Autumn Kale and Quinoa Salad with Chutney Dressing

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A hearty kale and quinoa salad filled with crisp vegetables, juicy grapes, and cashews in a fruity, savory chutney dressing.

Ever since I discovered cooked quinoa in the freezer section at Whole Foods, I’ve been adding to my salads to boost protein and nutrients. It’s a huge timesaver, and I love the texture it adds and how readily it soaks up flavorful salad dressings. This kale and quinoa salad is full of fall veggies – like crisp celery, bell pepper, and shredded carrots – as well as juicy grapes and roasted cashews, but what makes it really shine is the fruity, savory dressing made with mango chutney and curry powder. It would make anything taste good!

Feel free to swap out any of the veggies with whatever you have on hand or replace the grapes with diced apples, dried cherries, or cranberries. You’ll find that the salad is hearty as is, but to make it even more filling, you can add chickpeas to the mix. Finally, because kale is so hearty and won’t wilt like most greens, this is an excellent salad to make ahead or keep in the fridge for weekday lunches.

What You’ll Need: Autumn Kale & Quinoa Salad with Chutney Dressing

quinoa salad ingredientsTo cut down on prep time, you can buy the kale, quinoa, and carrots already prepared.  However, note that the kale that comes washed and prepped in a bag still needs to be chopped into smaller pieces, and some thick stems need to be removed.

Step-by-Step Instructions

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the lemon juice, chutney, honey, garlic, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Gradually add the olive oil, whisking to emulsify.

whisked chutney dressing in mixing bowl

Add the kale, quinoa, carrots, bell pepper, celery, grapes, and cilantro to the dressing.

adding quinoa and veggies to dressing

Toss until the ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing.

tossed quinoa salad

Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or until ready to serve (up to 1 day ahead). Right before serving, mix in the cashews.

adding cashews to quinoa salad before serving

Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, before serving.

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Autumn Kale and Quinoa Salad with Chutney Dressing

A hearty kale and quinoa salad filled with crisp vegetables, juicy grapes, and cashews in a fruity, savory chutney dressing.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes, plus 15 minutes chilling time

Ingredients

For the Dressing

  • 3-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, from 1 to 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons store-bought mango chutney
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the Salad

  • 4 cups chopped kale (thick stems/ribs removed)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (I buy it frozen; see note)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots, from 2 to 3 carrots
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper, from 1 pepper
  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery, from 1 to 2 celery stalks
  • 1 cup grapes, halved
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 2/3 cup roasted salted cashews

Instructions

  1. For the Dressing: In a large mixing bowl, whisk the lemon juice, chutney, honey, garlic, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Gradually add the olive oil, whisking to emulsify.
  2. For the Salad: Add the kale, quinoa, carrots, bell pepper, celery, grapes, and cilantro (if using) to the dressing. Toss until the ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or until ready to serve (up to 1 day ahead). Right before serving, mix in the cashews. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, before serving.
  3. Note: If you are cooking the quinoa, you'll need about 2/3 cup raw quinoa. Rinse and cook the quinoa according to package directions.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 545
  • Fat: 33 g
  • Saturated fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 58 g
  • Sugar: 27 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Sodium: 505 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • I just made this and it came out great! Super flavorful and healthy. My daughter even liked it and she keeps telling me she doesn’t like quinoa. I doubled it so I could share it with my friends.

    • — Lisa on October 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • This was sooo good! I loved the hint of curry in the tangy sweet dressing. I used apples in place of grapes and it turned out great. My store bought mango chutney was pretty sweet so I only added a little bit of honey. I think this will be my go to lunch because it’s so easy and can be made ahead. Maybe I will add some chickpeas next time to make it more of a meal 🙂
    Thank you again for another wonderful recipe!

    • — Ak-mama on October 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • I inadvertently used farro rather than quinoa; the flavors were amazing (as are the flavors in all your recipes I’ve tried … which are a lot!). This is absolutely a keeper. It’s like eating a salad at a ‘hip’ restaurant, but without breaking the bank. Great with grilled chicken or shrimp on top. Thank you, Jen for another terrific recipe.

    • — Diana on October 13, 2021
    • Reply
  • This salad is another “keeper” from the vault of my favorite blogger! I’m a big fan of Indian food so you had me at mango chutney and curry! Every crunch brings out a different flavor. And it has staying power because kale is so sturdy so it’s a meal that keeps on giving. And being a vegetarian, I’m getting my protein via the quinoa. A win!
    And congrats on the new cookbook. Lots of faves in it but some great new ones to make.

