Quinoa and Broccoli Spoon Salad Recipe (2024)



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Although this salad sounds great (with the exception of the cheddar, which I cannot eat) raw broccoli is not appealing. I always briefly parboil chopped broccoli then plunge in ice water to stop the cooking if I plan to use it in a salad. Not only does this improve the flavor, it brightens the color to a very pretty and palatable bright green.


A note on raw broccoli: Melissa Clark notes in her recipe for garlic broccoli salad with sesame dressing that the vinegar «cooks» the raw broccoli, kind of like happens with the fish in ceviche. I’ve tried it and it’s really good; it’s not like plain raw broccoli at all. I recommend that all the skeptics try it.

Boomer Interpreter

"Feel free to substitute the quinoa for any grain, like brown rice, farro or buckwheat groats..." FYI, for anyone over the age of 40, what this means is, feel free to substitute any grain for quinoa. Quinoa is in the recipe as written. Other grains could be substituted for it. (When did the meaning of "substitute for" change to mean its opposite? Millennials will try to argue it's always been used this way, and for them maybe it has, but for Gen-Xers and Boomers, it used to mean the opposite.


The cheddar is what tipped the balance for me and convinced me to add this to this week's meal list! But of course it isn't 100% necessary--the recipe police won't come to your house and arrest you if you leave it out. Or maybe you could replace it with crumbled feta...that sounds pretty good too.


Followed recipe exactly and it was perfect. So glad I did not follow advice to parboil the broccoli. This is really good.


Even though I’m not a fan of raw broccoli, I gave this recipe a try. I used toasted walnuts because I didn’t have any pecans. It was absolutely delicious! I will absolutely make this again. I grated the cheddar because it’s easier than chopping. Extra sharp cheddar adds a very special taste to this dish.


Chop the broccoli finely and let it macerate in the dressing a few minutes as you prep the remaining ingredients. I was skeptical at the outset but the raw broccoli worked great and the result was delicious. I did hold back some of the quinoa because the recipe as written makes such a large quantity. This means mine was even more broccoli forward. I cooked the quinoa in the Instant Pot, which also made the whole process easier.


Delicious! Also nice to add some heat (finely chopped chili I had around) - and some herbs (a tiny bit of mint and parsley in my case).


This was delicious! Bright flavor and very satisfying. The only change I made to the recipe was to squeeze the juice from the whole lemon which probably helps soften the broccoli and adds extra tasty tang to this delightful salad.


This recipe totally delivered. I decided to try it because I had everything in the recipe already. And I was surprised that I didn't need to change anything - no tweaking necessary. Really delicious. And it wasn't like eating raw broccoli. It's such a complex mix that nothing stands out and everything blends well.


This salad would be excellent with the Unexpected Cheddar from Trader Joe’s.


This recipe is very similar to one from Bon Appetit magazine that uses almonds, dates and scallions with cheddar and it’s easy to riff on the combinations based on what you have on hand (nuts, dried fruit, cheese type.) The raw broccoli makes the salad texturally, try it before you decide to parboil. The warm quinoa and the dressing soften the broccoli and the salad keeps well, it’s delicious with a fried egg on top!


Really delicious, and certain to become a weekday lunch favorite. I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly the broccoli 'cured' in the dressing. I soaked the quinoa overnight (first time for me) and it turned out nice and fluffy with none of the bitter/soapy taste of past quinoas. I didn't have cheese and so added some green onion to bump up the savoriness of the dish.

Annie Possis

I bet this would be fantastic with wild rice subbed for quinoa!


I made this tonight and it was delicious. Used dried blueberries because did not have cranberries and they were great. Such a bright tasty salad on a cold snowy January day.


Made this tonight. We used a pouch of President's Choice microwave quinoa, a package of shredded cheddar (vs chopping it up ourselves) and Craisins. My husband chopped the broccoli & apple, and next time, I would probably chop it into smaller pieces than he did. The dressing is very tasty, and I almost wish there had been a little more of it. We both very much enjoyed it and will look forward to eating up the leftovers for lunch over the next day or two.


We enjoy this exactly as written.


I used farro instead of quinoa. Added an additional lemon’s worth of juice. This dish was outstanding. I plain toasted my pecans and they were outstanding. This was dinner and I couldn’t have been happier.


Made this as written except halved the honey and left out the cranberries after deciding it was sweet enough with the apple. The raw broccoli, like so many have said, is excellent. Overall, however, this salad to me is “meh”. I think it’s missing a bitter element to offset the sweetness.


Made as written, and DARN good!!


Elaine made for lunch. Huge recipe - make 1/2. Use a prairie breeze” cheese - not sharp cheddar.


Unlike some other NYTimes recipes, I think this made more than 4-6 servings. It has a lot of steps, but is easy to make - especially with a food processor - and very tasty. I decreased the mustard a bit, added more apple because I like it and toasted walnuts because that's what I had on hand (and I like them with apples). I'm waiting on the cheese, both because I like the taste as is and because I don't want it to get mushy in the leftovers. I might try adding some tomorrow.


I'm a big fan of this recipe! The sharp cheddar was such a great addition. This kept perfectly in the fridge all week to have for lunch. Great way to get in lots of micronutrients!


This is delicious. Followed the recipe except used peanuts instead of pecans because I am allergic to tree nuts. I will grate the cheese next time like someone suggested.


Delicious!A few modifications:- I doubled the dressing and measured with my heart when dressing the broccoli. Definitely recommend making 2x or 3x.- The dressing strikes me as quite sweet and quite tangy. The acid is great once everything is dressed, but there are many other sweet elements in the salad, so I'd cut the honey by 1/2 or 2/3.- I added maybe 1/3 of a finely chopped red onion, rinsed well under cold water to remove the bite. The savory note from an allium is a must.


For true blue vegetable lovers, I'd recommend cutting quinoa to 3/4 or even 1/2 of a cup -- I'm missing some of the broccoli flavor I got before I added the quinoa. However, everyone (no matter their palate) should trust Sohla on the raw broccoli; I normally find raw broccoli, as on a veggie plate, dry to the point of being flavorless, but peeling the thick skin and chopping finely completely transforms the texture and flavor. Do not parboil, I promise you won't regret it!

gretchen l

I followed the recipe exactly except I added more dressing. This is fantastic!


Just made this - omitted the cheddar since it’s a side dish with salmon - and it’s definitely a keeper!


I was skeptical of this salad - looked like a ‘healthy’ salad I see at the deli counter of the local supermarket. But it was actually very tasty, if a bit chewy. I made exactly as written - glad I did not cook the broccoli as some notes suggested - the dressing broke it down enough. Make sure to cut the broccoli even smaller than you think. Eating again now for breakfast - it’s a little addictive.

Melanie B

As others have noted, this was yummy. I had to halve the recipe because it's just me. I happened to have Unexpected Cheddar from Trader Joe's. As someone suggested, it was wonderful. The uncooked broccoli was fine.

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Quinoa and Broccoli Spoon Salad Recipe (2024)
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