This light and easy broccoli salad recipe uses simple and fresh ingredients to create an easy, crisp, and crunchy broccoli salad that is perfect for summer parties or a lighter lunch!
What is broccoli salad?
Broccoli salad is a salad recipe that is perfect for a potluck or summer party. This kind of salad uses broccoli as the base and has additional ingredients like fresh carrots, red onions, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.
There is typically a mayonnaise-style dressing that coats the entire salad as well. The standard broccoli salad can also include bacon and cheese to create a mix of sweet and savory flavors.
Light and easy broccoli salad
This recipe is a lighter spin on the standard broccoli salad. It's filled with fresh and simple ingredients like broccoli, carrots, red onion, and cilantro. There are also some nuts and dried fruit to add some extra crisp and crunch.
The dressing for this broccoli salad is sweetened with lemon and honey. The sweeter, but not-too-sweet, dressing creates a sweetness that balances the earthy goodness of the veggies. That's the thing about this broccoli salad: it's a little crunchy, sweet, savory, crispy, and fresh all at the same time! It'll leave you wanting bite after bite.
The other thing about this healthy broccoli salad is that it is so easy to make. It relies on very minimal preparation. It basically involves some chopping, dumping, and mixing all in one big bowl. Trust me, you can't mess this up!
How is this recipe unique?
This salad is colorful, filled with fresh ingredients, and uses most of what you might already have on hand. There's about 200 calories per serving and it's filled with healthy carbs and fats.
Broccoli salad typically gets a bad rap at potlucks and parties for being stereotyped as "unhealthy," but with this version, you won't need to miss out on anything!
What ingredients do I need?
This recipe is packed with veggies and fresh ingredients that make it perfect for summer! There are exactly 10 ingredients for the salad and dressing. Here are the main ingredients you'll need:
- broccoli - use about one head and the finely chopped, the better!
- shredded carrots - either use a bag of already shredded carrots or put regular-sized carrots through the food processor
- cilantro - don't skip the cilantro, it totally makes the recipe!
- dried cranberries - use dried fruit for some extra sweetness
- almonds - slivered almonds add some extra crunch
- red onion - make sure to finely chop this so there's never too much in one bite
- lemon juice - either fresh or bottled works fine
- greek yogurt - plain greek yogurt is for the base of the dressing
- mayo - this is mixed with the greek yogurt for the dressing, but you could opt out of this and add extra greek yogurt if you want
- honey - this naturally sweetens up the dressing
Can I make substitutions to the recipe?
The beauty of this recipe is that it is all made in one bowl and you can totally swap ingredients based on what you have and what you enjoy.
For the base of the salad, keep things simple and fresh! If you love broccoli and carrots, add more of those. Don't like red onion? Take it out. If you don't have almonds, just skip them. If there's something you love in your typical broccoli salad, add it in. I would definitely recommend keeping the broccoli, cilantro, and some version of the dressing.
For the dressing, you could change the ratios of the honey and lemon to make it sweeter. You could add less mayo or a mayo substitute as well.
How can I store broccoli salad?
Another great thing about this salad recipe is that it can be prepped ahead of time and is great for leftovers! The salad will taste even better the longer it marinates in the dressing. Store it in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
Is raw broccoli salad good for you?
The general consensus on broccoli? It's good for you, whether raw or cooked. This broccoli salad is a great way to introduce some raw broccoli into your life without just snacking straight from the head.
What's the secret to making good salad?
Did you think I was going to just reveal the secret here? For free?
I'm kidding, of course. I really think the secret to making good salad is letting the ingredients shine. If you feel like you need to drown something in dressing, you probably didn't start out with good ingredients in the first place.
If you choose some good foods you'd consider eating alone and toss them together with a simple dressing, you'll be off to a good start.
What should I eat with broccoli salad?
This healthy broccoli salad is great for summer potlucks and picnics. I think it's best used as a side dish for a grilled meat, tenderloin, pork, or whatever you decide to grill. You could also use it as a base and add something like grilled chicken on top for a lighter lunch.
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Can I have this recipe?
If you try this recipe and love it, please rate it and me know your thoughts! Get creative with toppings as well. Try what you love and make this your own!
Light and Easy Broccoli Salad
For the Salad
- 5 cups fresh broccoli florets (1 head of broccoli, finely chopped)
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup red onion finely diced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro finely diced
- ½ cup slivered almonds
For the Dressing
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup plain greek yogurt
- ¼ cup mayo
- 1 tbsp honey
- dash Salt (more as needed)
- Gather all ingredients and prepare as needed.
- Add broccoli, carrots, red onion, cilantro, cranberries, almonds to a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
- To prepare the dressing, add the lemon juice, greek yogurt, mayo, honey, and salt together. Mix well.
- Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients in the large mixing bowl.
- Stir until the dressing is incorporated well.
- Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.