    • — Kitty Connor on October 12, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kitty,

      I too love all the recipes I have tried from Jenn. I will try this one today. Since you said you love Indian I wanted to share my favorite Indian chef’s website: myheartbeets.com
      Her recipes are delicious and I highly recommend making her onion masala and freezing it because it goes into many of her recipes and will cut the time making those dishes.

      • — Lisa on October 14, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made this salad for our Canadian Thanksgiving yesterday and it was a great hit. Loved the various items for the salad and the dressing made it come together.

    • — Ann Dowling on October 11, 2021
    • Reply
  • We just celebrated our Canadian Thanksgiving and this was a hit! I made the dressing w/o the honey and found it was perfect without

    • — Jackie M on October 11, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn
    How long will this salad keep in the fridge?
    Can’t wait to try it

    • — Melissa on October 10, 2021
    • Reply
    • I think it’s best for the first day or two, but it will last a few days longer in the fridge. Hope you enjoy it!

      • — Jenn on October 11, 2021
      • Reply
  • Just wow!!! What an incredible blend of flavors and textures in this salad. It all works so well together. We all keep going back for one more bite. Thanks for the outstanding recipe

    • — AnnieL on October 7, 2021
    • Reply
  • This salad is gorgeous! Although there is a fair amount of slicing, this salad is worth it: absolutely delicious. I received rave reviews from 7 guests, first time around. I shall be making this salad again and again.

    • — nancy mintz on October 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this to last for a couple days’ worth of working-at-home lunches and it’s SO delicious! Forgot to grab a red bell pepper at the store, but didn’t miss it. The combo of the curry/chutney flavor with the sweet/juicy grapes and crunch of the quinoa and nuts couldn’t be better. Thanks, Jen, for another winner! (It was a double Once Upon a Chef day yesterday – this for lunch and your Thai Red Curry Chicken for dinner.)

    • — Emily on October 6, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have read all the reviews and questions related to this recipe. You have recommended using romaine or mixed greens in case a person wants to substitute kale for other greens. My question is: do romaine lettuce or mixed greens wilt quickly as compared to kale?

    • — Mindy S. on October 6, 2021
    • Reply
    • Yes, they are not as sturdy as kale, so if you use mixed greens, I’d serve the salad right away so the lettuce doesn’t wilt. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on October 7, 2021
      • Reply
  • This recipe looks awesome but am having trouble finding Mango Chutney. Is that in jelly aisle (couldn’t find there)? Was it at a particular store? Thanks for all your wonderful recipes. I’m making this with your butternut squash soup and pumpkin cornbread muffins as a dinner for a neighbor who very recently lost her husband. Good food = love!!!

    • — Becky Sankey on October 5, 2021
    • Reply
    • Yes, good food does equal love, and what you’re preparing sounds like a delicious fall meal! Mango chutney can typically be found in the international aisle along with Indian foods. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on October 6, 2021
      • Reply
      • Thank you! I also couldn’t find chutney at the store. I used peach-mango preserves instead and it was still delicious! Can’t wait to try it with the chutney.

        • — Vic on October 7, 2021
        • Reply
        • Good to know – that does sound like a good alternative – thanks for sharing it! 🙂

          • — Jenn on October 7, 2021
          • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious! I also tried it with Trader Joe’s Mango-Ginger chutney and it’s yummy. I added some snap peas and the shredded broccoli they have at TJ’s as well. My husband loved it too! This one’s a winner!!

    • — Jen M. on October 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen! Absolutely LOVE all of your recipes! And, I’m certain I’ll love this one! BUT, wanted to let you know that sadly, Trader Joe’s no longer carries the plain frozen quinoa! Not that that will stop me..still on my menu schedule for this week! Looks super yummy! Once again, thanks for all your fabulous ideas!

    • — Sharon Goetchius on October 3, 2021
    • Reply
    • Oh no! Thank you for letting me know, Sharon – I will update!

      • — Jenn on October 4, 2021
      • Reply
    • Hey Jenn! Just an update! Found the quinoa in the freezer at Whole Foods (after I made my own..but so not a big deal!)! Hope that saves you a ‘research’ step!

      • — Sharon Goetchius on October 4, 2021
      • Reply
      • 👍

        • — Jenn on October 4, 2021
        • Reply
        • OMG!!!! As are ALL of your recipes..this is amazing!!!! I used dried cherries and cranberries instead of the grapes…and a mix of red and white quinoa (Trader Joe’s) …reminds me of a salad I had a local restaurant this summer! Can’t wait for dinner tonight!

          • — Sharon Goetchius on October 5, 2021
          • Reply
    • My first time making this salad —delicious, and the dressing, what a surprise. Will be making this again. Thanks for recipe. Bought your book from Amazon.ca, wonderful.

