Generally, there is a need for short questionnaires to estimate diet quality in the Netherlands. We developed a thirty-four-item FFQ - the Dutch Healthy Diet FFQ (DHD-FFQ) - to estimate adherence to the most recent Dutch guidelines for a healthy diet of 2006 using the DHD-index. The objectives of the present study were to evaluate the DHD-index derived from the DHD-FFQ by comparing it with the index based on a reference method and to examine associations with participant characteristics, nutrient intakes and levels of cardiometabolic risk factors. Data of 1235 Dutch men and women, aged between 20 and 70 years, participating in the Nutrition Questionnaires plus study were used. The DHD-index was calculated from the DHD-FFQ and from a reference method consisting of a 180-item FFQ combined with a 24-h urinary Na excretion value. Ranking was studied using Spearman's correlations, and absolute agreement was studied using a Bland-Altman plot. Nutrient intakes derived from the 180-item FFQ were studied according to quintiles of the DHD-index using DHD-FFQ data. The correlation between the DHD-index derived from the DHD-FFQ and the reference method was 0·56 (95 % CI 0·52, 0·60). The Bland-Altman plot showed a small mean overestimation of the DHD-index derived from the DHD-FFQ compared with the reference method. The DHD-index score was in the favourable direction associated with most macronutrient and micronutrient intakes when adjusted for energy intake. No associations between the DHD-index score and cardiometabolic risk factors were observed. In conclusion, the DHD-index derived from the DHD-FFQ was considered acceptable in ranking but relatively poor in individual assessment of diet quality.