As promised! Here’s the first salad made with my new salad dressing obsession. It’s colorful, nutrient-rich and full of fresh flavor. The creamy yogurt-based honey-mustard dressing straddles the line between creamy and vinegar-based slaws, and quinoa mediates the crunch.
This slaw is refreshing and unique, and I can’t keep going back for more. It’s the perfect recipe for making with your leftover vegetables, since you can use any combination you’d like.
This recipe is helping me meet my resolution to eat more cruciferous veggies this year (think cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc.), since they’re exceptionally nutritious.
Before you get started, I have some recipe notes for you. If you want to save some prep time, you can use store-bought slaw mix instead of shredding your own vegetables.
You can also leave out the quinoa, for simplicity’s sake or for a more traditional slaw texture. You might need a little less dressing than suggested, but that’s easy enough.
At first, I couldn’t decide if I liked cilantro or parsley better, so I listed them both as options. I preferred the cilantro in leftovers but I know some of you can’t stand the stuff, so if that’s the case, use parsley. I like this slaw best the day it’s made, but leftovers pack great for lunch.
If you’re a fan of my simple seedy slaw, quinoa broccoli slaw or crunchy Thai peanut salad, you’re going to love this one!
Watch How to Make Perfectly Fluffy Quinoa
Sunshine Slaw with Quinoa
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes (plus 20 minute rest)
- Yield: 6 side servings 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: Stovetop and by hand
- Cuisine: American
This healthy quinoa slaw recipe is bursting with nutrients and fresh flavor! Yogurt-based honey-mustard dressing brings it all together. Recipe yields 6 generous side servings.
- ½ cup quinoa, rinsed in a fine-mesh colander (or 1 ½ cups leftover cooked quinoa)
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds
- 8 cups mixed shredded vegetables (green or red cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts and/or carrots, or use about 20 ounces store-bought slaw mix)
- 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
- 1 cup Sunshine Salad Dressing, or more to taste
- Salt, to taste
- To cook the quinoa: Combine the rinsed quinoa and the water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 12 to 15 minutes, reducing heat as time goes on to maintain a gentle simmer. Remove from heat, cover, and let the quinoa rest for 5 minutes, to give it time to fluff up.
- Meanwhile, toast the pepitas in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and making little popping noises, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- To make sure the onion flavor doesn’t overwhelm the salad, rinse the sliced onion under running water, then let it drain well.
- In a large serving bowl (seriously, use your biggest bowl!), combine the shredded vegetables, drained onion and cilantro. Add the cooled quinoa and pepitas. Drizzle the dressing on top and toss to mix.
- Let the slaw rest for 20 minutes before serving (this is key to great flavor), then season to taste with salt, and stir in more dressing if desired. This slaw is best the day it’s made, but it keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days.
Make it dairy free: Use dairy-free yogurt when making the dressing.
I’m new, but I can’t find nutritional information for this salad or the dressing. What am I doing wrong? Thanks for your help. Donna
Hi Donna! Below the ‘Notes’ section you’ll see ‘Nutrition Information’ with an arrow to the left of it – that’s a link – you have to click it to expose the nutrition information :-)
When I click there, I only see that it is an estimate, but not the actual nutritional information for either the salad or dressing. Please help!
Hi Donna – It is under the notes section of the recipe. You will need to click on the Nutritional Information header to expand. Let me know if you are still having issues!
This looks amazing and I love slaws. I’m not a fan of honey mustard – any suggestions for a different dressing? Thank you!
You could try my Carrot Ginger dressing with the salad mix. https://cookieandkate.com/2017/carrot-ginger-dressing-recipe/
Your salads and dressings are the very best. I can’t wait to try this new one!
Question: Quinoa,no matter how much I was it, upsets my stomach. I guess that I could simply leave it out. Do you recommend any subs?
That is interesting Danica! You could leave it out. Or, you could substitute another grain like farro, couscous, or possibly try brown rice if you have a gluten allergy.
Looks like another good one! Thank you for all your great recipes. I truly have not made one I didn’t like or that I had to alter. I always know that I can trust that any recipe of yours I make will turn out great. Thanks again.
I’m so happy to hear that, Val! My goal is to make sure my recipes are well thought through, tested and that I love them myself before I share them.
Yum – I know you describe this as a side, but with the quinoa in there, I feel like I could eat just a big bowl of it for lunch and be happy!
Love that! Thank you, Rebecca.
I ate a bowl of it for dinner the night I made it. It was a very good dinner.
As always, thanks for the recipe! I’m on a cruciferous salad kick myself, as I can make large batches for the week and they will hold up well. I’ll definitely be trying this one!
Yes, I agree. This will hold-up well for the week.
Hi! i wonder if i can replace the honey for agave? You said to use any unsweetened dairy free yogurt as well. want to make this vegan
I recommend honey for this to get the honey-mustard. But you can use agave. It will have more of a neutral taste, so the dressing flavor will likely be slightly different. Let me know how this goes for you!
