A fresh salad is practically mandatory for gatherings with family & friends, and this Favorite Broccoli Salad Recipe without Bacon is a creative update from the classic version of this salad …really delicious!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
It seems that everyone knows of (and usually loves) a classic broccoli salad for picnics, BBQ’s and pot lucks. Usually the raw broccoli florets are covered in red onion slices, cheddar cheese, a heavy sour cream or mayo dressing, raisins and crunchy sunflower seeds. Freaking delicious, and probably like you, I’ve enjoyed it many times.
My version is a favorite broccoli salad recipe without bacon, and it takes some liberties from the original classic side dish. Here’s some good reasons to give it a try:
- We’ve swapped out the raisins for more subtly sweet currants.
- No gloppy dressing here, this one uses a little vegan mayo or plain Greek yogurt for the creamy dressing. I’m not a dietitian, but it seems pretty healthy to me!
- No bacon bits in sight (feel free to add them if you’d like).
- Shallots are sliced thin and make a big difference in the overall (wonderful) flavor of the salad.
- This is an easy recipe to make and transport to picnics!
Ingredients You’ll Need
For the full recipe and list of ingredients and instructions, please scroll to the recipe card below.
- Broccoli: Three large stalks is what we need, about a pound of broccoli
- Shallot: Gives this salad unbelievable flavor
- Currants: A dried grape like raisins, but tangier, sweeter, more intense
- Hazelnuts: Earthy and buttery, and fantastic in this salad
- Parmesan Cheese: Salty and subtle, a great addition to these flavors
Step-By Step Instructions
First on the agenda is making the flavorful homemade dressing for this salad. Here’s the ingredients you’ll need:
- Mayo: Use vegan mayo (usually found at the grocery store)
- Maple Syrup: For a little sweetness
- Olive Oil: Can’t do without this 🙂
- Dijon Mustard: Lots of flavor here
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Acidity with a little apple-y essence
- Garlic, Salt, Black Pepper: Seasonings, and lots of them!
To make the dressing, put all the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake! Alternatively, whisk the ingredients in a small bowl and cover until ready to use. That’s all there is to it!
To cut the vegetables, here are the basic steps:
- Wash the broccoli, remove the stems, pull the florets apart and cut in half or quarters. Not too small!
- Slice a shallot in half, then in half down the middle, then thin cuts to make half-moon shapes. Break these apart with your fingers.
- Use a vegetable peeler to remove a little bit of the outside broccoli stem if you have one.
- After you’ve washed, trimmed and cut florets of broccoli into smaller pieces, then we’ll cook it very briefly over medium heat to take the raw taste out, then plunge the still crisp broccoli into a large bowl of a cold water ice bath. This stops the cooking and keeps the broccoli a nice bright appetizing green.
EXPERT TIP! If you cook the broccoli too long, the broccoli will be Army green, not bright green = not very appetizing 🙂
- Next, place all the ingredients (except the dressing) in a large mixing bowl.
- When ready to serve, add half the dressing and toss. Add more as needed to cover all the ingredients.
Tips and Possible Variations
- You may need to use more dressing after the initial toss, but if you have any leftover, it keeps well in the refrigerator for about a week and is great on top of plain mixed greens.
- This salad is best eaten the day it’s made. If you’re making it in advance, prep the ingredients separately and keep them refrigerated until ready to assemble.
- Try toasted walnuts for a delicious variation on the nuts.
- This broccoli salad is one of the best recipes all by itself, any time of the year, but it’s also great as a side dish with a big, juicy, grilled porkchop or some pan-seared chicken thighs, this easy and tasty Tin Foil Baked Chicken, or try any of the easy-ish recipes here.
- I love serving several types and textures of different salads, and when serving a fresh broccoli salad, some hot cheesy bread and a couple of desserts are always welcome too. Besides the same old potato salad, try this Italian Green Bean Salad, this Chicken Salad with Grapes and Almonds, this incredibly good Blackberry Goat Cheese Salad, this Strawberry Spinach Goat Cheese Salad, and this fantastic kale salad that has lots of delicious extras.
