Kale Chickpea Salad

This delicious Kale Chickpea Salad features kale, quinoa, chickpeas, and onion, tossed in a light lemon dressing and sprinkled with pepitas and feta. Love it so!

Kale Chickpea Salad

Kale Chickpea Salad

This colorful kale salad is downright dreamy and sure to convert anyone who is still on the fence about kale.

Flavor and texture-wise, it covers all the bases! I love the combination of massaged kale with fluffy quinoa, chewy chickpeas, crisp red onion, juicy tomatoes, creamy feta, and crunchy roasted pepitas.

I chop everything up as small as I can so I can load a little bit of everything into every forkful and, honestly, sometimes I usually just grab a spoon for easy shoveling.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this rockin’ recipe:

Kale Salad Ingredients

  1. kale
  2. dry quinoa (tri-color or white)
  3. canned chickpeas 
  4. cherry tomatoes
  5. red onion
  6. crumbled feta cheese
  7. pepitas
  8. lemon dressing (recipe below)

No pepitas? No problem! This salad is also amazing with roasted sunflower seeds or toasted sliced almonds.

Both curly kale and lacinato kale (also called tuscan kale or dinosaur kale) work fantastic for this salad. The trick is giving the kale little massage with olive oil or avocado oil with a teeny pinch of salt.

Kale Chickpea Salad Bowl with Fresh Tomatoes

Homemade Lemon Dressing Recipe

  • 1.5 lemons juiced
  • 3 TBSP avocado oil or light olive oil
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp dried dill (optional)

To make this tasty dressing, whisk together all the ingredients and give it a taste. If you like the tartness of the lemon juice (I love it!) keep it as is or feel free to add a little extra oil *or* sweeten it a tad to balance the tartness (sugar, honey, or maple syrup all work great). 

Massaged Kale Tips and Tricks

Wash and dry kale. A salad spinner works great if you have one but isn’t needed if you don’t. Next remove the kale from the center rib/stem. Chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces, then sprinkle with a tiny pinch of salt.

Pour a small amount of olive oil into your hands and work your way through the kale, massaging the leaves until they darken in color and tenderize into silky salad green perfection.

This speedy rubdown transforms kale into a tender and delicious salad green that rivals romaine.

Kale Chickpea Salad Bowl

Serving Suggestions

This kale chickpea salad is great alongside a toasty Spinach and Avocado Grilled Cheese or vegetarian Chickpea Salad Sandwich . For my T-Rex friends, try it as a healthy side dish for a homemade Chicken Gyro. You can also pair it with a piping hot bowl of soup.

Want to pack some protein into the salad itself? You can add a scoop of Tuna SaladChickpea Salad, seared salmon, or even shredded rotisserie chicken to this gorgeous green salad.

Kale Salad Meal Prep

This quinoa studded salad can absolutely be made in advance! If you’d like to add it to your weekly meal prep, it can be stored in airtight containers in the fridge for 3-4 days. Enjoy chilled or at room temperature for more pronounced flavor. Love it so!

Ready to get your recipe on? Let’s do this!

Kale Chickpea Salad

Kale Chickpea Salad

This delicious Kale Chickpea Salad features kale, quinoa, chickpeas, and onion, tossed in a light lemon dressing and sprinkled with pepitas and feta.
5 from 6 votes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American, Vegetarian
Keyword: Kale Chickpea Salad
Prep Time: 18 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Jenn Laughlin – Peas and Crayons

Ingredients

  • ½ cup dry quinoa (tri-color or white)
  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • 2-3 cups chopped kale
  • 1 can chickpeas (15 oz) drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3-1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup pepitas (or sliced almonds or sunflower seeds)

LIGHT LEMON DRESSING

  • 1.5 lemons juiced
  • 3 TBSP avocado oil or light olive oil
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • tsp dried dill (optional)

Instructions

  • First rinse and drain quinoa using a mesh strainer or sieve. Bring a small pot to medium heat and lightly toast the quinoa to remove any excess water, stirring often. This step is optional but really adds to the nuttiness and fluff factor of the quinoa! Next add your water, set burner to high, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered with the lid slightly ajar, for 13 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy and the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Once the quinoa is ready, fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a bowl or plate to cool.
  • While the quinoa cooks/cools, wash and dry chopped kale (I use my trusty salad spinner) and massage with a drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt for extra-tender, silky kale that tastes great!
  • Next make the dressing. Whisk together all the ingredients and give it a taste. If you like the tartness of the lemon juice (I love it!) keep it as is or feel free to add a little extra oil or sweeten a tad with sugar, honey, or maple syrup to balance the tartness.
  • Finely chop red onion and add to the dressing to marinate.
  • Cut cherry tomatoes into halves or quarters to get a little tomato goodness in each bite and add to a large bowl with kale, chickpeas, and pepitas. Mix in cooled quinoa and dressing, then top with crumbled feta.
  • You can dive in right away or chill before serving. I love it both ways! If meal prepping, pop it in the fridge and dive in when you're ready. The dressing will soak into the salad and amplify the flavor even more. Love it so!

Notes

Nutrition Facts below are estimated for both salad and dressing using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed based on extras/swaps and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 252kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.002g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 263mg, Potassium: 502mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 2435IU, Vitamin C: 43mg, Calcium: 176mg, Iron: 4mg

No cherry tomatoes? No problem! You’re welcome to use any type of chopped tomato you have on hand. This includes vine-ripened tomatoes, campari tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, and even grape tomatoes.

Crazy for Kale Recipes?

  1. NEW! Kale Tomato Salad
  2. Kale Apple Cranberry Salad with Quinoa
  3. READER FAVORITE: Mexican Kale Salad
  4. Tropical Mango Kale Smoothie
  5. Sausage and Kale Soup via Mom on Timeout
  6. Cheesy Kale Sweet Potatoes with Havarti and Garlic

If you get a chance to try this tasty kale chickpea salad, let me know!

Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

Jenn Laughlin Headshot Photo - About the Author
About The Author:

Jenn Laughlin

Jenn Laughlin created Peas and Crayons in 2009 after graduating with B.S. in Dietetics from Florida State University while working as a Nutrition Educator for WIC. The goal was simple: create and share delicious tested and perfected recipes with vegetables as the star!

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Questions & Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I love kale salad and this one had the perfect combination of flavors and ingredients. I added some cooked salmon too and it was delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    This is such a great recipe ot have on hand for summer! Delicious and nutritious. Will be making often