This Broccoli Quinoa Salad provides you with healthy greens, plant-based protein, and tons of flavor! Perfect to serve as a light lunch, dinner, or as one of the healthy sides at a potluck!

Once you’ve started adding quinoa to your salads, you’ll want it in everything like this Southwest quinoa salad or Mediterranean quinoa salad.

Broccoli quinoa salad with lemon dressing in white bowl.

I haven’t always loved raw broccoli but my healthy broccoli salad sparked my love affair!

Then, when I discovered adding quinoa to salads, this broccoli quinoa salad joined the ranks of my favorite ways to enjoy raw broccoli and quinoa!

It’s made with chopped broccoli, a mix of herbs, toasted slivered almonds, and cooked quinoa. Then drizzled with a deliciously tangy lemon dressing made with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper for an easy way to brighten it up.

In smaller portions, it can be used as a side dish but on busy days I’m happy to throw it together for a quick lunch or dinner.

That’s what is great about having a variety of healthy salad recipes on hand, they’re an effortless way to eat healthy even on the busiest days!

If you’ve made a big batch of quinoa and have some leftover, shrimp quinoa, black bean quinoa casserole, or quinoa falafel are smart ways to use it up.

Or check out this list of 30 healthy quinoa recipes!

Broccoli Quinoa Salad Ingredients

This customizable gluten free and dairy free salad can be made with the following ingredients. See further below for ways to make it your own!

  • Quinoa
  • Water
  • Almond slivers
  • Broccoli
  • Fresh herb blend
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon zest
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper

Substitutions and Notes

  • Different colors of quinoa: Red, white, or tri color would be great.
  • Herbs: Dill, parsley, mint, cilantro, basil, chives, tarragon.
  • Nuts or seeds: Pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans.
  • More greens: Kale, spinach, watercress, alfalfa sprouts.
  • Protein: Chickpeas, black beans, or cheese like feta, goat cheese, or cheddar cheese.
  • A touch of sweetness: Add a chopped Medjool date to the salad, or honey to the dressing.

How to Make Quinoa Salad with Broccoli

While this quinoa broccoli salad involves a few steps, the prep time is short and everything is combined in one bowl. No need to make the dressing separately.

Quinoa in a pot on the stovetop.

In a medium pot, add uncooked quinoa, water, and a pinch of salt. Cover with a lid and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.

Remove it from the heat, let stand for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork. Set it aside.

In the meantime, preheat a small skillet on low heat and add almonds. Toast until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on them, nuts tend to burn quickly. Set those aside as well.

Broccoli in a food processor.

In a food processor, add broccoli and process in batches until coarsely chopped. Here’s where you can decide the texture you want in your salad.

Add contents to a large bowl along with the remaining ingredients and gently stir to combine. Serve it cold.

Tips for Perfect Quinoa

Follow my easy step-by-step stovetop method for how to cook quinoa for perfect results. I also have an Instant Pot quinoa recipe if you prefer!

  • Rinse: Not always necessary, as quinoa usually comes pre-rinsed. It’s really a personal preference.
  • Yield: 1 cup of dry quinoa equals 3 cups of cooked quinoa. Feel free to make more than you need and use it in other recipes.
  • Ratio: Stick to the recipe exactly as written. Too much water can affect the resulting texture of the quinoa. Too little can cause it to burn.
  • Extra flavor: Replace the water with vegetable broth for a tasty variation which is great in a broccoli quinoa salad!

FAQs

Is this quinoa salad best eaten cold or hot?

I would say it’s best eaten cold, however, in the cooler months, I might change my mind!

How long does quinoa salad last?

Up to 3 days when kept in an airtight container in the fridge.

Can I use frozen broccoli?

No, it will be mushy.

Can I use roasted broccoli?

Yes, you can use any leftover roasted broccoli or even air fryer broccoli. Just chop it coarsely by hand. I would think it becomes mushy in a food processor since it has been already cooked.

Make Ahead and Storage

  • To make ahead: Quinoa can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for up to 1 week. The lemon dressing can also be made ahead and stored for a couple of days in advance.
  • To store: Keep leftover broccoli quinoa salad stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
  • Do not freeze assembled salad: What you can do is freeze the quinoa on its own if you have made more than you need.

More Quinoa Salad Recipes

More Healthy Salad Recipes

Broccoli quinoa salad with lemon dressing in white bowl.

Broccoli Quinoa Salad with Lemon Dressing

Broccoli Quinoa Salad Recipe is a cold quinoa salad with raw broccoli, cooked quinoa, toasted almonds, any fresh herbs, olive oil and lemon.
4.92 from 12 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 343
Diet Gluten Free
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 cup quinoa uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1 cup almonds slivered or coarsely chopped
  • 1.5 lbs raw broccoli including stems, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup any fresh herbs (I used dill, parsley, mint, basil, cilantro and chives) finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/2 lemon zest of
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp salt + pinch
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • In a medium pot, add quinoa, water and a pinch of salt. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork. Set aside.
  • In the meanwhile, preheat small skillet on low heat and add almonds. Toast until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
  • In a food processor, add broccoli and process in batches until coarsely chopped.
  • Add to a large bowl along with cooked quinoa, toasted almonds, herbs, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Gently stir to combine and if you have time let salad chill in a fridge for an hour or so. Serve cold.

Notes

  • Make ahead: Quinoa can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for up to 1 week. The lemon dressing can also be made ahead and stored for a couple of days in advance.
  • Store: Keep leftover broccoli quinoa salad stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
  • Do not freeze assembled salad: What you can do is freeze the quinoa on its own if you have made more than you need.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 330mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 3g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My husband and I made this recipe together and enjoyed not only the process, but also the taste of this unique salad! The nuttiness of the toasted almonds made the salad ever so delicious. We also added about 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese.

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