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Kale and Quinoa Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and Pepitas

When we moved a few months ago some friends of ours delivered dinner to us on moving night. They brought us a vegan veggie soup and a kale and quinoa salad that we are now obsessed with. These friends of ours are kale salad connoisseurs and after years of eating kale salads from restaurants all over town, they have created this at-home version that is a staple in their household. And now it’s a staple in ours!

They gave me a general overview of their method and I’ve taken it and put my own spin on it. This is one of those casual recipes where exact measurements aren’t really necessary so feel free to add and take away as desired.

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and Pepitas

One of the best things about this recipe is that it just keeps getting better as it sits in the fridge and doesn’t get soggy. I like to make it early in the week and then have it on hand for easy lunches. It’s also delicious for dinner with or without the chickpeas topped with chicken or salmon and for brunch topped with a fried egg.

tessemae's zesty ranch

Before you get too excited, I do have to tell you that the secret ingredient is this DELICIOUS organic zesty ranch dressing from Tessemae’s so be sure to pick some up at the store or order it online if you want to try this salad.

Step one is to cook your quinoa and preheat the oven for the chickpeas.

roasted chickpeas

You can season your chickpeas with a simple mix of salt and pepper or get more creative and add chili powder or garlic powder or whatever other seasoning sounds good to you.

roasted pepitas

Same goes with the pepitas. Salt and pepper or chili powder, cayenne, garlic powder, whatever!

roasted chickpeas

All roasted up and crispy!

lacinto kale

While the quinoa and chickpeas cook, clean and cut the kale. I like to roll it up and cut it into little strips. Also, I only use tuscan/lacinto kale in this recipe. I do not like curly kale in kale salads but you can try it.

massaged kale

Massaging kale is a great hand strengthening exercise! I rub it down with olive oil, sea salt and lemon juice.

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and Pepitas

And then you just throw it all in a bowl and mix together with a heavy drizzle of the Tessemae’s Zesty Ranch. Taste as you go and add as necessary. You can also add a sprinkle of parmesan if you’d like.

I hope this kale and quinoa salad becomes a staple for you as well! Let me know if you try it. 🙂

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and Pepitas

From at

Prep: Cook: Yield: 6-8 servingsTotal:

A kale and quinoa salad with roasted chickpeas, pepitas and zesty ranch.

You'll Need...

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bunches of lacinto/tuscan kale, washed, de-stemmed and cut into strips
  • Lemon wedges
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas
  • Tessemae's Zesty Ranch
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, seasoning salt, garlic powder, chili powder, seasoning of choice


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep chickpeas by draining, rinsing and patting dry with a paper towel. Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper or seasoning of choice. Place chickpeas in oven and let roast for 20-30 minutes, shaking the pan every 5 minutes or so, until crispy and browned.
  2. Bring one cup of quinoa, two cups of water (you can also use chicken or veggie stock) and a dash of salt to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to very low. Cook 15 minutes.
  3. While quinoa and chickpeas are cooking, prep pepitas by placing them in a small roasting pan or oven-safe skillet. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste. These will only roast in the oven for about 5-7 minutes. Check them often and make sure they don't burn!
  4. Prep kale by washing well and then de-stemming and chopping. I like to use my salad spinner to remove as much moisture as possible before massaging. To massage kale, place it in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of salt. (A couple tablespoons of olive oil and the juice of 1/4-1/2 lemon.) Massage using your hands until the kale is soft and reduced in volume.
  5. Once everything is done, combine in a bowl and then add your Tessemae's Zesty Ranch. Start with about 1/3 cup and add from there. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can also finish the salad off with grated parmesan if you wish.

Additional Notes

Salad keeps in the fridge in an airtight container for several days.

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Rebecca June 16, 2017, 10:55 am

    I actually have all the ingredients for this right now except for the chickpeas! I will definitely be making this soon.

    • Jen June 19, 2017, 11:57 am

      let me know if you try it! 🙂

      • Rebecca July 24, 2017, 10:02 am

        OK I’ve made this a couple of times now and it is great! I never could find that brand of dressing, but honestly I felt like the olive oil and lemon was enough of a “dressing” for me! I ended up roasting the chickpeas with black pepper, salt, smoked paprika and roasted garlic powder. YUM!

  • Amanda @amanda-isms June 18, 2017, 4:45 pm

    Oh this looks so good!! And such a perfect summer meal 🙂

    • Jen June 19, 2017, 11:56 am

      Yes, the more salads the better during the summer!

  • Amanda June 18, 2017, 8:19 pm

    I made this for a Father’s Day BBQ tonight. What a hit!!! Finding the dressing was difficult but WORTH it!

    • Jen June 19, 2017, 11:56 am

      YAY! Happy to hear this!

  • karen June 20, 2017, 3:48 pm

    any suggestions where I could find this dressing, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Fresh Market, etc. Thanks Dying to try this recipe

    • Jen June 23, 2017, 7:37 am

      i have purchased it at whole foods and fresh market! 🙂

  • Nikki June 24, 2017, 3:39 pm

    Just made this – amazing!! Thanks, as always, for sharing such a delicious recipe.

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