Spring Broccolini & Kale Quinoa Bowl

This kale quinoa bowl is my ideal lunch. It's topped with a bright, lemony pesto and loaded with creamy avocado, crispy chickpeas & crunchy veggies.

Spring Broccolini & Kale Quinoa Bowls

When you don’t know what to make for dinner, what do you usually end up making? My go-to is the almighty quinoa bowl. Quinoa bowls are a versatile way to show off the seasons and this one is my little tribute to spring.

For this bowl, I lightly blanched some beautiful broccolini and tossed my quinoa with kale, fresh mint, roasted chickpeas, avocado, and my favorite part – crisp, pink slices of watermelon radish.

Here’s a food styling tip for you: seek out watermelon radishes to add some color to your kale quinoa bowl. That pop of pink always look gorgeous, and they add a lovely crunch to your salad.

Spring Broccolini & Kale Quinoa Bowl ingredients Spring Broccolini & Kale Quinoa Bowl ingredients

This kale quinoa bowl is dressed simply with olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper and is dolloped with a scoop of herb-y pea pesto.

This makes a great light & healthy (yet still pretty filling) dinner. Hopefully, you have leftovers because this kale quinoa bowl packs up nicely for lunch the next day!

Spring Broccolini & Kale Quinoa Bowl

For more healthy lunch ideas, check out this kale salad, this quinoa bowl, or this list of my go-to packed lunches!

4.8 from 6 reviews
Spring Broccolini Quinoa Bowl
This vegan & gluten-free kale quinoa bowl is a great recipe to pack for lunch. Store the bright, lemony pea pesto separately, and toss everything together just before serving.
Recipe type: Main dish
Serves: 4
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 bunch broccolini
  • 2 to 3 kale leaves, chopped (about 3 loose packed cups)
  • Juice of ½ lemon, more to taste
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced
  • ½ avocado, cubed
  • ½ cup mixed fresh herbs (I used mint and dill)
herb-y pea pesto: (this makes extra)
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 cup packed fresh spinach (or sub basil)
  • ¼ cup fresh dill (or sub basil or mint)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, more if desired
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the chickpeas on the baking sheet and toss them with a drizzle of olive oil, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Roast until golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes.
  2. Make the pesto by pulsing the hemp seeds, peas, garlic and a few generous pinches of salt and pepper in a food processor. Add the spinach and dill and pulse again then add the lemon juice and Dijon mustard. While the processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil. For a thinner pesto, add more olive oil until it reaches your desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings. Chill until ready to use.
  3. Prepare a large pot of salted boiling water and a large bowl of ice water. Drop the broccolini into the boiling water and blanch for about 1 minute, or until tender but still vibrant green. Transfer the broccolini to the ice water and let it cool for 1 minute. Drain and set aside to dry as you assemble the rest of the salad.
  4. Place the kale into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Massage the leaves until they soften and wilt down. Add the quinoa, watermelon radish, avocado, herbs and broccolini. Season to taste with additional olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the roasted chickpeas and serve with a dollop of pesto.



Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Pamela

    Just want to let you know how much I truly truly enjoy your recipes. Trying to convert to a vegetarian (due to cancer) but the process has been slow…LOL! I have tried a number of your recipes and they have so far won me and my 10 year old over. By the way ordered your cookbook as well! I recommend this sight to anyone and everyone looking for healthier eating! Keep up the great work!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Pamela… wow, I’m glad you’ve been loving the recipes and that they’ve made eating vegetables more exciting for you. Thank you, and I hope you enjoy the book 🙂

  2. Amy from parsleyinmyteeth

    Such a gorgeous dish – love pop of color from the watermelon radish!

  3. Fernando @ Eating With Your Hands

    Lovely bowl, guys!

  4. I love this recipe with the broccolini and avocado! Yesterday we made a quinoa salad with farmer’s market beets, cilantro, mint, parsley, snap peas, and a lemon-ume vinaigrette. Thanks for your inspiration.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      That sounds amazing – I really love ume vinegar especially 🙂

  5. This sounds so good! I just added it to next week’s meal plan. 🙂

  6. Kate | HappyForks.com

    This bowl is full of super powers! With hemp seeds you get a good protein and omega-3 fatty acids. With kale and broccoli vitamin K and fiber. With avocado you eat good portion of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and folate. Definitely recipe worth to try!

  7. melissa from inspiremeasap.com

    I will be making this for tonight…for our lunch tomorrow! Thank you ! 🙂

  8. Tayla

    Can’t find any watermelon radishes near me. What could I use instead?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Tayla, you can use regular radishes or skip them (or slice carrots really thin for a little crunch). They’re not necessary here if you can’t find them.

  9. I really love this quinoa bowl, especially the mint in it. Now to hunt down some watermelon radishes. 😉 When I’m feeling uninspired for dinner I’ll usually roast off a mix of veggies, cross my fingers I still have some cooked beans in the freezer, and then go from there.

  10. All-in-one meals like this are a saving grace for me. This one looks so bright and happy for spring, and I adore the radishes! They are so under appreciated, aren’t they?

  11. Those watermelon radishes are absolutely beautiful! Awesome meal btw. Thanks for the recipe! Pinned

  12. Okay, terrible of me but kale and quinoa (so basically, the essentials in this particular recipe) are two ingredients I have never worked with. I eat them all the time but I never prepare it myself. I guess I’ll have to give it a go!

    Lisa Favre

  13. Tayla H

    How do you cook your quinoa? I know a lot of people cook it slightly differently so I’m intrigued as to how you do it.

  14. Erika

    Made for dinner tonight, absolutely loved! Have leftovers for lunch this week, can’t wait to enjoy again tomorrow. Thanks for the great recipe (as always!)

  15. Pali

    Another great recipe that I’m going to try 🙂

  16. Siri

    Recommendations for a protein other than chickpeas?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Siri, baked tofu, or just sprinkle on some hemp seeds. Hope that helps!

  17. Hannah

    I couldn’t find broccolini except in the frozen section. Would frozen broccolini be as good for this?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      To be honest, I don’t love frozen broccoli (it’s a little soggy), I would suggest regular fresh broccoli or even asparagus instead. Hope that helps!

      • Hannah

        That is helpful to know. Thanks for the suggestions!

  18. Aaron

    Oh So Mouthwatering!! This looks amazingly fresh! 🙂

  19. Ioana

    Well, it’s finally starting to feel like spring where I live and it’s time to make some healthy and fresh choices. Recipe looks so good and the pea pesto is the bomb. Definitely trying this tomorrow for lunch.

  20. Elisa

    This is a lovely recipe, looks inspiring and utterly delicious. I love that it feels like something I can try out, especially for the healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids and other powerful nutrients. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us, keep them coming!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Elisa, I hope you love the quinoa bowls!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.