This super simple recipe for Broccoli Quinoa Salad with Feta Crumbles and Dried Cranberries is great as a side dish, but hearty enough for a vegetarian main course. It’s also perfect for potlucks and picnics since there’s no mayo, and it’s gluten-free to boot! What’s not to love?!
I came up with this recipe after going to dinner at a local farm-to-table restaurant in town. I ordered their broccoli quinoa salad and was delighted…but I also realized how easy it would be to recreate it at home. Knowing the basic ingredients after ordering it once was enough to go home and begin playing with a recipe. The tartness of the cranberries mixed with the tanginess of the feta crumbles gives the salad a great amount of flavor.
Start by getting the quinoa going. You will need about 3/4 of a cup if you’re using a good amount of broccoli. You want the quinoa to compliment the broccoli; they should share the spotlight on the plate. Cook the quinoa according to the package.
In a large mixing bowl, mix 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, 3 tbsp of avocado oil, 1 tsp of salt, and 1/2 tsp each of black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Whisk to combine.
While the quinoa cooks, lighting steam one large head of broccoli. I realized the key to this delicious salad was that the broccoli wasn’t raw. Personally, I just don’t like the common raw broccoli salads I’ve seen at potlucks over the years. However, when I tried this at the restaurant, it also wasn’t mushy and overcooked, which created a great texture and retained more of the nutrients in the broccoli. Steaming should take just a 2 to 3 minutes. After the broccoli steams, run cold water over it for a few seconds to stop the cooking process and keep the bright green color. After the broccoli drains from the cold water, place into the bowl with the dressing.
After the quinoa is done cooking, add it to the bowl with the broccoli and the dressing. Then, add in 1/4 cup of almonds, 1/3 cup of crumbled feta cheese, and1/3 cup of dried cranberries. Lightly toss to make sure all the quinoa and broccoli is well dressed. That’s it! It’s great warm, but I actually like it even better the next day, straight out of the fridge.
You can also easily make this with brown rice or pasta, just switch out the quinoa for another of your favorite starch. Prefer to go low carb? Omit the quinoa completely (and watch how much dressing you use, it will likely be too much) to have a veggie-heavy side dish. I’ve made this without the quinoa in the past and I’ve really enjoyed it.
Broccoli Quinoa Salad with Feta Crumbles and Dried Cranberries
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
1 large head broccoli
3/4 cup quinoa (uncooked)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp avocado oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup almonds
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup dried cranberries
- Cook the quinoa according the the package.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, avocado oil, and seasonings.
- Chop, wash, and steam the broccoli for 2-3 minutes. Drain the broccoli and run it under cool water to stop the cooking process.
- Add to the large bowl with the dressing the steamed broccoli and cooked quinoa (once finished).
- Toss in the almonds, feta, and dried cranberries. Mix to incorporate, and enjoy!