This is the most delicious Vegan Broccoli Salad and it makes a perfect side dish for potlucks! With a creamy homemade dressing, the salad can be prepped in less than 30 minutes.
This is the best Vegan Broccoli Salad recipe! This classic potluck dish is taken up a notch, tossing fresh broccoli, cabbage, dried cranberries, seeds, and nuts in a deliciously creamy cashew salad dressing. Your guests won’t even know it’s vegan!
What makes this vegan broccoli salad recipe so special (besides the dressing) is the wide variety of irresistible textures. Sliced almonds add a satisfying crunch, broccoli and cabbage are crisp and refreshing, and dried cranberries give every bite a pop of tartness. The creamy and tangy homemade dressing is the perfect finishing touch, giving this salad a distinct richness that will keep you going back for more.
Keep this recipe in your back pocket when you want your guests to actually be excited by the salad on their plates! Serve it with even more vegan potluck or barbecue recipes, like Vegan Chicken Salad and Vegan BBQ Sandwiches, and enjoy!
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- Broccoli – Of course! The raw broccoli is chopped into bite-sized pieces before it’s tossed with the rest of the ingredients and dressing. Try to use the freshest broccoli you can find, with tight, dark green buds and bright green stems.
- Red cabbage – The cabbage is sliced very thinly to give this salad a crispy and refreshing crunch. Feel free to use chopped baby kale instead, or a mix of both. Or leave it out and use all broccoli.
- Red onion
- Dried cranberries – Dried fruit is a must-have in broccoli salad recipes because it adds a pop of sweet and tart flavors. Golden or brown raisins would work well as a substitute.
- Almonds – Or you can use pistachios, walnuts, or another nut you have on hand. If you have an aversion to nuts, use sunflower seeds instead.
- Cashews – Raw cashews are soaked in hot water, then blended with lemon juice and water to make the base of the creamy broccoli salad dressing. For a nut free salad dressing, replace the cashews with 1 cup of my Vegan Tofu Mayonnaise (or store bought vegan mayo) and omit the water and lemon juice from the recipe. No need for a blender, either – just mix in a bowl!
- Lemon juice – To brighten up the cashew cream.
- Apple cider vinegar – For the salad dressing. Leave out if you really dislike the taste of vinegar.
- Maple syrup
- Turmeric – Just a pinch of ground turmeric gives the salad dressing a rich, golden color.
How to make vegan broccoli salad
Find the complete recipe with measurements in the recipe card below.
Make the salad dressing by blending the soaked cashews with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, turmeric, and water. Blend on high until it’s very smooth and creamy.
Next, add the chopped broccoli, sliced cabbage/baby kale, red onion, dried cranberries, pepitas, and almonds to a large salad bowl.
Pour the creamy dressing into the bowl, then toss to coat. Place the salad in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Broccoli salad is the ultimate side dish you can serve next to roasted vegetables, watermelon salad, potato salad, and other delicious sides. Pair it with jackfruit pulled pork sandwiches, veggie burgers, vegan kebabs, or baked BBQ tofu for the main dish, and enjoy!
Tips and tricks
- Because the broccoli is served raw, make sure to wash it really, really well before you get started. And remember to dry it in a salad spinner or with paper towels to help the dressing stick.
- Cut the broccoli into even bite-sized pieces that are easy to eat.
- Always chill the assembled salad for at least 30 minutes before serving. This gives all of the flavors time to mingle together, leaving you with an extra tasty salad.
- Other mix-ins you can add to broccoli salad are sliced grapes, cauliflower florets, diced apples, crumbled tofu bacon, crumbled vegan feta, sliced fennel, shredded vegan cheese, shredded carrots, or sliced radishes.
How to store broccoli salad
Unlike leafy green salads, the broccoli salad won’t lose many of its wonderful textures as it sits. The leftovers keep for up to 3 or 4 days when they’re stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Want more vegan salads?
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Chickpea Salad
- Watermelon Arugula Salad
- Jennifer Aniston Salad
- Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas
Vegan Broccoli Salad
- 8 cups chopped broccoli about 3 heads
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage or baby kale
- 1/3 cup diced small red onion
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
Prepare the dressing
- Heat up 3-4 cups of water in a tea kettle or pot. Once boiling, pour over the cashews in a bowl or glass measuring cup. Let them soak for 5 minutes.
- Drain the cashews, discard the soaking water and add to a high powered blender. Add the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, turmeric and fresh water. Blend on high until very smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Assemble the salad
- In a large bowl, combine the chopped broccoli, baby kale, red onion, dried cranberries, pepitas and sliced almonds. Pour the prepared dressing over and mix well with a large spoon until everything is coated.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to let the flavors mingle. Enjoy! Leftovers will keep for 3-4 days in a covered container in the refrigerator.
- May use a mix of baby kale and red cabbage, or leave out and use all broccoli.
- You could use a mix of broccoli and cauliflower instead of all broccoli.
- Nut free – Feel free to leave out the almonds (and pepitas) if needed. Could use sunflower seeds instead for crunch. Also use vegan mayo that is nut free instead of the cashew dressing.
To make the dressing with vegan mayo instead of raw cashews as the base, use 1 cup of vegan mayo and omit the cashews, water and lemon juice. Simply whisk in a small bowl.