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Easy Sesame Quinoa Slaw

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Easy Asian Quinoa Salad -- quick and easy to make, full of protein, and super delicious! |

I think that today may win the award for the most relaxed I’ve ever felt on a Monday morning.

Or as my yoga instructor from our retreat this weekend would say, the most blissed out.

Seriously. It’s remarkable what just a few days of R&R can do for you, especially when those days include things like a road trip through the wide-open Kansas plains during a thunderstorm, settling into a quaint little cabin in the woods, enjoying morning and evening restorative yoga sessions, dining on a buffet of fresh and healthy meals, curling up with a favorite book during downtime, and — oh — getting 100% lost in the woods for hours on a trail hike with some friends, which actually turned out to be one the highlights of the weekend. I mean seriously, how often nowadays with Siiri by our side do we ever get actually factually lost?!?  It was delightful. And I must say, all the more so because this wasn’t some 5-star resort where you pay thousands of dollars to get your zen on. It was just a simple small retreat, put on by the most thoughtful people, attended by some of my favorite old friends, along with some dear new ones. I literally loved every minute.

Well, I could still always do without bugs in life. Namely, ticks and mosquitos and spiders, all of whom decided to take a sweet bite out of me this weekend. (And were then squashed immediately. Sorry, no mercy when you drink my blood, suckerzzz.)

But of course, other than that, loved every charming minute. :)

Anyway, after so much clean and healthy eating this weekend, it seems that this slaw I had planned to share with you on the blog today is extra meant-to-be. I made it this past week with some leftover ingredients from my Rainbow Fish Taco Nachos, kind of as a healthier riff on my favorite Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad. And, as probably should have come as no surprise with those ingredients, it turned out to be a vibrant, delicious, total winner.

Easy Asian Quinoa Salad |

I mean, seriously, get a load of all that color!

Easy Asian Quinoa Salad |

The ingredients are actually surprisingly simple and affordable.

All you need is some red cabbage (you can either chop it yourself, or buy it bagged), shredded carrots, green onions, almonds (slivered or sliced), and lots of cooked quinoa. I went with red quinoa, but any color will do. (And if you need it, here’s my step-by-step tutorial for how to cook quinoa.)

Easy Asian Quinoa Salad |

Then, whip up a simple sesame vinaigrette. (I used significantly less than in the Crunchy Asian Ramen Noodle Salad to make this one healthier.)

Easy Asian Quinoa Salad |

Pour it into the slaw…
Easy Asian Quinoa Salad |

…then toss it all together until combined. And if you feel like it, sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.

Easy Asian Quinoa Salad |

It’s easy, fresh, flavorful, and SO GOOD. Feel free to add in some protein like cooked chicken or shrimp if you’d like. But otherwise, it makes a satisfying side or main dish all on its own. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, a weekend picnic or potluck, or even a relaxing yoga retreat. :)


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Easy Sesame Quinoa Salad

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 -8 servings 1x



Slaw Ingredients:

  • 1 (16-ounce) bag shredded red cabbage (or about 4 cups shredded cabbage)
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (I used red quinoa)
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2/3 cup thinly-sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Sesame Honey Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (or any cooking oil)
  • 3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or agave, to make this vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
  • pinch of salt and black pepper


To Make The Slaw:

  1. Toss all ingredients together until combined.  Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 1 day.

To Make The Asian Honey Vinaigrette:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together until combined.

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74 comments on “Easy Sesame Quinoa Slaw”

    • I love this recipe. Used extra sesame oil and everything but the bagel seasoning instead of sesame seeds.

  1. I am so glad you had a relaxing weekend! Sometimes you just NEED those to function.
    Just like I NEED this salad to get through my Monday. I love that you used quinoa, and that Asian Honey Vinaigrette sounds AH-MAY-ZING! Pinned!

  2. YUM. This looks so good!!!! And so colorful. That yoga retreat sounds amazing too.

  3. This is my kind of salad, the perfect thing to make on Sunday and keep in the fridge for lunch all week long. 

  4. Glad you had fun! Love this slaw!! 

  5. This looks delicious! I’m always looking for fun new sides to accompany grilled main dishes around this time of year. I’ll definitely be trying this one out! 

  6. Bright, colorful and easy!

  7. Looks yummy.  I will have to try this soon.  I bet it will make the perfect spring and summer dinner with adding in some protein like you suggested.

  8. Where is this retreat in Kansas you went to?! I’d love to do something like that? Just get away, relax and recharge! This salad is perfect for warm weather months and getting this booty in bikini shape! 

  9. C’mon…can’t we add a little bit of the chicken ramen soup packet mix? For flavor?? Juuuust kidding… ;-) PS Your retreat sounds like perfection. 

  10. I’m all about what’s happening in this salad. That dressing just looks delicious. On a HUGE quinoa kick right now so I will definitely be trying this! 

  11. Love those Colors!! Dressing recipe sounds really yummy!!! Great recipe!!! <3

  12. This looks delicious…so colorful!
     Any idea of the nutritional information for it? 

    • Thanks Lauren! Unfortunately I’m not sure about the nutrition info. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, since the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. But many of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. I hope that helps!

  13. The colors in this quinoa slaw look amazing! I need to start cooking with quinoa more often. This recipe sounds really easy to make and looks pretty tasty, I need to give it a try asap!

  14. Oh my goodness, this looks amazing! The colors are so beautiful and vibrant, so bad I can’t grab it through the monitor!

