You’ll love how easy this Healthy Quinoa Cabbage Salad is to make! It’s perfect as a side dish but hearty enough to enjoy as lunch too. The salad includes black beans for extra protein and carrots and sunflower seeds for a bit of added crunch. And the homemade dressing is the best!
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I was always skeptical of cabbage salads...until I ate this one.
My friend Jess created the recipe and would often bring it to potlucks. After a potluck or two of people raving over it, I finally gave it a try.
And I immediately loved it!
So much so, that I asked Jess for the recipe. But she’s a dump-and-pour sort of cook and didn’t really have one. (Bless all those dump-and-pour cooks that get asked for recipes!)
Thankfully, she was kind enough to write down the rough ingredient amounts one day when she made it and gave me those. Then I tweaked it from there.
Watch Video: Learn How to Make This Recipe
Cabbage Salad Ingredients
- Quinoa. I use white quinoa when I make this but you should be fine using red or black as well. Unless you are really pushed for time, I recommend cooking up your own quinoa since it’s super easy to do and is also considerably cheaper.
- Shredded Raw Cabbage. Red or green cabbage works for this recipe, although I find that the red can bleed a bit and doesn’t tend to look as nice, especially if it sits for any length of time.
- Carrots. Totally optional, but I love the pop of color that they give!
- Black Beans. I think that black beans pair the best with this salad but if you’d like, you can sub kidney beans or garbanzo beans instead.
- Roasted Sunflower Seeds. These add a nice nutty flavor as well as a bit of extra crunch, which is perfect!
CABBAGE SALAD DRESSING:
- Oil. Olive, canola or vegetable oil all will work well.
- Apple cider vinegar. Adds a nice tangy flavor!
- Balsamic vinegar. The extra bit of flavor this adds totally makes the dressing and it definitely shouldn’t be skipped!
- Honey or Sugar. This adds just a hint of sweetness that really brings out the dressing flavors. I think either option tastes delicious!
- Salt. I love using pink salt because of its health benefits.
- Garlic. If you have fresh garlic, it adds awesome flavor. If not, granulated garlic will work too.
How to Make this Quinoa Cabbage Salad
STEP ONE: Add cooked quinoa, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, black beans and roasted sunflower seeds to a bowl.
STEP TWO: Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad.
STEP THREE: Combine well and enjoy!
Wonder how long cabbage salad lasts? This is best eaten the day it’s made but it’s still quite good, albeit a tad less crunchy, for an additional 2 to 3 days.
Recipes to Serve with This Salad:
- Super Easy Sloppy Joes from Scratch
- Speedy Spanish Rice and Ground Beef Skillet
- White Pizza Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- Cheeseburger Casserole
Easy Healthy Quinoa Cabbage Salad
- 2 ¼ cups cooked quinoa (see Notes below)
- 2 ½ cups shredded cabbage
- ½ cup shredded carrots (optional- if skipping, add an additional ½ cup cabbage)
- 1 can black beans, drained
- ⅓ cup roasted sunflower seeds (see Notes below)
- ⅓ cup oil
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp. honey or sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp. granulated garlic)
- Add all of the salad ingredients to a bowl.
- Whisk together dressing ingredients.
- Add the dressing to the cabbage salad and toss together until everything is fully mixed.
- If you want to cook your own quinoa, you will need ¾ cup of uncooked quinoa to get the 2 ¼ cups this recipe requires.
- If you would like to roast your own sunflower seeds, these instructions are helpful.
- If making ahead, wait to add the sunflower seeds until ready to serve since they tend to get a bit soft once they sit with the dressing.
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