This is gonna be dinner tomorrow night! With the yogurt and pepitas it’ll be enough protein for me.
BTW for grains called for in your recipes, here is what I have done: I cook a big potful and portion it out in 1/2 cups. I put these in 4-ounce yogurt containers (I eat one of these every day and they are very useful for storage) and stack them in the freezer. Way I see it…if you’re going to go to the trouble of getting out pots and pans, it’s just as easy to cook a lot! :)
What did you think?!
Ok,so this recipe is another hit,A++++.
I used Silk Plain yogurt and agave to make it vegan. It was amazing. My husband,4 year old son and 2 year old daughter devoured it. I served it with vegan “melting” potatoes
Well, thank you Judy!! :)
Kate…I just made this for a friend’s potluck and it was a huge success!! The dressing is delicious and brings it all together :)!! Thanks for another great recipe!!
Great, Melissa! This is a great salad to have at a potluck for sure. Thanks so much for the review!
I made this last night. I skipped the quinoa (lazy) but added some diced red and yellow pepper because I had them on hand. I didn’t have any yogurt, so I just skipped it for the dressing, and it was delicious anyway! Thank you for another great recipe!
You’re welcome, Kathy!
I am not a vegetarian by any stretch, but I am always looking for new ideas for side dishes, and fresh and vibrant flavors. I often find vegetarian and vegan recipe blogs to be stiff and uninviting, but your blog is one of the best I have ever found. Everything I’ve tried from your site works great, and is inspiring.
Thanks for trying! It’s great to hear vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike enjoy these recipes. I appreciate it, Jacques!
Kate–any thoughts on what to serve this with, that would complement the flavors? or what you would do to boost it into a whole meal? I’m thinking maybe extra pepitas and slivered almonds might just do it?
With the nuts and quinoa, this should be a complete meal if you have a serving bowl of it. If you are looking for something additional to eat, pair it with a fruit!
Had a big-ish bowl tonight with a pair of clementines and it was perfect! I am glad you didn’t call this dressing “honey-Dijon vinaigrette with yogurt base” or “creamy honey-mustard dressing” because neither really does the dressing justice! It is sunshiney and light! It’s definitely special!
Such a great way to brighten up a meal!
Thanks for the recipe. It looks like a tangy dressing to go on a healthy dish. That makes eating healthily a bit more fun.
I agree! Thank you, Jim.
The hardest part of this recipe is waiting the 20 minutes while it rests. It’s delicious! Thank you so much!
Yes, I know! But, it does do the trick.
Looks lovely. Cannot wait to try this..Pinning :)
Let me know what you think!
The Cookie & Kate salads are just the best and this is another outstanding one. I made it the other night and devoured a big bowl as my entire dinner. Plus it’s super easy if you use packaged slaw and red cabbage. Love the flexibility of using the veggies of your choice. I used some spinach in addition the slaw mix, cauliflower and carrots. The quinoa fills it out so that it feels a little more hearty. The dressing is the real star here, just a great flavor that makes me want to drizzle it all over everything.
I agree! The flexibility of veggies for this one is great. I love your combination. Thanks for sharing, Rachel!
Kaaaaate this was SO GOOD. I’m always a fan of your recipes but this was bold, fresh, and healthy. Thank you!!!
Thank you, Mia! :)
This was a WINNER! Loved the combination and dressing.
I know, right?! I’m glad you though so as well, Naomi. Thanks for the review!
We made this for our “detox from Burns Night” supper (perfect timing on the posting, Kate!), and it hit the spot. I used equal amounts of red cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and a mix of green cabbage and collards, and topped it with your carrot ginger dressing. Leftovers topped (veggie) hotdogs and went into wraps with hummus for hiking. Hubs has declared this his favorite hiking food.
Great use for leftovers! I like it. Thanks for sharing, Frances.
I love how versatile this recipe is and the sunshine dressing is delicious! Definitely see what you mean about the onions, Kate. I love onions so I didn’t rinse them, thinking I’d be into the extra kick. It’s still good, but holy onions. I’ll be making this again for lunches at work, but will heed your advice next time.
I’ve made this twice. Last night I added mango, avocado and edamame to the mix. Most satisfying dinner salad ever. My toddler liked the “dip” for her veggies, too. Win and win. Now, why did I give the leftovers to my hubs for lunch today?
You are generous, that’s why Kristin! I’m glad it is a hit with your entire family. If you would like to leave a star review, I would appreciate it!
This will be our lunch tomorrow serving it with a piece of baked salmon. Left out the quinoa just to skip the extra carbs. Can’t wait to try it.
Thanks for sharing, Erin! I appreciate the star review.
Update: it was amazing. Made it again today a week later. It’s a staple now. Can’t wait to make it for friends to try tonight at a bbq as a side.
