This cabbage quinoa salad is chock-full of nutrients with quinoa and veggies as the star. Then topped with a tangy, fresh, vinaigrette that’s ready in no time. It makes enough to feed a crowd, and tastes great chilled, or at room temperature. Perfect for potlucks and gatherings.
This recipe was originally published in January 2019. It has been updated for content and photos.
This beautiful dish is colourful and will be the star of your next event. It really screams “eat the rainbow.”
The dressing has a touch of Asian flair, using rice vinegar, sesame seeds, tamari and freshly squeezed lime juice for a fresh and tangy flavour.
How to make it
Gather your salad ingredients.
Add the quinoa, water and salt to a small sauce pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer until the liquids are absorbed. Then set aside to let cool slightly. Meanwhile, chop up all your veggies. (photo 1)
Add the cooked quinoa and all the chopped veggies to a large serving dish or bowl. (photo 2)
Then combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar and mix well. (photos 3-4)
Pour the dressing over your cabbage quinoa salad and mix to evenly coat. (photos 5-6)
Chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator or serve immediately.
What substitutions can I make?
- Sub green cabbage for purple, if preferred, or a combo of both.
- Use any colour of bell pepper you prefer. I like red, orange or yellow for sweetness. But if you prefer green, go for it.
- If you don’t like quinoa, use another grain such as barley or brown rice. You could also use couscous, if preferred, although technically not a grain.
- For soy free, use coconut aminos to replace the tamari.
- Hate cilantro? Use fresh parsley, mint, dill or chives instead.
Yes! Quinoa is a tiny seed that’s rich in fiber and minerals, making it a healthy and nutritious plant based food. It’s naturally gluten free and easily fits into a healthy diet.
Yes, you may fully prepare your salad and the dressing and refrigerate separately until the day you’re serving, for optimum freshness and to preserve more crunch and texture.
Since using mostly sturdy veggies here, you may keep this cabbage quinoa salad dressed in the refrigerated for up to 2 days before starting to get soggy.
- Use a box grater or shredding tool to shred the cabbage and carrots.
- If using a food processor, work in batches and pulse to prevent over processing. You want shredded cabbage and carrot, not pureed.
- For added protein, add a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas or black beans to the mix.
- If planning ahead, make and store the salad and dressing in separate containers in your fridge. Dress the salad the same day you plan to enjoy it, for best texture.
- For sugar free, skip the maple syrup in the dressing. If you can have some sugar, I do recommend it to balance the acidity. However, both ways taste great.
More delicious vegan salad recipes
- Coleslaw Salad w/ Thai Peanut Dressing
- Cranberry Broccoli Salad w/ Poppy Seed Dressing
- Quinoa Pasta Salad [Healthy + Low Cal]
- Mexican Corn Salad (Elote Salad)
- Vegan Cobb Salad with Tangy Cheesy Dressing
- Vegan Chicken Salad
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- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon 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 jar or bowl and mix. Then pour the dressing over the salad and mix to combine.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour prior to serving to chill. Or enjoy immediately if preferred.