A perfect potluck salad, this Broccoli Quinoa Salad with Sesame Miso Dressing is a healthier version of traditional broccoli salad. Made with nutritious quinoa, tender-crisp broccoli, sweet red grapes and walnuts, it's tossed with an amazing creamy sesame dressing.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- This Broccoli Quinoa Salad with Sesame Miso Dressing is a simple, make-ahead salad with a beautiful balance of sweet and savoury flavours.
- It's a winning combo of nutritious quinoa, crunchy walnuts, tender-crisp broccoli and sweet red grapes that pop in your mouth.
- Toss it with my favourite Sesame Miso Vinaigrette and you'll have a satisfying meal in a bowl, minus the mayo!
- This is a good dinner salad, and it makes great leftovers for lunch the following day. Make a big salad, enjoy it for supper, then save some to enjoy for your lunch the following day.
- It's nutrient-rich, wholesome and filling--a totally satisfying salad for your clean-eating diet.
I don't know about you, but the words Broccoli Quinoa Salad don't make me salivate. It's just broccoli, after all, and I know it's good for me, but it's not terribly exciting.
But combine it with sweet red grapes and a few toasted walnuts and toss it all with a to-die-for Sesame Miso Dressing and I'm coming back for seconds!
😊 A potluck favourite
Broccoli Salad has been a staple at potlucks for more years than I can remember. Broccoli florets combined with bacon bits, raisins, cheddar cheese and sunflower seeds and tossed with a mayonnaise-based dressing was a simple, make-ahead salad recipe that everyone loved.
I've adapted this old favourite to make today's healthier option. I've made other tasty broccoli salads that you might like, too.
Honey Dijon Broccoli Salad with Cranberries: mayo-free! A reader favourite.
Asian Broccoli Salad with Peanut Dressing: delicious with Thai or Asian meals.
Broccoli Apple Salad with Maple Dressing: Fresh, crisp and perfect for fall!
🛒 Ingredients for quinoa broccoli salad
For the salad
- broccoli florets
- red grapes
- red onion
- walnut pieces
For sesame miso vinaigrette
- sesame seeds
- white miso
- sesame oil
- rice vinegar
- olive oil
- sea salt
🔪 How to make broccoli salad with grapes and quinoa
You'll find detailed instructions in the recipe card below. Here's a quick overview of what you'll do to make this broccoli salad perfectly.
- Start by cooking the quinoa. Let it cool completely by spreading it out on a baking sheet.
- Blanch the broccoli florets, then drain and pat dry. (Alternatively, cut the raw broccoli florets into very small pieces and use them raw.)
- Combine the cooled broccoli, quinoa, grapes, red onion and quinoa in a large bowl. Toss with sesame miso dressing, garnish with coarsely chopped walnuts and enjoy every nutritious bite!
👍🏼 A note about sesame miso dressing
I've used this dressing in several recipes, including Asparagus Salad with Smoked Salmon. It's delicious in these Sesame Miso Salmon Bowls, as a dressing for Cabbage Coleslaw, and as a sauce for Air Fryer Asparagus.
Its flavours are bold enough to stand up to the broccoli in today's salad recipe. It's thick enough to bind all the ingredients together, and it adds a delicious umami flavour to this broccoli salad.
❓Frequently Asked Questions
Whether or not to blanch broccoli for broccoli salad is a personal choice. If you cut the raw florets into small pieces, the dressing helps to soften it and you don't need to blanch it.
Some people have trouble digesting raw cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. Others claim that cooking destroys their cancer-fighting properties.
If you do blanch it, don't overcook it!
Cook broccoli florets in or over boiling water just until it starts to turn bright green, then remove and plunge into an ice bath (a bowl of ice water) immediately until completely cool.
Then drain and pat it dry before adding to the salad. It will be tender crisp and brilliant green.
👍🏼 Helpful Tips
- If the grapes you have are large, slice them in half.
- To make fluffy quinoa, rinse measured dry quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer. Tip into a pot and add a little less than twice as much water. Cook, uncovered, until all the water is absorbed. Then remove from the heat, cover, and let it steam for 5 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork and let cool completely before adding to salad. You can spread it out on a baking tray to speed up the cooling.
🔁 Possible Variations
Substitute pecans or toasted pumpkin seeds for the walnuts, or add a little of both.
No grapes? Add dried cranberries instead.
Store this salad in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
When you make this broccoli salad with quinoa, please leave a comment and a star rating below. Subscribe to my newsletter and have new recipes delivered straight to your inbox once a week.
This recipe was originally published in 2018. It has been updated with extra information to make it more helpful.
Broccoli Quinoa Salad with Sesame Miso Dressing
- 4 cups broccoli florets blanched
- 1 cup red grapes halved if large
- ½ cup dry quinoa
- ¼ cup red onion finely chopped
- ⅓ cup walnut pieces
Sesame Miso Dressing
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoon white miso
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil toasted or regular
- ⅓ cup rice vinegar
- 6 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tablespoon honey (or rice syrup for vegan diet)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Rinse quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer. Tip into a small pot and add 1 cup water. Cook, uncovered, until all the water has been absorbed. Then remove from the heat, cover, and let it steam for 5 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork and let cool completely before adding to salad. You can spread it out on a baking tray to speed up the cooling.
- Add broccoli florets to a pot of boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes or just until they turn bright green. Do not overcook! Have a large bowl of ice water ready, and using a slotted spoon, quickly transfer broccoli to the ice bath to stop it from cooking. Drain on a tea towel or paper towel. Pat dry.
- Combine blanched broccoli florets, grapes, red onion, and quinoa in a large bowl. Toss with Sesame Miso Dressing, garnish with coarsely chopped walnuts and serve.
Sesame Miso Dressing
- Toast sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan frequently to prevent burning. When they just begin to darken and become fragrant, remove from heat immediately and transfer to a small plate to cool.
- In a small jar, whisk the remaining ingredients until well combined. Add the toasted sesame seeds and serve with salad.
- Note: These amounts will make twice as much as you will need for this salad. Store remainder in a jar in the fridge and enjoy over salads, roasted vegetables or grilled meats.