Ready in 30 minutes, you'll be bringing my broccoli crunch salad to every BBQ this summer. It's full of color, flavour and hearty veggies!
You're probably used to having broccoli roasted in the air fryer or in a simple sheet pan dinner, but it actually makes an amazing base in my broccoli crunch salad. I love an arugula salad just as much as you, however sometimes it's nice to switch it up from the leafy greens.
Broccoli is a powerhouse cruciferous veggie, with tons of fibre, vitamin C and vitamin K. It's even a veggie that's a touch higher in protein, although I wouldn't recommend relying on it to meet protein needs (HELLO stomachache). There is so much to love about broccoli, especially with a simple honey mustard dressing!
Why This Dietitian Loves This Recipe
This broccoli crunch salad is such a winner and here's why:
- It doesn't get soggy. Broccoli is way sturdier than other salad greens, so it's a great option for packed lunches or potlucks.
- Packed with plants. It's easy to "eat the rainbow" with over 5 different plants in this salad! Eating a diverse range of plant foods helps provide a wide range of color, nutrients and antioxidants.
- Versatile. You can enjoy this broccoli crunch salad on its on, as a side, or in a wrap.
- Shredded carrot
- Roasted chickpeas
- Red bell pepper
- Cheddar cheese
- Red onion
- Dried cranberries
- Greek yogurt
- Dijon mustard
- Apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
Loosely chop your broccoli, discarding the bottom 2 inches of the stem. Wash thoroughly.
Add chopped broccoli to a food processor and pulse until your broccoli is evenly sized.
In a large bowl, combine pulsed broccoli, carrot, roasted chickpeas, bell pepper, cheese, onion, cucumber, chopped almonds, bacon and dried cranberries (if using).
Whisk together all dressing ingredients, adding water by the tablespoon to thin if desired.
Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
Substitutions and Variations
To make gluten-free: This recipe is naturally gluten-free.
To make dairy-free: Swap the Greek yogurt for mayonnaise and use a dairy-free cheese.
To make vegan: Use a dairy-free cheese and vegan mayonnaise or yogurt in the dressing. Omit the bacon or use a vegan substitute like tempeh.
To make nut-free: Swap the chopped almonds for pumpkin seeds for a seed-based crunch.
Missing an ingredient? Try these:
- Chickpeas: Leave it out or swap with edamame. Roasting is optional, but recommended for the best crunch!
- Cheddar cheese: White or orange cheddars both work. For a saltier option, go for crumbled feta cheese.
- Chopped almonds: Swap for any chopped nut (walnuts, pecans, peanuts, etc.) or pumpkin seeds.
- Greek yogurt: For a creamier texture you can substitute the greek yogurt for mayonnaise or use 2 tablespoon of yogurt and 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise.
Looking to make it more balanced?
This salad has tons of fiber and some healthy fats, but let's see how we can make it more balanced and filling:
- For protein: Try adding edamame, chopped chicken or crumbled tempeh.
- For carbohydrates: Serve with rice, pita or toasted bread.
This broccoli crunch salad can stay fresh in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Since there's no leafy greens, it won't get soggy.
This salad is best eaten after it sits for several hours in the fridge prior to serving. This allows the dressing to soak into the broccoli, creating a more flavourful salad.
To help with prep: make your chickpeas and bacon beforehand! You can also purchase pre-cooked bacon crumbles and crispy chickpeas!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! I personally find broccoli salad is the most enjoyable when all of the ingredients can seamlessly mesh together. This is best if the broccoli is cut into fairly small pieces. If you don’t have a food processor don’t worry- you can easily use a knife to finely chop your broccoli!
I decided to leave them as optional in this recipe as I like to make my recipes as accessible as possible. As neither of these ingredients are necessary and they are such small quantities, I don’t want you to have to purchase them just for one recipe! However if you do have them on hand or feel like purchasing them they both add some extra flavour.
More Salad Recipes
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PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make these broccoli crunch salad, don't forget to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked it!
Honey Mustard Broccoli Crunch Salad
- 1 large head of broccoli including the stems (about 6 cups)
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1 batch of roasted chickpeas
- 1 red bell pepper diced (about ¾ cup)
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup red onion diced
- ½ a large english cucumber diced (about ¾ cup)
- ½ cup chopped almonds
- ¼ cup crumbled bacon
- ½ cup dried cranberries
Honey mustard dressing:
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1.5 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt*
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Water to thin as needed
- Loosely chop your broccoli, discarding the bottom 2 inches of the stem. Wash thoroughly.
- Add chopped broccoli to a food processor and pulse until your broccoli is evenly sized.
- In a large bowl, combine pulsed broccoli, carrot, roasted chick[eas, bell pepper, cheese, onion, cucumber, chopped almonds, bacon and dried cranberries (if using).
- Whisk together all dressing ingredients, adding water by the tablespoon to thin if desired.
- Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine.