Broccoli Salad (1)
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  • Food: Broccoli Salad
  • Wrier: Lizzie Green
  • Content-Type: Food Blog

Meet my new favorite broccoli salad recipe, also known as the best cookout food on the planet! It’s light, healthful, and tasty, with a mildly creamy, tangy dressing.

This week, I’ll be sharing three extremely fun cookout salads, so I hope you have some fun grilling and chilling plans this weekend. They’re all simple to prepare and, more importantly, to prepare ahead of time.

The first dish is a broccoli salad. This broccoli salad is a healthier version of the classic Midwest broccoli salad, but it’s just as tasty.

Small broccoli florets, dried cranberries, and smoky tamari-roasted almonds are marinated in a creamy/tangy sauce. It’s a one-bowl dish that’s perfect for a picnic salad or a quick lunch on the go.

Recipe for Broccoli Salad That’s Beneficial to You

Broccoli Salad (1)
Food: Broccoli Salad (Source: Jessica Gavin)

Broccoli salad is a popular summertime side dish, but the conventional version is filled with sugar, mayonnaise, bacon, and cheese.

My version is a lighter, healthier take on the classic – I leave out the sugar, pork, and cheese entirely – and the result is a crisp, refreshing, tangy dish that will be the highlight of your summer cookouts!

Instead of using the standard 1 cup mayo: 2 tablespoons vinegar ratio for my broccoli salad dressing, I substitute olive oil for some of the mayo and increase the vinegar proportion.

I also add a few tablespoons of Dijon mustard and a teaspoon of honey to the mix, which results in a light, tangy dressing with a wonderful sweet/salty flavor.

The dressing is tasty, but the smoky, sweet/salty tamari almonds and pepitas steal the show. They not only offer crunch to this salad, but they also add richness and a smokey taste, making them the ideal healthy substitute for bacon and cheese.

This recipe is fresh, healthful, and easy to create, with a pound of broccoli, chewy dried cranberries, and specks of red onion.

Broccoli Salad Suggestions

Do you want to make the finest broccoli salad you’ve ever had? Here are some helpful hints:

  • Cut your broccoli into small pieces. Because the broccoli will be served raw, make sure the pieces are small enough to be well coated in the sauce and soften. You can also receive a little of everything in each bite when the broccoli pieces are similar in size to the other salad ingredients.
  • Allow it to marinate for a while. This salad is delicious right away, but it’s much better after a few hours (or days) in the refrigerator. The broccoli softens and absorbs the dressing’s aromas — my family raved about it on day three!
  • Save some nuts for last-minute snacking. Sure, I like to make this salad ahead of time so that the flavors can meld, but the very crispy, smoky nuts and seeds on top are the real star. They’ll lose their crunch if you add them too soon, so keep some immediately before serving!

Serving Suggestions for Broccoli Salad

This dish would go well with vegetarian burgers, black bean burgers, portobello “dogs,” or BBQ jackfruit sandwiches at a cookout.

As I have stated, this is an excellent meal to prepare ahead of time; in fact, I believe it improves with time as the broccoli softens in the dressing and the flavors emerge.

Alternatively, take this salad to work for a nutritious lunch! Check out this post for some of my greatest lunch-packing advice.

Broccoli Salad

Time to Prepare: 10 minutes
15 minutes to cook
Time allotted: 25 minutes
Serving: 4–6

This quick broccoli salad recipe is the perfect side dish for a barbeque! It’s a lighter version of the classic dish, made with less mayo and no sugar, meat, or dairy, yet it’s tangy, refreshing and full of delightful sweet/salty flavor.


  • 1 pound broccoli crowns
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons mayo, I like Sir Kensington’s or vegan mayo
  • 1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • ⅓ cup diced red onions
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries

Smoky tamari almonds

  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup pepitas
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, more to taste


Broccoli Salad easy (1)
Food: Broccoli Salad (Source: Jessica Gavin)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Broccoli florets should be cut into 12-inch chunks, and any residual stems should be diced into 14-inch pieces. First, remove any woody or coarse sections of the stem.
  3. Whisk together the olive oil, mayo, apple cider vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, garlic, and salt in the bottom of a large mixing basin. Toss in the broccoli, onions, and cranberries to combine.
  4. Toss the almonds and pepitas with the tamari, maple syrup, and smoked paprika on the baking sheet and distribute into a thin layer. Preheat oven to 350°F and bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes to cool (they will crisp up as they cool).
  5. Toss in the almonds and pepitas, reserving a few to sprinkle on top. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve.


  • Cut the florets into 12-inch sections. Using a 14-inch dice, cut the stem into smaller pieces.