Roasted broccoli quinoa salad is simple, delicious, and keeps well as leftovers. This salad is great as a side dish or add a protein to make it a meal in itself.
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Inspired by the broccoli quinoa salad on Fooduzzi but lacking lemons (I used them all, we go through a lot of lemons in the Lemon & Sophia kitchen) and lacking the desire to clean my food processor (again), I made this version with apple cider vinaigrette. Enjoy!
How to make roasted broccoli quinoa salad step-by-step.
- Roast the broccoli
This takes the longest so do this first. You use either a roasting pan or a baking sheet to roast the broccoli. Personally, I find that I get better results using a baking sheet because it has lower sides. Not as much heat is trapped when using a baking sheet so the broccoli cooks slower and is less likely to burn. I don’t bother lining the sheet because it’s not that difficult to clean after but it’s no problem if you want to.
- Cook the quinoa
Rinse the quinoa before cooking to remove the coating of saponin. Add to a saucepan with cold water or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork with it’s cooked.
- Make the dressing
To make the apple cider vinaigrette, add all the ingredients to a jar and shake vigorously until combined. Pour about 3/4 onto the cooked quinoa and coat the quinoa evenly. Reserve a quarter of the dressing so after you taste the salad, you can decide if you want more.
- Put the salad together
Add the roasted broccoli to the quinoa which has been coated in apple cider vinaigrette. Sprinkle some flaked almonds on top. This salad can be served hot or cold. If you’re making it ahead of time, allow it to cool to room temperature then cover it and store it in the fridge until ready to serve.
Tips for Making Broccoli Quinoa Salad
The easiest way to rinse quinoa is to place it in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse it under running water. You can also add water to the quinoa, agitate it, and pour the cloudy water off the top. Repeat until the water is no longer cloudy.
There is a debate on whether or not you need to rinse quinoa. Quinoa has a coating called saponin. The plant uses it to deter animals from eating the seeds in the wild. Some people say this gives quinoa a bitter taste, others say it gives it a nutty, earthy flavor. Personally, I fall into the camp of rinsing food before I eat it.
If you really want to skip this step, you can buy pre-rinsed or ‘boil in the bag’ quinoa.
Use a baking sheet for more evenly cooked broccoli. I find that using a roasting pan makes the broccoli cook too fast and it burns before the stems are tender. You can line the baking sheet with parchment paper but it’s not that difficult to clean after.
Making the Dressing
As previously noted, I did not want any unnecessary washing up when making this recipe. If you are not opposed to getting your food processor dirty, you can make a really smooth and creamy dressing by first adding the apple cider vinegar and minced garlic to the processor. Turn the food processor on high and then slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Gradually adding the oil to the vinegar forms an emulsion and the dressing becomes really creamy.
Serve with a grilled steak for a really hearty meal. If you’re going all out, start with Quick and Easy Chickpea Dip then finish the meal with Edible Chopped Chocolate Cookie Dough. This salad also makes a great breakfast, served with a scrambled egg and some hot sauce.
More salad recipes…
- Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
- Uncle Bobby’s Gluten Free Pasta Salad
- Grilled Steak Salad with Balsamic Dressing
- Arugula Radish Salad with Scallions
- French Carrot Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
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If you make this recipe, please let me know in the comments below or tag me on Instagram @lemonandsophia! I love hearing what people think and what changes or additions you make.
Roasted Broccoli Quinoa Salad
- Roasting pan
- 1 head broccoli
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water or chicken broth
- ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic chopped or minced
- ¼ cup flaked almonds
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Rinse the head broccoli and cut it into florets. Coat with 3 tablespoons of olive, season with salt and pepper, then arrange the florets in a single layer on a roasting pan or baking sheet.
- Roast for 10 minutes then turn the florets. Roast for another 10 minutes until tender. If the broccoli is not cooked leave it in for another 5 minutes and check it again.
- While the broccoli is roasting, rinse the quinoa until the water runs clear. Add to a saucepan with 2 cups of water or chicken broth, bring to a boil, cover and then simmer for 10 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
- To make the dressing, add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste to a jar and shake until combined.
- When the quinoa is cooked, add ¾ of the dressing then taste. Add more if desired or put it on the table and allow people to add their own. Top the quinoa with broccoli and flaked almonds. Serve hot or cold.