  15. Hello, I just had to stop by and say: WOWIE! We just love this salad. I knew we would so I doubled the recipe and we are having it tonight, tomorrow and maybe the next day. Thank you so much for sharing this awesome recipe. I used EVOO and it was cool too. Kindly, Peggy

  16.  Thanks for sharing. Looks fabulous, and I want to make it to have on hand in a cooler for a road trip. I was just wondering why you said it only keeps for 1 day? It seems like these ingredients would keep very well for a few days. Any thoughts?

  17. Hi.  I wonder if this would be good warmed a bit if make a large batch and eat throughout the week?  Maybe popped in the microwave to warm the quinoa?  I would leave dressing off until ready to eat.

  18. Loved loved loved!!!!!

  19. Hi, I was wondering if extra virgin olive oil would work instead of vegetable oil? Have you tried it before?

    • Hey there! Vegetable or canola oil would be ideal (they’re more neutral in flavor), but we think olive oil should still work fine! :)

  20. I made this last night for a school event and the bowl was empty by the end! I’m making it again right now for myself for lunch.  It’s just plain yummy!

  21. This was so very good. Found it through Pinterest. It is now a staple recipe in our house. 

  22. I made this salad on Friday and its now Monday and I keep making it everyday in the morning, it is SO good! The colors are so vibrant and the flavor is amazing.

  23. Hi Ali,
    I made this recipe for dinner a few nights ago, and my husband and toddler loved it! It’s delicious and light, and can be eaten as a side or a main meal. I am a huge fan!

  24. Decided to try this recipe. After mixing everything together and letting it sit in the fridge for a while I did a taste test. It needed a little more flavor so I added a little more honey and soy sauce. It’s delicious! 

  25. So, I know you wrote this post a long time ago but I just found it on pinterest (and I’m totally making it for dinner tonight). And I’m wondering where you went on this retreat? I live in the beautiful Kansas plains and assume it’s not too far from me! :) Sounds dreamy.

    • Hey Libby! Absolutely — and good timing, they actually have another yoga retreat coming up next month — I went to Youthfront Lacygne. It’s a super-duper simple retreat — no fancy accomodations or anything — but it was really lovely and restoring, and they provide plenty of downtime for exploring and journaling and (you know) napping and such.

  26. good quinoa salad

  27. I LOVE YOU RECIPES! I also like how show each step so clearly through pics. 

  28. I just made a big batch for lunches! It’s really good!!!  

  29. I made this tonight and it is a quick and healthy meal! I subbed shelled edamame for the almonds and left the honey out of the dressing to make it sugar-free. Slaw sounds like a side dish but with the quinoa and edamame, this is a great veg meal. Keeper!

    • Thanks for sharing Amy — we’re happy you enjoyed it and the edamame sounds yummy! :)

  30. Yum!  We had company from out of town and served this with burgers after they had worked up a big appetite biking most of the day.  It was a big hit. The next day we added some leftover fresh corn off a cob and some cilantro to the slaw and it was pretty unbelievable!  I have shared this recipe with my whole family.  Thanks!

    • That’s great to hear Rene — we’re so glad it was a hit with everyone! :)

  31. I had some leftover red quinoa in the fridge and got some purple cabbage from my CSA so this salad was an easy choice. So yummy! And this simple dressing would be good on lots of other stuff…actually I could eat the dressing like soup. Thanks for sharing.

  32. I thought it was a great salad! I had it for dinner and it was good. I was hoping it would be more on the tart and sweet side. Would it work if I traded out the rice vinegar for lemon juice and increase the honey?

    • We’re glad you enjoyed the salad Jessica! And yes, we think you could definitely make that swap and increase the honey!

  33. I just made this for dinner and it was sooooo good! My husband is already asking for me to make it again! Thanks for the great recipe :)

    • Thanks for sharing with us Lauren — we’re so glad you and your husband enjoyed this! :D

  34. Just so I’m completely clear, 2 cups cooked quinoa means exactly that, 2 cups of cooked quinoa. Or does it mean take 2 cups of dried quinoa and cook it?

  35. This looks amazing? Will it last longer if I don’t add the dressing until serving? 

    • Thanks, Marisa! Yes, we think it should keep a few days longer if you do it that way. We hope you enjoy!

  36. I really love this, and so did the rest of my family! It’s so beautiful and has a fabulous flavor. This would be great to bring to a pot luck! We loooove green onions and seasame oil, so we added extra of those… and a few extra almonds ;)
    Thank you for this yummy, healthy recipe!

  37. This looks like a great recipe, especially the vinaigrette. I pinned and printed for later use.

  38. I made very minor changes, and it was delicious! My sad little grocery store had no red cabbage, so I used bagged coleslaw mix. I cut the oil down to 1/4 cup, and upon tasting thought it needed a little more sweet and salty, so I added another tsp. of soy sauce and about a TBS. of seasoned rice vinegar which is sweetened. I may try just using the seasoned rice vinegar next time and omitting the honey. The flavor of that little bit of sesame oil and the toasted almond really came through and made this salad special. I’ll definitely go out of my way to find red cabbage next time to get that beautiful purple color and maybe garnish it with nasturtium blossoms for a psychedelic color blast! Thanks for a great recipe!

  39. It looks so delicious! And now I just wanna go to the supermarket, get some cabbage and make it!

  40. This was crazy delicious!

  41. This was delicious!!
    I just doubled the dressing, because it wasn’t enough for us.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Will make again!

  42. Hey,
    I’m pure vegetarian person.
    Try more vegan day-night food’s.
    I’m crazy about your blog.

  43. I stumbled on this recipe and was inclined on try it because I had almost all the ingredients in my pantry . Secondly, it was so easy to put together. The only ingredient I substituted was honey, I used maple syrup.
    It was a lovely salad to have on a warm summer evening. Thanks for sharing!