Superfood Broccoli Salad with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing
A superfood broccoli salad packed with nutrition! You’ve got tender broccoli florets, tons of cranberries, nuts, and seeds all drizzled with the most addicting creamy poppy seed dressing!
This certainly isn’t the broccoli salad you grew up eating!
You know the one with all that bacon, mayo, and cheddar. The kind of broccoli salad that left you feeling quite the opposite of what one assumes they’ll feel when they eat something with that much broccoli in it. I imagine we all hold our heads up a little higher and bask in the afterglow of eating healthy food. Like the Seth Rogen meme. The one where he’s looking over his shoulder, I know you’ve seen it before. 😂
Today’s superfood salad recipe is one that you can feel healthy as heck about eating, and I imagine it’s one that you’ll come back to over and over again this spring and summer season. Speaking of summer, we bought a patio dining furniture this weekend, on a whim! All I wanted to do was head to the store, daydream a little and then face the reality that it wasn’t something we needed as we just wouldn’t get enough use out of it. Things didn’t go exactly as planned. The store had such amazing deals that appealed to my super picky, neutral-loving style that before I could think it through, we were handing over the credit card. Take my money! When it came time to load everything into the car, that’s when it hit me. Um.. how is this even going to fit?
We’re hoping to have it set up soon so that we get tons of use out of it before temperatures are turned up to the ‘roast’ setting. And you can bet that this broccoli salad is going to be on my outdoor dining table from now until the end of summer.
Broccoli is one of my all-time favorite vegetables because there’s so much you can do with it.
Color, texture, and crunch – it’s got it all. I’m still in awe of this salad because we’ve had it close to six times now and every single time I have it, I think this is it. This is the time I’m going to say I’ll hold off on making this salad again. It still shocks me how good it is, and I’m back to making it every few days. It’s perfect for days when you need to throw together something quick that’s full of nutrition and will keep you full for lunch or as a side with dinner.
This salad is a feast for the eyes before it’s one for the belly. If you’re bored of eating the same mundane salads day in and day out, this one is a great alternative. It also contains zero leafy greens. Although you could quick chop some kale or spinach and toss it in if that’s something you enjoy. All those beautiful gem tones coming together on a salad plate. Crunchy broccoli, tender quinoa, and creamy poppyseed dressing.
My broccoli salad is:
- Vegan-friendly (if you sub out the honey for brown sugar, agave or maple syrup.)
- Dairy-free! YES. The creamy dressing contains zero cream, mayo, milk, yogurt, or sour cream.
Let me tell you about this easy breezy creamy poppyseed dressing. Like I said, no dairy products here. We’re using olive oil, honey, white wine vinegar, a chopped shallot, poppy seeds — and the secret ingredient, a rounded tablespoon of white miso paste! There is zero weirdness with the miso, and it has the best, almost umami-like flavor and makes it extra luscious and creamy. If you’re someone that enjoys making homemade dressing, just double this one right off the bat. I’m telling you, you’re going to wish you had more on hand for other salads throughout the week.
Why I say yes to broccoli salad:
- Substitutes galore! Go half broccoli, half cauliflower if you’d like. Steam your broccoli, or don’t. Use all fresh romesco and skip the broccoli altogether. MAKE IT YOUR OWN. Have leftover cooked brown rice? Swap the quinoa out and clean your fridge. Like walnuts more than almonds? Make the switch. You could even use golden raisins the way I do in my moroccan power salad . Want more protein? Add grilled chicken!
- It lasts in the fridge for what is considered light years in salad times. Toss the salad ingredients together and keep the dressing on the side, add it to the salad as you need it!
- If you’re a broccoli salad purist, adding crumbled bacon and/or cheddar cheese to this will ease it back into the more traditional version while still keeping it on the healthier side.
- MEAL PREP. This one is perfect for meal prepping for the week. Pop it into those single compartment (affiliate link) meal prep containers along with a condiment container (affiliate link) with dressing in it. I recently just invested in dressing containers and they do wonders for your salad meal prepping game.
My broccoli salad is one of those rare salads that taste better as they sit, so if you’re serving this later in the day or for lunch the next day, feel free to dress it and pack it for lunch. Anything longer than a day will naturally cause the broccoli to release water thus making it a less than perfect salad experience.
And there you have it! An uncomplicated, protein and veggie packed superfood broccoli salad recipe that you can feel good about eating.
Let your lunch box reward you with this broccoli salad for the week ahead!
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 3-4 tablespoons honey (agave or maple syrup)
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 shallot, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 3 ½ - 4 cups fresh broccoli florets (~1½ pounds)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled (~1/3 cup dry)
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- Dressing: Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor starting with 3 tablespoons of honey and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until the dressing is smooth. Taste and adjust with additional honey or salt and pepper as desired. I prefer this one with around 3½ tablespoons of honey.
- Broccoli Salad: Steam the broccoli if you'd like, I did because I wanted it to have a more vibrant color. Combine the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl. Dress the entire salad if you'll finish it all within 24 hours. Otherwise, mix just what you need and keep the two separate, they'll last much longer this way.
- I've only tried using white miso paste for this so I'm unsure of any other substitutes or other types of miso that could be used here.
- This makes just enough dressing for this salad. If you usually prefer your salad with lots of dressing, you may want to double it. It's so good you can easily use it on other salads too!
- Feel free to add grilled chicken or cooked salmon to this. Crumbled bacon and cheddar cheese are also additions that can easily be made 😉