Cranberry Quinoa Salad with Kale and Almonds

A bowl with quinoa, kale, and cranberry salad with a spoon and fork.

Great eats await when you serve this healthy vegan cranberry quinoa salad with kale and almonds and a kicking 4-ingredient tomato-balsamic dressing.


Units Scale


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
  • 4 cups finely chopped kale
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 cucumber deseeded and diced
  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced or diced
  • 1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries



  • 2 large tomatoes (2 cups diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar



  1. Cook the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa and add it to a medium saucepan with 2 cups of vegetable broth. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer the quinoa for 15 minutes until the quinoa is tender and the broth is absorbed.
  2. Make the dressing. Add the tomatoes, garlic, Dijon mustard, and balsamic vinegar to a blender or food processor. Blend the ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust the mustard or balsamic vinegar. Add salt or black pepper if desired. Transfer the dressing to a small bowl if you are using it later.
  3. Cool the quinoa. Remove the tender cooked quinoa from the heat. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Allow it to cool for a few minutes to prevent the vegetables from wilting when the salad is mixed.
  4. Finish the salad. In a large bowl, add the veggies, quinoa, and dressing. Combine and then add the cranberries and almonds. Serve and enjoy!



  • Rinsing quinoa before cooking helps reduce any bitter flavor. Older quinoa and different types (white, red, black) may have differences in cooking time. Cook the quinoa until tender, and add more water if needed.
  • Spinach or other salad greens can be used in place of kale. Because they are less sturdy, you may want to add the dressing right before serving.
  • Deseeding cucumbers helps keep them crisper and may soothe sensitive stomachs. Cut the cucumber into 2 pieces, then cut the pieces lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. You do not need to peel cucumbers; however if you, peel them before removing the seeds.
  • If you need a substitute for balsamic vinegar, consider red wine vinegar with ½ a teaspoon of maple syrup or date paste if you want it sweeter. 


Keywords: cranberry quinoa salad, tomato balsamic dressing, kale quinoa salad, gluten-free