Instead of a heavy dressing, this Healthy Broccoli Salad is dressed with a light and fresh vinaigrette and is filled with nutrient-dense ingredients. It is bright, fresh, crunchy, sweet, tangy--absolutely delicious!
Made with fresh broccoli, crisp apples, juicy oranges, protein-rich edamame, tangy dried cranberries, and a fresh orange dressing, this Healthy Broccoli Salad is a perfect light lunch or side dish for entrees like Classic Burgers, Grilled Shrimp, or Black Bean Burgers.
Most people think of broccoli salads as made with mayonnaise, sugar, cheese, and bacon. This recipe swaps out those heavy ingredients for a healthier version of a classic.
Instead of a heavy dressing, this salad is dressed with a light and fresh vinaigrette and is filled with nutrient-dense ingredients. It is crunchy, crispy, tangy, sweet, savory, and loaded with superfoods!
Not only is this Healthy Broccoli Salad better for you, but it is also darn right delicious and allergy-friendly.
- Broccoli: Be sure to use fresh broccoli and only the florets. Don't discard the stem, grate it and use it to make the filling for Baked Egg Rolls or Vegetable Potstickers.
- Apples: Select sweet apples like Gala, Honey Crisp, or Fuji. Granny smith apples are too tart and red delicious break down in the dressing so are not recommended.
- Oranges: Seedless oranges are best, which are much easier to segment than oranges with seeds. In a bind, you can drain 1 (14-ounce) can of mandarin oranges in place of fresh oranges. But fresh oranges taste best.
- Edamame: I love adding edamame, as it makes this salad much heartier and gives it a dose of protein. There is no need to cook the edamame, simply let it defrost before adding it to the salad.
- Dried Cranberries: The cranberries add a sweet and tart bite. If you do not have cranberries, golden raisins are a good substitute.
- Onion: Use a red or sweet onion to add a bit of crunch and balance the sweetness in this salad.
- Sunflower Seeds: Use toasted, salted sunflower seeds to the salad to add crunch. Just be sure NOT to add until right before serving to prevent the sunflower seeds from getting soggy.
- Broccoli Salad Dressing: This dressing is made with fresh orange juice, olive oil, honey, apple cider vinegar, and garlic for a sweet, tangy dressing that compliments all the flavors in the salad itself.
How to Prepare Broccoli Salad
- Prepare the dressing by whisking together the orange juice, vinegar, honey, garlic, salt, and olive oil together in a small bowl until well incorporated and set aside.
- Cut a head of broccoli into bite-size pieces, using only the florets.
- Segment the oranges by using a sharp knife, to carefully slice the skin away from the flesh of the orange. Trim off any white pith that remains and then cut between the membranes to segment the orange.
- Chop up the apples and onions.
- Toss together the broccoli with the apples, orange segments, onions, cranberries, and edamame in a large bowl.
- Add the dressing to the vegetables and toss well.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours for the flavors to develop.
- Before serving, add the sunflower seeds to the salad and toss to distribute evenly.
The flavors in this broccoli salad get better after refrigeration, so it is perfect to prepare up to 48 hours in advance.
To make in advance, prepare as directed up to the addition of sunflower seeds. Cover and refrigerate. Right before serving, toss the salad together again and sprinkle with sunflower seeds and serve.
Notes on Serving
This Broccoli Salad is the perfect dish to bring to a potluck, picnic, or block party. The flavors and the textures of this salad are so on point, that everyone will love the fresh flavors. It is a unique dish, yet something that appeals to the masses. And because this salad is gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and nut-free, most everyone will be able to safely enjoy it.
This Broccoli Salad is able to be held at room temperature for several hours, without having to worry about food poisoning, even at outdoor gatherings, because this salad does not have mayonnaise. That also means this salad travels well, which is perfect if you have to transport your dish with you to a gathering.
More Dishes Perfect For Potlucks
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Homemade Baked Beans
- Homemade Brownies
- Mini Cheesecakes
This Broccoli Salad is bursting with flavor and is sure to make the perfect addition to any potluck, BBQ, or party!
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cups broccoli florets chopped into bite size pieces
- 2 apples chopped into bite size pieces
- 2 seedless navel oranges segmented and cut into chunks
- ¼ cup red onion minced
- 1 cup defrosted edamame
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds optional
- Whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, honey, garlic, salt, and olive oil together in a small bowl until well incorporated.
- Toss together broccoli, apples, oranges, edamame, cranberries, and onion together.
- Add the dressing to the vegetables and toss well.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Before serving, toss again and then top with sunflower seeds.
- Leftover broccoli salad will last for 3 days after preparing but is best if served within 48 hours.
- Use sweet apples like Gala, Honey Crisp, or Fuji. I do not recommend Granny Smith or Red Delicious apples for this broccoli salad.
- If you do not want to segment fresh oranges, drain 1-(14-ounce) can of mandarin oranges in place of fresh oranges. But fresh oranges taste best.
- Golden raisins make a good substitute for dried cranberries if desired.