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!
a go-to summer side recipe: healthy gluten-free and dairy-free 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?
healthy broccoli salad ingredients
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
roasted and salted sunflower seeds
sweet dried cranberries
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!
if you love this healthy broccoli salad recipe, here are few other salad recipes you have to try!