This is the most delicious vegan broccoli salad and makes a perfect side dish for potlucks! With a creamy homemade dressing, the salad can be prepared in less than 30 minutes.
This is the best vegan broccoli salad recipe! This classic potluck dish is taken up a notch, tossing fresh broccoli, cabbage, dried cranberries, seeds and nuts into a deliciously creamy cashew vinaigrette. Your guests won’t even know it’s vegan!
What makes this vegan broccoli salad recipe so special (besides the dressing) is the wide variety of irresistible textures. Sliced almonds add a satisfying crunch, broccoli and cabbage are crisp and refreshing, and dried cranberries give each bite a touch of tartness. The creamy and tangy homemade dressing is the perfect finishing touch, giving this salad a distinct richness that will keep you coming back for more.
Keep this recipe in your pocket for when you want your guests to really get excited about the salad on their plates! Serve it with even more vegan potluck or barbecue recipes, like vegan chicken salad and vegan barbecue sandwiches, and enjoy!
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- Broccoli – Of course! The raw broccoli is cut into bite-sized pieces before tossing with the rest of the ingredients and the dressing. Try to use the freshest broccoli you can find, with tight dark green buds and bright green stems.
- Red cabbage – The cabbage is sliced very thinly to give this salad a crisp, refreshing crunch. Feel free to use chopped kale instead, or a mixture of the two. Or leave it out and use all the broccoli.
- Red onion
- Dried cranberries – Dried fruits are a must-have in broccoli salad recipes because they add a touch of sweet and tangy flavors. Golden or brown raisins would work well as a substitute.
- Sunflower seeds
- Almonds – Or you can use pistachios, walnuts or another nut you have on hand. If you have an aversion to nuts, use sunflower seeds instead.
- Cashew nuts – Raw cashews are soaked in hot water, then mixed with lemon juice and water to make the base for creamy broccoli dressing. For a nut-free dressing, replace the cashews with 1 cup of my Vegan Tofu Mayonnaise (or store-bought vegan mayonnaise) and omit the water and lemon juice from the recipe. No need for a blender either: just mix in a bowl!
- Lemon juice – To brighten up the cashew cream.
- apple cider vinegar – For the vinaigrette. Leave it out if you really don’t like the taste of vinegar.
- Maple syrup
- Turmeric – A simple pinch of ground turmeric gives the dressing a rich, golden color.
How to Make Vegan Broccoli Salad
Find the complete recipe with measurements in the recipe card below.
Prepare the dressing by tossing the soaked cashews with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, turmeric and water. Blend on high until very smooth and creamy.
Next, add the chopped broccoli, cabbage/kale slices, red onion, dried cranberries, pepitas, and almonds to a large salad bowl.
Pour the creamy dressing into the bowl, then toss to coat. Place the salad in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving. Appreciate!
Broccoli salad is the ultimate side dish that you can serve with roasted vegetables, watermelon salad, potato salad, and other delicious sides. Pair it with jackfruit pulled pork sandwiches, veggie burgers, vegan skewers, or baked barbecue tofu for the main course, and enjoy!
Tips and tricks
- Because broccoli is served raw, be sure to wash it thoroughly before starting. And remember to dry it in a salad spinner or with paper towels to help the dressing stick.
- Cut the broccoli into even, easy-to-eat pieces.
- Always refrigerate assembled salad for at least 30 minutes before serving. This gives all the flavors time to blend, leaving you with an even tastier salad.
- Other mix-ins you can add to broccoli salad are sliced grapes, cauliflower florets, diced apples, crumbled tofu bacon, crumbled vegan feta, sliced fennel, vegan cheese grated carrots or sliced radishes.
How to Store Broccoli Salad
Unlike leafy green salads, broccoli salad won’t lose many of its wonderful textures as it sits. Leftovers will keep for up to 3 or 4 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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Prepare the vinaigrette
Heat 3 to 4 cups of water in a kettle or teapot. Once boiling, pour over cashews in a bowl or glass measuring cup. Let them soak for 5 minutes.
Drain the cashews, discard the soaking water, and add them to a high-powered blender. Add the lemon juice, cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, turmeric and cool water. Blend on high until very smooth and creamy. Put aside.
Assemble the salad
In a large bowl, combine chopped broccoli, kale, red onion, dried cranberries, pepitas and sliced almonds. Pour the prepared dressing over it and mix well with a large spoon until everything is coated.
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend. Appreciate! Leftovers will keep for 3 to 4 days in a covered container in the refrigerator.
- You can use a mix of kale and red cabbage, or leave it out and use all the broccoli.
- You can use a mixture of broccoli and cauliflower in place of all the broccoli.
- Nut free – Don’t hesitate to leave out the almonds (and sprinkles) if necessary. Could use sunflower seeds instead for crunch. Also use nut-free vegan mayonnaise instead of cashew dressing.
To make the dressing with vegan mayonnaise instead of raw cashews as the base, use 1 cup vegan mayonnaise and omit the cashews, water and lemon juice. Simply whisk in a small bowl.
Portion: 1of 10 servings | Calories: 198kilocalories | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 11g | Saturated fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated fats: 2g | Monounsaturated fat: 6g | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 462mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 653UI | Vitamin C: 77mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 2mg