Made this for lunch today. Another winner! Best thing about your recipes is that I can always use what I have on hand and it still turns out great. I used chopped pecans for the seeds; cabbage, carrot and radish for the slaw mix.
You are on a roll, Sherrill! Thanks for trying another recipe and for the review. Love hearing from you!
This was so good – great way to get my veggies in! Even my meat and potatoes hubs loved it. I’m so glad I found your blog and cookbook – everything so far has been a hit!
I’m happy you have found it too, Alexandra! Thanks for your comment and review.
Made this yesterday – so delicious! Definitely a crowd pleaser at our Easter dinner. Love the trick to soak the red onions so they don’t overpower the salad. Used store bought slaw and subbed red wine vinegar (just one tablespoon) for apple cider because I had it in the pantry. And thanks for the quinoa cooking video, it turned out perfect. This has been added to my go-to recipes, and I just bought your cookbook!
Wonderful, Emma! You’re welcome. I’m glad the tips are helpful.
This was pretty much AMAZING and totally won our office potluck!!! SO TASTY!!! The dressing, the quinoa, the toasted pepitas, everything went perfect together.
Thank you, Janis!
I love the versatility of this recipe and the dressing! I don’t generally care for honey mustard, but the Sunshine Dressing is amazing! I have successfully pared this recipe down for 2-3 people for the freshest taste each time. Once you make the dressing, everything else comes together so quickly that I just make it as desired (I generally keep cooked quinoa, brown rice and steel cut oatmeal in the refrigerator for quick weeknight meals)
Hooray! I’m glad you find it versatile, too. Thanks for your review Deb!
Another delicious recipe. I loved this and the dressing? – holy moly.
I added a little diced avocado on top because I had some and it seemed right and it was. Thanks for another really good meal to add to my rotation!
Diced avocado I bet would be so good. Thanks for sharing! I appreciate your review.
Found this great recipe when I looked in my fridge and saw I had a bag of Rainbow Slaw, but NO idea what to do with it!!! Enter: Sunshine Slaw with Quinoa (which I happened to have had last night for dinner, but also had no idea what to do with the leftovers-quinoa that is!! Sorry for the run on, I was just so excited to find this and YOU!!! I only had vanilla Greek Yogurt, so I subbed in sour cream. Can’t tell you how fresh and delicious the dressing smelled as I poured it on my salad!!! A little Spring on this Winter day on the East Coast!!!
Sunshine slaw to the rescue! I love it. Thanks so much for your review, Cindi.:)
I made this slaw tonight and loved it! I rounded down on the amount of red onion and it was perfect. I especially love the mixture of tangy dressing, fresh veggies, and crunchy nuts. We’ll definitely be making this again!
Great to hear, Krystal! Thanks for the review.
Amazing recipe, I will try out soon, thank you for sharing
I made this tonight and it was OH SO DELICIOUS! I was skeptical about the dressing as I was making it but it is genius! I’m trying to carrot ginger dressing next!
Wonderful, Maria! Thanks for sharing.
Wow! This absolutely exceeded my expectations. One small change I had to make – I had to use garlic powder in the dressing because I didn’t have fresh. Despite that, this was exceptional.
Delicious! I used pre-packaged broccoli slaw,and added some garbanzo beans and crumbled queso fresco. I kept the dressing on the tart vs sweet side this time. It made a terrific and very satisfying dinner. A keeper for sure. Thank you!
I made this tonight for a meatless dinner. I added a bit of feta cheese for that reason and used a bag of sunshine slaw from the store. I omitted the onion for my husbands sake. It was delicious. The dressing is amazing.
I absolutely love this recipe, it is great to make and then set aside and have for lunch the next day. Great way for me to get my veggies and delicious :)
Quick question: if I use kale as one of the veggies do I have to massage the kale before adding it? Thank you!!
Hi! I’m glad you love this Kimberly. Adding kale could be nice. I personally would massage it.
Just made this last night and added marinated baked tofu. Followed the recipe as is except added some red pepper flakes. Fantastic- everyone loved this dinner! Your recipes are my “go to” and are the best vegetarian dishes and easy to follow recipes. Thank you!!
I love it! I’m happy you make my recipes often, Fran. I appreciate your review.
Patti Jean Osborne
Wow, this is SO GOOD! Perfect for lunch, dinner, whenever. Crunchy goodness that makes you feel great. Thank you!
Delicious! I used a variety of veggies I had gotten at the farmers market- kale, napa cabbage, baby bok choy, carrots. Instead of pumpkin seeds I used roasted shelled edamame. I could eat this every day for lunch!
Thank you for sharing how you made it, Jennifer! I appreciate your review.
I realize this is one of your older recipes, but I just now made it! So good! I cut the evoo down to a couple tablespoons because too much makes me ill, but it was still very good.
I’m glad you made it and enjoyed it!
Very tasty! Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe. Filling and healthy :)
You’re welcome, Caroline!