Kale Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

This Kale Salad with Basil Vinaigrette is my “house” salad.  It’s fresh and flavorful and can be served as a starter, but it’s substantial and filling enough to make a meal.  Add grilled chicken or salmon for added protein.  

This Kale Salad with Basil Vinaigrette is loaded with curly kale, Romaine lettuce, quinoa, Parmesan cheese, toasted almonds, golden raisins, and tossed in a delicious vinaigrette

BEST KALE SALAD

Kale salads make a great pack-for-lunch meal or a vegetarian main or side. This Kale Salad with Basil Vinaigrette is loaded with curly kale, Romaine lettuce, quinoa, Parmesan cheese, toasted almonds, golden raisins, and tossed in a bright vinaigrette for loads of flavor and texture.  Hands-down this is the Best Kale Salad!

This Kale Salad with Basil Vinaigrette is loaded with curly kale, Romaine lettuce, quinoa, Parmesan cheese, toasted almonds, golden raisins, and tossed in a delicious vinaigrette

Normally I make salads that are chockfull of ingredients – everything but the kitchen sink salads, but this one is different.  This one is a simple kale salad made with the most humble of ingredients.  It’s flecked with sliced almonds and golden raisins, and mixed with curly kale, romaine lettuce,  some quinoa and a generous portion of parmesan cheese (grated or shaved).  Where it gets interesting is when these simple ingredients are dressed up in a gorgeous green basil vinaigrette.  The flavor will remind you a tad of pesto.  And in my family – we love our pesto!!  

This Kale Salad with Basil Vinaigrette is loaded with curly kale, Romaine lettuce, quinoa, Parmesan cheese, toasted almonds, golden raisins, and tossed in a delicious vinaigrette

BEST KALE SALAD RECIPE

For the Salad
  • 2 cups Romaine lettuce, finely chopped
  • 2 cups curly kale, finely chopped (cut the leaves away from the stems and discard stems)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup sliced roasted almonds
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
For the Basil Vinaigrette
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

HOW TO MAKE KALE SALAD

For the Salad
  1. Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss.
  2. Drizzle the outer sides of the bowl with the vinaigrette.
  3. Toss the ingredients in the vinaigrette until evenly coated.
  4. Serve with extra parmesan cheese.
For the Basil Vinaigrette
  1. Place basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, mustard and lemon juice in a blender.
  2. Pulse a few times, then slowly pour the olive oil in the blender.
  3. Continue to blend until vinaigrette is smooth.
  4. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving

IS KALE GOOD FOR YOU

  • It is!  All day every day!!  Kale is among the most nutrient dense foods there is
  • Kale is in the cruciferous family of vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and collard greens
  • There is a variety of different types of kale like curly kale or dinosaur kale.  I typically use curly for salads and dinosaur for juicing

HEALTH BENEFITS OF KALE

  • Kale is rich with Quercetin and Kaempferol, which are powerful antioxidants 
  • It’s rich with Vitamin C (also antioxidant)
  • Kale is high in beta-carotene (another antioxidant)
  • It’s a great source of Vitamin K which is important for blood clotting
  • It contains indole-3-carbinol, which is a substance that may possibly help prevent certain types of cancer
  • Kale is rich with lutein and zeaxanthin which are powerful nutrients that protect eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration
  • It’s low calorie and high water content may help with weight loss

This Kale Salad with Basil Vinaigrette is loaded with curly kale, Romaine lettuce, quinoa, Parmesan cheese, toasted almonds, golden raisins, and tossed in a delicious vinaigrette

WHY WE THINK THIS IS THE BEST KALE SALAD RECIPE

  • This kale quinoa salad has an impressive range of flavors and textures, and it sits pretty parked next to any main course you might be serving.  It’s also filling enough to be a meal on its own.  
  • The Basil Vinaigrette is amazing!!  If you like the taste of basil pesto – you’ll love this basil vinaigrette!  
  • They don’t come any quicker or easier to make than this!
  • It’s made with simple ingredients (nothing exotic here)!
  • Super nutritious!
  • Completely habit forming!

I make this kale quinoa salad at least once a week.  It’s one of my favorites both for the flavors and its simplicity.  Some nights though when I’m feeling particularly hungry and want a more substantial salad – I’ll toss in some chopped grilled chicken (or store bought rotisserie chicken). Grilled salmon and avocado works nicely here as well.  And of course, feel free this summer to sub in your favorite fresh berries in lieu of the raisins for a bright festive seasonal salad. 

MORE HEALTHY SALAD RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

Crunchy Detox Salad

Italian Chopped Salad

Everyday Detox Salad

Superfood Salad

Spinach Quinoa Salad

Follow THE HARVEST KITCHEN on Pinterest for more great recipes!

Published March 2016 updated October 2019

This Kale Salad with Basil Vinaigrette is loaded with curly kale, Romaine lettuce, quinoa, Parmesan cheese, toasted almonds, golden raisins, and tossed in a delicious vinaigrette
Yield: 4 servings

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Basil Parmesan Vinaigrette

Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Romaine lettuce, finely chopped
  • 2 cups curly kale, finely chopped (cut the leaves away from the stems and discard stems)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup sliced roasted almonds
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

For the Salad
  1. Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss.
  2. Drizzle the outer sides of the bowl with the vinaigrette.
  3. Toss the ingredients in the vinaigrette until evenly coated.
  4. Serve with extra parmesan cheese.
For the Basil Vinaigrette
  1. Place basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, mustard and lemon juice in a blender.
  2. Pulse a few times, then slowly pour the olive oil in the blender.
  3. Continue to blend until vinaigrette is smooth.
  4. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving

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