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Vegan Healthy Creamy Broccoli Salad

healthy creamy broccoli salad

It isn’t a barbecue in our house without some Creamy Broccoli Salad! Is broccoli salad a favorite in your home? If you’re not familiar with Creamy Broccoli Salad, it’s a slightly, sweet, tangy, creamy and perfectly crunchy, chopped salad filled with bright, Summer flavors.

Let’s step back a bit, traditional creamy broccoli salad is made with mayonnaise, bacon and a few other ingredients that have no place in a nutritious salad in my humble opinion. I mean, where is the salad line drawn? Is it still a salad if there’s a heap of mayonnaise, butter and gummy bears in it? Okay, I’m exaggerating a tad but I like my salads healthy and will save the less than healthy servings for my huge sweet tooth and love of desserts!

creamy broccoli salad

It’s always cool being in a relationship with somebody from another country and culture, when J and I first started going out, things I grew up loving were totally new to him and some staples in his diet were completely new to me. When we moved in together, the first few months, I cooked staples for us that were such an integral part of my childhood (like Mac & Cheese, chocolate chip cookies and basically anything made with peanut butter – who knew Peanut Butter is such an American/Canada phenomenon?!?). 

And now, I’ve finally made J my favorite Creamy Broccoli Salad, albeit a bit healthier and more vegan than the one I grew up on. πŸ˜‰

ceara s kitchen

J was a bit skeptical when he came in the kitchen and saw me chopping up red onions, avocado and a mountain of broccoli. The skepticism increasingly grew as I started throwing raisins into our salad and then a heap of sunflower seeds, ha!

And then I served the salad and we all had THREE servings. The entire Creamy Broccoli Salad disappeared within a couple of hours of making it. #YesPlease #BringOnTheBroccoli

Can we all agree it’s a good sign when your loved ones want extra helpings of salad? That’s what I call veggies done right! πŸ˜‰ 

the sunflower seeds

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Healthy Creamy Broccoli Salad


  • Author: Ceara
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

It isn’t a barbecue in our house without some Creamy Broccoli Salad. Broccoli salad is a slightly, sweet, tangy, creamy and perfectly crunchy, chopped salad filled with bright, Summer flavors. This salad tastes even better the next day after marinating in the fridge for a few hours.


Ingredients

Scale

Salad

  • 2 heads broccoli, chopped (9 cups broccoli florets)
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 3/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds (unsalted)

Dressing

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut or cane sugar
  • 23 splashes hot sauce (to taste)

Garnish

  • Parsley
  • Sunflower Seeds

Instructions

  1. Prepare the vegetables: Chop broccoli into bite size pieces, finely chop the avocado and red onion. Add the chopped broccoli, red onion and avocado along with the raisins and sunflower seeds to a large bowl.
  2. Make the dressing: Add all of the ingredients for the dressing (avocado through to hot sauce to a blender). Blend until smooth and creamy (it will take a couple minutes for the sunflower seeds to dissolve and the dressing to become completely creamy).
  3. Toss it all together: Toss the dressing with the broccoli mixture until all the broccoli is completely coated with the creamy dressing. Cover and seal tightly in the fridge until ready to serve. Tastes even better after marinating in the fridge for a few hours. Garnish with parsley and additional sunflower seeds.

Notes

1) It’s very important to make sure to seal the broccoli salad in the fridge well before serving to make sure the avocado does not turn brown and oxidize.
2) Double this dressing for an extra creamy salad!

  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Category: Side
  • Cuisine: American

healthy creamy broccoli

If you try this Vegan Healthy Creamy Broccoli Salad, it makes my day seeing your delicious #CearasKitchen creations. Share your photos with me on Instagram @CearasKitchen (and remember to tag #CearasKitchen so I don’t miss it!) or share it on my Ceara’s Kitchen Facebook page.

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36 Comments

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  3. Amazing!! I have to admit that I usually have to increase condiment and spice ratios on recipes to increase flavor but I followed your recipe exactly and it was perfect! I added a couple tbsp. of veganaise to make my dressing stretch a little further and it was quite delicious. This will be a recipe I come back to for years to come. Thank you!!

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, Erin. I am the same way and usually have to up the condiments and spices in recipes. So happy you enjoyed the salad!

  4. This looks delicios. But I’m curious. The photo has cilantro in it – not parsley (not even flat leaf parsley). Do you sometimes use cilantro and, if so, do you change any of the other ingredients?

  5. I jjust made this recipe and it is so good. I had some leftover shredded cabbage so I added that as well and I just love all the colors and the tangy flavor of the creamy dressing. Awesome recipe!

    1. So happy you discovered the blog and thank you for subscribing πŸ™‚ Lovely to “meet” you!

  6. What a beautiful salad Ceara! I absolutely LOVE broccoli and love the sound of that awesome dressing. I make dressings a lot with avocado and they are so creamy and delicious! I love that you added sunflower seeds and I can see why everybody gobbled this salad up so incredibly fast, I would too!! Love, love that there is chopped avocado AND avocado dressing, YUM!

    1. Thanks so much, Brandi! I feel like if we looked in each other’s cupboards we’d fine very similar items in our pantries – we have such similar tastes! I was oggling over your sunflower seed ranch dressing that goes with your potato salad the other day – YUM!!

  7. That dressing sounds amazing! I’m not a fan of heavy dressings but this seems like it’s just right, and I love the splash of hot sauce.

    Haha! I grew up in Wisconsin and it was perfectly acceptable to call Jell-o, mini marshmallows, and canned fruit a salad. I can proudly say that I have never touched the stuff, even before I became health conscious that kind of thing grossed me out. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Linda!! πŸ™‚ I hear you on not liking dressings that are overly heavy – the added water and lemon really balance this dressing out! I love it on other salads too!

      And that’s hilarious! I grew up around jello and marshmallow salads too – I want to know WHO first named these gelatinous salads, “salad”. Too funny!!

  8. Hi Ceara! I sort of fell off the health band wagon this week so hopefully this salad with put me back where I need to be. Broccoli is calling my name these days. And I adore any salad with sunflower seeds. Just don’t get mad when I throw in the salted ones instead of the unsalted ones….haha. Have a great rest of the week and weekend!

    1. I hear you, Laura! Broccoli and greens always seem to call my name when I eat too many sweets! πŸ˜‰ Have a wonderful week and weekend as well!! Thank you for the kind words as always!

    1. Thank you so much, Gayle! The crunch and the textures of this salad really bring it to the next level πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful week!

  9. You don’t know how much I love broccoli and I’m an avocado addict, too. Your salad sounds delicious, love every ingredient. This salad is just amazing, the addition of a avocado dressing just marvelous! Your pictures are beautiful, so I can literally feel the crunch of the sunflower seeds! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Florian!! It sounds like we have very similar taste buds! πŸ™‚ Avocado + Broccoli = my life πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

  10. Oh yeah, I’m all about broccoli salad! I’ve not tried it with an avo dressing, but it sounds so good and creamy. And the sunflower seeds are the best in a broccoli salad! Good thing J is open to trying new recipes. Rob isn’t always so open… but he has come a looong way since his Texas meat and potato days!

    1. Happy to hear you are all about the broccoli salad too! I’ve been in love with broccoli salad as long as I can remember πŸ˜‰ And that’s wonderful about Rob – J and I have both come along way since our ways when we first met too in France πŸ™‚ It’s crazy how our tastes and preferences change over time!

  11. I LOVE this salad <3 It is great to find veggie dishes that I actually crave and can't stop eating, because veggies are often a should eat not a want to eat ;D haha I really love slices of apple in my broccoli salad too, but no reason why I couldn't add them in!

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