Honey Lime Kale and Quinoa Salad

By Updated on

This hearty Kale and Quinoa Salad with honey lime dressing is packed with healthy ingredients, super filling from a combination of quinoa and edamame, and tossed with the most delicious honey lime dressing.

322 CAL 45g CARBS 13g FAT 13g PROTEIN
Leave a Comment

This delicious Honey Lime Kale and Quinoa Salad is packed with kale, quinoa, edamame, apples, and pumpkin seeds with the most amazing honey lime dressing. Trust me, this salad tastes even better than it looks.

I am a major fan of kale salads and this recipe is for sure one of my all-time favorites. I typically favor big, voluminous salads packed with a variety of delicious toppings. I gravitate towards mixing and matching colors or textures in my toppings to spice things up a little.

This one is filled with fresh veggies, apples, and dried cranberries for some tartness and sweetness. It also includes edamame for additional protein. Plus, quinoa to add some hearty whole grains to the dish. Quinoa is one of my favorite ingredients to add to salads and is so good for you. To learn even more about the amazing health benefits of adding this superfood to your meals, additional cooking tips, and more simple recipes, check out our ultimate guide to quinoa.

Ingredients for kale quinoa salad with cooked quinoa, massaged kale, apples, edamame, honey lime dressing, and more.

What's needed to make a kale and quinoa salad?

  • Kale: Kale is a superfood for a reason, packing in tons of vitamins and minerals in every bite. In fact, kale is a green veggie that truly does pack a nutritional punch and is a great vegetable to add to your diet.
  • Quinoa: When it comes to grains, quinoa is a great option since it is packed with both protein and fiber. In fact, quinoa isn't even technically a grain - it's actually a seed. It cooks quickly and is a great easy way to make a salad more filling.
  • Edamame: When it comes to plant-based protein options, edamame is at the top of the list With 17 grams of protein in every cup, this is a great ingredient for making this kale salad more filling. 
  • Honey: One of my favorite natural sweeteners, honey is high in antioxidants and boasts a ton of health benefits. Raw honey is especially known for its benefits but don’t fear, store-bought organic honey is also as good for you. Honey is a great substitute for sugar if you are trying to cut back on sweets. It is also renowned for its benefits for heart health and lowering cholesterol.
  • Lime Juice: It is versatile and flavorful. I often like to keep lime juice on hand at home to add to drinks, marinades and of course, salad dressings. Lime juice is rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, and known to boost one’s metabolism.
  • Olive Oil: This ingredient should be a staple in everyone’s kitchen. Olive oil has incredible flavor, a variety of different uses, and is packed with health benefits.
  • Dijon Mustard: It is the key to the creamy texture of this to-die-for dressing. Mustard is high in Vitamin A and Omega-3 fatty acids. This ingredient has a ton of benefits, particularly with improving cholesterol levels and strength.

Recipe Tips and Ideas

  • Serve as a side dish: This salad is a great side dish for just about any entree. It is also perfect to include in your next meal-prep as it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.
  • Add protein: Including some extra protein in this already hearty salad is a great way to elevate your meal and remain full for hours. Some potential options are grilled chicken, shrimp, salmon, hard-boiled eggs, or tofu.
  • Switch up the toppings: This recipe calls for toppings such as apples, cucumbers, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds but feel free to substitute any of these to your liking. As mentioned earlier, the honey-lime dressing on this salad tastes incredible with just about anything. Avocado would be a great topping in terms of taste and good fat intake. I recommend getting creative with seasonal toppings as well!
  • Mix and match your greens: Mix in different greens such as spinach, arugula, or romaine for added texture in your salad. Also, if kale isn’t your thing, any of these greens would make a great substitute in this salad recipe.

How to make kale and quinoa salad including massaged kale, dressing, and tossed kale salad with apples and edamame.

Frequently Asked Questions About this Honey Lime Kale and Quinoa Salad:

Is there a vegan substitute for honey in this recipe?

Maple syrup is a great vegan substitute for honey as they both are similar in texture and sweetness. The flavor will be altered slightly but would still taste delicious! If that isn’t up your alley, feel free to check out some of our quinoa salad recipes like this yummy Meditteranean Quinoa Salad with Hummus Dressing.

What is the best type of kale to use for this salad?

Both dinosaur kale and curly kale work well for this recipe. I typically prefer to use dinosaur kale since I like the flavor and texture that it adds to this salad. Curly kale is a bit tougher in terms of texture. Baby kale can also be used but it has a texture more similar to spinach.

Can you eat raw kale in salads?

You can definitely use raw kale for this salad recipe. Raw kale is packed with nutrients and great for maintaining a healthy diet. Although, if raw kale does not satisfy your taste buds, feel free to boil, braise, steam, or saute your kale. Just remember not to do so for too long otherwise the vegetable will be too moist to mix well with the rest of the ingredients for this salad. The recommended time to boil or steam kale is up to five minutes.

How do you make kale taste less bitter for salad?

Massaging your kale before rinsing is a must to ensure that it will taste less bitter. If you are slicing up the kale as well for your salad, be sure to do so prior to massaging and rinsing the kale. This step may seem slightly tedious to do before the rest of your preparation but is a must to attain your desired flavor.

Quinoa and kale salad with honey lime dressing, apples, cooked quinoa, edamame, and dried cranberries.

More Healthy Kale Salad Recipes

The Recipe
Honey lime kale and quinoa salad with sliced apples, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds in a bowl with cooked quinoa on the side.

Honey Lime Kale and Quinoa Salad

322 CAL 45g CARBS 13g FAT 13g PROTEIN
Leave a comment
  • Print
  • Download
  • Send to your inbox


  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup for vegan)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 cups kale
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup shelled edamame
  • 1 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds

Like this Recipe? Try our Meal Plans!

Slender Kitchen Meal Plans
  • Weekly Meal Plans
  • Easy Shopping List
  • Healthy, Low Carb, & Vegetarian
  • Nutritional Information


(Hide Media)

Switch to prevent your screen from going dark.


Mix together the lime juice, olive oil, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper to make the dressing. Massage half the dressing into the kale. Let rest for 10 minutes to soften while you prep the other ingredients.

Massaged kale in a bowl with honey lime dressing.

Toss together the kale with the remaining ingredients and dressing. Season with salt and pepper.

Kale, quinoa, apples, edamame, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds in a bowl.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2.5 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 322
Calories from Fat 115
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 230mg
Total Carbohydrate 45g
Dietary Fiber 8g
Sugars 16g
Protein 13g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

user image
About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Honey Lime Kale and Quinoa Salad
user image
Instagram Icon
Did you make this?

Snap a picture and show us what you made on Instagram or Facebook. Tag us using @SlenderKitchen or #slenderkitchen.