Sunshine Slaw with Quinoa Recipe

Step into a world of fresh flavors with this Sunshine Slaw with Quinoa recipe. A vibrant mix of shredded vegetables, wholesome quinoa, and a tangy homemade dressing, this dish is not just a feast for the eyes but also a delight for the taste buds. It is the perfect side dish for any meal or a healthy lunch option that offers a refreshing crunch with every bite.

Sunshine Slaw with Quinoa Recipe

Photos of Sunshine Slaw with Quinoa Recipe

Some ingredients like quinoa and pepitas might not be readily available in your pantry. Quinoa, a super grain, is usually found in the rice or grain aisle of your supermarket, while pepitas, also known as pumpkin seeds, can either be found in the snack aisle or with other nuts and seeds. Do keep an eye out for these when you're at the Supermarket.

Ingredients for Sunshine Slaw with Quinoa

Quinoa: A nutritious seed that cooks up like a grain, quinoa is rich in protein and fiber.

Pepitas: These are pumpkin seeds which add a nice crunch to the slaw.

Mixed shredded vegetables: These add color, texture, and make up the bulk of the salad. It can be any combination of your favorite vegetables.

Red onion: Gives a sharp flavor to contrast the fresh vegetables.

Cilantro: Adds a fresh and aromatic touch to the salad.

Sunshine salad dressing: A tangy, homemade dressing that gives the salad its unique flavor.

Salt: Enhances the other flavors in the salad.

One reader, Ario Watkins says:

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This sunshine slaw with quinoa recipe is a game-changer! The combination of fresh veggies, fluffy quinoa, and zesty dressing is a burst of flavors and textures. It's a perfect dish for a healthy and satisfying meal. I highly recommend trying it out for a delightful and nutritious experience.

Ario Watkins

Culinary Techniques for Preparing Sunshine Slaw with Quinoa

How to cook quinoa: Combine the rinsed quinoa and 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 for about 12 to 15 minutes, until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, reducing heat as time goes on to maintain a gentle simmer. Remove from heat, cover, and let the quinoa rest for 5 minutes to fluff up.

How to toast pepitas: Toast the pepitas in a small skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and making little popping noises. Set aside to cool.

How to rinse onions: To make sure the onion flavor doesn't overwhelm the salad, rinse the sliced onion under running water, then let it drain well.

How to let the slaw rest: Let the slaw rest for 20 minutes before serving. This is key to great flavor.

How to store the slaw: This slaw is best the day it’s made, but it keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days.

How To Make Sunshine Slaw with Quinoa

Put together a light and easy dish with this sunshine slaw. It brims with the healthy flavors of mixed veggies and quinoa tossed in honey-mustard dressing.

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Rest Time: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour



  • ½cupquinoa,rinsed in a fine-mesh colander, or 1 ½ cups leftover cooked quinoa
  • 1cupwater
  • ½: 5px; letter-spacing: 2px”>8cupsmixed shredded vegetables,(green or red cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts and/or carrots), or use about 20 oz store-bought slaw mix
  • 1cupred onion,(1 small), halved and thinly sliced
  • ½cupchopped fresh cilantro,or parsley
  • 1cupsunshine salad dressing*,or more to taste
  • salt,to taste


  1. 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.

  2. Cook for about 12 to 15 minutes, until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water reducing heat as time goes on to maintain a gentle simmer.

  3. Remove from heat, cover, and let the quinoa rest for 5 minutes, to give it time to fluff up.

  4. Meanwhile, toast the pepitas in a small skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently, until fragrant and making little popping noises. Set aside to cool.

  5. To make sure the onion flavor doesn’t overwhelm the salad, rinse the sliced onion under running water, then let it drain well.

  6. In a large serving bowl, combine the shredded vegetables, drained onion, and cilantro. Add the cooled quinoa and pepitas. Drizzle the dressing on top and toss to mix.

  7. 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. 

  8. This slaw is best the day it’s made, but it keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days.

Recipe Notes

Check out this Sunshine Salad Dressing Recipe to learn how to make it.


