Broccoli Salad is the perfect side dish for grill season, loaded with crispy bacon, sunflower seeds, craisins, feta cheese and a No Mayo dressing! It’s great to feed a crowd or meal prep for healthy lunches. This salad is seriously delicious! That combination of creamy yogurt and tangy vinegar, with fresh broccoli and lots of crunch, your guests will be asking for the recipe!
You will love this broccoli salad for so many reasons! For one, it is absolutely delicious! I’m always hoping some will be leftover for lunch, but we usually eat it til it’s gone. It’s so easy to throw together! Colorful and full of fresh flavor, and it can easily be made ahead and kept in the fridge. It’s the perfect meal-prep to add to lunch all week. I love it as a summer dish, perfect for outdoor grilling or to bring to a cabin weekend, but really it’s good year round.
The best part? No Mayo! Yes, this simple dressing is made with just plain yogurt, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, and honey. I’ve seen recipes adding gobs of mayo, and it’s just not necessary! This salad is creamy, crunchy, and so full of flavor, you will not miss the mayo at all. If you aren’t a plain yogurt user, give it a try as a substitute for sour cream. Swap out your flavored yogurt and flavor your parfait yourself with honey, berries and Homemade Granola. I use plain yogurt all the time in Pancakes, Hummus or Veggie Dip, stovetop Mac & Cheese for the kids, and to top Chili, Tacos, or Loaded Baked Potatoes. It’s a must have ingredient in my kitchen!
Instructions & Tips
Making broccoli salad is as easy as throwing it all together! I use 3 to 4 strips of bacon for this recipe. You could leave it vegetarian, but the bacon really is delicious. I cook bacon on a sheet pan in the oven at 400° for about 20 minutes, flip it and check on it. This is too much work for just a few strips of bacon, so I always cook the whole package. Chop up the unused bacon and freeze it. It is so handy to throw in a pasta, add to a salad, or toss in eggs. And, if you have frozen chopped bacon in your freezer, you can use it in this recipe. It’s fine to add frozen, or even throw in the microwave for a few seconds to get it back to a sizzle.
Mix the dressing in a small bowl. While most people would agree a mayo-free dressing is a good thing, mayo or sour cream could be substituted for the yogurt. Chop the broccoli into bite sized pieces. The stalk can be used as well, just remove the bottom end of it, and peel the outside of it with a knife if it seems tough. Toss all ingredients in a large bowl with the dressing. The salad can be served right away or kept in the fridge for a few days.
There are many ways to substitute ingredients to give you some different salad variations. I love broccoli salad with feta cheese. It feels a little fancier, but subbing shredded or diced cheddar is fine too. The sunflower seeds add great protein and crunch, but you could also use pumpkin seeds or chopped pecans or walnuts. Craisins give a touch of sweetness and a pop of color, but other dried fruit would also work, or substitute chopped apples or halved grapes. Red onion gives you a nice sharpness, but if you aren’t an onion person, leave it out! You could also sub chives or sliced scallions for a milder flavor.
If you haven’t made broccoli salad, or if it’s been awhile, give this one a try! I’m always amazed how much I love it when I haven’t had if for awhile. It’s such a handy recipe, perfect for doubling for a backyard birthday, or a great easy side dish for burgers, brats or grilled chicken. One out of my two kids loved it, that’s a pretty good kid-friendly rating for a heavy on the veggies healthy salad! You’ll want to make this one again and again!
More Favorite Side Dishes!
- White Bean Bruschetta
- Avocado Bean Dip
- Parmesan Kale Chips
- Easy Vegetable Dip
- Creamy Hummus with Plain Yogurt
- 4 c broccoli, about 1 bunch cut into small florets
- ¼ c red onion chopped
- ¼ c sunflower seeds
- ½ c craisins
- ½ c feta cheese crumbles (or sub cubed or shredded cheddar)
- 3-4 slices bacon chopped (optional)
- ½ t kosher salt
- 6 grinds fresh black pepper
- 2 T plain yogurt (or sub mayo or sour cream)
- 1 T red wine vinegar
- ½ t dijon mustard
- 1 t honey
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Add dressing to the salad and toss well.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate up to a few days.