Kale and Quinoa Salad with Salmon (or chicken!) and Orange Vinaigrette

(1 vote)
3 minutes
February 20, 2023
Andi GleesonJump to Recipe

This healthy, flavorful Kale and Quinoa Salad tastes like summer in a bowl!

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Salmon (or chicken!)

I know it might seem like I am going crazy with food trends in this recipe by including quinoa and kale in one salad, but just hear me out. This isn’t what I was planning to make at all. I was going to make salmon over mediterranean quinoa, and I thought it would be nice to throw some baby kale into the quinoa. Kale and Quinoa Salad with Salmon (or chicken!)

Well, then I remembered that I just made fish over quinoa recently, and I also made couscous with kale not too long ago. I realized I needed to get a little more creative, but I had already bought the salmon and baby kale. What was I to do but to rework those ingredients into a new dish, which is what you see before you now. When I told my friend what I was making, she asked if my kids would eat that. My kids? Eat this? Why, just look at my oldest child proudly tossing the salad right here: Kale and Quinoa Salad with Salmon (or chicken!)

Truth be told, that’s as close as he got to the salad. None of it got anywhere close to his mouth, and my little one wasn’t interested either. I do think some kids would eat this if they aren’t afraid of dark, leafy greens. If I made it with romaine lettuce instead of kale, I do think my oldest would dig in. I might try that next time. At least the adults liked it! Kale and Quinoa Salad with Salmon (or chicken!)

The good thing about salads is they are so customizable. My oldest would eat this if I changed the greens, and my little one would try it if I used chicken instead of salmon. Not everyone is a fan of cranberries, so you could add those to taste. Make it your own, and you will surely satisfy everyone in the family with this healthy dinner!

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Kale and Quinoa Salad with Salmon (or chicken!)

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Salmon (or chicken!)

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5 from 1 review

This healthy dinner salad can be customized to your family’s tastes for a healthy dinner everyone likes!

  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x




  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sprinkle meat side of salmon filets with lemon pepper seasoning, and bake for 20 minutes. (Alternatively, you can cook them on the stovetop if you prefer).
  2. Meanwhile, add quinoa, 1/4 c. orange juice, 1 1/4 c. water, and 1/4 tsp. salt to a small pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15-20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
  3. Allow salmon and quinoa to cool a bit before assembling your salad (around 10 minutes). Meanwhile, add all dressing ingredients to a container with a tight-fitting lid, cover, and shake well to combine. Taste and add additional honey if desired.
  4. Flake salmon, leaving the skin behind, and press meat slightly with paper towels to absorb some of the oil.
  5. Now, in a large salad bowl, combine greens, cranberries, salmon, quinoa, and salad dressing. Toss well, and serve!
  • Author: Andi
  • Prep Time: 35
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Salad

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Andi Gleeson, food blogger

Andi Gleeson

Andi Gleeson is a passionate blogger and mom based in San Francisco who focuses on easy and delicious dinner recipes.


10 years ago

I love this Andi! I am a big fan of quinoa in salads and love that you used baby kale. My husband is actually the picky one and isn’t a fan of quinoa and my son loves it (haha go figure). The orange vinaigrette sounds really nice and fresh and perfect for spring and summer :) Pinning!

10 years ago

Thanks so much, Kelly! My husband is pretty easy and not picky. The only thing he absolutely won’t eat is broccoli, but my boys love it! (Well, my youngest is currently protesting most vegetables, but I think he’ll come back around.)

Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness
10 years ago

This looks so yummy! I love quinoa salads, but I haven’t done a lot with Kale….time to give it a try! Love the fresh orange vinaigrette! Pinned :)

10 years ago

Thank you, Taylor! I wasn’t sure about using raw kale in a salad, but the baby kale was really mild and tasted great with the dressing and other ingredients. You should give it a try :) Have a nice weekend!

Gloria // Simply Gloria
10 years ago

Andi, kids are just so dang picky. Mine, included. But, trust me… they get so much unpicky the older they get! Love how this salad is all created with everything Summer! I love the kale you put in with it, too!

10 years ago

I hope you are right, Gloria! I look forward to my kids actually wanting to eat all the dinners I make (or at least most of them)!

Jen @ Yummy Healthy Easy
10 years ago

Hahaha!!! I love that I was that friend! LOL! My boys won’t touch salmon but my older ones would eat this salad with chicken! I love how much protein and fiber is in this! Plus so many vitamins and minerals. Great recipe, Andi! Pinned!

10 years ago

I almost quoted you, Jen! My oldest loves salmon, but my little one hardly eats any seafood except fish sticks with generous amounts of ketchup. Now I’m hungry for fish sticks! ;) Thank you! xo

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic
10 years ago

I love all the superfoods here! I would make it as is, it sounds perfect!

10 years ago

Thank you, Bianca! Your comment makes me want to change the name to “Superfood Salad”! That sounds much more fun ;)

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