This healthy broccoli quinoa salad is tossed with a creamy cashew dressing and makes for a filling, yet surprisingly light side dish. It's also vegan, gluten-free and high-fiber too!
One of my favorite things to make when I'm short on time is roasted broccoli. It's quick, it's easy, it's healthy and it's delicious. But for those times where simple roasted broccoli sounds kind of “blah”, I toss it in an amazing creamy vegan dressing, throw in some quinoa and call it my amazing Broccoli Quinoa Salad!
You know I'm all about my creamy dressings, especially when they involve tahini (which is pretty much all the time), but I'm throwing you a curveball with this salad and making the base of our dressing out of cashew butter!
The Perfect Creamy Vegan Dressing
Personally, I think cashew butter is one of the most underrated nut butters out there. It has the most amazing texture – we're talking super creamy – and the flavor is amazing. A tiny bit sweet, and a very subtle nuttiness.
When I originally shared this recipe back in 2014, I made the dressing out of raw cashews. But the thing with raw cashews is that you need to a) soak them for a few hours and b) blend them.
That means more time and more dishes. And friends? I'm all about simplifying!
So that's what we're doing with our dressing. It comes together in just a few seconds, no need to dirty up your blender and I actually like it better than the original. With the pop of lemon and dijon mustard, mixed with the brightness from the parsley, it's a pretty darn delicious dressing (that would also go super well with my buddha bowls).
For the salad part, it's simple. We're quickly roasting up some broccoli in olive oil, then tossing it with some cooked quinoa for protein, sliced almonds for crunch and this creamy cashew dressing.
Stir it all together and d-o-n-e!
Don't you just love when things are easy? I know I do!
Why you'll love this Broccoli Quinoa Salad
Aside from it being easy to make, this salad is also…
Packed with fiber
Great for digestion
Full of healthy fats and protein
Plant-based & gluten-free
And did I mention tasty?
Yeah, it's super tasty too!
And the texture is perfect. It's rich and filling, but still super light. It makes a great side dish, can easily be meal prepped, can be served warm or cold, and can be jazzed up when needed.
Want to make this entree portion? You can easily spruce it up to make it an entree size by adding chicken or chickpeas, or keep it as is for a simple side dish or light lunch.
Either way, I'm sure (even if you're a dairy-lover), you'll be a cashew butter dressing convert after you try this creamy broccoli quinoa salad.
Looking for more quinoa salads recipes? Try one of these:
- Almond Butter Thai Quinoa Salad
- Roasted Leek & Broccoli Quinoa Salad
- Roasted Brussels Sprout Quinoa Salad
- Fall Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash & Apples
Creamy Vegan Broccoli & Quinoa Salad
for the salad:
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
for the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons cashew butter
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
- Water as needed
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss broccoli in oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast until golden brown and softened slightly, about 15 - 20 minutes.
- While broccoli is roasting, prepare the dressing. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients until smooth. The mixture will be thick, so whisk in water a splash at a time until it's runny enough to pour.
- When broccoli is done, remove from oven and transfer to mixing bowl. Add quinoa and almonds, and toss to combine.
- Pour dressing over broccoli-quinoa mixture and stir until evenly coated.
- Serve immediately (for a warm salad) or chill in fridge for at least two hours.
New to cooking quinoa? Grab your FREE Quinoa Starter Guide!
Become part of the Simply Quinoa community and receive weekly emails with exclusive content that I only share in email, as well as my in-depth guide to starting your quinoa journey.