A creamy vegan broccoli salad that is out of this world amazing! Combines crunchy broccoli with a mix of incredible flavors tossed in a tangy dressing.
I just love the crunch this salad has. The variety of textures and flavors come together to make this vegan side dish beyond delicious!
This post was originally published on September 26, 2022.
This post was sponsored by Rubbermaid but the content and opinions expressed are fully my own.
Crispy, crunchy, salty, sweet, tangy, what's not to love about broccoli salad? This vegan recipe recreates the classic textures and flavors of the classic version but without bacon or mayo!
By using all plant based whole foods you can create a more healthy version of broccoli salad!
For the salad:
- Raw broccoli - you will need to chop the broccoli into florets. I leave the stems on and just make sure everything is cut into bite-sized pieces. You can also purchase already washed and chopped broccoli in the produce department at some grocery stores.
- Dried cranberries - these add a nice pop of flavor, but feel free to sub them for other dried fruits such as raisins or apricots.
- Plant-based bacon - click the link for an easy homemade coconut bacon recipe, or use your favorite store bought vegan bacon.
- Red onion - the taste of red onions is ideal for broccoli salad, but shallots would also work.
- Nuts- slivered almonds are used in this recipe, but you can also choose chopped pecans, walnuts, cashews, or any other variety you like for added crunch.
- Apples - try fuji, honey crisp, gala, or your favorite variety.
For the broccoli salad dressing:
- Raw cashews - if you are not using a high speed blender you need to prep the cashews in one of three ways:
- Grind the dry cashews into a fine powder using a coffee grinder.
- Soak them overnight.
- Or just boil them for about 25-30 minutes.
- Cooked potato - red potatoes are great for the salad dressing, but any starchy potato will work.
- Avoid sweet potatoes or another root vegetable, they won't work the same.
- White beans - cook them ahead of time or use canned to keep it extra easy.
- Vinegar - I use white vinegar to keep the flavor mild and not overpower the other tastes. White wine vinegar is a good substitute, as well as apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar, but it will slightly change the taste of the salad dressing.
- Lemon juice - freshly squeezed lemon juice will give you the absolute best flavor, but the jarred juice will work in a pinch.
- Mustard seed - the dried mustard is easy to add dimension to the dressing, dijon mustard may be substituted as well.
How to Make Vegan Broccoli Salad
The first thing you'll want to do is make the dressing:
- Measure all of the dressing ingredients into a blender.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Set aside until ready to use.
Next, assemble the salad:
- Add all of the salad ingredients into a large bowl.
- Pour in the dressing and toss to coat.
- Let chill then dig in!
Make Ahead and Storage Suggestions
This salad recipe can be prepared in advance which means it's the perfect side dish to bring along to potlucks, make ahead for Thanksgiving, Christmas, weeknight dinners, or lunchtime meal prep!
- Make the dressing, wash and cut the broccoli and onion, and make the vegan bacon if you are using homemade.
- Store the salad components in separate containers (the Rubbermaid EasyFindLids Antimicrobial containers are perfect for things like broccoli) and wait to cut the apple for the freshest taste.
- You can also mix all of the dry salad ingredients to store together, just keep the dressing on its own.
- Mix in the salad dressing at least 2 hours, and up to 24 hours before serving.
- Leftovers will keep in an airtight container (like the Rubbermaid EasyFindLids Antimicrobial containers) in the refrigerator for up to 2-4 days.
The Best Storage Containers
So your broccoli salad is prepped ahead of time, yay! But that broccoli stink? Ew, let's not let that get all in your fridge.
Don't just use any old container, use one that has antimicrobial protection to prevent the strong odors from overtaking your fridge! Thankfully for us, Rubbermaid has created these EasyFindLids containers with SilverShield® that do just that! Here are just some of the reasons I'm in love with these:
- The Rubbermaid EasyFindLids with SilverShield® provide around the clock antimicrobial product protection which prevents odor-causing bacterial growth.
- SilverShield® antimicrobial technology works by using tiny amounts of silver ions to resist the growth of bacteria on your food.
- They're Dishwasher safe!
- The modular containers nest and stack easily which means organized cupboards and refrigerators are actually possible.
- These containers are also durable and keep food secure on the-go so no spills on the way to the potluck.
- Bonus, freezer and microwave safe, perfect for prepping all your stinky holiday dishes ahead of time!
What to Serve with Broccoli Salad
The combination of sweet, salty, and tangy flavors in this salad really pairs well with anything from holiday meals to Summer BBQs. Here are a few plant based recipes to serve it with for the holidays:
- Portobello Mushroom Steak
- Healthier Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole
- Creamy Vegan Mashed Potatoes
- Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- Healthy Vegan Cauliflower Casserole
- Vegan and Gluten Free Scalloped Potatoes
- Vegan Gluten Free Stuffing
- Healthy Cranberry Sauce
- You will have extra dressing which is great to use as a spread or dip all week long.
- Make sure the broccoli is dry before mixing the salad, a salad spinner or towel will help to get out excess moisture.
- Make sure to chill before serving. This lets the flavors meld together, and everyone loves a crisp and cold broccoli salad!
- Cut the broccoli florets in a small size so they are easy to eat.
These fillings make great substitutions or additions to this vegan broccoli salad recipe:
- Sunflower seeds
- Sun Dried Tomatoes
- I like the coconut bacon but this Mushroom Bacon is great too!
- Cheese - use a shredded vegan cheddar, or if you only need the salad to be vegetarian you can pick your favorite dairy cheese.
More Vegan Salads
Here are some more of our favorite plant based recipes:
Best Vegan Broccoli Salad (with Cranberries)
- Put all dressing ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add all the salad ingredients into a large bowl. Add about ½ cup dressing to the bowl and mix well. Taste and add more dressing until you get the creaminess and flavor you prefer.
- Place in the fridge to allow the flavors to mix in.
- I used red potatoes but any starchy potato will work, just don’t use sweet. It also won’t work to substitute with something that is not an actual potato (such as another root vegetable).
- If you are not using a high speed blender, you can grind the dry cashews into a fine powder using a coffee grinder. You can also soak them overnight or just boil them for about 25-30 minutes.
- This makes a little more dressing than you need, but it’s great to double and use as a spread or dip all week long.
- Dressing makes 1 cup.
- Make dressing.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.