Easy Vegan Broccoli Salad Recipe with Veggie Bacon is a creamy, vegan salad for barbecues, potlucks, and more! This summer salad is a perfect low carb vegan keto recipe full of energizing ingredients, like broccoli, sunflower seeds, and more. See tips for substituting vegan sour cream or vegan ranch dressing for mayo, and tips to serve this raw or lightly cooked salad cold.
Do you prefer raw broccoli salad? That’s how I was first introduced to this salad, and I find it a bit too crunchy for my taste. I’ll provide tips for making it both ways, but however you serve it, your body will thank you for it!
If healthy, vegan veggie-focused recipes are your thing, be sure to check out my recipe for Spicy Sesame Zoodles (aka, zucchini noodles). Or you can try my Vegan Banana Green Smoothie for a refreshing start to your day!
How many cups in a head of broccoli?
This size of a head of broccoli varies. However, a typical head of broccoli will yield between 3 – 4 cups of florets. That means this recipe will require 2 heads of broccoli.
Vegan Salads are Healthy!
I’ve had a theory that in order to have energy you must spend it first. Recently, I found something that confirms it. I’m reading the book, Ultra Metabolism by Dr. Mark Hyman and he states that one of the keys to having a higher metabolism is to have high-functioning mitochondria.
He provides a lengthy description of what those are and what they do, but it all boils down to this: mitochondria are the power plants of your cells, and having them well-oiled can help you develop a higher metabolism.
If you’re like me, the question you ask after reading a statement like that is, “How do I develop higher-functioning mitochondria?” Dr. Hyman says one way of doing that is to exercise. In other words, spend the energy you have and your body will develop more, creating higher-functioning mitochondria. There you have it – theory confirmed!
But also eating high-quality foods makes a difference too. Adding more vegan salad recipes to your diet helps. This vegan broccoli salad is loaded with plant-based powerhouse foods like broccoli, green onions, seeds and more. Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable which means you’re getting lots of nutritional benefits from this dish!
How to Make Broccoli Salad
This is an easy broccoli salad recipe. It begins with a somewhat controversial first step:
Step One: Steam the Broccoli
Most broccoli salad recipes call for raw broccoli. I make my vegan broccoli salad with lightly steamed broccoli.
Steam broccoli florets for 2 – 3 minutes, to make the vibrant green color of the broccoli stand out and to soften the bite just a bit.
Immediately remove it from heat and pour the broccoli into a strainer and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
To make this a raw broccoli salad: make sure to cut the florets into smaller pieces, and allow the broccoli to marinade in the sauce for several hours (or even overnight) before serving.
Step Two: Create the Sauce
In a bowl combine the vegan mayo, vinegar, sweetener, and chia seeds. Stir this together. This may seem a little runny at first, but the chia seeds will thicken it in time.
For a no-mayo sauce: use either vegan sour cream or vegan plain yogurt in place of the egg-free mayo.
Step Three: Assemble The Salad
In a serving bowl, toss together the broccoli, chopped green onions, frozen peas, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, and raisins. Pour the sauce over the top and stir to make sure the entire salad is coated.
Cover and refrigerate this gluten-free broccoli salad for at least an hour or up to overnight before serving.
Optional Step Four: Add Veggie Bacon to Serve
I use vegan bacon with this salad, but I don’t add it until right before time to serve to help keep the bacon crunchy and/or flavorful. Here are some places you can find vegan bacon:
- Sweet Earth Benevolent Bacon (available at Sprouts and many health food stores)
- Lightlife Smart Bacon (available at Sprouts and many health food stores)
- Homemade Almond Bacon Slivers works here too
- You can even use Better Crocker Bac-os Bits which are accidentally vegan!
So, just sprinkle the veggie bacon over the top of the salad immediately before serving and you’ll retain some of that crispiness for the vegan broccoli salad. It’s perfect that way!
Every time I bring this vegan broccoli salad along, it’s a hit!
You don’t have to wait for a family party to make this vegan broccoli salad. It’s good for a Tuesday night home dinner as well.
What main dish goes well with broccoli salad?
How many calories and carbs in broccoli salad?
The estimated nutritional information for this vegan broccoli salad is:
Calories: 162 Carbs 10g Protein: 2g Fiber: 2g Net Carbs: 8g
This is a low-calorie salad but also low carb and therefore you can serve this salad as part of your vegan keto diet.
Looking for Vegan Salad Ideas?
If you love vegan salads, be sure and check out these:
- Healthy meets tasty with this Vegan harvest salad
- Enjoy delicious layers in the indulgent Vegan seven layer salad
- Serve this Vegan Potato Salad for your favorite summer BBQ or picnics
- This layered Vegan Cobb Salad makes a delicious, healthy meal!
I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!
Vegan Broccoli Salad
- Use your favorite steaming method (microwave or stove-top) to lightly steam the broccoli. I steamed mine for maybe 2 – 3 minutes. Once you’ve achieved the desired tenderness, remove the broccoli from heat, pour it in a strainer and run with cold water to stop the cooking process. (Be careful when handling hot broccoli!) I like to put the chopped onion on top of the still warm broccoli. I think it helps to tenderize the onion a bit for the salad.
- In a small bowl combine the vegan mayo, vinegar, agave nectar, and chia seeds. If the dressing appears a little runny, don’t worry. The chia seeds will cause the dressing to thicken quite nicely (besides adding some healthy Omega-3s to the nutrient mix).
- Assembling the Vegan Broccoli Salad:
- Place broccoli, sunflowers, chopped onion, sunflower seeds, raisins, and peas in a large serving bowl. Add the dressing to the salad and toss all the ingredients together to thoroughly spread the dressing throughout.
- Refrigerate the salad until ready to serve.
- When you’re ready to serve, prepare the Bacon Almond Slivers (or vegan bacon product…see note below) according the recipe instructions.
- Immediately before serving add the bacon almond slivers (or crumbled vegan bacon product) over the salad and serve.
We hope you enjoy this delicious, healthy, and easy vegan broccoli salad!