  • Calories: 393.99kcal
  • Fat: 27.22g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.86g
  • Trans Fat: 0.00g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 7.99g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 12.75g
  • Carbohydrates: 30.46g
  • Fiber: 6.97g
  • Sugar: 2.31g
  • Protein: 9.30g
  • Sodium: 591.83mg
  • Calcium: 50.64mg
  • Potassium: 463.79mg
  • Iron: 2.68mg
  • Vitamin A: 312.82µg
  • Vitamin C: 15.13mg

Pro Tip for Perfecting Sunshine Slaw with Quinoa

When toasting pepitas, it's important to keep them moving in the pan to prevent them from burning. The pepitas are ready when they start to pop and release a nutty aroma. This toasting process enhances their flavor, making them a crunchy and delicious addition to the slaw.

Time-Saving Tips for Making This Slaw Recipe

Prep ahead: Chop and shred the vegetables and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Cook the quinoa and toast the pepitas in advance, so when it's time to assemble the slaw, everything is ready to go.

Double batch: Make a larger quantity of the sunshine salad dressing and keep it in the fridge. This way, you can use it for other salads or as a marinade for grilled vegetables or proteins.

Efficient chopping: Use a food processor to quickly shred the vegetables, or consider using pre-shredded vegetables to save time and effort.

One-pot quinoa: Cook the quinoa in a rice cooker for a hands-off approach, allowing you to focus on other tasks while it cooks perfectly.

Substitute Ingredients For Sunshine Slaw with Quinoa Recipe

  • quinoa - Substitute with brown rice: Brown rice has a similar nutty flavor and chewy texture, making it a suitable replacement for quinoa in this recipe.

  • pepitas - Substitute with sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds provide a similar crunchy texture and nutty flavor, making them a great alternative to pepitas in the sunshine slaw with quinoa recipe.

  • red onion - Substitute with shallots: Shallots offer a milder flavor compared to red onions and can be a suitable replacement in this recipe, adding a subtle onion taste without overpowering the dish.

  • sunshine salad dressing - Substitute with honey mustard vinaigrette: The sweet and tangy flavor profile of honey mustard vinaigrette can complement the sunshine slaw with quinoa recipe similarly to the original dressing.

Presentation Tips for Serving Sunshine Slaw

  1. Elevate the quinoa: Mold the cooked quinoa into a ring mold for a neat, compact presentation. This will give the dish a refined and elegant look.

  2. Garnish with pepitas: Sprinkle toasted pepitas on top of the slaw for a delightful crunch and a pop of color. This will add a touch of sophistication to the dish.

  3. Create a vegetable nest: Arrange the shredded vegetables in a nest-like shape on the plate, and place the quinoa in the center. This will create a visually appealing and artistic presentation.

  4. Drizzle the sunshine dressing artistically: Use a squeeze bottle to drizzle the sunshine dressing in a decorative pattern around the plate. This will add a professional and artistic touch to the dish.

  5. Incorporate edible flowers: Garnish the dish with edible flowers, such as nasturtium or pansies, to add a touch of elegance and a pop of color. This will elevate the visual appeal of the dish.

  6. Use a ring mold for the slaw: Pack the mixed shredded vegetables into a ring mold to create a beautiful, structured presentation. Carefully remove the mold to reveal a perfectly formed slaw.

  7. Add microgreens as a finishing touch: Sprinkle a small amount of microgreens on top of the dish for a delicate and sophisticated finishing touch. This will add a burst of freshness and elevate the overall presentation.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Quinoa Slaw

  • Saucepan: A saucepan is a deep cooking pan with a long handle and sometimes a lid, used for boiling, stewing, or making sauces.
  • Skillet: A skillet is a flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and browning foods. It typically has a long handle.
  • Serving bowl: A serving bowl is a large bowl used for serving salads, pasta, or other dishes at the table.
  • Small skillet: A small skillet is a smaller version of a regular skillet, used for toasting nuts or seeds, or for cooking small portions of food.
  • Food processor: A food processor is a kitchen appliance used to facilitate repetitive tasks in the preparation of food, such as chopping, slicing, and shredding.
  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is a deep bowl used for mixing ingredients, often made of glass, ceramic, or metal.
  • Whisk: A whisk is a kitchen utensil used for whipping and mixing ingredients such as eggs, sauces, and batters.
  • Cutting board: A cutting board is a durable board on which food is cut and prepared. It provides a safe and hygienic surface for food preparation.
  • Chef's knife: A chef's knife is a versatile, all-purpose kitchen knife with a broad blade that is used for a variety of cutting tasks.
  • Measuring cup: A measuring cup is a kitchen utensil used primarily to measure the volume of liquid or bulk solid cooking ingredients such as flour and sugar.
  • Lid: A lid is a cover for a pan or pot that helps to retain heat and moisture during cooking.
  • Colander: A colander is a bowl-shaped kitchen utensil with perforations for draining liquids from food, such as pasta or vegetables.
  • Tongs: Tongs are a versatile kitchen tool used for gripping and lifting food items, such as turning meat or tossing salads.
  • Grater: A grater is a kitchen utensil with sharp-edged holes used for shredding or grating foods such as cheese, vegetables, or citrus zest.
  • Peeler: A peeler is a kitchen tool used to remove the outer skin or peel from fruits and vegetables.
  • Large serving bowl: A large serving bowl is used for serving larger portions of salads, pasta, or other dishes at the table.

