Meet our vibrant, flavourful and delicious vegan broccoli salad. This no-mayo recipe will transform the humble broccoli into the star. Outrageously easy to make in 15 minutes, it is the perfect side dish for all your BBQ and potluck gatherings.
Why You’ll Love Our Vegan Broccoli Salad
Raw broccoli? The main star in a salad? Hmm.
Yes, I know it can be a hard sell with raw broccoli. It can be plain and meh. However, I know you will change your mind once you have tried our vegan broccoli salad.
I love this easy vegan broccoli salad because of all the delicious textures jammed packed together. It’s light, vibrant and flavourful. There is no bacon, cheese or cream in sight but still utterly delicious.
Crunchy raw broccoli, grated carrot, peppery radishes and all the wonderful goodness of cranberries, sunflower seeds and almonds. Together these ingredients are totally satisfying.
And for those who prefer no mayo broccoli salad, this is perfect!
I have created a tangy mustard dressing that generously coats all the ingredients. The zippy flavours will be pulling everyone back for more.
So no more boring salads for lunch, weeknight dinners or when you head out for BBQs and potlucks. This broccoli carrot salad is outrageously easy to make, can meal prep and is great to transport. Plus, it’s dairy free and gluten free – perfect for feeding a crowd.
To Cook or Not to Cook Broccoli?
Most classic broccoli salads will use raw broccoli florets.
Like our creamy broccoli salad recipe, the mayonnaise based dressing will coat the raw broccoli well and soften them. The same principle applies here, I have used raw broccoli in this vegan salad recipe.
However, if you don’t like raw broccoli as much, you can blanch the broccoli quickly.
Make sure you add broccoli to an ice bath or rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. This will also help retain the crispness and deep green colours.
Flavour/Texture: This vegan broccoli salad recipe is perfectly crunchy with wonderful textures all in one bite.
As I said, this easy broccoli salad does not have bacon or mayo, but the flavours are still magic. I love how the tangy mustard dressing elevates the fresh vegetables.
The dried cranberries add a deliciously sweet tartness that balances the recipe.
Ease: Other than dry toasting the sunflower seeds and almonds, there is no cooking involved. Just chop, grate and mix.
Time: 15 minutes is all your need to prep this no mayo broccoli salad. However, if you have a little more time, let the vegan broccoli salad mingle with the tangy mustard dressing to get the full flavours.
These are key ingredients you need for Vegan Broccoli Salad:
Broccoli: We are only using raw broccoli florets in this recipe. Cut them into small pieces for best results.
Carrot: Adds a great pop of colour and earthy sweetness when matched with broccoli.
Radish: I love the peppery crunch of fresh radishes. Plus, the pop of red is fantastic in the salad.
Sunflower seeds / almonds: This combination adds a nutty flavour to the salad. I gently toast them on a frypan with chilli flakes and sea salt for extra oomph.
Dried cranberries: The pops of sweet tartness that dried cranberries add to vegan broccoli salad is delicious.
Olive oil: A good quality olive oil is needed for the tangy mustard dressing.
Dijon mustard: The mild heat and slightly tangy flavours of Dijon mustard is perfect for this dressing.
Garlic: For extra punch, crushed garlic in the salad dressing takes the flavours to another level.
Variations and Substitutions
Cranberries substitution: If you don’t have dried cranberries, you can substitute with dried raisins. They are sweeter than dried cranberries so I would use ¼ cup instead.
Nut free option: Switch out the almonds and replace with pepitas.
Additional toppings: Other popular ingredients you can add to vegan broccoli salad include grapes, chopped apple, chickpeas, pepitas, vegan bacon, coconut bacon, scallions or roasted cashews.
Step by step instructions for how to make vegan broccoli salad:
How to Make The Salad
Cut and remove broccoli stem from broccoli.
Chop broccoli head into small bite sized florets.
Use the coarse grater and grate carrot.
Peel and dice red onion.
Trim and wash radishes. Cut them into half or quarters depending on size.
Over medium heat, dry roast sunflower seeds and almonds in a fry pan. Add chilli flakes and sea salt to taste. I used about ½ teaspoon of chilli flakes and a good pinch of salt myself.
Remove when sunflower seeds and almonds are slightly toasted. Be careful not to burn the seed and nuts.
How To Make Tangy Mustard Dressing
In a mason jar, add olive oil, apple cider vinegar, crushed garlic, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
Shake well until dressing is well combined.
How to Assemble the Salad
In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients broccoli, carrot, radish, red onion, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and almonds.
Drizzle salad dressing and toss together well.
How to Make This Salad Perfectly (Expert Tips)
Bite sized broccoli florets: For the best results, cut the broccoli florets into small pieces. This will be easier to eat.
Make ahead: This is one of those salads that benefit from making ahead so that the broccoli can fully absorb the tangy mustard dressing. This makes it the perfect potluck side dish. Prepare and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
Dress the salad well: Don’t be afraid to fully coat this salad with the tangy mustard dressing. The broccoli can seriously take it! It will not get soggy. The lush tangy finish gives the salad the extra boost.
Great Mains for This Salad
This vegan broccoli salad needs an equally good vegan main recipe. Here are some we love:
For you pasta lovers, this vegan gnocchi bake with Bolognese sauce is absolutely delicious. Or you can try smoky tomato lentils cooked in coconut milk or even a vegan beet burger which hits all the right spots!
Frequently Asked Questions
Don’t waste the broccoli stems as you can eat them as carrot sticks with your favourite dip, use in broccoli slaw or add to stir fries.
You can make this vegan broccoli salad an hour ahead or even the night before.
This vegan broccoli salad is perfect for taking to potlucks, picnics or BBQs as it transports so well. No need to keep salad dressing separate. It can be fully dressed and ready to eat at the destination.
Any leftover vegan broccoli salad can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Literally thrown together in 15 minutes with pantry and fridge staples, this vibrant vegan broccoli salad is one of those effortless salad recipes that is perfect for all summer parties.
The tangy mustard dressing is so good no one would complain about eating broccoli! Easy, simple and utterly delicious.
Vegan Broccoli Salad [No Mayo]
Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.
- Cut and remove broccoli stem from broccoli. Chop broccoli head into small bite sized florets.
- Peel and dice red onion.
- Peel and grate carrot.
- Trim and wash radishes. Cut them into quarters.
- Over medium heat, dry roast sunflower seeds and almonds in fry pan with chilli flakes and sea salt. Remove when sunflower seeds and almonds are slightly toasted
- In a mason jar, add olive oil, apple cider vinegar, crushed garlic, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
- Shake well until dressing is well combined.
- In a large mixing bowl, add broccoli, carrot, radish, red onion, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and almonds.
- Drizzle salad dressing and toss together.
- For the best results, cut the broccoli florets into small pieces. This will be easier to eat.
- If you don’t have dried cranberries, you can substitute for dried raisins. They are sweeter than dried cranberries so I would use ¼ cup instead.
- For a nut free option, switch out the almonds and replace with pepitas.
- Other popular ingredients you can add to vegan broccoli salad include grapes, chopped apple, chickpeas, pepitas, coconut bacon, scallions or roasted cashews.
- Dress the salad well by fully coating the ingredients with the tangy mustard dressing.
- This is one of those salads that benefit from making ahead so that the broccoli can fully absorb the tangy mustard dressing.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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