A fresh, zesty, and wholesome Kale Orange and Feta Salad with quinoa, chickpeas and a creamy feta yoghurt dressing. This salad is deliciously vegan, gluten-free and high protein.
When the sum comes out (even if only for a little bit) I automatically crave fresher, lighter but filling and wholesome meals. That’s where a salad comes in, but these are balanced, nourishing and soulful salads that will feeling you feeling full, content and happy with the rainbow of goodness you’ve just delighted in.
Why will I love this Kale Orange and Feta Salad?
This salad is a winner on so many levels, it’s:
Fresh, zesty and vibrant
Nourishing, wholesome and filling
Packed with a vibrant array of crunchy vegetables
Filled with quinoa for wholegrain fibre
Got lots of plump chickpeas for protein
Tossed in a light but creamy and tangy dressing
Great to meal prep, to make for picnics or lunchboxes
Naturally vegan, gluten-free and nut-free
If you already love the sound of this salad, skip ahead to the recipe card below. Or, first let’s discuss the recipe in more detail.
What ingredients do I need?
For the salad we need:
Quinoa: or another grain of choice like buckwheat, brown rice, amaranth, bulgur wheat or couscous (the final two are not gluten-free).
Kale: de-stem the kale and roughly chop it up before a quick massage with a pinch of salt. This helps to wilt the leaves which starts the digestion process making it easier for our bodies to digest.
Satsumas or oranges: either are great here even though it’s called an orange salad. If they are in season, you can use blood oranges but clementines, easy peelers or other oranges are also great.
Cucumbers: when I can find them I love to use baby cucumbers but any cucumber will do. These are great at adding crunch to the salad.
Chickpeas: for protein and fibre to keep this Kale Orange and Feta Salad balanced and nourishing. I love to add the chickpeas straight from the can (drain them and save the water known as aquafaba for frostings and hummus). If you prefer you can use cannellini beans or butterbeans.
Vegan feta cheese: there are a few vegan feta-style cheeses today so use your favourite one. They crumble just like “regular” feta cheese and add that salty, savoury tang to the salad base.
Pink pickles or sauerkraut: for some gut-health goodness on top. You can make your pink pickles easily in 2 minutes following my recipe here or add on some shop-bought (or homemade) sauerkraut.
Mixed seeds: I always have to add some crunch on top of a salad for texture. Use whatever seeds you have, they can be raw or roasted or part of a seedy snack mix.
Lime wedges: for garnish and then you can squeeze them over the salad just before eating or a final flair.
Onto the dressing, this is so easy as you add all the ingredients to a jar and give it a good shake:
Thick coconut yoghurt: Cocos Organic is my favourite brand to use as the ingredients are so naturally and it’s packed with gut healthy ingredients. This replaces the need for any mayonnaise or sour cream that you may find in other salad dressings.
Olive oil: where you can use an extra virgin olive oil or good quality olive oil as this adds a lot of flavour – even though it’s only 1 tbsp.
Lemon juice: for zest and zing. This can also be lime juice, if you prefer.
Garlic: for flavour and heat. You can use fresh garlic or garlic granules, depending on what you prefer.
Maple syrup: to balance out the acidity in the dressing.
Chopped chive: I love adding chive to salads, it’s such an under-used herb. If you prefer, you can also use fresh mint, coriander or parsley.
Plant based milk: only if needed to thin out the dressing, this will depend on the thickness of the yoghurt you use and how thick or thin you like your dressings.
Vegan feta cheese: as above, use your preferred vegan feta-style cheese which adds so much flavour and texture into the dressing.
Salt and pepper: it is really important to season the dressing as this adds so much flavour although check the saltiness beforehand as feta cheese can be quite salty.
How do I make this Kale Orange and Feta Salad?
The method is really easy and it’s ready in 15 minutes:
Cook the quinoa: according to packet instructions or use pre-cooked (you will need about 200g of pre-cooked quinoa).
Massage the kale: to help the leaves wilt.
Prepare all the salad components: chopping, slicing and crumbling so everything is ready to go.
Add all the dressing ingredients to a jar or bowl: add on a lid and shake or stir till combined. This is not a smooth dressing as there are crumbles of feta cheese but the rest of the dressing will be mixed up.
Toss it all together: and top with extra feta, the pickles, seeds and lime wedges.
Serve in one large or two smaller bowls: and enjoy straight away.
How long will this salad keep?
You can make this salad to keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 1-2 days and just before serving I like to squeeze over the lime wedges and toss it all together again.
Is this salad gluten-free and nut-free?
Yes the recipe is gluten-free (if you swap the quinoa for another grain, please make sure it’s gluten-free like buckwheat, rice or amaranth). This is nut-free but please check your feta cheese, yoghurt and milk do not contain any nuts.
I love this salad, what else can I make?
I hope you are going to love this salad and for more fresh and summery recipes, how about my:
Fresh, zesty, and wholesome Kale Orange and Feta Salad with quinoa, chickpeas and a creamy feta yoghurt dressing. This salad is deliciously vegan, gluten-free and high protein.
For the Salad:
50g kale, shredded
2 satsumas, peeled and chopped
2 small cucumbers (or ¼ regular cucumber), chopped small
½ tin chickpeas (drained weight 120g)
20g vegan feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp pink pickles or sauerkraut
1 tbsp mixed seeds
1 tsp fresh chopped chive
For the Dressing:
50g thick coconut yoghurt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic, peeled and crushed (or ¼ tsp garlic granules)
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp fresh chopped chive
1-2 tbsp plant-based milk, if needed
30g vegan feta cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper
Cook the quinoa according to packet instructions, drain and leave to cool.
Prepare all the ingredients for the salad. Add the kale to a bowl with a pinch of salt and massage for 1 minute to wilt the leaves.
For the dressing, add all the ingredients to a glass jar with a lid. Seal the jar and shake to mix up the dressing, or stir together in a bowl.
To assemble the salad, add the quinoa, kale, satsumas, cucumber and cucumber to a bowl. Toss with the dressing and serve topped with the crumble feta, pink pickles, mixed seeds, extra chive and lime wedges.
Eat straight away or keep leftovers for 1-2 days in the fridge in a sealed container.
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I look forward to hearing what you think of this Kale Orange and Feta Salad so please let me know in the comments below. If you do make this salad, I’d love to see it so please tag me, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest – please say hello!