When considering what recipes to share this holiday season, I couldn’t shake the idea of a plant-based take on classic broccoli salad.
Have you ever tried it? It’s basically a salad with raw or blanched broccoli, bacon, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and onion tossed in a sweet mayo-based dressing. While indulgent, it satisfies that salty-sweet flavor I’m often looking for in salads.
So I got to work on an easy plant-based version and am super pleased with the results. Let us show you how easy it is to make!
This recipe is simple to make, requiring just 20 minutes and 10 ingredients.
It starts with chopped raw broccoli, which gets topped with salted roasted sunflower seeds, red onion (or shallot), dried cranberries (or currants), and coconut bacon!
Next comes the dressing: A creamy, cashew-based sauce made with cashew butter, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and salt!
It’s reminiscent of the mayo dressing typically used in the classic version of this dish, but even better in our opinion. Plus, it’s oil-free, naturally-sweetened, and comes together in minutes!
All that’s left to do is toss! The dressing coats the salad beautifully. It can be served immediately or stored in the refrigerator to marinate up to 2-3 days before serving.
We hope you LOVE this salad! It’s:
- Quick & easy
- & Seriously delicious
This would make the perfect side this holiday season and beyond! It pairs especially well with sandwiches (like our Vegan BLT Sandwich or Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich) and our Vegan Lentil Nut “Meatloaf.”
More Broccoli Recipes
- Cheesy Cauliflower Rice Broccoli Bake
- Roasted Broccoli Sweet Potato Chickpea Salad
- Asian Quinoa Salad
- General Tso’s Tofu Stir-Fry
- 30-Minute Quinoa Fried Rice
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Creamy Vegan Broccoli Salad (Mayo-Free!)
- 3/4 cup coconut bacon
- 7 cups chopped broccoli (~2 small heads broccoli as recipe is written)
- 1/2 cup roasted salted sunflower seeds (or sub other salted nut of choice)
- 1/2 cup finely diced red onion or shallot
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries or currants (unsweetened // or sub chopped pitted dates)
- 7 Tbsp cashew butter
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
- 1 pinch black pepper (plus more to taste)
- 3-4 Tbsp water
If you haven’t made your coconut bacon yet, do so now (see instructions) and let cool.
To a large mixing bowl, add coconut bacon, chopped broccoli, sunflower seeds, onion or shallot, and dried fruit of choice.
To a separate small mixing bowl, add cashew butter, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and pepper and stir/whisk to combine. Then add water 1 Tbsp (15 ml) at a time and stir/whisk until a pourable, creamy sauce is achieved. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more maple syrup for sweetness, vinegar for tanginess / acidity, or salt to taste.
Add the sauce to the broccoli salad and toss to combine. Enjoy immediately or transfer to the refrigerator to chill and allow the flavors to marinate. Leftovers will keep up to 4-5 days in the refrigerator, though best within the first 2-3 days. Not freezer friendly.
*Prep time does not include making coconut bacon.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 9 one-cup servings)
- Calories: 213
- Fat: 14.1g
- Saturated fat: 4.7g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 3.76g
- Monounsaturated fat: 4.79g
- Sodium: 300mg
- Potassium: 389mg
- Carbohydrates: 19.2g
- Fiber: 4.1g
- Sugar: 9.4g
- Protein: 6.3g
- Vitamin A: 477IU
- Vitamin C: 63.96mg
- Calcium: 55.37mg
- Iron: 1.72mg