This creamy Broccoli Salad is a healthy remake on the classic potluck staple. Made with simple ingredients like fresh vegetables, crunchy almonds, sunflower seeds and a creamy homemade dressing. It’s perfect to enjoy on its own or as a side dish at your next summer barbecue. Whole30 compliant, low carb, keto, paleo and includes a vegan friendly option.
Favorite Broccoli Salad
Looking for a healthy and easy recipe to throw together for summer barbecues? This creamy broccoli salad is made with a few simple ingredients and comes together quickly in under 15 minutes.
Broccoli salads are one of the easiest summer salads you can make. This one is crunchy, nutty and hearty enough to enjoy on its own, but it also pairs so well with your favorite grilled recipes and also at a potluck or summer BBQs.
What makes this healthier?
Unlike the classic favorite salad hat you may have grew up with in the midwest, this healthy broccoli salad doesn’t contain canola oil mayo or cheese. It’s dairy free and also Whole30 compliant, keto, low in carbs and includes a vegan option but you can also add in any protein of your choice to make it a complete meal.
Plus, we love that it’s make-ahead friendly and perfect for meal prep.
Is broccoli salad good for you?
Definitely! Broccoli is loaded with a ton of healthy vitamins, nutrients, high in fiber and folate and this keto broccoli salad is loaded a whopping 5 cups of broccoli. You can read more about broccoli’s benefits here.
Ingredients you need
- 1 medium head of fresh broccoli, chopped into florets (about 5 cups)
- red cabbage
- grated carrots
- your favorite nuts – we like: sliced almonds
- chopped pecans
- sunflower seeds
- sunflower seed butter OR tahini
- fresh lemon juice
- garlic powder
- fine sea salt
- black pepper
Plus, to make it extra creamy, we add:
For our favorite keto broccoli salad
avocado oil mayo such as Primal Kitchen OR Chosen Foods are both Whole30 compliant
For our favorite vegan broccoli salad:
dairy-free yogurt – we like Kite-Hill
- sugar-free dried cranberries
- chopped apples (if not low carb)
Protein: chicken, cooked and crumbled bacon
Vegan protein: chickpeas, edamame
How to make Broccoli Salad
- WASH AND CHOP BROCCOLI: Wash and cut the broccoli into bite sized pieces and drain well! If you prefer your broccoli slightly cooked, you can blanch it in boiling water for 1 minute. This will enhance their color and texture for the salad.
- CHOP THE REST OF THE VEGGIES: Chop the red cabbage and onions.
- ADD TO A BOWL: Toss all of the salad ingredients into a large bowl.
- MAKE THE BROCCOLI SALAD DRESSING: Mix together the sunflower seed butter, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and either the compliant mayo or dairy-free yogurt.
- TOSS WITH DRESSING: Drizzle half the dressing into the bowl and toss all the ingredients together. Reserve the rest to drizzle on the salad just before serving.
Is raw broccoli good in salad?
Yes, raw broccoli is delicious in this paleo broccoli salad since it gets coated with the dressing which helps to soften it up. An important tip if you don’t like raw broccoli is to chop up your broccoli florets into smaller pieces.
Another option is that you can blanch the broccoli florets first.
How to blanch broccoli
To blanch raw broccoli to use in a vegan broccoli salad, simply bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, add the florets into the water for 1 minutes. Then transfer the florets to an ice bath. This helps to stop the cooking process immediately to avoid soggy broccoli. Drain well before using.
More broccoli recipes you might like:
- 1 medium head broccoli , cut into bite-size florets (about 5 cups)
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onions
- 1/4 cup shredded red cabbage
- 3 Tbsp grated carrots
- 3 Tbs roasted sunflower seeds
- 2 Tbs sliced almonds
- 2 Tbs chopped pecans
- cooked and chopped bacon
- no sugar-added cranberries or raisins
- 2 Tbsp compliant avocado oil mayo (we like Primal Kitchen) OR dairy-free plain yogurt (we like Kite-Hill)
- 3 Tbsp sunflower seed butter , (can also sub with 2 tbsp tahini)
- 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- water , only as needed to thin out dressing
Wash, drain and cut your broccoli into florets.**
- Add to a large bowl with diced onions, cabbage, carrots and half of the seeds and nuts.
- Whisk together dressing ingredients. Taste and adjust as needed.
- Pour half of the dressing over salad and toss well to coat. Chill for at least 40 minutes.
- Add remaining sunflower seeds and chopped nuts then drizzle on remaining dressing then toss again before serving.
**If you don't like raw broccoli, you can blanch in boiling water for 1 minute, then transfer to a large ice bath and drain well.