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This easy broccoli salad recipe combines some of the best flavors through raw broccoli florets, sunflower seeds, sultana raisins, all topped with a creamy dressing that everyone will love!
I am a huge broccoli fan. What’s not to love, it’s healthy and easy to prepare. This easy broccoli salad is one of the go-to potluck dishes that I love taking when we get together with friends, the other, favorite well that’s my honey lime rainbow fruit salad.
Easy Broccoli Salad
This salad screams, “let’s go on a picnic!” It’s one of my favorites to make because I love how fresh every single ingredient tastes in your mouth as you enjoy each and every bite.
This broccoli salad comes together quickly and can easily be made ahead of time.
My Favorite Part of This Salad
What is not to love about this broccoli salad recipe?
Typically broccoli salad is made with heavy toppings such as cheddar cheese and bacon. This version is a healthier spin on broccoli salad by using ingredients like sunflower seeds and sultana raisins instead.
Ingredients for Broccoli Salad
- Broccoli – Grab broccoli crowns in the produce section rather than whole broccoli with the stem if possible. With this recipe, you won’t need the stem so no need to spend the money paying for it.
- Red Onion – Red onion adds color to the salad. When picking an onion look for one without black spots (a sign that it is going bad) or mushy spots. The mushy spots will quickly go moldy. Go for a firmer onion when you give it a squeeze.
- Sunflower Seeds – Sunflower seeds add some saltiness to this broccoli salad and have several health benefits, so add this delicious treat to your salad.
- Sultana Raisins – Sultana raisins, more commonly known as golden raisins are the perfect addition to this broccoli salad. Not only do Sultana raisins taste great, but they also help aid digestion, lower blood pressure, and aid in preventing cancer.
- Mayonnaise – Mayonnaise is the base of this broccoli salad dressing. If you want to make this broccoli salad recipe a bit healthier you can use a lower-fat mayonnaise.
- Heavy Cream – Heavy cream is a great compliment to the mayonnaise in this broccoli salad creamy dressing.
- Sugar – Just a touch of sugar will help bind the dressing together with a bit of sweetness.
- Lemon – I love the added lemon flavor in this broccoli salad. It gives it a little bit of pop!
- Salt and Pepper – With just a little bit of salt and pepper it ties all these broccoli salad ingredients together.
How to Make Broccoli Salad
Making broccoli salad is really quite simple. I love to let the kids help me with this simple recipe.
- First, you will want to wash and dry your broccoli crowns.
- Once washed, cut off all the broccoli florets and then cut them into bite-size pieces. Add these to a large mixing bowl.
- Chop the red onion and add to your large mixing bowl as well.
- Add the Sultana raisins and sunflower seeds.
- In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, heavy cream, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Whisk these ingredients together until smooth.
- Top the broccoli and other ingredients with dressing and stir until combined.
- Refrigerate overnight and enjoy!
Tips and Notes for Making Broccoli Salad
- Use raw broccoli to make broccoli salad. If you are not a fan of raw broccoli, you can blanch it (see directions below).
- Do not use frozen broccoli. This will become mushy and will change the texture of this broccoli salad.
- If you can’t find golden raisins, you can switch out for raisins or dried cranberries like Craisins.
- You can make this recipe a couple of days ahead, just don’t combine the dressing and the salad until the day before.
Do You Cook Broccoli for Broccoli Salad?
Typically broccoli salad uses raw broccoli florets that have been chopped. The dressing soaks in nicely into the broccoli which helps break down the broccoli a little bit. The smaller you chop your broccoli, the more it will break down.
If you are not a fan of raw broccoli you can blanch the broccoli. Just add them to a pot of boiling water for about 1 minute and then quickly remove them and put them in an ice bath to stop them from cooking. Drain the broccoli really well before making your broccoli salad.
How Do You Cut the Broccoli?
Once the broccoli is washed you’ll want to cut off the thick stem of the broccoli, or the “trunk.” Then cut off all the broccoli florets and chop the florets into bite-sized pieces. You want to try and keep the pieces about the same size.
Can I Use a Different Nut or Seed for this Broccoli Salad?
There are so many different options when it comes to nuts and seeds for this salad recipe. I love sunflower seeds, but you can really use any nut or seed that you prefer. Slivered almonds are a popular alternative to sunflower seeds in broccoli salad.
Can I Make Broccoli Salad Without Mayonnaise?
The main component of the broccoli salad dressing is mayonnaise, but if you would like to use something other than mayonnaise you can swap it out for sour cream or greek yogurt. This will alter the flavor and the texture a bit so just be sure to get the desired flavor of the dressing prior to adding it to the salad.
What Can I Add to this Broccoli Salad?
I love this easy broccoli salad recipe exactly how it is, but there are so many great things you can add to this broccoli salad. Try adding:
- Crisp bacon, copped into small pieces
- Cheddar cheese
- Granny smith apples, copped into small pieces
- Raisins / Craisins
- Grapes, sliced in half
How Long Does Broccoli Salad Last in the Fridge?
If you have leftover broccoli salad you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two days.
What Can I Serve With Broccoli Salad?
I love to eat broccoli salad with picnic classics such as:
- A rustic bread
Looking for Other Great Side Dishes? Check out these great recipes!
- 2 Heads Broccoli
- ⅓ cup of Chopped Red Onion
- ¼ cup sunflower Seeds unsalted
- ⅓ cup Sultana or golden raisins
- 1 cup Mayonnaise
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp sugar
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- Pinch of salt & pepper
- -Slice off all the broccoli florets and make sure they're in bite-sized pieces. Add them to a large mixing bowl along with the chopped red onion, raisins & sunflower seeds.
- -To make the dressing, combine mayonnaise, heavy cream, sugar, lemon juice and salt & pepper in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth.
- -Add the dressing to the mixing bowl and stir until everything is well combined.
- -Refrigerate overnight and enjoy!