Storage and Freezing Instructions for Quinoa Slaw

  • This slaw can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The flavors will meld together and improve over time, making it a great make-ahead dish for potlucks, picnics, or meal prep.

  • If you want to store the slaw for longer than 4 days, you can freeze it. However, keep in mind that the texture of the vegetables may change slightly after thawing.

  • To freeze the slaw, place it in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Label the container with the date and contents.

  • The frozen slaw can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.

  • When you're ready to eat the frozen slaw, transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Once thawed, give it a good stir and add a little extra dressing if needed to refresh the flavors before serving.

  • If you plan on freezing the slaw, it's best to leave out the pepitas and add them just before serving for optimal texture and crunch.

How To Reheat Leftover Slaw

  • To reheat leftover sunshine slaw with quinoa, start by placing the desired amount in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel to help retain moisture and prevent the quinoa from drying out.
  • Microwave the slaw on high power for 30-second intervals, stirring gently between each interval, until it reaches your desired temperature. Be careful not to overheat, as this can cause the vegetables to become mushy and the quinoa to become dry.
  • Alternatively, you can reheat the sunshine slaw in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add a small amount of water or vegetable broth to the pan to help steam the slaw and prevent sticking. Stir the slaw occasionally until it's heated through, about 3-5 minutes.
  • If you find that the reheated slaw is a bit dry, you can add a splash of fresh sunshine salad dressing or a squeeze of lemon juice to help revive the flavors and add moisture.
  • For a crispy texture, you can also spread the leftover slaw on a baking sheet and reheat it under the broiler for 1-2 minutes. Keep a close eye on it to prevent burning, and stir the slaw once during cooking to ensure even heating.
  • If you have time, letting the reheated slaw sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before serving can help the flavors meld together and improve the overall taste of the dish.

Interesting Trivia About Sunshine Slaw

The Sunshine Slaw with Quinoa recipe is a nutritious and vibrant dish that combines the goodness of quinoa, fresh vegetables, and pepitas. This salad is a great source of plant-based protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. It's a perfect dish for a summer picnic or as a refreshing side for any meal. The combination of flavors and textures in this slaw makes it a versatile and delicious addition to any menu. Plus, it can be easily customized with your favorite vegetables and dressing. Enjoy the burst of sunshine in every bite!

Budget-Friendly: Is This Slaw Recipe Economical?

The cost-effectiveness of this sunshine slaw with quinoa recipe is quite high. The ingredients, such as quinoa, vegetables, and pepitas, are generally affordable and can be found in most households. The recipe yields a large quantity, making it suitable for a family of four. The versatility of the dish also allows for easy customization based on available ingredients, reducing potential waste. Overall, this recipe is a budget-friendly option for a nutritious and flavorful meal. On a scale of 1-10, the cost-effectiveness rating is 9. Approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $15-20 USD.

Is This Slaw Recipe Healthy or Unhealthy?

This sunshine slaw with quinoa recipe is a nutritious and wholesome dish that offers a variety of health benefits. The recipe incorporates a mix of nutrient-dense ingredients, such as:

  • Quinoa: A protein-rich pseudocereal that provides essential amino acids, fiber, and minerals like iron and magnesium
  • Mixed shredded vegetables: Offering a wide array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants crucial for overall health
  • Pepitas: A good source of healthy fats, protein, and minerals like zinc and manganese
  • Cilantro: Rich in antioxidants and vitamins, helping to support detoxification and digestion
  • Red onion: Contains quercetin, a potent antioxidant that helps combat inflammation

The combination of these ingredients creates a well-balanced meal that is low in unhealthy fats and high in fiber, promoting satiety and aiding in weight management.

