Healthy Broccoli Salad (Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten Free)

This Healthy Broccoli Salad is the perfect summer side dish. Crisp broccoli, crunchy sunflower seeds, sweet cranberries, and smokey bacon all come together in this delicious recipe. The sweet and tangy dressing uses a high quality mayo and all natural maple syrup for a healthier twist on a classic side. Serve this broccoli salad at your next BBQ or party. Your whole family will love this simple yet flavorful recipe!

Broccoli Salad (Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten Free)

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a go-to summer side recipe: healthy broccoli salad

Did anyone else grow up eating broccoli salad? I asked my husband if he’d ever had broccoli salad. Y’all, he just told me he has never had broccoli salad and I feel like I don’t even know the man. Like, what?!

Ok, maybe that’s dramatic but, seriously broccoli salad was a staple in my house. My mom used to make it all of the time when I was growing up and it was one of my favorite side dishes. I have very fond memories of my mom making broccoli salad for cookouts, baby showers, or church events and being super excited when she put a little extra salad aside just for our family. Anyone else’s mom set aside a little extra goodness for the family?

Broccoli salad is the perfect summer side dish recipe. It’s sweet and just a little tangy which pairs perfectly with all of the delicious meats that come off the grill at cookout and family BBQs. Even though it’s a great side dish, broccoli salad is also pretty hearty on it’s own. The smokey bacon and crunchy sunflower seeds pack this salad with flavor so it could honestly stand completely on it’s own. I’ve been known to eat a bowl of broccoli salad all by itself. Don’t tell anyone, ok?

Broccoli Salad (Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten Free)

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healthy broccoli salad ingredients

Broccoli Salad (Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten Free)

I love my mom’s broccoli salad recipe but, I wanted to tweak it just a little to make it a bit healthier and made only from real food ingredients. My mom’s recipe calls for white sugar to sweeten the dressing, but this healthier broccoli salad recipe calls for all natural maple syrup instead. I love using maple syrup in the recipe to provide the sweetness and, honestly, you won’t even be able to tell the difference.

To make this healthy broccoli salad recipe, you’ll need:

  • fresh crisp broccoli florets

  • smoky bacon

  • red onion

  • roasted and salted sunflower seeds

  • sweet dried cranberries

  • creamy mayo

  • sweet maple syrup

  • tangy apple cider vinegar

You’ll also notice that I swayed from tradition a bit and used dried cranberries instead of raisins in this recipe. Traditional broccoli salad uses raisins as the dried fruit, but, fun fact about me…I hate raisins. I always picked around the raisins when I ate my mom’s broccoli salad and left a plate full of raisins for the trash.

This recipe uses dried cranberries which actually work perfectly. They have a little bit sweet and tang that pairs really well with the other ingredients in this recipe. If you’ve never tried them in your broccoli salad before, I highly suggest it!

Be sure to give this recipe a try the next time you’re responsible for bringing a side dish to a summer party. This beautiful and easy recipe is sure to be a crowdpleaser!

Broccoli Salad (Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten Free)

Pin this Healthy Broccoli Salad recipe for later!

if you love this healthy broccoli salad recipe, here are few other salad recipes you have to try!


Healthy Broccoli Salad (Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten Free)

Broccoli Salad (Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten Free)

Ingredients:

  • 2 c broccoli florets, chopped in small to medium pieces

  • 6 strips bacon, cooked and chopped into small pieces

  • 1/2 c dried cranberries

  • 1/2 c roasted and salted sunflower seeds

  • 1/4 c finely diced red onion

  • 1/2 c mayonnaise (this one is my favorite)

  • 1/4 c maple syrup

  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

  • small pinch of salt (plus more to taste)

Instructions:

  1. First, make the dressing. Combine the mayonnaise, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, black pepper, and the pinch of salt. Stir until smooth.

  2. Next, in a large mixing bowl, combine the broccoli, dried cranberries, red onion, and cooked bacon. Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and stir until everything is well combined.

  3. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for two hours before serving. Enjoy!

Healthy Broccoli Salad (Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten Free)