Crispy Quinoa & Roasted Vegetable Kale Salad

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Large platter of our crispy quinoa & roasted vegetable kale salad

This salad is winter comfort in a bowl. Warm roasted root veggies, crispy quinoa, and a tangy balsamic dressing combine for a nourishing salad so tasty it’ll make you crave kale!

Bonus? It comes together in just 30 minutes when using pre-cooked grains. Let us show you how it’s done!

Kale, mushrooms, carrots, bell pepper, spices, quinoa, balsamic vinegar, coconut aminos, olive oil, tahini, almonds, and hemp seeds

In the spirit of keeping things COZY, this quinoa and kale salad begins with roasting veggies to add warmth and sweetness. We love bell pepper, carrots, onions, and beets for a vibrant array of colors and nutrients, but feel free to swap in your favorite root veggies!

Roasted carrots, beets, red bell pepper, and red onion on a baking sheet

Next comes leftover cooked quinoa and sliced shiitake mushrooms seasoned with coconut aminos for sweetness and depth. Baking in the oven makes the quinoa crispy (YUM, it’s a quinoa game-changer!), and the mushrooms become slightly caramelized.

Parchment-lined baking sheets of quinoa, mushrooms, and root veggies

While those are in the oven, we massage the kale with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, tahini, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. It adds so much flavor, doubles as a dressing, and helps turn normally fibrous kale into a tender, easier-to-digest green!

Massaging kale with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, tahini, salt, pepper, and garlic powder

All that’s left is adding the roasted veggies, quinoa, and mushrooms and garnishing with your choice of toppings. We love avocado for richness, toasted almonds (or other nuts/seeds) for crunch, and vegan parmesan cheese for saltiness.

Overhead shot of a platter of massaged kale, roasted veggies, and crispy quinoa

We hope you LOVE this roasted vegetable & quinoa kale salad! It’s:

Subtly spicy
& SO delicious!

It’s a satisfying meal on its own, or for extra protein, you can add Quick & Easy Crispy Tofu, Lemon & Herb Roasted Chicken, or Crispy Skin Salmon.

More Delicious Recipes Using Kale

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Close-up shot of a fork holding a bite of crispy quinoa and roasted vegetable kale salad

Crispy Quinoa & Roasted Vegetable Kale Salad

A comforting winter salad with balsamic and tahini-massaged kale, crispy quinoa, Italian-spiced roasted veggies, and toasted almonds for crunch. Bursting with flavor, just 30 minutes required.
Author Minimalist Baker
Large platter filled with our quinoa, kale, and roasted vegetable winter salad
4.42 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 (Entrée servings)
Course Entrée
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 1 Day



  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds (2 large carrots yield ~1/3 cup or 84 g)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced into uniform bite-size pieces (~1/2 inch) (1 pepper yields ~3/4 cup or 190 g)
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion (1/4-inch wide half circles)
  • 1/2 cup diced beet (1/2-inch cubes // or sub sweet potato or more carrot)
  • 1-2 Tbsp avocado or olive oil (enough to coat veggies well)
  • 2 tsp dried Italian herb seasoning (e.g., oregano, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, basil, sage)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt + black pepper


  • 1 cup cooked, cooled quinoa (or sub other grain of choice)
  • 1 ⅓ cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1-2 tsp avocado or olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos


  • 7 cups chopped kale (curly or dino)
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1/8 tsp each sea salt + black pepper
  • 1 dash garlic powder

FOR TOPPING optional but so good

  • 1/2 ripe avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup slivered toasted almonds (or other nut / seed of choice, such as pepitas or pistachios)
  • 1 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • Vegan Parmesan Cheese


  • If you haven’t already prepared your quinoa (or grain of choice), do so now on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot. Let cool, then proceed to step 2. (Note: Time to cook grains is not included in total prep / cook time).
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and line two small baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • To one baking sheet, add the chopped carrots, bell pepper, onion, and beet. Toss the vegetables with 2 Tbsp of oil (adjust if altering batch size), Italian herbs, red pepper flakes (optional), garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  • To the second baking sheet, add the cooked, cooled quinoa and sliced shiitake mushrooms. Toss with 2 tsp of oil (adjust if altering batch size) and coconut aminos. Roast the veggies and quinoa for ~20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and golden brown and the quinoa is crispy. Toss as needed to ensure even cooking.
  • To your serving bowl or a mixing bowl, add chopped kale, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, tahini, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Massage for 1-2 minutes to combine and slightly tenderize the kale. Set aside.
  • To serve, top the kale salad with the crispy quinoa and mushrooms, roasted vegetables, and desired additional toppings, such as avocado, hemp seeds, toasted almonds, and vegan parmesan cheese (all optional).
  • Enjoy right away or store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, or 2-3 days if leaving out the avocado.



