Kale Cranberry and Almond Quinoa Salad

A deliciously light and simple quinoa salad packed with superfoods and topped with a lemon vinaigrette.

Kale Cranberry and Almond Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette | Hungry by Nature

Remember when I said it was too hot to turn on the oven?? Well, it’s gotten worse. I know I shouldn’t complain. Chicagoans suffer through, what feels like, 9 months of a brutally cold, snowy, and bone-chilling winter all for the joy of those 3 months of summer.  And then when they come, it’s too hot.

No thank you Mother Nature. 90 degrees is just too hot for me and my pale Irish skin.

[one_half padding=”0 5px 0 0″]A simple lemon vinaigrette to top a Kale Cranberry and Almond Quinoa Salad| hungrybynature.com[/one_half]

[one_half_last padding=”0 0 0 5px”]Kale Cranberry and Almond Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette | Hungry by Nature[/one_half_last]

In keeping with my summer dinner menu theme of grilling and not turning on the oven, I have a super simple, delicious, and light quinoa salad for you!

This salad was inspired by a wonderful lunch I had at Beatrix. Beatrix opened their second location at Northwestern Memorial Hospital – right across the street from my office – and it quickly jumped to the top of my list for my monthly Ladies Lunch! I had the turkey burger (get it!) with a quinoa and almond kale salad.

And this is my recreation of that salad!

Kale Cranberry and Almond Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette | hungrybynature.com

I love adding quinoa to my salads for many reasons. It’s high in fiber so it keeps me full for a long time; it’s gluten free so it’s perfect for a salad that you’re bringing to a barbecue. And it’s rich in iron which my body is seriously lacking in.

I hope you love this Kale Cranberry and Almond Quinoa Salad as much as I do! Make it this week and post a picture social media so I can see your creation.  Don’t forget to use the hashtag #imhungrybynature for a chance to be featured!

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Kale Cranberry and Almond Quinoa Salad

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings as a side 1x


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups chopped kale

For the Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon whole grain dijon mustard
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Pepper


  1. Bring quinoa and water to a boil. Cover and simmer for approximately 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Let cool and fluff.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, make your lemon vinaigrette. In a small jar, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and mustard. Cover jar and shake well to combine.
  3. Add in olive oil and vigorously shake until incorporated. Add in a dash of pepper.
  4. Once quinoa is cool, combine all ingredients in a large bowl, cover with the lemon vinaigrette and toss.

I’m not turning on my oven anytime soon.

Kale Cranberry and Almond Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette | hungrybynature.com

Kale Cranberry and Almond Quinoa Salad | hungrybynature.com

12 thoughts on “Kale Cranberry and Almond Quinoa Salad

  1. Kristy from Southern In Law

    I love using fruit and nuts in savoury dishes and this looks PERFECT! The dressing sounds especially delicious!

    1. Ellie | Hungry by Nature Post author

      Sweet and savory is my favorite! And yes, the dressing is super easy to make and so so good. Thanks Kristy!

  2. Laura @ Fork Knife Swoon

    I’m with you on the heat – anything over 90 is too hot to function! And I do feel bad complaining after our 9 months of grey and rain, but still… 🙂 This salad looks amazing – it’s just the sort of thing I want to eat all summer long!

    1. Ellie | Hungry by Nature Post author

      Thanks Laura! I can assure you I will be eating this salad all summer… just with a side of those blackberry chocolate cupcakes 🙂

  3. Emily

    Quinoa and lemon sound like a super duper refreshing combo Ellie! :)) Oh, and thank you again so much for the delicious guest post… It looks delicious, and I can’t wait to try it when we get back <3. Your pictures are just wonderful.

    1. Ellie | Hungry by Nature Post author

      It’s the perfect summer salad! And you are so so welcome Emily. I hope you are having a wonderful trip and I am looking forward to working with you again in the future! Safe travels.

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  6. Carla

    Made the evening and eating it with grilled chicken! Nice and light, nutty and slightly lemony! Next time I may add the chopped kale to the quinoa during the last five minutes of cooking, to soften the kale a bit. But I really like it!

    1. Ellie Post author

      I’m so glad you liked it Carla! And YES – that is such a great idea!! Let me know how it turns out next time 🙂


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