To further enhance the nutritional value of this already healthy recipe, consider the following suggestions:

  • Opt for a variety of colorful vegetables to maximize the intake of different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Include a lean protein source, such as grilled chicken or tofu, to make it a complete meal
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices to add flavor and boost the dish's antioxidant content
  • Use a homemade sunshine salad dressing made with healthy fats, like olive oil or avocado oil, and limit the amount of added sugars
  • Incorporate additional fiber-rich ingredients, such as chickpeas or black beans, to further support digestive health and promote feelings of fullness

Editor's Opinion on This Quinoa Slaw Recipe

The sunshine slaw with quinoa recipe is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The quinoa adds a nutty and hearty element, while the mixed shredded vegetables provide a refreshing crunch. The sunshine salad dressing brings a zesty and tangy note that ties everything together beautifully. The addition of toasted pepitas adds a lovely depth of flavor and a satisfying crunch. Overall, this dish is a perfect balance of wholesome ingredients and vibrant flavors, making it a delightful addition to any meal.

Enhance Your Sunshine Slaw with Quinoa Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of roasted garlic, perfect for pairing with the sunshine slaw.
Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest: Tender asparagus grilled to perfection and topped with a zesty lemon zest, a refreshing side dish to accompany the sunshine slaw.
Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts: Crispy Brussels sprouts drizzled with a sweet and tangy balsamic glaze, a delightful addition to the sunshine slaw.

Similar Recipes to Sunshine Slaw with Quinoa

Savory Stuffed Bell Peppers: Combine ground beef, rice, tomatoes, and spices to stuff bell peppers, then bake until tender and delicious.
Mango Avocado Salsa: Mix diced mango, avocado, red onion, jalapeno, and cilantro for a refreshing and flavorful salsa to serve with grilled fish or chicken.
Creamy Butternut Squash Soup: Roast butternut squash, then blend with vegetable broth, cream, and spices for a velvety and comforting soup perfect for chilly nights.

Appetizer and Dessert Ideas to Serve with Slaw

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your guests with these savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. The perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal.
Crispy Zucchini Fritters: These crispy zucchini fritters are a delicious way to start any gathering. The combination of fresh zucchini, herbs, and a crispy coating make for a delightful appetizer that will leave everyone wanting more.
Decadent Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and intense chocolate flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Velvety Lemon Tart: Treat yourself to a tangy and refreshing lemon tart, with a buttery crust and a silky smooth lemon filling. The zesty citrus flavor is perfectly balanced with a hint of sweetness, making it the perfect ending to any meal.

Why trust this Sunshine Slaw with Quinoa Recipe:

This recipe offers a vibrant and nutritious combination of quinoa, pepitas, and a colorful array of shredded vegetables. The use of sunshine salad dressing adds a burst of flavor, while the inclusion of fresh cilantro enhances the dish with a delightful herbaceous note. The careful instructions ensure that the quinoa is perfectly cooked, and the addition of toasted pepitas provides a satisfying crunch. The mixed shredded vegetables offer a variety of textures and flavors, making this recipe a trustworthy choice for a wholesome and delicious meal.

Share your thoughts on the Sunshine Slaw with Quinoa Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know if you have any tips or variations to make this dish even better!
Can I use different vegetables in this slaw?
Yes, you can definitely use different vegetables in this slaw. Feel free to mix and match your favorite vegetables or use whatever you have on hand.
Can I make the sunshine salad dressing ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can make the sunshine salad dressing ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Just give it a good shake before using.
Can I make this slaw in advance?
Yes, you can make this slaw in advance. It keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days. Just be sure to let it rest for 20 minutes before serving for the best flavor.
Can I substitute the quinoa with another grain?
Of course! You can substitute the quinoa with another grain like couscous, bulgur, or even brown rice. Adjust the cooking time and water ratio accordingly.
Can I omit the pepitas or substitute them with something else?
Certainly! If you prefer to omit the pepitas or use a different seed or nut, feel free to customize the slaw to your liking. Sunflower seeds or chopped almonds would make great substitutes.

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