*For more protein, add additional hemp seeds or quinoa, pan-fried salmon, roasted chicken, or crispy tofu.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of olive oil and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 465 Carbohydrates: 54.3 g Protein: 12.3 g Fat: 23.9 g Saturated Fat: 3.3 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 6.5 g Monounsaturated Fat: 12.7 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 733 mg Potassium: 1160 mg Fiber: 12.5 g Sugar: 18.9 g Vitamin A: 2076 IU Vitamin C: 154 mg Calcium: 316 mg Iron: 6.6 mg

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My Rating:

  1. Fernanda says

    Great recipe! The combination of flavors/ veggies was so unique to me and flavorful. The dressing is delicious. I added this to my favorite lunch recipes. It did take me 40 minutes to prep (instead of 10) but it’s totally worth it.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you’re enjoying it, Fernanda. Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  2. Laura Armstrong says

    This recipe is AMAZING!!!!!!!! All the layers were full of flavor and together makes an outstanding dish. I am making this for dinner guests tonight. I also will say that the Roasted Quinoa and mushrooms was out of this world delicious!!!! My husband, not a vegan, thought the Quinoa/Mushrooms Combo had a hint of bacon flavor. Love it all!!!!

  3. Trish says

    There is a lot going on in this recipe – the coconut aminos, the italian seasoning, the tahini and the balsamic. I don’t think the italian seasoning is necessary at all. I would omit it. Also, do NOT put the peppers in the oven at the same time. I didn’t pay attention to this while making this recipe for the first time and the peppers were mush – which makes sense after the fact. The dressing is lovely. A keeper. The mushrooms and quinoa might be a regular go to. Would I make it again? Take it or leave it. Glad I tried it. Definitely add some toasted pepitas!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Trish, so sorry this one wasn’t to your liking. We find the peppers have a nice texture when roasted with the other veggies unless they are cut too small. Glad you enjoyed the mushrooms and quinoa!

    • Ashley says

      Loved the dressing on the kale! Super yummy. The combo of flavors on everything else thoufh was a bit much for me. I think I’d definitely pull way back on the roasted veggie seasoning if I made this again. Maybe just salt, pepper and garlic powder. The quinoa and mushroom combo was yummy though!

  4. Dani Ford says

    This was SO GOOD! I toasted my quinoa before cooking it and cooked it in vegetable stock to increase the flavor depth and happened to have Smoky BBQ coconut aminos on hand for the mushroom/quinoa. Will see how it holds up for lunch the next two days!

  5. Sandy Wright says

    There is no way that this only takes 30 minutes. I just spent 2 hours in the kitchen chopping everything and cooking it. Also, the veggies take WAY longer than 20 minutes to be roasted.
    It is delicious though!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry to hear it took longer, Sandy! If you don’t have a good quality, sharp chef’s knife, we’d definitely recommend that to speed up the process. Depending on the size you cut the veggies, they could take longer to cook.

  6. Pam dunwoodie says

    Love this quinoa recipe,
    I used spinach from the garden instead of kale.
    As all minimalist bakers recipes they are easy to make.
    I have the book but used website as well.
    Avid follower pam 🤗🧘‍♀️

  7. valerie smith says

    The flavors worked well together. I didn’t have quinoa and subbed short grain brown rice. It did not work. The grains were hard and difficult to chew. I’ll stick with quinoa on the next try.

  8. Donna says

    This was really delicious-the crunchy quinoa was especially tasty and something I had never tried before. I will definitely make it again!

  9. Kate says

    This was great. I cut my veggies small, but I still needed longer than 20 minutes to roast them. Next time I might try oven at 400. Other than that, I really loved the flavor and texture combination. And so darn healthy.

  10. Michelle says

    I originally posted this on the wrong recipe 🤦🏻‍♀️
    I made this tonight. It was a lot more work than I expected but so so good! I served it with a simple baked salmon and it was perfect. My husband, who isn’t into half the ingredients, said it was delicious. Thanks for another delicious recipe

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you and your husband enjoyed it, Michelle! Thanks so much for sharing! xo