      • — T. Butler, Canada on October 13, 2021
      • Reply
    • I found plain prepared quinoa in the rice aisle, by “Minute” (like Minute Rice). It’s in two 1-cup containers. Because my supermarket doesn’t have plain frozen quinoa, they’re all mixed with seasonings and veggies. I’m trying the salad tomorrow!

      • — Laurie on October 14, 2021
      • Reply
  • I didn’t like kale until I had a certain side from a popular fast food chain that sells chicken… only a couple of weeks later, this recipe came across my inbox. I thought “okay, I’ll bite” and added the ingredients I didn’t have on hand to my next grocery list. this recipe is *omg* good! like wow tuck this away, along with the rest of the website, in my forever list. the merriment of sweet, salty, acidic and wholesome leaves you wanting more even though this rich salad is more than satisfying as a light dinner. excuse my run on sentence–I loved it!

    tldr; yeah, make the salad. (I even added the cashews early because I like them a little chewy, but that’s a preference)

    • — Olivia on October 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • Not a fan of kale BUT this salad has made me a convert – it was really amazing; shared it and got the same reaction to skeptics! Easy to make ahead of time and even though I didn’t have the cashews I can’t imagine it being any better!! Makes a nice size and as Jen said, leftovers will be terrific. Thanks so much for developing that dressing that works perfectly. I never fear trying your recipes. They ALWAYS work and your TWO cookbooks are my #1 go-to sources for every dish.

    • — Judi on October 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, Can bulgar be used instead of quinoa, and would I use the same amount as raw quinoa? Thanks Jenn. Love all your recipes. Sharon

    • — Sharon on October 1, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, Sharon, I think you could use bulgur here. I’m not certain exactly how much you’d need — I’d look on the back of the package to see how much uncooked bulgur you need to use to end up with two cooks 2 cups of cooked grain. Please LMK how it turns out with the bulgur!

      • — Jenn on October 3, 2021
      • Reply
  • DELICIOUS! I had to try this yesterday as soon as I saw it in my inbox and it did not disappoint! Amazing combination of flavours . . . . we had it over steamed broccoli in a bowl and there was not a speck left! 😋 Thanks, Jenn, for another outstanding salad recipe.

    • — Corinne on October 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn:

    I have a lot of smoked almonds on hand – will those work instead of cashews?

    thanks.

    • — KC on September 30, 2021
    • Reply
    • Yep 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 30, 2021
      • Reply
  • I wanted to make this salad for lunch, so I asked my teenage daughter, who is not a particular fan of either curry or quinoa, if she would be up for trying it. With an eye roll and a big smile she said yes. When we sat down to eat it, I asked her what she thought and she responded, “Mom, this is solid.” And, said she would eat it again. High compliments all around:).

    The combination of flavors, textures, and colors take this salad to the next level! DELICIOUS!!

    I only had Trader Joe’s mango ginger chutney, but figured the ginger would go well with the other flavors. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly as written.

    Thank you, Jenn for another great recipe.

    • — Meghan Lang on September 30, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad to hear the mango-ginger chutney worked! That’s all I have on hand and I just prepped this to bring to a work potluck tomorrow.

      • — Adrienne on October 1, 2021
      • Reply
  • What other spice could you use in place of the curry?
    Thanks,

    PS – making your apple cake for dinner tonight. It’s a favorite with my family

    • — Kathy on September 30, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathy, I think garam masala would be wonderful.

      • — Jenn on September 30, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    This looks delicious. How long do you think it would last in the fridge if I’m meal prepping/planning?

    Thank you!

    Kristen Berry

    • — Kristen Berry on September 30, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kristin, I would make this one day ahead for best results, but it will keep well for several days. Just add the cashews right before serving so they don’t get soggy. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 30, 2021
      • Reply
    • Hi Jenn,

      Can’t wait to try this! Can you recommend another type of greens instead of kale to use in this salad? Many thanks and love all your recipes!

      • — Doreen on September 30, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi Doreen, Romaine or a combo of romaine and mixed greens would work nicely, but the salad would need to be served immediately, as these greens will start to wilt once dressed.

        • — Jenn on September 30, 2021
        • Reply
  • What do you think about adding shrimp to the salad? It sounds like a fantastic taste.

    • — Janie on September 30, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Janie, I think shrimp would make a delicious addition. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on September 30, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn!
        I would love to make this and I wanted to know if there is any other green vegetable that I could use instead of kale? A type of lettuce perhaps? Thanks!

        • — Sarah on September 30, 2021
        • Reply
        • Hi Sarah, You could use romaine or any other mixed green but you’d need to eat it right after tossing it with the dressing so the lettuce doesn’t wilt. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it with a different green!

          • — Jenn on October 1, 2021
          • Reply

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