- When it comes to dessert, go for something fruity, like Mini Strawberry Pies, Cantaloupe and Ice Cream, or a warm, buttery Rhubarb Crisp with vanilla ice cream, a jammy fresh blackberry galette, these wonderful, soft Iced Lemon Shortbread cookies, this outstanding fresh figs cake recipe with caramel sauce, or go super healthy-ish and pull out the Dark Chocolate Trail Mix.
- In the mood for something else for dessert? Here’s a list of all my favorites.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sure can. Try white cheddar cut into small cubes to start!
Airtight container in the refrigerator is your best bet. Once this salad is tossed, it’s best to eat it the same day.
You can prep the individual ingredients in advance, but note that once it’s tossed with the dressing, it’s best eaten the same day it’s made.
More Recipes to Try
- Baked Potatoes and Broccoli: The best stuffed potatoes ever!
- Stuffed Celery Appetizer Recipe: A nostalgic favorite!
- Authentic Pasta Fagioli: A classic, and super delicious!
- Peach Green Tea Lemonade Recipe: Cold and refreshing!
- Recipe for Sauteed Zucchini and Yellow Squash: Just a great side dish!
- Peanut Noodles with Vegetables: Just a great noodle salad..
- Fruit Toast: A wonderful way to eat your morning toast!
- Lemon Shrimp Salad: A refreshing, delicious salad
- Naan BLT with Sundried Tomato Mayo: A fabulous version of the classic BLT
- Goat Cheese Toasts: A really popular and easy appetizer!
- Deviled Eggs with Candied Bacon: Outstanding deviled eggs, everyone agrees!
If you’ve tried this Favorite Broccoli Salad Recipe without Bacon, or any other recipe on Studio Delicious, please rate the recipe 5 stars and tell me how you liked it in comments below!
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Favorite Broccoli Salad Recipe Without Bacon
- ⅓ cup Olive Oil
- 3 tablespoons Vegan Mayo or Plain Yogurt
- 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
- 2 tablespoons Maple Syrup or honey
- 1 Garlic clove, minced
- 1½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
- ½ teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 6 cups Broccoli florets (about a pound) approx. 3 stalks
- Large bowl of Ice Water
- ⅓ cup Shallot, sliced thin
- ⅓ cup Currants, dried
- ½ cup Hazelnuts, chopped
- ¾ cup Parmesan Cheese, shaved
- MAKE THE DRESSING In a jar with a tight-fitting lid (like a Ball canning jar) add the olive oil, vegan mayo or yogurt, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup or honey, minced garlic and salt and pepper. Put the lid on and shake very well until all the ingredients are combined. Alternatively, use a small bowl and whisk to combine these ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- FOR THE SALADRemove the stalks off the broccoli and break apart the broccoli florets with your fingers or a knife, You should have roughly six cups. Blanch the broccoli by boiling 2 cups of water in a large skillet with a teaspoon of salt. Add the cut-up broccoli pieces and stir them in the water to make sure all are covered, and let this boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and drain the water, then immediately transfer the broccoli to a large bowl with ice water to stop the cooking. Let this sit for a minute or two, then drain the broccoli and set it aside in a large mixing bowl. Make sure the broccoli is completely dry by blotting it with a paper towel or clean dish cloth. Add the shallots, currants, hazelnuts and Parmesan cheese to the bowl with the broccoli. Drizzle with half the dressing, toss, then add more dressing if desired, then serve and enjoy!
- Start by adding half the dressing, then toss. Add more if needed to coat all the ingredients.
- This salad is best eaten the day it’s made. If making in advance, prep the broccoli and refrigerate in an airtight container. Same with the dressing.
- Super important to read the whole recipe before you begin
- Pay attention to the ingredient list and photos for the recipe
- If possible, prep your ingredients a little before you start
- Always use a sharp knife for safety
- Use the size of pan called for in the recipe
- For savory recipes, taste and season as you go
- Buy fresh, organic ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible