When you need a bit more green in your life, and are looking for a crunchy and vibrant side dish, then make our delicious Broccoli Salad. Bite sized pieces of broccoli, cranberries and almonds all brought together with a light and zesty dressing.
We are always looking for more ways to get green vegetables in to our diet and this broccoli salad is one of our favourite ways. It’s super quick and easy to make, with just a few ingredients. Serve this tasty summer salad as a side with dinner, or make it for a crowd at a BBQ.
Why you will love it
- An easy way to get more greens in your diet
- Quick to make
- A great BBQ side
- Can use raw or cooked broccoli
- Easy to adapt
- Can be made in advance
- Broccoli - The star of this dish. To make this the best it possible can be, then try to choose the perfect broccoli. Choose a broccoli head with tight, green florets and firm stalks. Your broccoli should feel heavy for its size. Avoid broccoli with dried out or browning stem ends or yellowing florets.
- Celery - This adds some extra crunch to the salad. I know that not everyone loves it (even though I don't think it really tastes of anyway), so you could swap it for another crunch vegetable like carrot or bell pepper.
- Oil - Try to use the best quality olive oil that you can, as you really will be able to taste the difference.
- Vinegar - We used apple cider vinegar, as we love the tangy flavour. You could use red wine vinegar for a deeper flavour.
- Mustard - This gives a nice kick to the dressing. We used Dijon mustard, but you could use wholegrain instead.
- Honey - Runny honey is best to use for this.
- Cranberries and almonds - These are optional toppings, but the cranberries add a nice sweetness and the almonds add a nice crunch.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make Broccoli Salad - Step by step
One: Mix all the dressing ingredients together.
Two: Put all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, pour over the dressing and mix well.
Health benefits of broccoli salad
Yes, this is a really healthy side dish. I am sure we are all aware of how nutrient dense the humble broccoli is. If you aren’t, then it is a great source of fibre and folate, as well as vitamins A, C, E and K.
Broccoli salad is traditionally loaded with a creamy dressing and some cheese, however we have left that out of our recipe to make it lower in calories. However, we have provided those are suggestions below if you do want to make it more indulgent.
What else can be added?
This salad is so easy to adapt and add other ingredients, which is why we love it so much.
Other vegetables that work well in this are cucumber, courgette, sweet corn, mushrooms, peppers, mange tout or cauliflower.
It doesn’t have to just be able the vegetables though. Some grilled and chopped bacon is a wonderful addition to this, and makes it a little more indulgent. The saltiness of the bacon pairs beautifully with the zestiness of the dressing and the sweetness from the cranberries.
We used cranberry and almonds as the crunchy topping for this salad, however you could swap the cranberries for another dried fruit like cherries or raisins and the almonds could be swapped for pecans or walnuts.
Another delicious addition to this salad is some cheese. We like crumbled goats cheese or some shavings of Parmesan. Please note that any additions will change the nutritional information of this recipe.
A dressing really does make it bread a salad, so it has to compliment it perfectly. This dressing is a balanced mix of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, a touch of honey and some mustard, along with seasoning of course.
You can swap the honey for maple syrup or leave it out if you don’t like sweet dressings, although it isn’t overly sweet.
You could make a creamier dressing my whisking in a little mayo to it.
What to serve it with
This side salad is so versatile and goes with almost anything. We love it with grilled chicken or salmon.
It’s also a favourite side dish at our BBQs, so it goes with things like beef burgers and halloumi skewers. Here are some of our favourite recipes to serve it with.
- Tomato Puff Pastry Tart
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- Easy Chicken Traybake
- Vegetable and Halloumi Kebabs
- Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
- Honey Mustard Salmon
- Stuffed Chicken Breast
- Chicken Kiev
If you have leftovers, or you are making it in advance, then you can store it in a covered bowl in the fridge. It’s best to eat it within 24 hours so it’s nice and fresh and still has a crunch to it, however it will be good for a couple of days.
Yes, this is a great dish to make in advance as when using raw broccoli it doesn’t get soggy, and it gives the broccoli a change to soak in all that delicious dressing.
Don’t put the nuts on until just before serving though, as they can get soggy if left to soak for too long.
If we are making this as a BBQ side dish, then I always make it the night before and it’s one less thing to do on the day.
• Make sure you use the broccoli in to small bite sized pieces. With the broccoli being raw, smaller pieces make it easier for the dressing to soften it and makes it easier to eat.
• If you are making this in advance, make sure to add the nuts at the last minute so they don’t get soggy.
• A little bit of cooked chopped bacon is a great addition to this salad.
• Why not try some crumbled goats cheese or shaved Parmesan on top?
More salad recipes
- 1 head broccoli - chopped into small pieces
- 1 celery rib - diced
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
- Dried cranberries and flaked almonds to serve - optional
- Put all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Put the salad ingredients in a large bowl, add the dressing and mix together.
- Make sure you use the broccoli in to small bite sized pieces. With the broccoli being raw, smaller pieces make it easier for the dressing to soften it and makes it easier to eat.
- If you are making this in advance, make sure to add the nuts at the last minute so they don’t get soggy.
- A little bit of cooked chopped bacon is a great addition to this salad.
- Why not try some crumbled goats cheese or shaved Parmesan on top?