A healthy broccoli salad recipe with carrots, red onion, almonds, sunflower seeds and dried cherries. Plus a simple homemade dressing with no mayo, making this recipe vegan friendly.
Broccoli salad is a classic side dish to bring to any and all types of gatherings. Whether it’s a cookout, family party or you just need a healthy side for friends coming over, you can’t go wrong with this vegan broccoli salad.
We’re leaving out the cheddar cheese and bacon bits you’d find in traditional broccoli salad to make this recipe vegan friendly.
This easy broccoli salad is quick to make, can be made ahead of time, plus it’s also gluten free and paleo if you’re looking to serve a wide range of dietary needs.
Is Broccoli Salad Healthy?
It sure is! Broccoli is an underrated superfood, in my opinion.
Broccoil is a great source of fiber, folate, vitamin K1, vitamin C (yes! Vitamin C!), iron, and more.
If you aren’t a fan of plain broccoli but love having it dressed up, then this healthy broccoli salad recipe is perfect.
Broccoli Salad Ingredients
You don’t need much for this broccoli salad. Just a few vegetables, some dried fruit then nuts and seeds.
- red onion
- matchstick carrots or julienne cut carrots
- broccoli crowns
- sunflower seeds
- slivered almonds
- dried cherries or dried cranberries
If you’d like to keep this recipe nut free, you could use all sunflower seeds or use pepitas in place of the almonds.
For the dried fruit, dried cherries will give you a more tart bite, whereas dried cranberries will give you a sweeter one. You could also do a blend! There’s a variety mix that includes blueberries too.
Broccoli Salad Dressing
We’re making a mayo free dressing so this broccoli salad is egg free and vegan friendly.
We’re using a sweet onion to make a creamy sweet onion vinaigrette and I love how it turned out with this broccoli salad. If you’re not a big fan of onion dressing, check the recipe card for an alternative dressing recipe.
The dressing is simple to make – just put everything in a blender (love the NutriBullet for this) and that’s it!
Broccoli Salad Prep
Most of the time in this recipe comes from cutting the vegetables. You can reduce the amount of time by buying pre-cut broccoli crowns and matchstick carrots.
The dressing is simple to make as well. Just roughly chop the onion before adding it and the rest of the ingredients into a small blender.
If doing some meal prep, you can store the cut vegetables, dried cherries, nuts and seeds in one large bowl, and make the dressing separately when you’re ready. Or make it all at once and allow the dressing to absorb into the salad ingredients.
How to Make Broccoli Salad
Cut broccoli crowns fairly small, so they’re easy to eat. Dice the red onion and prepare the carrots julienne style, if not using store-bought matchstick carrots.
Gather the rest of the ingredients and add everything to a large bowl.
Make the dressing then toss everything to coat.
What to Serve with Broccoli Salad
If you’re making a broccoli salad as a side to enjoy with dinner, it would be a great addition to Veggie Black Bean Burgers, BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches (vegan pulled pork), or even this Spaghetti Squash Frittata.
This easy broccoli salad also works as a meal prep recipe, since the dressing can really soak into the broccoli and absorb all of the flavors overnight.
Broccoli salad gets better the next day, in my opinion!
How to Store
Store fully prepared broccoli salad in a storage bowl with lid. Keep in the refrigerator and enjoy within 3-4 days for best flavor.
Let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a comment and rating below! It helps others learn more about the recipe too! Xx Ashley
- 3 medium broccoli crowns, washed & dried, chopped (about 6 cups)
- 1 cup matchstick carrots
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup chopped vidalia onion (about 1/2 small onion)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 Tbsp stone ground mustard
- 2 tsp coconut aminos
- 1/2 tsp salt & pepper, to taste
- Wash and dry broccoli before cutting into small crowns. Add to large bowl with matchstick carrots, diced red onion, almonds, sunflower seeds, and dried cherries; set aside.
- Make dressing: add everything into a blender, and blend until smooth. If you’d like a thinner dressing, add 1-2 tablespoons of water or non-dairy milk.
- Combine: Add dressing to bowl of salad ingredients, toss to coat.
- Let it soak: Broccoli salad is best when the dressing has some time to absorb into the broccoli crowns and other ingredients. If you can, let rest for at least one hour. Or prep a day ahead.
If looking for an onion free dressing, try my coleslaw dressing for this broccoli salad.
To make nut free, replace the almonds with pepitas or more sunflower seeds.