Blood Orange Avocado Quinoa & Kale Salad

This flavorful blood orange avocado quinoa & kale salad proves that some salads are anything but bland. Loaded with flavor and full of nutritious ingredients, it makes for a super satisfying lunch or quick dinner. To round out the meal, feel free to mix in your favorite cooked beans or serve with grilled chicken or shrimp on top.

blood orange avocado quinoa & kale salad in a glass bowl

This website is devoted to baking, but from time to time, we enjoy sharing savory recipes for lunches and dinners too. Some of our favorite salads are published including this strawberry bacon salad, a Southwestern chopped chicken saladand this kale pesto salad. These salads, along with many of our savory recipes, are what we serve most often at home and we love the fact that these dishes make it onto your tables too!


Tell Me About This Blood Orange Avocado Quinoa & Kale Salad

  • Flavor: This salad is a smorgasbord of flavor. Together, nutrient-dense kale and quinoa create a robust base for creamy avocado and homemade blood orange vinaigrette. It becomes this giant citrusy and creamy foundation on which we load even more goodies such as walnuts (I used candied walnuts), blue cheese, and chopped blood orange.
  • Texture: While the flavors are unbelievable, the texture of the salad may be your favorite part. The cellulose in the kale breaks down, and the super tender leaves then soak up the flavor of the blood orange vinaigrette, blue cheese, and avocado. Quinoa adds substance, so this is a very hearty and satisfying salad.
  • Ease: This is a very simple dish and actually tastes best if you prepare it ahead of time. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, make the dressing, and then toss them together.
  • Time: Set aside about 15 minutes to prepare it.

blood orange avocado quinoa & kale salad on a white serving plate

blood oranges

Choosing the Right Ingredients

  1. Moro blood oranges: If you’ve never had a Moro blood orange before, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how naturally sweet they taste. Moro blood oranges are usually the most colorful of the blood oranges, but you can use any blood orange OR regular orange when preparing this recipe. I always enjoy baking/cooking with blood oranges because they add so much natural bright color. We’ll use blood oranges (or regular oranges) in the dressing, too.
  2. Avocado: Creamy, ripe avocado makes such a tasty addition to this salad. Sometimes when I’m mixing all the ingredients, I’ll mash the avocado into the kale leaves.
  3. Blue cheese: If blue cheese isn’t your favorite, use something like gorgonzola, feta, or goat cheese.
  4. Walnuts: I usually use store-bought candied walnuts for this particular recipe, but you can use regular walnuts, homemade candied nutspecans, or almonds. No matter which you use, chop them up before adding to the dish. You can also use sunflower seeds. You’ll enjoy the crunch of nuts or seeds in each bite.
  5. Blood orange vinaigrette: Let’s talk about this pink blood orange vinaigrette. Ditch anything store-bought because NOTHING compares to its fresh flavor. We’re combining olive oil, white wine vinegar, blood orange juice, lemon juice, honey, sea salt, and pepper. Shake it all up and pour on top. We make this homemade salad dressing often and use it on nearly any salad. It’s a tasty marinade for chicken, too.
  6. Add some protein: To round out the meal, feel free to mix in your favorite cooked beans such as black beans or chickpeas or serve with grilled chicken or shrimp on top.

salad ingredients in a glass bowl before mixing

pouring dressing onto blood orange avocado quinoa & kale salad in a glass bowl

blood orange avocado quinoa & kale salad in a glass bowl

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blood orange avocado quinoa & kale salad in a glass bowl

Blood Orange Avocado Quinoa & Kale Salad

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This flavorful blood orange avocado quinoa & kale salad is loaded with flavor and full of nutritious ingredients. To round out the meal, feel free to mix in your favorite cooked beans or serve with grilled chicken or shrimp on top.


Ingredients

Salad

  • 4 cups finely chopped kale (ribs removed)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (about 2/3 cup dry)
  • 3 medium blood oranges, peeled and chopped*
  • 1 avocado, peeled, cored and diced
  • 5 oz blue cheese, crumbled
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts*

Blood Orange Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh blood orange juice*
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the salad ingredients into a large bowl. Sometimes I do this with my hands to really mash up that avocado and massage it into the kale leaves.
  2. For the dressing: Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together– or use a food processor. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat everything evenly. Sometimes I don’t use ALL the dressing– use however much you’d like. Store leftover dressing in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  3. Serve immediately. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Notes

  1. Blood Oranges: We usually use Moro blood oranges, but any blood oranges work. They are generally available in most grocery stores December through mid-April. You could also use regular oranges in this salad and dressing, too.
  2. Walnuts: I usually use store-bought candied walnuts, but you can use regular walnuts, homemade candied nuts, pecans, or almonds. No matter which you use, chop them up before adding to the dish. You can also use sunflower seeds.

Keywords: blood orange kale salad, avocado quinoa salad

10 Comments

  1. Hi, Sally! I love kale salads for lunch! Question: do you think a grapefruit would work in place of the oranges? I know it wouldn’t be nearly as sweet, but I’m on a mega grapefruit kick right now and have a ton on hand! 

    1. Oh my gosh that’d be DELICIOUS! I’m trying that the next time I make this. Let me know how you like it Katie!

  2. I love the blood orange & avocado in salad! What a creative combination! Im very tempted to try this tonight!

  3. Just made this salad to bring to work for lunch this week and it is so delicious I want to eat it all right now! Thanks Sally! 

  4. I just made this (with regular oranges) and it was delicious!!! I never thought it was possible to crave kale, but I can’t wait to finish it off. 🙂 Thanks, Sally!

  5. Will the avocados brown if I make it a day ahead of time for s party? Should I doak them in the blood orange juice or lemon?

    1. I’d soak them in lemon juice before adding.

  6. This was absolutely delicious! Made this for dinner last night and added some grilled shrimp. Direct quote from husband, “This was the best dinner I’ve had in a long time, or ever!”

    1. I LOVE the addition of shrimp!

  7. I made this after seeing Sally post this on IG. I had some avocados that needed to be used and I just adore kale-quinoa salads and really like blood oranges. This is a lovely mix of flavors and textures. Always looking for a fresh option in the depth of winter so this really hit the spot. Would definitely make again.

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