This Quinoa Salad with Broccoli and Chickpeas is packed with healthy ingredients and tossed with an easy homemade tangy lemon dressing. It’s great for lunch or a potluck side dish!
If you’re familiar with my Crunchy Broccoli Salad, then this Quinoa Salad with Broccoli and Chickpeas might look a little bit familiar! This salad uses a lot of the same recipe with a few delicious changes, like adding in protein packed quinoa!
I recently realized that I hadn’t shared a quinoa recipe in a long time! I’ve been eating a lot of rice and pasta lately and not as much quinoa, I guess. I decided to change that today and I think you will really love this Quinoa Salad with Broccoli and Chickpeas! My husband was very hesitant but immediately said how much he loved it after his first bite 🙂
Quinoa Salad Recipe Ingredients & Substitutions
- Quinoa – You can use either white quinoa or a try-colored quinoa blend. If you don’t like quinoa you could use another ingredient that you prefer, such as rice, cous cous, farro, etc… I like quinoa because it is super nutrient dense but also light so it doesn’t weigh down the salad.
- Broccoli – This is a raw broccoli salad which I love, but I know some people have a hard time digesting broccoli that isn’t cooked. If you would rather cook it, you can just steam or blanche it for a few minutes. I would suggest using fresh broccoli but I think you could also make frozen broccoli work if need be.
- Chickpeas – Chickpeas are great because they have a mild flavor and they add extra protein. You could also use another type of bean if you like, I would suggest white beans.
- Dried Cranberries – Dried cranberries are usually my go-to when adding dried fruit to salads, but dried cherries, blueberries or even apricots would work well.
- Pecans – I used pecans because that is what I had in the pantry but any nut/seed will work! I would suggest, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews or walnuts. It does make a big difference when you toast your nuts in a pan or the in the oven for a few minutes so don’t skip that step!
- Fresh Parsley – I love to add fresh herbs to salads to brighten them up. I used fresh parsley for this salad but any fresh herbs will work! Mint or basil would be great!
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese – I really wanted to add some freshly grated parmesan and just happened to have a block of vegan parmesan on hand and it was a great addition! I had a block of VioLife Vegan parmesan cheese and used a vegetable peeler to peel off big shards.
- Easy Lemon Dressing – Lemon dressing always goes well with broccoli salads! I just use a really easy homemade dressing that’s made with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, dijon mustard, pure maple syrup, salt and pepper.
How To Make Quinoa Salad with Broccoli and Chickpeas
- Start by cooking your quinoa. Rinse quinoa and then add it to a medium sized pot and cover with 2 cups of water. Cover and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until all the water has been absorbed by the quinoa. Turn the heat off and let sit, covered, for a few minutes and then fluff with a fork.
- Add quinoa to a large bowl, along with the broccoli, chickpeas, pecans, parmesan cheese, parsley, red onion and dried cranberries. You want to make sure the broccoli is chopped into small pieces so it doesn’t overwhelm the salad. Everything should be similar sized.
- Make the dressing by adding all dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisking until combined, season with salt and pepper, to taste. You can also salt the entire salad once the dressing is mixed in. I always find that the dressing needs more salt than I would originally think since that is what is flavoring the entire salad.
- Pour dressing over the other ingredients and mix everything together until completely combined. Enjoy salad immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Quinoa Salad with Broccoli Recipe Frequently Asked Questions
- How long does this salad stay good in the refrigerator? I would say up to 4 days, but you use your own judgement and don’t eat it if it looks or smells to funky.
- Can this broccoli salad be frozen? No, I would not recommend freezing this salad.
- Can I use this salad for meal prep? Yes! Just divide into separate containers and enjoy for lunch!
- Is this broccoli salad gluten free? Yes!
- Is this salad vegan? Yes! I used a vegan parmesan cheese to make mine vegan.
- Can I use a different grain rather than quinoa? Yes, you can use whatever kind of grain, or even pasta, that you wish.
Have a question I didn’t answer? Ask me in the comment section below and I will get back to you ASAP!