This honey ginger quinoa kale salad is a rainbow of nutrition, packed full of colorful veggies and protein-rich quinoa and edamame, and it’s all tied together with a zingy honey ginger dressing.
We’re excited to share with you a recipe that is all about embracing fresh, healthy ingredients without sacrificing flavor – our Honey Ginger Quinoa Kale Salad. It’s a team favorite this summer — we’ve been making it at least once a week for our families 😀
What’s In This Honey Ginger Quinoa Kale Salad?
This salad starts with a lush bed of finely chopped kale, softened and enhanced by a massage with sesame and avocado oil. We add a pop of color and a delightful crunch with shredded purple cabbage.
Adding to this nutritious base, we mix in a healthy helping of cold cooked quinoa and fresh, crispy radishes. Edamame brings a dose of plant-based protein to the mix, while chopped Thai Chili Lime Cashews (or your cashew of choice!) add a pleasing crunch and a kick of flavor.
What sets this salad apart?
Our showstopper is — THE DRESSING! Made with honey, freshly grated ginger, lemon juice, and rice vinegar, it’s a flavor-packed concoction that will make your taste buds dance.
It’s the perfect balance of sweetness, tanginess, and a hint of spice that elevates this salad from good to “can’t-stop-eating” great.
Easy Ingredient Swaps
Salads like this one are incredibly forgiving and customizable, which is great news.
- Don’t have kale? Swap it out for another leafy green.
- Not a fan of radishes? Substitute another crunchy veggie.
- Don’t want to mess with shelling edamame? Use English peas!
The possibilities are endless, and the result is always delicious.
Prepare Ahead: Cook your quinoa and shell your edamame in advance to save on prep time. Pre-cooked quinoa and shelled edamame can usually be found in grocery stores if you’re really in a pinch!
Customize Your Crunch: While we love the Thai Chili Lime Cashews from Trader Joe’s, feel free to use any cashews or nuts you prefer. The key is to include that delightful crunch for texture variation.
Versatile Vinegar: We use rice vinegar in our dressing, but don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of vinegar. Apple cider, white wine, or even balsamic could all offer interesting flavor variations.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Note that the cashews may soften over time due to the moisture in the salad.
If the salad seems a bit dry after refrigeration, consider adding a squeeze of fresh lemon or a drizzle of olive oil to revive the flavors. If you prefer crunchy cashews, consider adding them just before eating rather than mixing them into the salad beforehand.
To Prep Ahead
If you plan on eating this salad over several days, consider storing the dressing and the salad separately. This prevents the salad ingredients from becoming overly soggy. Simply dress the portion you plan to eat right before serving.
Honey Ginger Quinoa Kale Salad
- 8 cups finely chopped kale rinsed, deboned, and dried
- 1.5 cups finely shredded purple cabbage
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt separated
- 1 cup cooked quinoa cold (~½ cup uncooked)
- 10 oz. shelled edamame cold (~1.5 cups)
- 5 large radishes thinly sliced
- ¼ cup minced chives
- 1 cup chopped Thai Chili Lime Cashews or any type of cashew
- Add the kale and cabbage to a large salad bowl. Add the sesame oil, avocado oil, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Massage the oil and salt into the kale and cabbage for 1-2 minutes or until the kale leaves become tender.
- Next, add the quinoa, edamame, radishes, chives, and cashews to the salad and toss. Set aside.
- Prepare the dressing by adding all of the dressing ingredients to a jar. Cover and shake the ingredients until combined and there are no clumps of honey at the bottom.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Season the salad with the remaining salt (if needed).
- Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for a cold salad or to elevate the flavors.
Tips & Notes
- Green or purple cabbage can be used in this salad.
- For the quinoa, make the quinoa ahead of time or buy pre-cooked quinoa.
- Feel free to shell fresh edamame. To cut down on time, shelled edamame can usually be found in the grocery store’s frozen section. Rinse with cold water and let them thaw before adding them to the salad.
- Thai Chili & Lime Cashews can be found at Trader Joe’s, but any plain or flavored cashew or nut can be used.
- Any mixture or type of vinegar can be used in place of rice vinegar.
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Erin from The Wooden Skillet.