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June 6, 2018

by Alyssa

Creamy Vegan Broccoli Quinoa Salad

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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!

creamy vegan broccoli quinoa salad with sliced almonds

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!

a perfect creamy vegan dressing made with 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).

vegan broccoli quinoa salad with a creamy cashew dressing

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!

healthy broccoli quinoa salad with a vegan cashew dressing

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!

vegan broccoli quinoa salad with a creamy cashew dressing

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.

creamy broccoli quinoa salad recipe with a vegan cashew dressing

Looking for more quinoa salads recipes? Try one of these:

Creamy Vegan Broccoli & Quinoa Salad

This creamy vegan broccoli & quinoa salad is the perfect side dish! It's packed with flavor and nutrition and tastes almost like a Caesar salad. Quick and easy to make, it's sure to get gobbled up!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 340kcal
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creamy vegan broccoli quinoa salad with sliced almonds
4.67 from 6 votes


for the salad:

for the dressing:


  • 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.



Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 102mg | Potassium: 883mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1765IU | Vitamin C: 172.3mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 4mg



vegan broccoli quinoa salad with a creamy cashew butter dressing

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. I made this last week and loved it🥰🥰 My daughter and husband, however, thought it had too much lemon (my lemons were pretty big) so next time I will try it with 2 tablespoons and adjust accordingly.

  2. I am confused by the directions – it says to drain cashews but you are using cashew butter – do you simply put all the dressing ingredients in the blender? It also seems like there wouldn’t be enough to blend – given the small amount of ingredients. Thanks!

    • Sorry for the confusion!! I forgot to update the instructions when I updated the ingredients 🙂 oops!

    • I had the same question. Glad to find someone had an actual question about the recipe rather than a complaint. Whatever time it took to click to the re Joe didn’t take nearly as much time as typing out these repeated complaints!
      So my question is the same as Colleen’s…. it says drain cashews…. the ingredients say 2T cashew butter…. what are we actually draining? Especially since the point of ease in this recipe is supposed to be bot having to soak the cashews. Just a bit confused. Thanks!!

  3. I just made this recipe and love it! Also, the extra nanosecond it took to click on the link to the other website didn’t both me at all 🙂

  4. Alyssa, in life, you will meet all kinds of people, and experience just as many different recipes. Don’t let a few unhappy people decide your life. You handled the situation royally, and I’m sure you have many, many more appreciative followers that outweigh the negative ones. You are offering a great resource and it will be their loss if they unsubscribe.

    Thank you for all your recipes and hard work!!!
    Keep smiling!!

    • Thank you, Terry. Your note has made me feel so much better and I’m really thankful for you taking the time to comment. It’s always hard to push back the negativity, but with all the positive feedback I’ve gotten today, it’s made me realize how important it is to be able to brush things off and move forward 🙂 xo!

  5. […] A healthy and easy salad with broccoli, quinoa, and a creamy vegan sauce. Who said dairy-free wasn’t delicious?For full “Creamy Broccoli andamp; Quinoa Salad” recipe click here […]

  6. I really appreciate your site and your hard work and creativity in developing great (and printable) GF recipes. One of us is celiac and your recipes are a hit with the whole family. Occasional links to other sites with equally delicious and healthy recipes are great. Thank you.

    • Thank for the sweet comment Shirley. I really appreciate that 🙂 And I’m happy to know that you’re finding recipes that work for your family and are making your meals more enjoyable. That’s the whole reason I do what I do, so it warms my heart to hear first hand that you’re enjoying them! xo

  7. Wow… just stumbled upon your blog. Was actually looking to see if anyone had mentioned a substitute for the cashews as I do not have them on hand and I cannot believe these posts! Stunning how people can be so ungrateful. I am looking forward to checking out more on your site. Love the name! Thank you 🙂 God Bless!

    • Thank you for that message, Amanda. I really appreciate it 🙂 Your support means the world.

