This Low Sodium Kale Quinoa Salad with Oranges, Pomegranate and Goat Cheese is your new favorite thing! Sweet, tart, crunchy, creamy – it has it all!
Say hello to your new favorite fall salad! This Low Sodium Kale Quinoa Salad with Oranges, Pomegranate & Goat Cheese is hearty, healthy, and delicious. Kale and quinoa are a delightful pair, a superfoods duo that combine to create a filling salad that tastes even better the day after it’s made. Allowing the salad to rest in the fridge for a few hours or overnight softens the kale and gives the flavors plenty of time to blend in the most delicious way. The best part — one serving contains only 54 mg of sodium!
I enjoy a big bowl of this salad on its own for a nourishing lunch, and it can accommodate sliced grilled or roasted chicken or shrimp for a protein boost. I make this salad throughout pomegranate season. I love the combined crunch of the kale and the pomegranate arils, whose bright, bold color make this salad picture-perfect.
Mise en Place
Here’s what you’ll need to make this salad.
White Wine Vinegar
Salt Free Seasoning
How to Make Low Sodium Kale Quinoa Salad with Oranges, Pomegranates & Goat Cheese
This salad is delicious year-round, but it makes an excellent holiday side dish, not just for its incredible flavor and beautiful colors. All of the components can be prepped ahead of time for assembly just before serving. I like to mix this salad with everything except the goat cheese up to one day before serving. This allows the flavors to develop and softens the kale, so it’s not tough to chew. Here’s how to make it.
- Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a small pot. Reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook until quinoa is fluffy. Remove from heat and let sit with the lid on for another 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set aside to cool.
- Mix all dressing ingredients, except olive oil, together in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil in a slow, steady stream until dressing is evenly-mixed. Set aside.
- Place chopped kale in a large bowl. Add orange segments, half the pomegranate seeds, red onion, and quinoa. Add dressing and use tongs to toss until salad is well-mixed and evenly coated in dressing. Sprinkle with goat cheese and remaining pomegranate arils. Cover and store in the fridge if not serving right away.
Variations on a Delicious Theme
This salad is full of all the things I crave in fall and winter; a salad made hearty with quinoa and the bright flavors of citrus and pomegranates. I make this primarily with mandarin oranges because they’re sweet, seedless, and easy to peel, but chopped grapefruit would make a tasty alternative. Whatever citrus you use, remove as much of the pith, the white membrane just inside the peel of citrus fruits, as possible. It has a bitter taste that will overpower the other flavors in your salad.
I like to mix this salad up by tossing in a handful or two of toasted nuts or seeds. I love the crunch toasted walnuts, pepitas, or sunflower seeds add.
Low Sodium Kale Quinoa Salad with Oranges, Pomegranates & Goat Cheese FAQs
Do I have to chop the kale?
This is a step you don’t want to skip! Instead of massaging oil into chopped kale, I like to chop it finely, so it’s tender. Once it’s finely chopped, the kale will soften faster once you add the dressing.
Do I have to use Dijon mustard in the dressing?
No, the mustard is 100% optional. I like the flavor a little Dijon mustard adds to salad dressings but depending on your sodium limits, you may not want to use your mgs on a bit of mustard, which can be high in sodium.
What’s the best way to cut a pomegranate?
Use a sharp knife to cut the crown off the pomegranate, then score the skin of the pomegranate from top to bottom all around the fruit, being careful not to cut it through the skin. Use your thumbs to pull the fruit apart. It should separate easily along the shallow cuts you made in the skin. Click here to watch a how-to video.