This cabbage quinoa salad is chock-full of nutrients from quinoa, and veggies, and topped with a tangy, fresh, oil free dressing. It makes enough to feed a crowd, and tastes great chilled, or at room temperature, making it an easy choice for potlucks and gatherings.
This beautiful, colourful, absolutely gorgeous salad will make a lovely addition to any meal. Bring it along to your next potluck or barbecue, or add some chickpeas or black beans to the mix to make it a complete meal. This vegan salad dressing recipe has a touch of Asian flair, using rice vinegar, sesame seeds, tamari and freshly squeezed lime juice for a fresh and tangy bite.
This quinoa salad recipe is not only delicious and beautiful, but it’s NOT boring. Loaded with goodness, you can truly eat the rainbow here. Plus, it’s allergen friendly and suitable for vegans and vegetarians alike. It’s free from eggs, dairy, nuts, wheat and gluten, oil, refined sugar, and a simple swap can make it soy free too!
How to make cabbage quinoa salad
Gather all your ingredients for the salad.
- Purple cabbage
- Red Pepper
- Green onion
- Cilantro (or parsley)
Add the quinoa, water and salt to a small sauce pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquids are absorbed. Then set aside to let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, prepare your veggies. Using a shredder/grater or food processor, shred the purple cabbage and the carrot. If you’re using a food processor, make sure to work in small batches to avoid over processing the veggies. You want them shredded and not pureed.
Slice your cucumber lengthwise into quarters, and then slice into small triangular shapes. Dice your red pepper, thinly slice your green onion and roughly chop your cilantro.
Once the quinoa is slightly cooled, add it, along with all the veggies to a large bowl or serving dish.
Mix to combine and set aside to make your dressing.
How to make the oil free salad dressing
Gather your dressing ingredients:
- Rice vinegar
- Tamari, or soy sauce (or coconut aminos if avoiding soy)
- Sesame seeds
- Garlic powder
- Cayenne pepper (just a touch for flavour, not heat)
- Maple syrup (if using)
Combine all the salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jug and mix well.
Then, pour the dressing over the salad and mix well until combined and evenly coated.
Can I make any substitutions?
You may use green over purple cabbage if preferred, or a combo of both. You may also use yellow or orange pepper to replace the red. I don’t recommend green for its lack of sweetness.
Not a quinoa fan? You may sub for any preferred grain such as barley or brown rice. And, although not technically a grain, you may also sub for couscous.
If you’re avoiding soy, you can replace the tamari or soy sauce with coconut aminos.
Are you a member of the ‘cilantro tastes like soap’ club? Use fresh parsley, mint or chives instead.
How long will the quinoa salad keep?
This dish will keep refrigerated with the dressing for 2-3 days before it starts to get a little soggy. If you’re planning ahead, you may make the salad the night before and keep the dressing in a separate container and dress the salad the same day as serving to preserve some crunch and texture.
More delicious vegan salad recipes
- Coleslaw Salad w/ Oil Free Thai Peanut Dressing
- Mexican Corn Salad [Vegan +GF]
- Vegan Cobb Salad with Tangy Cheesy Dressing
- Vegan Chicken Salad [GF + Oil Free]
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- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3 cups purple cabbage shredded (approx. half of a small cabbage)
- 1 large carrot shredded
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 2 cups frozen corn thawed
- 1 large cucumber quartered lengthwise & sliced
- 3 green onions thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup cilantro or parsley chopped (packed cup)
- In a small pot, add the quinoa, water and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Set aside and let cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, combine all the chopped veggies and the cooled quinoa and mix well.
- Add all the dressing ingredients in a small jug or bowl and mix to combine. Then pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour prior to serving to chill. Or enjoy immediately if preferred.