Kale Quinoa Salad (My Version of The Cheesecake Factory)

Kale Quinoa SaladMy friend told me about a fabulous kale and quinoa salad at The Cheesecake Factory. So, of course, I had to try it since I’m always on the lookout for a delicious, nutritious dish. Another friend and I just couldn’t stop eating it even though I needed to take some home so I could recreate it. It was delicious. I created my own version of the restaurant’s lemon vinaigrette and added it to some kale, quinoa, grapes, sunflower seeds, and Romano cheese. According to my taste-testers, my salad is a winner! It’s easy, delicious and very nutritious.

I used curly kale, but any kale should work; just make sure to toss the bitter stems. Stack the leaves on top of each other, roll them into tight bundles and slice thinly or just chop into thin strips until shredded. Toss the dressing with the shredded kale and massage the dressing into the kale with your hands for a couple of minutes (to tenderize it). Throw the remaining ingredients in with the kale and you have an excellent salad in no time! 

Kale and Quinoa Salad IngredientsSalad Ingredients

1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa,

5 cups kale, thinly shredded

1 3/4 cup red seedless grapes, sliced in half  (shortcut below)

1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds, unsalted

1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

Kale Quinoa Salad Dressing IngredientsSalad Dressing Ingredients

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp raw honey (not for babies under 1 year old)

1 tsp tahini

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 1/2 tsp crushed garlic

salt & pepper to taste

Cook 1/2 cup quinoa per package directions. Add all the dressing ingredients together in a jar and shake vigorously. Fold kale in half lengthwise along the stem. Tear kale leaves off stem. Stack leaves on top of each other and thinly chop kale. Add shredded kale to large bowl. Toss dressing with kale and message the dressing into kale for a couple of minutes. Add remaining salad ingredients and combine. Enjoy!

Shortcut: Cut several grapes at once by placing grapes in one layer on a cutting board. Press a flat lid or plate on top of the grapes. With one-hand press down on the flat lid. With the other hand holding a sharp knife, slice the grapes lengthwise between the lid and cutting board.



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23 Comments to “Kale Quinoa Salad (My Version of The Cheesecake Factory)”

  1. Cindy says:

    I am wondering where the vinegar is in the Lemon vinaigrette?

  2. Colleen says:

    Made today, love it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Faith S says:

    OMG! Awesome recipe. I have made this twice, following the recipe, but doubled the dressing amount.
    Everyone that has tried it, asks for the recipe. Tastes great even if you omit the cheese-I am vegan 🙂

  4. Kathryn says:

    Approximately how many servings does this recipe make? Can’t wait to try it!

  5. Felicia says:

    I made this last night after trying the Cheesecake Factory version over the weekend. This is FANTASTIC! Thank you so much for re-engineering and sharing the recipe so that we can enjoy delicious, healthy food at home whenever we want!

  6. Ebba says:

    Made it once and fell in love now I make it at least once a week. Almost exactly like Cheesecake Factory except missing the red peers.mmmm delishoussss !!

  7. Janice says:

    Do you know what the thin lemon strips are in the salad at CCF?

  8. Lois Light says:

    Yes there was some kind of cheese or Lemon strip that had a good flavor. I just ate it today and tasted the strip separately but couldn’t tell what it was. Thanks for the recipe. Can’t wait to try it.

  9. Lois Light says:

    I believe also the little pieces of red was red pepper. If you taste it separately it tasted like red pepper but blended in with the other ingredients it just tastes wonderful.

    • It’s been about 9 months since I tasted this salad at Cheesecake Factory and developed this recipe. It sounds like I need to go back and try this salad again. Thanks for the heads-up! I’ll report back soon.

  10. Jessica says:

    Thank you for the recipe! The strips
    are preserved lemon!!

  11. Laura says:

    I tried the CF salad this past week. It was fabulous. I’m so glad I found this recipe online! Thanks so much for posting this. I will make this sometime this week. (and yes, there are tiny bits of red peppers and lemon zest in the salad at CF).

  12. Sharon Husch says:

    My husband and I had salads at the CF yesterday, and I ordered the kale and quinoa salad. I noticed the very thin lemon strips and they tasted sweet like candied fruit you put in a fruit cake, and yes there were loads of small diced red peppers as well. Thank you so very much for posting this recipe. Now I don’t have to pay $10 for this yummy salad. 🙂

  13. Alfonso Rubio says:

    How many calories does a serving have. I like the cheesecake factory, but everything they have is loaded with calories. I wish I could eat there more.

  14. Carol says:

    The cheesecake factory salad includes lemon zest in the salad ( I put in the zest of one lemon in mine) as well as lemon juice and balsamic vinegar in the vinaigrette.

  15. Annie says:

    I made this for the family and it was delish!! Great recipe.

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