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The Best Vegan Kale Salad Recipe with Oranges

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This vegan kale salad recipe is a bright and flavorful side salad, loaded with juicy fresh oranges, pepitas, hearty cooked quinoa, and a bright balsamic vinaigrette. It’s a quick and easy meal, and completely plant-based.

It’s a crowd pleaser salad with so much flavor in each bite – great for vegans and non-vegans alike! I love serving this salad with a thick slice of air fryer garlic bread or spaghetti squash soup for a hearty meal.

the best vegan kale salad recipe with oranges and quinoa with a homemade dressing

I love making big bright salads loaded with fresh fruits and veggies all year long! And this orange and kale salad is an easy way to enjoy fresh fruits, hearty greens, and cooked quinoa.

This is a fantastic kale salad, we absolutely love to make it for dinner parties or gatherings, it’s a crowd pleaser! The sweet/savory combination works really well for entertaining (like our plum ricotta bruschetta) and it’s always a hit.

This salad makes a fantastic side dish, appetizer for entertaining, or even a light lunch. Start by massaging the kale (which breaks it down and becomes more tender), and making a 5-minute vinaigrette dressing.

This Vegan Kale Salad Recipe with Oranges Is

  • Bright
  • Fresh
  • Plant-Based
  • High in Fiber
  • Sweet
  • Easy to Make
  • Flavorful
  • Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy Free, and Gluten Free
orange kale salad recipe with quinoa and balsamic vinegar in a large wooden serving bowl with pepitas pumpkin seeds

Fresh Salad Recipes You’ll Make Again & Again

We absolutely love big bold salads, with fresh leafy greens, beans and grains, and tasty dressings. This hearty kale salad is the perfect combination of savory with pops of sweetness from the fresh oranges (I love adding fresh fruit to salads). This is our favorite kale salad and is in our regular rotation of dinners. 

There are NO boring salads here, we bring our best ingredients to each & every salad pairing. Some are light and delicate, some are hearty and satisfying (like this easy recipe with kale). Browse through all our simple salad recipes to find your next favorite – great for a main dish, a complete meal, or for a side salad.

Ingredients in Vegan Kale Salad

  • Kale – bright, fresh greens! I like buying bunches of kale and chopping them up myself, but you can use a pre-chopped kale package instead. You can use curly kale (like I did) or lacinato kale which is darker and thicker.
  • Oranges – I used fresh naval oranges for this recipe, peeled and chopped.
  • White Quinoa: I used this fantastic white quinoa, but you can use red or multicolored. You can cook quinoa on the stove top, in the Instant Pot (my preferred method), in the rice cooker.   This quinoa is a fantastic addition to salads, soups, or wraps… a healthy plant-based protein you can feel good about eating.
  • Pumpkin Seeds – give a delicious crunch! 
  • Balsamic vinaigrette – sweet and tangy, you can use a store-bought balsamic dressing, or my orange citrus balsamic vinaigrette recipe. I use balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and extra virgin olive oil for my salad dressing.
  • Olive oil and sea salt for massaging the kale

Other Optional Add-Ins

You could also add the following addition in to personalize your salad.

  • White Beans or cooked chickpeas
  • Red onion slices
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Roasted sweet potatoes
  • Pine nuts or toasted almonds to top
  • Tomatoes or sliced bell pepper
  • Red pepper flakes for a little heat
  • Dried cranberries for added sweetness
kale vegan salad easy plant based recipes hearty vegan salad ideas with kale oranges and quinoa winter salads

How to Make This Easy Vegan Kale Recipe

  1. Thoroughly wash and dry kale. Remove any large stems or tough ribs using a paring knife, leaving only the leaves, and discard stems. Finely chop the kale leaves and place in a large serving bowl.
  2. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a little salt over the kale, and using your hands, massage the kale for 5 minutes. Kale will wilt and tenderize as it’s being massaged, making it the perfect soft texture for salads. 
  3. To the massaged kale, add the cooked quinoa and sliced oranges. Toss well to combine.
  4. Add the dressing – either using store bought, or if following the recipe, mixing all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl before dressing the salad.
  5. Top with pepitas and enjoy!
  6. Store leftover salad in an airtight container, refrigerate, and enjoy within 1 day.

Dietary Modifications

  • This recipe is veganvegetarian, and dairy free. To make this a raw kale salad, omit the quinoa.
  • To make this recipe gluten free, ensure all ingredients you are using (including any store bought salad dressings) are certified gluten free, and always check the labels of ingredients before using.
the best vegan kale salad recipe with orange balsamic salad dressing pumpkin seeds and oranges a seasonal winter salad that is plant based

More Vegan Hearty Salad Recipes You’ll Love

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the best vegan kale salad recipe with oranges and quinoa with a homemade dressing

Vegan Kale Salad Recipe with Oranges

This vegan kale salad recipe is a bright and flavorful side salad, loaded with juicy fresh oranges, pepitas, hearty cooked quinoa, and a bright balsamic vinaigrette. It’s a quick and easy meal, and completely plant-based.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Additional Time if Cooking Quinoa from Scratch 30 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 158 kcal

Equipment

  • Large Pot
  • Large Bowl
  • Small Bowl

Ingredients
  

For the Vegan Kale Salad

  • 1 large bunch fresh kale
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch Sea Salt
  • 1.5 cups cooked quinoa see note below
  • 2 oranges
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing recipe follows

Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoons maple syrup or other sweetener of choice
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 orange juiced, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Thoroughly wash and dry kale. Remove any large stems using a paring knife, leaving only the leaves, and discard stems. Finely chop the kale leaves and place in a large bowl.
  • Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the kale, and using your hands, massage the kale for 5 minutes. Kale will wilt and tenderize as it’s being massaged, making it the perfect soft texture for salads.
  • To the massaged kale, add the cooked quinoa and sliced oranges. Toss well to combine.
  • Add the dressing – either using store bought, or if following the recipe, mixing all ingredients together in a small bowl before dressing the salad.
  • Top with pepitas and enjoy!
  • Store leftover salad in an airtight container, refrigerate, and enjoy within 1 day.

Notes

How To Cook Quinoa

Combine 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil on the stove top, then cover and allow quinoa to simmer for 20 minutes until water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and add to salad.

Dietary Modifications

    • This dressing recipe is vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, and egg free.
    • To make gluten free, ensure that all ingredients including condiments and spices are certified gluten free before using.

Nutrition

Calories: 158kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 4gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.003gSodium: 165mgPotassium: 229mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1708IUVitamin C: 35mgCalcium: 68mgIron: 1mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a rating and comment below, let us know what you loved about it!

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5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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