This roasted broccoli quinoa salad is loaded with flavor as well and antioxidants. Made with roasted broccoli, quinoa, and a simple orange vinaigrette that brings everything together. It’s the perfect healthy side dish for Thanksgiving or holiday potlucks.
As the temperature drops, I’m no longer in the mood for my usual lettuce based salads like this summer peach salad so I turn to heartier salads like this warm farro salad with roasted veggies or this lemon kale Caesar salad. This roasted broccoli quinoa salad is the perfect combination of savory and sweet since you have roasted broccoli paired with a simple orange vinaigrette. I hope you love it as much as I do!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Great for meal prep! The flavors in this salad marinate when you store it in the fridge so it gets even better as the week goes along.
- The perfect side dish. This salad is a great side option for all kinds of main dishes.
- A great option for Thanksgiving dinner or holiday gatherings. Salad doesn’t have to be an afterthought- this delicious broccoli salad can be a star on any holiday table.
- This salad is easily adaptable so that it can be vegan, dairy free, and nut free. As written, this recipe is gluten free and egg free.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Broccoli: broccoli gets roasted at high heat until it is nice and crisp for this delicious quinoa salad. Try to chop your broccoli into similar size pieces so that it cooks evenly.
- Quinoa: Love using quinoa in salads like this one since it is such a great source of plant-based protein. You can also use a whole grain like farro or barley instead of quinoa if you prefer.
- Orange: Adds a hint of sweetness to balance out the earthy flavors from the broccoli. You can also use lemon if the dressing instead of orange for a more tart salad.
- White Wine Vinegar: White wine vinegar pairs well with the orange in the dressing. However, you can also use red wine vinegar instead.
- Almonds: Roasted unsalted almonds add a nice bit of crunch/texture to this salad. If you don’t have almonds, you could also use unsalted pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or sesame seeds.
- Pomegranate: I love adding pomegranate to salads in the fall/winter because I just love their sweet-tart flavor and crunch. Instead of pomegranate, you can use dried cranberries.
- Goat Cheese: Love the creaminess that a little bit of goat cheese adds to salads like this one. If you want to make this vegan/dairy-free, you can also use this vegan feta cheese instead.
How to Make this Salad
STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the broccoli in olive oil and spread into a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly charred and tender.
STEP 2: While the broccoli roasts in the oven, make your quinoa by adding rinsed quinoa to a small saucepan with broth. (You can also use water or 50/50 broth and water). Bring to a simmer and then cover. Cook for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender.
STEP 3: Make the orange vinaigrette by adding all the dressing ingredients (olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, dijon mustard, maple, orange zest, salt, and pepper) to a small mixing bowl. Whisk together until combined.
STEP 5: Allow the broccoli and quinoa to cool for a few minutes and then combine all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Toss well with a wooden spoon to coat everything in dressing. Serve warm or chilled.
Quinoa Cooking Tips
- Make sure to rinse your quinoa with cold water before cooking. Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin which can taste bitter/soapy and needs to be be rinsed off before cooking.
- To rinse, add quinoa to a fine mesh strainer and rinse well under cold running water.
- Use 2 cups of cooking liquid to every 1 cup of quinoa. Use broth as the cooking liquid for added flavor. Often, I will do a combination of water and broth.
- After cooking, leave the quinoa to sit in the pot covered with the lid for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.
Storage and Make Ahead
- Make Ahead: Chop the broccoli advance if you want to save time on prep. You can also roast the broccoli up to 3 days before making this salad, but it won’t be as crisp as freshly roasted broccoli. You can also cook the quinoa up to 3 days in advance and store in the fridge until you are ready to make this salad. The dressing can also be prepped in advance and stored in the fridge in a mason jar.
- Storage: Store cooled salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! You can roast frozen broccoli for this recipe in a pinch, but it does taste a little better with fresh broccoli. Check out this post for helpful tips for roasting frozen broccoli.
Thanks to all the fiber and plant-based protein from the quinoa, this salad is filling enough to be a meal on its own. I love packing this one for lunch at work. When serving with a meal, we like to pair it with a plant-based sausage like Field Roast or a soup like this crockpot minestrone.
Yes! Quinoa is naturally gluten free and is a great source of plant-based protein. One cup of cooked quinoa has 8 grams of complete protein since it includes all 8 essential amino acids.
More Delicious Salads Recipes You’ll Love
- Pear and Arugula Salad
- Roasted Cauliflower, Lentil, and Feta Salad
- Warm Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables
- Lemon Kale Caesar Salad
Roasted Broccoli Quinoa Salad
For the Roasted Broccoli
- 6 cups chopped broccoli ~1 large head
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth or water
Other Salad Ingredients
Roasted Broccoli Directions
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss broccoli and olive oil together in a bowl and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tender and browned on the edges. Set aside.
- Rinse quinoa well in a fine strainer under cold water. Transfer to a saucepan and add broth. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook 15 minutes or until broth has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Set aside.
- In a jar, add all of the dressing ingredients. Cover and shake until emulsified. Pour over salad ingredients and toss to coat. Serve!
- In a large mixing bowl, add the broccoli, quinoa, pomegranate seeds, almonds, orange zest, salt and pepper.
- Substitute for White Wine Vinegar: you can use red wine vinegar instead if you’d like.
- Substitute for Pomegranate: you can use dried cranberries instead of pomegranate.
- Serving: This salad is filling enough to serve as a main dish salad for lunch or a smaller portion as a side.
- Storage: salad can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- Make Ahead: make broccoli, dressing, and/or the quinoa up to 3 days in advance. You can also pre-chop the broccoli to reduce prep time when you go to make this salad.
- Make it vegan/dairy free: Skip the goat cheese or use a non-dairy feta (like VioLife) instead.
- Make it nut free: Skip the almonds. You can use pumpkin seeds or sunflower instead of almonds if desired.