Cool, crunchy, sweet and tangy broccoli salad is the perfect summer side dish. It’s an easy no-cook recipe made with fresh broccoli florets, dried cranberries, red grapes, sunflower seeds, and yes – even homemade veggie bacon! – all combined with a creamy plant-based dressing. Serve this vegan broccoli salad at picnics, potlucks, barbecues or wherever you get your grub on this season!
Broccoli salad is a classic old fashioned side dish that’s typically made with a creamy mayo-based dressing and bacon. My vegan version still has all of that goodness, but is prepared entirely with plant-based ingredients.
YUP, even the bacon!
Even though this is a very simple recipe, there are all kinds of big flavors and crave-worthy textures going on here… Crunchy broccoli florets, sweet grapes and dried cranberries, salty vegan bacon bits, and earthy little sunflower seeds are perfect together. Toss them all with a tangy homemade dressing and oooo, you’ve got a mouth party!
The broccoli salad can easily be made ahead and is best served chilled, so it’s terrific to enjoy at all of your summer gatherings. And there’s no actual cooking and minimal prep work required – so if you break a sweat blame the weather, not the recipe.
For the Bulk of the Vegan Broccoli Salad You Need:
- Broccoli heads
- Dried cranberries
- Red grapes
- Sunflower seeds
- Red onion
- Vegan bacon bits
To Make the Creamy Dressing You Need:
- Vegan mayo
- Vegan yogurt
- White vinegar
- Maple syrup
- Salt and pepper
And to Make Homemade Vegan Bacon Bits You’ll Need:
How to Make Homemade Vegan Bacon Bits
I recommend that you make the vegan bacon first. You can do this right before making the broccoli salad recipe, or bake up these yummy fakin’ bits ahead of time.
Simply mix together all of the vegan bacon bits ingredients in a bowl, spread onto a baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes in 300 degree preheat oven. Give them a toss about halfway through the cooking time.
Let the veggie bacon bits cool before using or transferring to an airtight container and refrigerate.
These plant-based bac’n bits will keep well for about a month stored in the fridge. So I like to make a batch regularly and keep on hand for whenever I need some extra salty/savory goodness in a dish!
How to Make the Best Vegan Broccoli Salad Recipe
Next, you want to prep the fresh salad ingredients. Chop the broccoli florets into small pieces, and halve the red grapes.
Then there are just 3 easy steps for making a totally plant-based broccoli salad at home:
- First, whisk together the vegan dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Taste, and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
- Then add the remaining ingredients, including the cooled vegan bacon bits.
- Cover and refrigerate until serving.
- If you can, let the vegan broccoli salad chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. The flavors meld together the longer they all hang out together, and the salad is super good when enjoyed cold. But if you cannot wait no worries, it’s still ah-ma-zing right after being prepared.
- This is a great make ahead recipe! Whip it up when you’ve got a few minutes a day or two before you plan to serve.
- Similarly, leftovers are delicious! Keep stored in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to 4 or 5 days.
- Want an even more old fashioned version of broccoli salad? Mix in a generous handful of shredded vegan cheddar cheese!
- Easy substitutions: If you like, swap sunflower seeds for minced cashews, use tamari or soy sauce or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, and sub white vinegar for red wine vinegar to make an even tangier dressing.
What to Serve with Broccoli Salad
This vegan version of classic broccoli salad is fantastic to bring to picnics and potlucks, and serve at barbecues. It goes well alongside just about every summer main dish!
If you tried this vegan broccoli salad recipe, let me know in the comments below and share a photo using #mindfulavocado. I’d love to hear from you! Want to see more recipes? Let’s get social! CONNECT WITH ME on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to see what I’m cooking up!
Vegan Broccoli Salad
- 2 medium broccoli heads chopped small (about 4-5 cups)
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup red grapes halved
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup red onion diced finely
- 1/2 cup vegan bacon bits
- 3/4 cup vegan mayo
- 1/4 cup vegan yogurt
- 1.5 Tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
- Add broccoli, dried cranberries, grapes, sunflower seeds, red onion, and vegan bacon bits. Mix well.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving if possible. It helps the flavors mend! If not, feel free to serve it right away.
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