Brussels Sprouts, Kale, and Quinoa Salad with Chicken and Halloumi

colorful salad in large white bowl

For the past few years, my life has consisted of one huge salad after another, all based around this Giant Dinner Salad. Some, like today’s Brussels Sprouts, Kale, Quinoa Salad with Chicken and Halloumi, improve on the original and I’m psyched to let it live on forever here on the internet. The combo of salty, pan-friend cheese, crispy-fresh sprouts and kale, fluffy quinoa, and bonus bells and whistles like tiny bits of raw asparagus, hunks of roasted carrots, thin flakes of toasted almonds, and pops of green onion and dried cranberries deserves life on the internet. And in your kitchen!

Close-up of Brussels sprouts salad

There’s nothing complicated going on here and you can do some stuff ahead, like roasting the carrots and searing the halloumi. Any chicken/protein you have on hand would work here. Or, you can leave it out and let the quinoa check the protein box for you. Quinoa is a complete protein meaning, per Harvard, it packs the nine amino acids our bodies need but can’t create. I included a yummy marinade for chicken in the recipe notes though, if you’re up for that added step. Otherwise, you’re just chopping and slicing a bunch of veg (with the help of the food processor). Then, combining it all with my favorite punchy, lemon and orange dressing.

Make it a meal

trays of potatoes, sauce, salad, and cookies

Like the Edamame, Asparagus, Broccoli, Cabbage Salad with Sesame Dressing, this salad was part of a meal for the inn. Here’s how I rounded out the rest of that meal, plus affiliate links for the cookbooks referenced:

  • Pistachio Cookie Bars from Molly Yeh’s cookbook, Home is Where the Eggs Are
  • Crispy Smashed Potatoes from Karen Akunowitz’s cookbook, Crave
  • Flax seed crackers I learned to make from Instagram (used as an optional crunchy topping for the salad)
  • Calabrian Chili Sauce for the potatoes (mayo, greek yogurt, a few Calabrian chilies + lemon juice, garlic, and salt, whizzed up in the food processor)
  • Brussels Sprouts, Kale, Quinoa Salad with Chicken and Halloumi
  • Snickerdoodles from the Snackable Bakes cookbook by Jessie Sheehan
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Brussels Sprouts, Kale, and Quinoa Salad with Chicken and Halloumi

colorful salad in large white bowl

This combo of salty, pan-friend cheese, crispy-fresh sprouts and kale, fluffy quinoa, and bonus bells and whistles like tiny bits of raw asparagus, hunks of roasted carrots, thin flakes of toasted almonds, and pops of green onion and dried cranberries is deserving of life on the internet. And in your kitchen!

  • Author: Megan
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale

FOR THE DRESSING

  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 2 TBS fresh orange juice
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 2 TBS honey mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 C olive oil

FOR THE SALAD

  • 1/4 C olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1” pieces
  • 5 oz halloumi (bread cheese works as well), cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1/2 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded in a food processor (see notes)
  • 1 bunch of kale, stemmed and roughly chopped, then finely chopped in a food processor (see notes)
  • 1/2 C cooked quinoa (see notes)
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb asparagus, sliced into 1/4” pieces
  •  1 to 2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced (see notes for the marinade I use), or any leftover chicken you have on hand
  • 1/2 C sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries

 

Instructions

FOR THE DRESSING

  1. Whisk together all ingredients, saving the olive oil for last – drizzle it in as you whisk. I used a large measuring cup for this so I could just measure as I went. Alternatively, just add all the ingredients to a mason jar and shake.

FOR THE SALAD

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. On a baking sheet lined with foil, toss the carrots with 3 TBS of olive oil, and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, stirring/flipping halfway through, until the carrots are soft and the edges start to brown. I flip the broiler on for a couple additional minutes to get more browning. Set aside to cool for 10-15 minutes, or you can do this in advance and store in the fridge.
  3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 TBS of olive oil until shimmering, then add the cubed halloumi. Cook on one side until browned (usually takes a few minutes), then flip and continue cooking until mostly browned all over. This can go from brown to burnt pretty quickly so keep an eye on it. Set aside to cool for 10-15 minutes, or you can do this in advance and store in the fridge.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cooked and cooled carrots and halloumi with the remaining ingredients, add the dressing, and toss to combine.

Notes

  • Shredding Brussels sprouts and kale in the food processor (affiliate link): I use the slicing blade to shred Brussels sprouts  – just carefully push them through the feeding tube.  Then, either use the same method for the kale or you can use the regular all-purpose blade; either one works – the all-purpose blade results in smaller, more finely chopped kale pieces. I recommend also massaging the kale after running it through the food processor; otherwise the salad can be tough to chew.
  • Cooking quinoa: I use my rice cooker, following this recipe from I Heart Vegetables
  • Really good marinade for grilled chicken: combine 1/2 C of Worcestershire sauce with 1/2 C of coco aminos, tamari, or soy sauce, and 2 TBS of any spice blend you like – I use this Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning from McCormick (affiliate link). I put this mixture in a ziplock bag with boneless skinless chicken breasts for a few hours then, when ready to grill, lightly rinse the chicken — otherwise it will be too salty (I just pour the marinade out of the bag and refill the bag with water, then pull the chicken breasts out). Pat the chicken dry, coat it in oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then grill!
  • This salad keeps well in the fridge for about 4 days. Great for meal prep!

Keywords: grain salad, meal prep, dinner salad

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