Smoky Broccoli Quinoa Sunflower Crunch

Smoky Broccoli Quinoa Crunch – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Salad Recipe

Easy |  Servings: 6  |  Ready In: 20 minutes |  Yield: 8 – 9 cups

Quinoa adds a modern twist on this updated classic salad.  The traditional Midwest recipe is usually made with bacon and mayonnaise, but this healthy, vegan, oil-free, gluten-free recipe uses smoked paprika, sweet raisins, toasted sunflower seeds, crisp apple, and tangy mustard.  This is natural delicious flavor, great with some Sweet Corn Succotash and Ultimate Portabella Burgers for a delicious summer barbecue.


  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 sweet crisp apple, like gala or Braeburn, diced
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups broccoli florets (frozen, thawed)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
  • dash of black pepper, to taste

How it’s Done:

To toast and cook the quinoa: Place the quinoa in a dry pot. Cover and toast over medium heat, stirring often, for about 7 minutes.  When the quinoa starts to pop and turn golden, add the smoked paprika and cook another minute.
Add water, shallot, and salt. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer about 10 minutes, until the quinoa is done
When the quinoa is done, remove lid, fluff, and let cool.

To make the Broccoli Quinoa Sunflower Crunch Salad: In a medium bowl, combine the apple, mustard, and cider vinegar.  Stir well to coat the apple completely.  This will help prevent the apple from oxidizing and turning brown.

Add the cooked quinoa, broccoli florets, raisins, sunflower seeds, and black pepper.  Stir well.  Taste to adjust seasoning.

Yield: 6 cups

Smoky Broccoli Quinoa Crunch – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Salad Recipe

Chef Katie’s Tips:

Blanch Your Own Broccoli: If you prefer to blanch your own broccoli, here’s how:  Bring a pot of water to a boil. Set up an ice bath by filling a medium bowl with a cup of ice and cold water.  Place the broccoli florets in the boiling water.  Cook until the broccoli passes the knife-glide test, about 5 minutes.  Remove and immediately place in the ice bath.  This will “shock” the broccoli and lock in the bright green color and crunchy texture.

Other Veggies and Fruits: Use this recipe as a template for other vegetables and fresh fruit. Substitute cauliflower florets, Brussels sprouts, or roasted butternut squash for the broccoli. Use any fresh, crisp apples.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (about 1 cup).

Amount Per Serving
Calories 190.87
Calories From Fat (20%) 37.85
% Daily Value

  • Total Fat 4.43g 7%
  • Saturated Fat 0.51g 3%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 116.04mg 5%
  • Potassium 573.72mg 16%
  • Total Carbohydrates 33.94g 11%
  • Fiber 5.47g 22%
  • Sugar 5.58g
  • Protein 6.89g 14%
  • Calcium 27.8mg 3%
  • Iron 57.24mg 318%
  • Vitamin A 2615.76IU 52%
  • Vitamin C 0.02mg <1%

Watch to Learn More:

Shopping and Gear List

  • CHIQUILIN Smoked Paprika, 75 GR
  • Dole California Seedless Raisins, 12 Ounce Bag
  • Sincerely Nuts – Roasted & Salted Sunflower Seeds (No Shell) (2lb bag) 


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