Quinoa Broccoli Slaw with Honey-Mustard Dressing

The images for this sour broccoli slaw dish were so green and unappetizing that I was unable to put them in my epic salads compilation, despite the fact that they deserved to be there. When I first saw the post, all I could think was, “Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit!”

In case you missed it over the last couple of years, I’m re-posting it today with improved images and moving it to the top of the blog. Ribbit!

The slaw is unquestionably quite green as described, even with a splash of complimentary color (the coral napkin). Some reviewers mentioned using diced apples or dried cranberries to add color, and I think both of those additions sound delectable.

The excellent mayo-free broccoli and potato salad that my friend Sarah brought to a spring potluck two years ago served as the general inspiration for my broccoli slaw. It’s not too dissimilar from my colorful beet and quinoa salad and Greek broccoli salad, but it was simply too delicious to keep to myself.

This slaw is made from the base of finely chopped broccoli florets, and it’s simple to create at home in a food processor (or you can skip a step and buy pre-shredded broccoli slaw).

Due to its comparable texture and complimentary flavor, cooked quinoa mixes in seamlessly. You can make a delicious mayo-free broccoli slaw by combining toasted almonds, a tangy honey-mustard sauce, and chopped basil for flavorful bursts of freshness.



  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup slivered or sliced almonds
  • 1 ½ pounds broccoli (about 2 large or 3 medium heads) or 16 ounces shredded broccoli slaw
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh basil

Honey-mustard dressing

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or more lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, optional (for heat)


  1. To cook the quinoa: First, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander under running water. In a medium-sized pot, combine the rinsed quinoa and 1 ½ cups water. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer the quinoa until it has absorbed all of the water. Remove the quinoa from heat, cover the pot and let it rest for 5 minutes. Uncover the pot and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set it aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, toast the almonds: In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and starting to turn golden on the edges, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a large serving bowl to cool.
  3. To prepare the broccoli (if you’re not using prepared broccoli slaw), trim off any brown bits from the florets and stems, then slice the florets off the stems into manageable pieces. Use a paring knife to peel off the tough, woody perimeter of the broccoli stems and then discard those pieces. Now you can feed the broccoli florets through your food processor using the slicing blade, then switch to the grating blade to shred the stems. Alternatively, you can shred the broccoli with a mandoline or by hand with a sharp knife.
  4. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a liquid measuring cup and whisk until emulsified. The dressing should be pleasantly tangy and pack a punch. If it’s overwhelmingly acidic, add a little more honey to balance out the flavors. If it needs more kick, add a bit more mustard or lemon juice.
  5. Add the shredded broccoli slaw, cooked quinoa and chopped basil to your large serving bowl. Pour the dressing over the mixture and toss until well mixed. Let the slaw rest for about 20 minutes to let the flavors meld.


MAKE IT VEGAN: Substitute maple syrup for the honey.
MAKE IT NUT FREE: I bet sunflower seeds would be a great alternative to the almonds.
STORAGE SUGGESTIONS: This salad keeps well overnight. Brighten up leftovers with a squeeze of lemon juice and maybe an extra drizzle of olive oil and dash of salt, too.