Kale Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Roasted Carrot and Tahini Sauce

This Vegan Kale Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Roasted Carrots and Tahini Sauce is nutritious, filling, and easy to make in 45 minutes.

Healthy bowl with whole roasted carrots, quinoa, kale, pumpkin seeds and tahini dressing drizzled on top.

Why you will love this recipe

If you’re looking for an easy, whole food, plant-based recipe or a beginner-friendly introduction to plant-based eating, this Healthy Kale Quinoa Chickpea Salad is a great option!

Made with just a few simple ingredients, it’s packed with delicious flavors and textures, and is packed with nutrients.

Whether you’re making it for meal prep or a quick, healthy dinner, you’ll love this comfort bowl any night of the week.

Recipe Highlights

  • Vegan (dairy free, egg free) gluten free and nut free!
  • Rich in plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
  • Easy preparation with minimal preparation.
  • Ready to eat in 45 minutes.
  • It’s made with simple, whole food ingredients.
  • It’s easy to customize.
  • It’s great for meal prep!

Notes on ingredients

Ingredients for a kale, quinoa, chickpea, and carrot salad with tahini sauce.  Each ingredient is labeled with text.
  • carrot: You can use any type of carrot. I use 2-3 whole carrots per bowl depending on size, but the amount doesn’t need to be exact, so feel free to use more or less. Alternatives would be roasted butternut squash or sweet potato.
  • Andean millet: You can use any type of quinoa, e.g. B. white, red or tricolor quinoa. This can be swapped out for another whole grain like brown rice or Faro.
  • Chickpeas: Canned chickpeas are quick and easy for this recipe, although you can use chickpeas if you prefer. Baked tofu, crumbled tempeh, edamame, or marinated tempeh would also be good!
  • Kale: Use any type of kale, or you can substitute spinach, chard, or any other green of your choice. I like kale here because it keeps well for leftovers.
  • Pepitas (pumpkin seeds): You can use raw Pepitas or salted roasted Pepitas for more crispiness and taste. These can be replaced with any nut or seed such as sunflower seeds, or walnuts hemp seeds.
  • tahini: Good tahini should be smooth, creamy and not too bitter. I like Soom or Arz Fine Foods but there are many good brands out there or you can make your own Sesame seeds.
  • maple syrup: This sweetens the dressing a little. You can omit it or use agave syrup or honey instead.
  • lemon: You will need 1-2 lemons to make the juice for the dressing.
  • garlic powder: I use garlic powder (instead of cloves) into the dressing to make it smooth without having to mix it. If you want to use fresh garlic, you can grate or mince it, or mix the dressing together for a smoother result.
  • oil: You only need a little oil to roast the carrots. You can use olive oil, avocado oil, or any cooking oil of your choice.

Step by step instructions

Step 1. Fry the carrots

Give the carrots a quick scrub and then place them on a sheet. I use some parchment paper for easy cleaning and to prevent sticking.

Drizzle the carrots with 1/2 tsp olive oil or avocado oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roll the carrots around on the tray until they’re all coated in oil and spices.

Roast the carrots at 425 F for about 20 minutes, then shake the pan and roast for an additional 15-20 minutes until browned and tender.

Whole roasted carrots on a baking sheet.

Step 2. Cook the Andean millet

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil on the stove to cook the quinoa. Once it boils, add the quinoa, cover and reduce the heat to low.

Simmer gently for 15 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat and let it rest for another 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork.

Cooked quinoa in a small saucepan.

Step 3. Make the dressing

To prepare the dressing, place everything in a bowl or container and whisk until combined, starting with 2 Tbsp water and slowly whisking in more until you reach a thick and creamy, but pourable, consistency.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing in any bowl or container until smooth and creamy.

Short tip: The sweetener (maple syrup) is optional but adds a nice balance to the acidity of the lemon. It’s still good without if you want to go sugar free.

Creamy tahini dressing mixed in a small white bowl on a marble surface.

Step 4. Prepare the kale

Wash the kale and remove the leaves from the tough stems. Chop finely and drizzle with about 1/2 tsp oil of your choice. If you like, you can add a squeeze of lemon juice and/or a pinch of salt.

Massage the kale with your hands until soft and dark green, 1-2 minutes.

Chopped kale rubbed in oil in a large glass mixing bowl.

Step 5. Assemble the shells

Start with a scoop of quinoa in each of the 4 bowls, then top with equal amounts of the remaining ingredients. With the drizzle tahini wear and enjoy!

Quinoa, kale, chickpeas, and whole roasted carrots with tahini sauce in a bowl.

Tips & Hints

  • Additional toppings that work well include finely chopped cilantro, scallions, Kalamata olives, pickled red onion, roasted peppers, hot sauce or avocado.
  • Add any additional protein source like tofu, tempeh, or seitan.
  • Aside from the tahini dressing, all of the ingredients in the bowl can be customized to your liking or modified to suit your dietary needs.

Alternate dressings

Mixed kale quinoa chickpea salad with roasted carrots, pumpkin seeds and tahini sauce.

frequently asked Questions

Is this recipe gluten free?

Yes, this recipe is naturally gluten-free with no modifications required.

A forkful of kale, carrots, and quinoa over a kale quinoa chickpea salad.


  • Allow the quinoa and carrots to cool slightly before storing.
  • refrigerator: Store in a sealed container for up to 4 days.
  • When storing, I recommend leaving out the dressing and keeping it separately until ready to serve.
  • warm up: Enjoy the bowls cold or heat them in the microwave until warmed through.

Have you tried this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and make sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.


watchclock iconCutlerycutlery iconflagflag iconfolderfolder iconinstagramInstagram iconPinterestPinterest iconFacebookFacebook iconpressprint iconsquaressquares iconheartHeart symbolheart tightsolid heart symbol


This cozy, nutritious carrot, kale, and quinoa bowl is vegan, gluten-free, and so flavorful and delicious. Whole roasted carrots melt in your mouth and pair perfectly with zesty lemon tahini Dressing and crunchy pumpkin seeds.

For the roasted carrots

For the lemon tahini sauce

For the bowls

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Roast the Carrots: To prepare the roasted carrots, Scrub the whole carrots well to clean them, then place them on a baking pan lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then roll up to coat.
  3. Roast the carrots for 20 minutes, shake the pan and roast for another 10-15 minutes, until the carrots can be pierced with a fork but still have some firmness.
  4. Cooking Quinoa: To prepare quinoa, Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan on the stove. Add quinoa, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer gently for 15 minutes. Remove from the stove and let rest covered for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.
  5. Make the Tahini Sauce: To make the tahini dressing, Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl or container and stir until smooth and creamy. Slowly add water to adjust consistency, it should be thick and creamy but pourable.
  6. Prepare kale: On a cutting board or in a bowl, drizzle the kale with 1/4 tsp olive oil or avocado oil. Massage and squeeze the kale for 1-2 minutes until tender.
  7. Assemble shells: Divide kale, quinoa, chickpeas, and carrots among 4 servings. Sprinkle each with tahini sauce and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and enjoy.


Store leftovers in the refrigerator in a sealed container or up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or enjoy cold. Keep the dressing separate until just before serving.


  • Serving size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 461
  • Sugar: 14 g
  • Sodium: 400mg
  • Fat: 19 g
  • Carbohydrates: 61 g
  • Fiber: 14 g
  • Protein: 17 g

Keywords: Quinoa Chickpea Salad

This recipe was originally published on October 1st, 2017.

Source link