Nut-free strawberry kale salad is a light but hearty salad. It is made out of kale, shaved parmesan, red quinoa, sunflower seeds and red onions.
Our family loves to eat it as a light lunch or pair it with any protein of choice. Vegan options too.
Change the fruit through the seasons in kale salad
This kale salad is a fun way to celebrate seasonal strawberries during summer or switch up the fruit to enjoy year round.
Use seasonal fruit so that you can enjoy this salad year round. For instance, use apples or persimmons in fall, blood oranges or pomegranates in winter, blueberries or strawberries in spring and summer.
Techniques to help bring out taste and texture in nut-free strawberry kale salad
I’ve soaked red onions in a combination of apple cider vinegar and water to mellow the taste of raw red onions. Kale is cut into chiffonade ribbons and massaged gently with salt and EVOO.
If you’re new to chiffonade, here is a link on how to cut kale into thin long ribbons. The kale sits for a bit to soften and after that, is dressed with a sweet aged balsamic vinaigrette.
Nut-free Strawberry kale salad makes great leftovers
Your leftovers will keep in the fridge for a few days because kale leaves are strong and soften over time.
How to store balsamic vinaigrette
You can store any leftover balsamic vinaigrette in an airtight glass container in the fridge for a few days or freeze. I like to defrost the night before and stir to incorporate fully before dressing your salad.Print
Nut-Free Strawberry Kale Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette is free from: tree nuts, peanut, sesame and gluten. Vegan option below in notes.
1 teaspoon, salt, divided
1/2 cup red onion, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 large bunch dino or lacinto kale or 2 small bunches, stems removed, chiffonade ( about 4 cups, tightly packed)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shaved
1/2 cup red or tricolor quinoa, cooked or brown rice
1/2 pound strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
salt, pepper to taste
For balsamic vinaigrette:
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon maple syrupSee Also
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, crushed
3/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup red or tricolor quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
- Add quinoa, water and salt to a medium size pot. Bring to a boil. Lower heat. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Remove quinoa, stir and spread evenly to cool on a sheet pan. Set aside or store in a container in the fridge to use later.
- Place onion in a small bowl with apple cider vinegar and cover with water. Let soak for 10 minutes. Rinse and squeeze out extra liquid.
- Prepare kale as directed above and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Massage the kale with your hands, kneading and squeezing until they begin to wilt and become soft. Set aside.
- Add onions to kale. Toss to combine.
- Whisk together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, garlic and olive oil, adding olive oil slowly in a drizzle until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add dressing to salad, just enough to coat. Toss with sunflower seeds, quinoa and parmesan. Toss in strawberries. Adjust with salt & pepper.
- Salad can be prepped ahead in the morning and stored in the refrigerator. Add strawberries right before serving.
- Use short grain brown rice as an alternative to quinoa
- Leftover quinoa freezes well up to a few months or prepare quinoa a few days in advance.
- Nutritional yeast is a nice alternative to parmesan or leave out for vegan option
- Prep Time: 30 minutes`
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Salad
- Method: No Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Kale salad, strawberries, kale, salad, nut free, dairy free, vegan, lacing kale
Shahla is a mom of two girls who live with multiple food allergies, asthma and eczema. Shahla is trained as a Holistic Chef who wants to share the comfort that cooking has brought her family. She believes that everyone, regardless of dietary requirements, deserves a plate full of color and flavor.