This Healthy Broccoli Salad Recipe makes the best detox salad for an easy summer meal! It’s delicious, full of nourishing fruit and veggies, and completely mayo free. We use an olive oil yogurt sauce instead! Quick and easy, it’s gluten-free, grain-free, vegetarian, and dairy free options.
The Best Way to Eat Broccoli
Broccoli salad is a classic side dish for a summer BBQ, picnic, or potluck. However, most recipes are smothered with a thick mayonnaise-based dressing.
And while we love the flavor, we aren’t always the biggest fans of the ingredients, and we often find ourselves wanting something a little on the lighter side. Especially when the summer heat is unbearable!
So, we took the traditional recipe and lightened it up a bit, creating this healthy broccoli salad recipe instead. It’s crisp, crunchy, creamy, and full of nutrients and flavor, too!
Plus, it has a prep time of just 15 minutes, a total time of under an hour, and requires no cooking. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get in the kitchen!
Nutritious Ingredients You’ll Need
This healthy broccoli salad features a blend of whole food ingredients and a homemade broccoli salad dressing for a healthy detox salad that’s loaded with flavor and texture. Here are the broccoli salad ingredients you’ll need:
- Yogurt – We recommend using plain, full-fat yogurt for the best taste and texture. We’re particularly fond of using Greek yogurt for a boost of calcium and protein. However, any kind you like best will work as long as it is unflavored.
- Oil – Use extra virgin olive oil to combine the ingredients, thinning the dressing and adding healthy fats.
- Natural Sweetener – Use honey or agave syrup to sweeten the creamy yogurt dressing to suit your flavor preferences.
- Balsamic Vinegar – A little goes a long way to add a sweet, tangy flavor and boost digestion.
- Lemon Juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice tastes best and works to cut through some of the heaviness of the fats, creating a bright, well-rounded flavor.
Ingredient Swap: If you don’t have lemon juice, red wine vinegar can be substituted.
- Kosher Salt and Black Pepper – Use as little or as much as you like.
- Raw Broccoli Florets – You can’t have a healthy broccoli salad without broccoli! Choose a firm, bright green head, and chop it into pieces. Or, save time, and buy pre-chopped florets instead.
- Berries – Use dried cranberries or fresh blueberries to add a touch of sweetness, texture, vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants.
- Roasted Nuts or Seeds – We’re partial to sunflower seeds, but any nuts or seeds like almonds, walnuts, cashews, or pepitas can be used.
- Red Onion – Chop it into bite-sized pieces to add extra crunch and a bit of tang to every bite.
- Spinach Leaves – Technically optional, we like to include fresh baby spinach for extra color and health benefits.
Health Benefits of Broccoli
If you didn’t already know, broccoli is full of vitamins and nutrients and has many health benefits. For instance, it’s an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and folate. Plus, it’s rich in fiber and antioxidants.
As a result, consuming broccoli as part of a healthy diet can help:
- Reduce Inflammation
- Prevent Cancer
- Assist with Blood Sugar Control
- Support Heart Health
- Improve Digestion
- Promote Brain Health
- Support the Immune System
Additions and Variations
There are no rules when it comes to making a healthy broccoli salad that works for you! Feel free to experiment with different variations, substitutions, and mix-ins. For example, you can:
- Make It Dairy-Free. Use plain, dairy-free yogurt or hummus in the dressing.
- Add Protein. Mix in shredded chicken, crumbled bacon, or even hard-boiled eggs to transform this side dish into a complete meal.
- Include Extra Veggies. Add any veggies you have on hand like shredded carrots, celery, mushrooms, or bell pepper.
- Use More Fruit. Use both dried cherries and fresh blueberries. Or, included chopped apples, raisins, or grapes.
- Mix In Cheese. Crumbled feta cheese, goat cheese, Parmesan, or sharp Cheddar cheese is a great way to add protein, flavor, and make the salad extra creamy.
Do You Cook Broccoli for a Broccoli Detox Salad?
Nope! That’s part of the beauty of this recipe. It comes together in minutes with very little effort and absolutely no cooking required. That said, if cooked broccoli is easier for you to digest, feel free to roast florets first. Just allow them to cool completely before adding them to the salad!
How to Make This Easy Broccoli Salad Recipe
This is sure to become your new go-to salad for every occasion! Just follow the instructions below, and it’s ready in no time.
- Create the Dressing. Whisk the ingredients for the dressing together in a small bowl until they’re well combined and smooth.
- Make the Salad. Add the veggies (except the spinach), fruit, and nuts or seeds to a large bowl.
- Toss. Pour the dressing on top of the broccoli mixture, add the spinach, and gently stir to combine and coat the ingredients.
Pro-Tip: Feel free to use all the dressing for an ultra-creamy broccoli salad. Or, use just a bit for a lighter broccoli salad, and save the rest for later!
- Chill. Adjust the seasonings to taste, and transfer the mixture to the refrigerator to chill before serving.
Tips for the Best Results
We’ve made this recipe so many times we lost count! As a result, we’ve discovered a few tips to help you out.
- Chop the Ingredients Evenly. Try to chop the ingredients into uniformly small, bite-sized pieces so you get bits of everything in each bite.
- Adjust the Seasonings. Taste the salad as you go, and adjust the ingredients as needed to suit your flavor preferences.
- Meal Prep. Go ahead and double or even triple the recipe for a super easy meal prep option to enjoy throughout the week!
Enjoy this healthy broccoli salad as a flavorful side dish to all your favorite main courses! Some of our favorite pairings include:
How to Store
This salad is great to make ahead of time and tastes even better the next day! Transfer leftovers to an airtight container, and keep them stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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