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Creamy Superfood Kale & Lentil Quinoa Salad

This vegan kale quinoa salad recipe is loaded with superfoods and so delicious! With green beans, lentils, quinoa, and leafy kale tossed in a creamy cilantro-lime dressing, it's simple to make and packed with zesty flavor.

Overhead view of kale quinoa salad in a bowl next to a fork.

This kale and quinoa salad is hands down one of my favorite plant-based recipes! It has hearty green beans, avocado, lentils, and quinoa tossed over a generous bed of leafy kale, topped with zesty vegan cilantro-lime dressing. It's fresh, it's flavorful, it's filling, and it's totally satisfying. And couldn't be easier to make! After enjoying a similar grilled kale salad at our neighborhood local, Candle Cafe, I'm so excited with how this homemade version turned out. (Now, to recreate their dirty martinis made with quinoa vodka…)

If you're looking for more wholesome vegan salad recipes, be sure to check out my warm farro salad and this Thai superfood kale salad, too.

Why You'll Love This Kale Quinoa Salad Recipe

  • Packed with superfoods. This salad is loaded with ingredients that make it filling, flavorful, and nourishing. Everything gets smothered in an incredible creamy dressing. It's a fill-you-up portion of veggies that will leave you feeling satisfied, but not overly stuffed.
  • Easy to make. Don't be surprised when this creamy kale quinoa salad comes on regular rotation. It's quick and easy to prep and assemble, ready in just 20 minutes.
  • Easy to eat. Cooking the kale in this recipe makes it easier to digest. While I love a big kale Caesar salad or a fresh massaged kale salad on occasion, sometimes all those raw leafy greens can be tough on the system. If you can relate, then this is the recipe for you.
  • Versatile. This salad is loaded with flavor and texture, and it will certainly feed a crowd. Make this as your main dish, bring it as a work lunch, or serve it as a side. Either way, it'll be gobbled up in no time!
Kale quinoa salad ingredients combined in a large bowl.

What You'll Need

Here are some quick notes on the ingredients needed for this easy kale quinoa salad. Scroll down to the recipe card for a printable list with amounts.

For the Salad

  • Kale – Any variety (I like to use curly kale).
  • Green Beans – Fresh green beans, chopped into 1″ pieces. You can also use thawed frozen green beans.
  • Lentils – Cooked black lentils, or any kind that you prefer.
  • Quinoa – You choice of cooked quinoa (see my overview of the different types of quinoa).
  • Avocado – Pitted and cut into even-sized cubes.

For The Creamy Vegan Dressing

  • Almond Milk – Or your preferred unsweetened plant-based milk. You can also use regular milk if you're not making this salad vegan.
  • Fresh Ingredients – Freshly squeezed lime, cilantro, and garlic cloves.
  • Chia Seeds – You'll find chia seeds in the health food aisle in most grocery stores. If you can't find chia where you are, feel free to skip it.
  • Tahini – Tahini is a paste made from ground toasted sesame seeds. You can use store-bought or homemade tahini.
  • Seasonings – Red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. For a milder dressing, leave out the red pepper flakes or adjust the amount to taste.
A jar of vegan cilantro lime salad dressing.

How to Make Kale and Quinoa Salad

This salad is seriously simple to make. I've included a short step-by-step below, and don't forget to scroll to the recipe card for printable recipe instructions.

  • Make the dressing. First, toss all of your dressing ingredients in a blender and give it whirl. Transfer the dressing to a jar so that it can thicken while your prepare the salad.
  • Sauté the greens. Tear up the kale leaves and add these to a pan with the green beans. Cook the veggies for a couple of minutes, enough to wilt the kale and tenderize the beans.
  • Combine. Once the vegetables are cooled, combine them with cooked quinoa and lentils. Drizzle over the prepared dressing and give the salad a good toss to coat.
  • Serve. You can serve this kale quinoa salad right away while it's still a bit warm, or chill it in the fridge to enjoy later. Save the avocado cubes until you're ready to serve, then sprinkle them over top and dig in!
Kale quinoa salad in a bowl next to a fork, with a smaller bowl of black lentils in the background.

Tips and Variations

This flavor-packed kale and quinoa salad is pretty fail proof. Keep these last-minute tips in mind for best results:

  • Don't overcook the veggies. You want the kale to be slightly wilted, but not mushy. Similarly, the green beans should be tender but still crisp.
  • Add the avocado when serving. Only add your diced avocado to the salad right before serving, this way it won't turn brown.
  • Save leftover dressing. Store any leftover cilantro-lime dressing in the fridge to use with more salad recipes. It's also great to enjoy as a dip with your fave cut up veggies.
  • Add more veggies. You can absolutely change up the ingredients in this salad depending on what you like and what you have on hand in the fridge! Try adding cherry tomatoes, red onion, asparagus, green peas, sweet potato, or steamed broccoli.
  • Add some crunch. This salad would taste amazing with some crispy chickpeas or chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds) for extra crunch.
Overhead view of kale quinoa salad in a bowl with a spoon for serving.

How to Store Leftovers

  • Refrigerate. Store any leftover kale quinoa salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Try to store this salad without the avocado, and add it when serving. The kale will wilt a little more over time, but leftovers make delicious lunches!
  • Freeze. I don't recommend freezing most salads since the texture changes once the veggies are thawed.

More Vegan Salad Recipes

Kale Quinoa Salad

4.8 from 10 votes
This kale quinoa salad is so simple and so delicious! With hearty green beans, lentils, quinoa, and leafy kale tossed in a creamy cilantro-lime dressing, it couldn't be easier to make.
author: Alyssa
yield: 4 servings
Overhead view of kale quinoa salad in a bowl.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes


for the salad:

  • 2 heads kale any variety (about 8 – 10 cups raw)
  • 1 lb green beans* stemmed & chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 1 cup cooked black lentils
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 avocado pitted and cubed

for the dressing:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon each of salt & pepper


  • Starting with the dressing, add all the ingredients to a blender and blend on high for 1 minute until smooth. Transfer dressing to a jar and set aside to thicken.
  • Tear kale leaves from the stalk and add them to a pan along with the green beans. Steam or saute for 2 – 3 minutes until green beans are slightly tender and kale leaves are just starting to wilt. Transfer the veggies to a large mixing bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Once cooled, add quinoa and beans to the bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss until coated.
  • Either serve immediately (and slightly warm) or place salad in the refrigerator to cool entirely. Upon serving, split evenly between four dishes and top with avocado pieces.
  • Enjoy!



* feel free to swap in frozen green beans for the fresh. just let them thaw and skip the steaming part.


Calories: 531kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 596mg | Potassium: 1378mg | Fiber: 21g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 14450IU | Vitamin C: 183.3mg | Calcium: 422mg | Iron: 9.4mg
cuisine: American
course: Salad

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