Recipe :: Kale & Quinoa (Gluten Free)

I’ve written about how much I love this Kale & Quinoa recipe I found a couple years back and now it’s my turn to re-write it based on the way I’ve been making it ever since (and so far, everyone who’s tried it wants more and more and more).  It’s the #1 requested dish of mine when I’m with friends and family. It’s healthy. It’s delicious. And once you’ve gotten the hang of it, it’s a cinch to make.  My recipe doesn’t stray far from the link I’ve provided, but I’m here to share with you my tips on preparation and assembly. I believe the success of this dish is in the assembly and that’s what makes my version so incredible (and I don’t mean to brag, but it truly is out of this world).


One more thing to note before I share. My husband has decided to go primarily gluten free for the New Year so I’m working on learning more about what it means to be gluten free. This won’t become some gluten free health blog (and as I told him, I’m still going to eat bread and pizza and drink beer when I’m not pregnant), but I’m happy to accommodate this change and go mostly gluten free with my cooking. Considering how well we eat already, there won’t be too many adjustments to make.

So without further ado…

Kale & Quinoa

Yield ::

4-6 people (or 2-4 people who are obsessed with Kale & Quinoa…we fall into the latter category)

Ingredients ::

  1. 2 cups quinoa
  2. 3 and 3/4 cups water
  3. 2 lemons (zest and juice – approximately 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice)
  4. 3-4 green onions
  5. 1/4 cup olive oil
  6. 4 cups kale
  7. pinenuts, toasted
  8. goat cheese
  9. pepper (to taste)

Process ::

1. Rinse lemons and zest them into a large bowl (get one of these zesting tools if you don’t have one already). Once you’ve zested the lemons, cut them in half, juice both lemons (this tool makes juicing a piece of cake!), and add fresh juice to the bowl. We love lemony food, so I use the juice of both lemons. If you feel like two lemons is too much, start by pouring half the juice into the bowl and you can always adjust/add later.

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2. Chop green onions to desired size. Add them to your bowl.


3. Add olive oil to bowl.  Add pepper to bowl (to taste – we also love pepper so I go a little crazy with it).

IMG_73824. Using a large pan (one like this – make sure you have a lid that fits it!), bring water to a boil.  While water is coming to a boil, measure 2 cups of quinoa (I mix red and white together, mainly for color). Once water has reached a boil, pour in quinoa, stir, reduce to simmer, and cover. Cook for 10 minutes.

IMG_73575. While the quinoa is cooking, toast your pinenuts and set aside.

6. Prep your kale during this time as well. You can use many types of kale, but my two favorites are lacinato kale or the leafy variety you can find pre-washed and pre-cut at practically any grocery store these days. No matter which kale you go with, be sure to remove the stems. They’re edible, I just don’t think they taste that great!


7. Once the quinoa has cooked for 10 minutes, add in the kale and cover again. Cook for 5 minutes.

8. Remove pan from heat and keep covered for another 5 minutes.  Pour kale and quinoa into your bowl with the lemon, green onions, and olive oil. Fold in until everything is thoroughly mixed together.  (at this point, you can also taste to see if you want to add more lemon juice if you left some out)


IMG_73929. Assembly :: Spoon a cup or two of the kale and quinoa onto a plate. Pour desired amount of pinenuts and goat cheese on top (to get the goat cheese in nice little crumbles, use a fork and scrape it off the log).

IMG_7415Important :: do not pour pinenuts or goat cheese into large bowl.  Assemble each plate separately. It may take an extra minute or two, but having the cold goat cheese on top of the warm quinoa tastes amazing.  That, and the quinoa mixture will reheat better over the next couple days. 

For those of you who have kids, I also have to add that this is one of my girl’s favorite meals. I always know that when I make Kale & Quinoa (extra goat cheese for Abby), they will devour every last morsel. The fact that Abby requests “goat cheese & quinoa” makes my heart smile.  Give it a try with your kiddos…I hope they like it as well!

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Last but not least, Kale & Quinoa pairs well with everything :: fish, sausages, steak, an egg on top (yummy!), chicken, etc…you can’t go wrong.

Happy Eating, friends!


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8 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    That looks and sounds great…we’ll give it try for sure.

  2. KiKi says:

    This is the BEST!!!!
    Many family members can’t even stop at seconds…I won’t name names 🙂
    We actually are having it for dinner tonight, thanks to Alison finally writing down the measurements. I am now expecting my batch to taste just like hers 🙂

  3. Starr says:

    This looks SO yummy! I love quinoa, kale and goat cheese independently, so I’m pretty sure this will be a hit! I have a signature quinoa recipe, too. If you like lime and cilantro, you’ll love it!

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