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.
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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