This Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Salad recipe is a delicious mix of quinoa, broccoli, cheddar cheese, apples, nuts and seeds, and its all tossed in a deliciously addictive maple vinaigrette.

A white bowl filled with Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Salad. Serving spoons rest inside the salad bowl.

You will love how simple it is to toss this Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Salad together, then enjoy it for a light dinner or lunch.

Clear glass mixing bowls filled with quinoa, broccoli, grated cheese, nuts, seeds, chopped apple and dressing.

Tips For Making Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Salad

When making this broccoli cheddar quinoa salad, I always start by cooking the quinoa first. Then while the quinoa cooks, I’ll make the salad dressing. That way it can chill in the refrigerator allowing time for the flavors to really meld together while I prep the rest of the salad.  The maple vinaigrette is a silky vinaigrette that has an amazing flavor. 

After the dressing is made, I’ll fry the bacon so its nice and crispy. I always chop it first so it cooks more quickly. While the bacon is cooking I’ll get the rest of the salad ingredients ready to toss in a bowl.

Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Salad Recipe

  • Cooked Quinoa. We use white quinoa for this recipe. 
  • Broccoli.  Chop the broccoli into smaller bite-sized pieces.
  • Turkey Bacon.  I like to use uncured turkey bacon (Applegate Naturals) rather than pork bacon. 
  • Cheese. We toss in grated cheddar cheese to this salad.
  • Apples.  Honeycrisp apples and green apples add a lot of crunch and flavor to this salad.
  • Nuts and Seeds. We toss in roasted pumpkin seeds and sliced almonds to this salad to add a little crunch to the mix.
  • Vinaigrette. We toss this salad with a delicious maple vinaigrette that goes nicely with the apples, turkey bacon and nuts.

Find printable recipe with measurements below.


How To Make Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Salad

  1. Cook Quinoa. This is my go-to recipe for how to make quinoa. I always use 1 cup dried quinoa (rinsed) to 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then put lid on pot and reduce heat to low simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes then remove from heat. Set aside for 15 minutes for all of the liquid to evaporate before fluffing it with a fork. This waiting for 15 minutes  after cooking quinoa will give you light and fluffy quinoa. Quinoa is best cooled to room temperature before fluffing it with a fork.
  2. Make Dressing. Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend just a few seconds until smooth.
  3. Cook Bacon. Chop the turkey bacon before cooking it. Fry it in a little olive oil until it turns crispy.
  4. Prep Ingredients. Chop the broccoli and apples into bite size pieces. You can toss the apples in juice from 1/2 a lemon to keep it from turning brown. Grate the cheese using a box grater.
  5. Toss Ingredients. Add the ingredients to a large bowl. Drizzle the maple vinaigrette over the salad and toss well. 

A white bowl filled with quinoa, chopped fruit, vegetables and nuts.

Maple Vinaigrette

We use an easy-to-make maple vinaigrette for this salad (which is completely addictive). You’ll just put everything in a blender and blend until its smooth, or put everything in a mason jar, seal the lid tightly and shake vigorously.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar.  We use apple cider vinegar to make this dressing. 
  • Pure Maple Syrup.  This adds sweetness and so much flavor to the dressing.  Be sure to use pure maple syrup for this recipe.
  • Dijon Mustard. Adding a bit of Dijon mustard helps to emulsify this dressing.
  • Olive Oil. We use olive oil for this recipe (either extra-virgin or light). I prefer to use light olive oil for a lighter taste and so the maple flavor can really shine through.
  • Seasoning. We sprinkle in just a little salt and pepper for seasoning.

A white bowl filled with broccoli cheddar quinoa salad with chopped bacon, apples nuts and seeds.

Can I Make This Salad Ahead Of Time?

This is a great salad to make ahead of time. To do so, prep the ingredients and blend together the ingredients for the vinaigrette, then store them separately in air-tight containers until you’re ready to toss and serve.

How To Store Salad Leftovers

  • Store the salad and dressing separately in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. 
  • This broccoli cheddar cheese salad keeps in the refrigerator best for up to 3 days if it has not been tossed with dressing.  If you toss the salad with dressing, leftovers in the refrigerator will only be appetizing for about 1 day

A bowl filled with chopped fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Looking For More Quinoa Salad Recipes?

A white bowl filled with Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa salad. Salad spoons rest in the bowl.
Yield: 8 servings

Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

This Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Salad recipe is a delicious mix of quinoa, broccoli, cheddar cheese, apples, nuts and seeds, and its all tossed in a deliciously addictive maple vinaigrette.


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 4 cups broccoli florets, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup red apple, like Honeycrisp or Fuji, chopped into thin bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup green apple, chopped into thin bite-sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 6 slices turkey bacon, chopped and fried
  • 3 tablespoons oil (for frying bacon in)
  • 1/3 cup roasted pepitas
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds

For the Maple Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to tast


For the Quinoa

  1. Add 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water in a pot . Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Place lid on pot and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

For The Maple Vinaigrette

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend for a few seconds until the ingredients are well incorporate

For the Bacon

  1. Chop into bite size pieces.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet and fry the bacon pieces until they turn crispy (about 5-7 minutes).

Assemble Salad

  1. Add the cooked quinoa and the rest of the salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss.
  2. Drizzle the salad with dressing and toss well.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 475Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 302mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 6gSugar: 16gProtein: 11g attempts to provide accurate information, however, this nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. The nutritional information provided comes from online sources and calculations. See full disclaimer on About page.