      As for a replacement for the cashews…the only thing I can think of that might work is coconut cream. You could try it with soaked almonds, but they’re not going to get as creamy (maybe almonds + coconut cream?). If you can have dairy, I think greek yogurt would be delish (the dairy-free ones I’m afraid would be too sweet). If you do end up trying it, sans cashews, I’d love to hear what you try!

      Thanks again 🙂 xo!

  8. I’ve made cashew cream before and found the cashew flavor to be very strong. Of course, I know it will have that flavor because it’s made from cashews, but what I’m wondering is, will the cashew flavor overpower the rest of the recipe?

    • I think for this one it would be a little different because there are so many other ingredients. To me, it really didn’t taste like cashews, it taste like broccoli and quinoa but had a nice undertone of creaminess. Hope that helps! xo

  9. I made this tonight for the family and it is delicious! Thanks for another great recipe. Thanks too for introducing me to Beard & Bonnet, I’ve enjoyed looking around Meg’s site and reading through some of her great looking recipes too. x

    • Yay!! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Cat. It’s amazing how easy it is, right?! And you’re so very welcome for introducing you to Meg – her recipes are absolutely amazing and her photos are stunning! Have a great night 🙂

  10. I have been eating quinoa for four years and enjoy trying new recipes. I understand you want to support other bloggers. Why can’t you go ahead and print the recipe and give the credit to the other blogger along with a link to their website. Most likely I would follow that link as I have done in the past. This new trend is annoying and seems to be becoming the norm among bloggers. It is annoying and I have started unsubscribing as I did with your newsletter right after making my original comment. I am also unsubscribing from newsletters that link me to videos to get the promoted information. I am a visual learner and can read faster than dragging though a video. I am finding it harder and harder to get information on the web.

    • @Sylvia

      Don’t get your panties all in a twist! It’s called social networking for a reason. It is literally like going to a grocery store to buy bread, meat, produce, etc. Major grocery stores buy products from other stores and them sell them. The Internet is one big grocery store. Sometimes you have to spend the extra 3 seconds to hunt for the perfect steak… or clicking on a link to get the recipe. It’s 3 seconds. You don’t have 3 seconds? If you are so busy that you do not have 3 seconds, then your schedule may be too tight… just sayin’…


      You truly are the Queen of Quinoa! My daughter literally ate four things before I found this site… macaroni and cheese, chicken, peas, and quinoa. Because of the recipes you have shared her palate has matured. I would click through NUMEROUS websites to see what you have to offer! I appreciate your hard work, creativity, and ability to help those of us with overly picky eaters!

  11. I am new to your sight and can’t tell you how much I am enjoying my experience. Thanks to today’s post I now feel like a met yet another friend at Beard and Bonnet. Can’t wait to try this recipe as well as the quinoa Mac and cheese. You ladies rock!! Thanks for giving of yourselves in this way!!

    • Dana you are just the sweetest. Thank you for that note. That’s the whole idea behind sharing my guest posts with my readers – so they can explore the other amazing blogs out there. I’m glad you enjoy B&B also – you’re going to go crazy for her recipes 🙂

  12. I am just happy to receive recipes that I really enjoy.
    I do not want every thing, we all eat differently, but I think a lot of people get things that enhance their diet and lives. I cannot be the only one that gas had my repertoire shrinking and I appreciate variety.
    So…..Thank you!

  13. I agree with Sylvia. I am sure I probably miss things because I don’t have the patience to chase them. Don’t make it so hard and/or time consuming for us to get the recipes.

    • Debbie, I’m sorry that you feel this way also. It’s not my intention to give you the run around. Just the opposite in fact. The point is that I know this recipe will resonate with many of my readers and didn’t want to not share it with them simply because I guest posted on another blog. It seems silly to deprive my readers of a recipe I know they will enjoy just because they have to click one link. Hope you understand as this is something that I will likely do again sometime.

  14. Alyssa, thank you so much for guest posting on my site! This salad is incredible and so easy to pull together. Even my kids went nuts for it!

