This rainbow salad combines fresh veggies, beans, and seeds with a nutritional yeast dressing. It's the hippie salad of your dreams. Rainbow salad is about a few things, but fundamentally it's about the grated beets and carrots! There is something so delicious about how the dressing and avocado get all up into the grated sweet veggies—it is a dream.

For some more fantastic pack-and-go meals perfect to bring to a picnic or work lunch, try my arugula pesto pasta (equally good warm or cold), carrot falafel, or springy tofu salad sandwich.

A bowl of shredded vegetable salad in sunlight.
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Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Chickpeas: these can be cooked or canned. See my easy guide on how to cook beans in the oven if you want to cook your own.
  • Red beet: no need to peel, for the beet or the carrot! Lots of nutrients hang out in the skin and since they're grated, you won't even notice the difference.
  • Purple cabbage: you can sub white cabbage if preferred but it does take away from the rainbow just a bit.
  • Seeds: use any seeds or nuts you like, and see more on this below.
  • Dressing: the slightly cheesy tasting nutritional yeast dressing is perfect here - and adds lots of beneficial vitamins - but you could sub another salad dressing like green goddess dip or ginger lime dressing if you prefer.

How to Make Rainbow Salad

Rainbow salad steps 1 to 4, assembling salad and making dressing.

Step 1: prep and shred your veggies and add them to a large mixing bowl.

Step 2: if you don't already have the dressing made, measure out the ingredients needs and peel the ginger.

Step 3: blend until smooth and transfer to a jar. You'll probably have some dressing leftover.

Step 4: add as much dressing as you'd like to the salad, mix, and serve.

Top Tips

  • Change up the textures: I love to grate some (either with a box grater or a food processor) and slice others thinly (you can use a knife or a mandoline). The key to this rainbow salad is using lots of different veggies and getting different textures.
  • Don't skip the dressing: nutritional yeast may seem like an odd ingredient to add to a salad dressing, especially in this amount, but for vegans and vegetarians, it is a vital ingredient. Nutritional yeast contains Vitamin B12, which is something plant eaters often don't get enough of in their diets. It might take a little time to get used to the flavour, but it is super cheesy and morish!
  • Use a variety: this salad can be made at any time of year, as it relies heavily on root vegetables. Switch out the cucumber for anything seasonal and remember that sprouts can be grown indoors year-round.

How to Store

Storage: with dressing, the salad will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 2-3 days. The vegetables can dry out a bit during storage without the dressing.

Freezing: I don't recommend freezing this salad.

Alterations 

These types of big veggie salads rely on a mix of easy to find vegetables, but they can be adapted to whatever you have on hand. Try any of these:

  • Grated raw veggies like beet, carrot, or other root vegetables like kohlrabi
  • Any beans, like chickpeas or white beans
  • Something creamy like avocado, hummus, or even a nut cheese
  • A crunchy veggie like shredded cabbage or cucumber
  • Some seeds or nuts—think sesame, pumpkin, or sunflower seed s
  • Something living like sprouts!
  • A lettuce base. Think mixed baby greens, baby kale, spinach, leaf lettuce, or bibb lettuce

FAQ

What is rainbow salad made of?

It can be made with any vegetables that come in all different colours. The goal is to pack as many vegetables in of different varieties and shades to make sure you're getting loads of different vitamins.

Are raw salads healthy?

Raw vegetables, generally speaking, contain more nutrients and vitamins than cooked vegetables, and are naturally high in dietary fibre.

Can you eat raw beets?

Of course! Raw shredded beets are lightly sweet and a little earthy, and make a great addition to salads.

If you make this Rainbow Salad recipe or any other vegan salads on Wholehearted Eats, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more WHE, follow along on Instagram or subscribe for new posts via email.

Recipe

A bowl of shredded vegetable salad in sunlight.
Print Recipe
4.47 from 28 votes

Rainbow Salad with Nutritional Yeast Dressing

This vibrant rainbow salad with nutritional yeast dressing is the perfect west coast hippy kind of salad. Loaded with beans, seeds, and fresh veggies it's a powerhouse.
Prep Time10 minutes
Additional Time5 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Servings: 2

Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • Blender

Ingredients

Nutritional Yeast Dressing

  • 6 tablespoons flaked nutritional yeast
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • a thumb-sized piece of ginger peeled
  • Ground black pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil

Rainbow Salad

  • 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • English cucumber sliced
  • ½ red beet grated
  • 2 carrots grated
  • ½ avocado sliced
  • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • Handful sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  • Arrange all the salad ingredients in two bowls. Set aside while you make the dressing.
    1 can chickpeas
  • To make the dressing combine the nutritional yeast, water, few cracks black pepper, tamari, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and ginger in a blender. Pulse until the mixture is combined and the ginger and garlic are minced. Then, with the blender running, slowly add the oil until the dressing is fully emulsified and creamy.
    6 tablespoons flaked nutritional yeast, 3 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons tamari, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 2 large cloves garlic, ½ cup olive oil, a thumb-sized piece of ginger, Ground black pepper
  • Dress the salad and serve immediately. You'll have some extra dressing. See the full post for the dressing here.
    ⅓ English cucumber, ½ red beet, 2 carrots, ½ avocado, 1 cup shredded purple cabbage, Handful sprouts, 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

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