Kale Quinoa Salad with Sesame Aioli

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Kale Quinoa Salad is dressed with a lightened-up Sesame Aioli and topped with so many delicious, crunchy toppings that you’ll forget just how healthy it is!  

Kale Quinoa Salad with Sesame Aoili Dressing

It’s a sensory delight! Tender baby kale and spinach leaves form the base of this salad. Red quinoa adds a soft, nutty and colorful contrast with the greens and can be added when it’s cool or warm. (I’m a fan of warm!)

Spindly carrots, strips of crinkly Napa cabbage, green onions and cashews are mixed throughout for a little crunch in every bite. Add chicken if you aren’t enjoying the meatless version.

Top it off with a creamy sesame aioli dressing with a hint of heat from sriracha sauce.

Yummmmmy! Once I have all the ingredients, I eat this for days on end. That’s the nice things about hearty kale greens, they hold up well for days, even with dressing. We do this all the time when we make Massaged Kale Salad.

Kale Quinoa Salad with Sesame Aioli Dressing

I fell in love with this salad at Nature’s Table and came straight home and made my own version. I love doing this! (Some of my previous projects include Alice Springs Chicken and Bang Bang Shrimp.) I try to take a favorite and make it a bit healthier.

But, you don’t need to make any changes to this Kale Quinoa Salad, except for a few adjustments to the dressing.

Kale Quinoa Salad Tips and Tricks

I usually enjoy white quinoa and immediately questioned what the difference is between the red and white varieties. It turns out there are hundreds of colors including black which you can sometimes find in the grocery store. Based upon this article over at the Kitchn, there is little difference between the taste and cooking method for the various colors, except that you might find a very subtle difference in the texture with red being just a little heartier.

Isn’t the contrast in colors delightful?! Make a big batch of red quinoa, more than you need for this salad, store it in the refrigerator and scoop it out for salads and other dishes throughout the week. It will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze it! Yes indeed. It freezes beautifully.

Kale Quinoa Salad with Sesame Aioli Dressing

Add diced, cooked chicken for an extra protein boost. Or, leave it off for a meatless version. Quinoa is naturally high in protein and the nuts add some protein too.

The salad is dressed with a creamy sesame aioli that’s been lightened-up by replacing some of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt. Add sriracha for some heat. It’s not spicy at all if you leave out this ingredient. Another dressing that is delicious with this salad and is oil and vinegar based can be found with Chinese Napa Cabbage Salad.


Kale Quinoa Salad with Sesame Aioli

Kale Quinoa Salad is dressed with a lightened-up Sesame Aioli and topped with carrots, Napa cabbage, green onions and cashews for an explosion of flavor in every bite!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 524kcal



  • 5 ounce bag of baby kale and/or baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup cooked red quinoa cook according to package instructions
  • 1 cup thinly sliced Napa cabbage
  • 1 cup julienned carrot sticks
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped cashews or almonds
  • 1 cup diced cooked chicken (leave off for meatless version)

Sesame Aioli

  • 2 Tablespoons low-fat olive oil based mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons non-fat Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sriracha sauce


  • Divide salad ingredients between 2 plates
  • Combine Sesame Aioli ingredients in a bowl and stir well.
  • Drizzle Sesame Aioli over salad and enjoy!


Calories: 524kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 412mg | Potassium: 1103mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 16190IU | Vitamin C: 91.8mg | Calcium: 199mg | Iron: 5.9mg
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Other quinoa salads you might enjoy:

Greek Quinoa Salad

Spinach and Lemon Quinoa Salad by A Mindful Mom

Tomato and Black Bean Salad by Taste and Tell





We'd love for you to share!


  1. Thank you so much for linking to my quinoa salad. I can’t wait to try this version. I love the sesame aioli.

  2. Oh my goodness this looks like the perfect lunch! Love it!

  3. this looks so healthy and delicious.

  4. So light and lovely. Perfect for spring/summer.

  5. This is delightful. Nothing better than a great salad. And this one fits the bill.

  6. I’m always looking for quinoa inspiration. There is so much to love in this fantastic salad (especially the sesame aioli!!)

  7. I’m picturing all sorts of dishes to enjoy with that aioli! (Maybe even just eaten by the spoonful!) 🙂

  8. Marjory, I’m loving this salad. The colors, textures, tastes…you’ve got it all in one bowl! I’m excited to try this. It’s looks like something I crave.

  9. This looks soooo tasty! Looking forward to trying this soon! Pinned, Yummed and Stumbled!

  10. What a fresh and delicious looking salad! The dressing sounds awesome and totally unique!

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