  15. I am sick and tired of being redirected to several sites before getting the information being promoted. I don’t have the patience nor time to be jerked around.

    • I appreciate your comment Sylvia, but honestly I’m a little surprised that you feel that way. I don’t often share recipes on this site that link out to other posts, but when I do it’s on special occasion, when I know that my audience will really appreciate me sharing it. My hope is that, not only will they be happy to get a brand new recipe that fits their dietary needs, but also are able to discover another source of inspiration for their own cooking. I will continue to share the content the majority of my readers will find valuable, whether it’s directly on my site or not. I hope you can appreciate that.

    • Haha then don’t follow them! You are complaining for no reason. Come up with your own food and don’t look at these amazing blogs. You are ridiculous not the blog people!

    • Sylvia,
      It’s a shame that you fell that way! As bloggers and food writers we often share our recipes on other sites and like to also let our loyal readers know where they can find our work. As I am sure you know this is our job and for many of us it is how we make a living. Clicking through a link really isn’t that much additional effort for a free recipe as opposed to going to the store and buying a cookbook. I appreciate Alyssa for sharing her delicious recipe on my site and also for directing her followers to see the post. Who knows, someone may find that they really like my site and find value ion the information and recipes that are there. Without her linking through they may have never found it otherwise. I hope your day gets a little bit brighter!

      • I get what you’re saying Meg, but I too am getting very fed up of having to play online tag to get a recipe or pattern that was promoted in an e-mail newsletter from a site I like. After all, that is the reason I sign up for such newsletters in the first place. So I don’t *have* to go looking for the recipe I thought I’d be getting by clicking on the link to here or any other site I subscribe to.

        Many of us have limited free time these days, and speaking for myself, I sure don’t appreciate having to spend an extra few minutes playing online tag to get access to something I thought I was by clicking the original link to here through the newsletter. The same newsletter I’d subscribed to in order to save some time instead of having to open up my browser, then looking up the site in my bookmarks, then looking through the list of recipes and…

        BTW, that cookbook excuse you gave, at least I’d *know* I would be getting direct access to the recipe I wanted and not be sent on a hunt for it. Which depending on what the various server rates are per month, that cookbook actually could end up being cheaper in the long run, as nothing online is truly free.

        I get that bloggers share and need people coming to their sites to keep them going. I truly do get that. However, this new and loathsome trend is not only frustrating people who only want ease of access to the information they want, but is also turning people off to the point they’ve had enough and are not returning to the sites they once loved.

        I would hate having to do that w/this site, as it’s wonderful and a God send to those newly diagnoised w/Gluten Issues like myself. I really would, but there’s got to be a better way of sharing recipes, patterns, whatever among the blogs.

        As I said, there’s got to be a better way than this.

        • Denise, thank you for the comment and I appreciate you honestly.

          I do have to say that I’m a bit surprised at the reaction. I of course know that we live in a busy digital world full of content, and I value the time that you give me to share my recipes with you. I don’t often share my own guest posts on this site, but I chose to share this particular one because I knew that it would resonate with many of my readers. I feel that there are special occasions in which I will share posts like this because, in my opinion and if I was in your shoes, I would rather have the opportunity to see a recipe that fits within my dietary needs and that I know I will enjoy, than to not see it at all.

          You’re entitled to your own opinion and I hope that clicking one extra link doesn’t make you want to stop reading, but I understand if that is your choice. My promise to all of my readers is to continue to share gluten-free recipes and nutritional information to support them on their journey to better health.

          Best of luck to you!

  16. Can’t wait to try this! Love your recipes and info! Can you suggest an alternative for cheese?

    • What sort of cheese are you trying to replace? Shredded? Goat? Let me know and I’ll be happy to give you some suggestions 🙂

      • I’m looking to replace shredded cheese and cheddar block cheese. I’ve tried almond cheese but it seemed tasteless. ? Thanks so much for your help! 🙂


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