Swap your cold greens for this warm, hearty kale salad with quinoa, umami-packed roasted mushrooms and tangy garlic-soy dressing. This is a salad you’ll want to eat on even the coldest days!
“Warm” and “salad” are not two words you often see paired together but I promise you this uncommon combo is SO good! Warm Kale and Quinoa salad with Roasted Mushrooms is hearty, filling and packed with flavor! The garlic-soy dressing is a staple in my fridge and has many uses beyond this salad. Pour it over sautéed sugar snap peas, broccolini, or crispy fried tofu. I always make a double batch!
Making a kale salad is a hands-on operation. Kale is very fibrous and the easiest way to break down it’s tough leaves is to massage it… so relatable, right? Don’t be afraid to really get in there and work the dressing into the kale leaves with your hands. Kale thats been well massaged is tender and much more pleasant to eat.
If you love this salad, be sure to check out: The Perfect Kale Salad
Ingredients in this Recipe:
To make this salad you will need: kale, mushrooms, garlic, shallot, scallions, quinoa, sesame seeds, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and soy sauce.
Check out the recipe notes at the bottom of the recipe card for all my ingredient substitution recommendations!
Recipe Step by Step:
Step 1. Sauté the Mushrooms
Cook the mushrooms and shallot in a hot pan until they are golden and caramelized.
Step 2. Massage the Kale
Use your hands work the dressing into the kale, breaking down the tough fibers.
Step 3. Toss and Serve
Toss the rest of the ingredients with the kale. Divide between bowls, top with freshly ground black pepper and toasted sesame seeds.
How to Cook Quinoa:
1. Rinse the quinoa under cold water until the water runs clear.
2. Fill a small pot with 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water, 1/2 tsp of salt and a glug of olive oil. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the quinoa steam in the pot for an additional 10 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.
FAQs and Expert Tips:
For salads, I prefer Tuscan kale, also known as lacinato or dinosaur kale. It’s hearty rippled leaves are great for holding onto salad dressing. Just make sure you really massage the dressing into the kale to break down its fibrous texture and always remove the stem.
The reason we massage chopped kale with salad dressing is because kale is a very tough and fibrous lettuce. When you massage the kale it breaks down the fibers and tenderizes it making it much softer and more pleasant to eat!
Check Out More Recipes Featuring Kale and Quinoa:
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Warm Kale and Quinoa Salad with Roasted Mushrooms
- 1 bunch lactinato kale ribs and stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
- 1 c warm cooked quinoa
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz mushrooms: button or shiitake sliced in half
- 1 large shallot thinly sliced
- 2 whole scallions thinly sliced
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 c neutral oil avocado or sunflower
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- Heat a saute, or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Pour the oil into the pan then add the mushrooms and shallot. Sauté until golden brown and caramelized, about 5-7 minutes. Turn off the heat, season with salt and pepper. Set the mushrooms aside while you assemble the rest of the salad. If your quinoa is cold add it to the pan to warm it up.
- In a large bowl toss the kale with enough dressing to coat. Use your hands to massage the dressing onto the kale leaves. Next, add in the mushrooms, shallot, warm quinoa, scallions and another drizzle of dressing, toss until all of the ingredients are evenly combined. Divide between bowls, top with freshly cracked black pepper and toasted sesame seeds.
- Place all ingredients in a jar and shake well until emulsified.
- Kale: I prefer Tuscan aka “Lacinato” kale for salads but you could also use curly or purple kale.
- Mushrooms: buttons, shiitakes, maitakes or even portobellos would all be great!
- Quinoa: both white or red quinoa will work. You could also use other grains like wild rice, farro or barley.
- Rice Vinegar: any neutral-flavored vinegar will work: red wine, champagne or apple cider
- Soy Sauce: tamari or coconut aminos can be substituted