put together ahead of time for lunches and dinners, thanks! Hope you are settling in nicely 🙂

    • beantownbaker — January 14th, 2013 @ 3:49 pm

      I couldn’t agree more. Making food ahead of time saves the day during the week! I can’t imagine not eating leftovers… Things are going pretty well for us in Ohio so far. Hope things are going well for you and your little bundle on the way!

  8. #
    Cara — January 14, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Sounds great to me! I love the ingredients. And the colors 🙂

  9. #
    ErinsFoodFiles — January 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    This sounds right up my alley! YUM!!

  10. #
    Sarah — November 1, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    I was thinking about an easy and colorful, flavorful, and power-packed healthy side dish to bring for a potluck lunch after a trail work party this coming weekend. I had these amazing cute pumpkins to harvest from my garden and love both kale and quinoa. I thought to myself, mmmm, what if I made some kind of pumpkin kale quinoa and goat cheese salad to share? One quick internet search and I came across this gem! I modified and concocted a tad, which is normal for me. Thanks so much for the recipe and ingredient confirmations! The honey, olive oil, and smokey / spicy combo was the secret ingredient for me! Happy fooding!

    • beantownbaker — November 3rd, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it! I am always tweaking recipes to make them fit what I have on hand and what we like too.

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