Broccoli salad recipe gets a healthy makeover with almonds, quinoa and an apple cider poppy seed vinaigrette. Easy to prep for a barbecue or for meal prep!
Just like Pasta Salad, Broccoli salad is a staple at every summer potluck, picnic or barbecue, but is anyone else out there just not a fan of classic broccoli salad? Today, I’m giving the classic broccoli salad recipe a healthy remix, and showing you how you can prep it ahead for meal prep!
This broccoli salad has NO MAYO. Is anyone else just freaked out by heavy creamy mayo dressings sitting out in the hot sun?
Today I’m tossing the creamy dressing to the curb and swapping it for a tangy, lighter broccoli salad dressing: apple cider poppy seed vinaigrette!
Not only that but we are bulking this salad up with quinoa, almonds, feta cheese and dried cranberries. It’s so simple but SO delicious.
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Reasons to love this broccoli salad recipe
- it’s a flavor bomb.com thanks to the dressing, feta cheese, dried cranberries and sliced almonds
- NO MAYO…instead a light, tangy apple cider poppyseed vinaigrette
- it can be assembled ahead and stored for meal prep
How to make broccoli salad
This healthy broccoli salad recipe is an absolute breeze to toss together.
- Cook quinoa– I used my rice cooker. See How to Cook Quinoa In a Rice Cooker
- Shake up vinaigrette– I used my trusty salad dressing shaker but you can use a jar as well
- Chop broccoli– I like my florets really small, which takes a bit of time but is worth it! I love my chef’s knife to chop broccoli
- Toss it all together– this salad keeps really well! You can toss it all together 24 hours before serving with no issues.
Prep ahead for easy meals
While this broccoli cranberry salad keeps well in the vinaigrette, you can keep it fresh up to 4 days is by storing it in a mason jar. This keeps the broccoli salad dressing away from the quinoa (which can become slightly mushy if it sits in the dressing for multiple days).
Layer your jar in the following order:
- dressing (bottom)
- goodies (feta, almonds, cranberries)
When you go to serve your broccoli cranberry salad, simply shake it out into a clean bowl and toss everything up in the broccoli salad dressing.
How long can broccoli salad last for in the fridge? This broccoli salad will keep for up to 4 days if you keep the dressing separate. Once dressed, I would eat it within 24 hours to prevent soggy quinoa.
Can I freeze broccoli salad? No. This will not freeze/thaw well, plus broccoli must be blanched prior to freezing. See How to Freeze Broccoli.
Can I swap:
- Quinoa? Sure, swap for pasta or leave it out (reduce the vinaigrette by 50%)
- Cranberries? Fresh berries would be a great swap for the cranberries
- Almonds? Swap for pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, or leave them out
- Feta cheese? Swap for goat cheese or omit
What to serve with this recipe
The best part of this salad is you have your carb (quinoa) and veggies (broccoli) taken care of. Simply add a protein and you can call this a meal!
Here are my favorite proteins to serve with cold broccoli salad
- salmon– this herb crusted broiled salmon goes great with the flavors of this salad
- chicken breast– we are suckers for this perfect baked chicken breast, but have also enjoyed this Yogurt Curry Marinade with the salad
- chickpeas– you could stir in some plain chickpeas or take the time to make some spicy roasted chickpeas to add extra crunch to this salad
- tofu– another great vegetarian protein. See How To Cook Tofu.
Tips & Equipment
Watch the video below to see how to make broccoli salad with almonds and quinoa. You can find more of my videos on my YouTube channel.
Broccoli Salad Recipe with Almonds and Quinoa
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 head broccoli (cut into 1/2 inch florets)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup feta cheese (crumbled)
Apple Cider Poppy Seed Dressing
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoon honey (or maple syrup)
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
- Chop broccoli into 1/2 inch florets.
- In large bowl, combine the broccoli, cooled quinoa, dried cranberries, feta cheese and sliced almonds.
- Shake together the vinaigrette ingredients and pour over the salad.
- Salad may be dressed up to 24 hours before serving. (You may want to keep almonds off until serving to keep their crunch).
- For meal prep, layer in a mason jar in the following order: dressing (bottom)broccoliquinoagoodies (feta, almonds, cranberries)
- Salad keeps in mason jars for up to 4 days. Shake out into a bowl to serve.