Let’s kick off 2018 with my favorite broccoli salad recipe! It’s crisp, crunchy and fresh, which is exactly what I’m craving this time of year. It’s also seriously addictive, thanks to the sweet-and-savory combination of freshly toasted sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and cheddar cheese.
I borrowed the honey-mustard vinaigrette from my Brussels sprout slaw, and it plays up raw broccoli’s best features. Who needs mayo when you have tangy, creamy honey-mustard dressing?
Standard potluck-issue broccoli salads include mayonnaise, sugar and bacon, and you won’t find any of those here. I included the usual cheddar cheese since Mara absolutely loved it that way.
The cheddar offers some creamy indulgence to the salad, which makes it a perfect transition food from rich holiday meals to healthier options. That said, I enjoyed the recipe sans cheese, if you’re craving a lighter salad.
This year, one of my resolutions is to consume more mega-nutritious cruciferous veggies, which includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts. The cruciferous family of vegetables offer potent anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer health benefits.
Broccoli is also high in fiber and folate. I consider humble old broccoli to be a total super food! Learn more about broccoli’s health benefits here.
If you’re looking for a packable, potluck-friendly side salad, this is it. I’ve enjoyed a big bowl of it as a light meal, too. If you’re looking for more pack-for-work options, I’ve got you covered right here.
Favorite Broccoli Salad
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes (plus 20 minutes marinating time)
- Yield: 6 side servings
- Category: Salad
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
This broccoli salad recipe is the best! It’s healthy, too, thanks to the delicious honey-mustard vinaigrette (no mayo). This broccoli salad packs great for lunch and potlucks. It’ll be your new favorite! Recipe yields 6 side servings.
- 1 pound broccoli florets (from 1 ½ pounds broccoli stalks), thinly sliced and then roughly chopped (see photos)
- ½ cup raw sunflower seeds or slivered almonds
- ½ cup finely chopped red onion
- ½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries or dried tart cherries, chopped
Honey mustard dressing
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 medium clove garlic, pressed or minced
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Toast the sunflower seeds: Pour the sunflower seeds into a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently (careful, they’ll burn!), until the seeds are turning golden on the sides, about 5 minutes. Pour the toasted seeds into a large serving bowl.
- Add the chopped broccoli, onion, cheese and cranberries to the serving bowl. Set aside.
- In a 1-cup liquid measuring cup or small bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients (olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, garlic and salt). Whisk until the mixture is well blended.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and stir until all of the broccoli is lightly coated in dressing. I highly recommend letting the salad marinate for at least 20 minutes, or even overnight in the refrigerator.
- Divide the salad into individual bowls and serve. Leftovers will keep well for 3 to 4 days in the fridge, covered.
Recipe adapted from my honey mustard Brussels sprout slaw.