Broccoli Salad with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing will be one of the best salads you ever make – guaranteed!
This Broccoli Salad is one of my favorite salads – ever. It’s the perfect easy, make ahead, texture packed side dish or potluck favorite that’s crunchy, fresh, sweet and savory! It’s packed with fresh strawberries, creamy avocado, crunchy pears, crisp apples, salty sunflower seeds, sweet dried cranberries and tangy feta! The textures and flavors of this Broccoli Salad are out of this world and so is the dressing!!!
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Broccoli Salad Recipe Video
Broccoli Salad Recipe
YAY for strawberry season! Because strawberry season means Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Fresh Strawberry Syrup, Strawberry Pound Cake, Mini Strawberry Pies, Strawberry Salad and this favorite Broccoli Salad WITH Strawberries – because strawberries make everything better!
What I especially love about this Broccoli Salad, aside from the fact that it takes just minutes to throw together (seriously so simple, look at the directions!), is that it actually tastes better if prepped a little in advance to chill, so you aren’t chopping and stressing at the last minute with somewhere to be or guests arriving. Instead, toss and chill, and you get to chill out…
And if you stop reading right now, PLEASE MAKE THIS BROCCOLI SALAD! Everyone will thank you!
What do you Put in Broccoli Salad?
Standard potluck Broccoli Salads typically include mayonnaise, sugar, red onion, raisins, cheddar cheese and bacon but my Broccoli Salad is rebelliously delicious twist. I’ve swapped the raisins for craisins, the cheddar with feta and the sweet mayo dressing for a Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing. My Broccoli Salad is packed with:
- sunflower seeds
- dried cranberries
The explosion of flavors and textures gets me giddy! In fact, I recently made a video for this Broccoli Salad (posting on FB tomorrow) and even though I knew I loved this salad, I was still blown away at just how sensational it is! I guess nothing can prepare you for the Best Broccoli Salad EVER!
Do you have to cook the broccoli for broccoli salad?
Nope! Raw broccoli is the standard for broccoli salads and gives the broccoli salad its wonderful signature texture. If you’ve never had broccoli salad before, the fresh texture is swoon worthy – and it stays crunchy for days! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tossed a salad (because I have to add dressing to my salads for photo shoots) and can’t eat all of it because it gets soggy – but not this broccoli salad – it is a texture lover’s dream plus we’re cutting the broccoli into small pieces so it’s not a crunch overload.
HOW TO MAKE BROCCOLI SALAD IF YOU DON’T LIKE RAW BROCCOLI
If you absolutely cringe at the thought of raw broccoli, then I have the perfect solution for you so you can still enjoy this Broccoli Salad! Simply blanch the broccoli for 1-2 minute – no more. The broccoli will remain firm so it won’t fall apart in your salad but will taste a little less raw.
To blanch broccoli:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- While you’re waiting for your water to boil, prepare a bowl of ice water large enough to accommodate your broccoli.
- Add broccoli florets to boiling water and cook 1-2 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want the broccoli.
- Drain broccoli and immediately transfer to prepared ice bath to stop the cooking.
- Allow broccoli to cool completely.
- Drain broccoli well before adding to salad.
Is broccoli salad good for you?
Your body loooooves broccoli! Broccoli is low in calories but a great source of vitamins B, K and C, a good source of folic acid, beta-carotene. It also provides B1, B2, B3, B6, iron, magnesium, potassium, fiber, potassium, and zinc. Another fun fact, one cup of broccoli contains as much vitamin C as an orange! Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, which offer potent anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer health benefits. All the other ingredients in this Salad are healthy for you too from the strawberries to the avocados to the pears. Now, let’s talk dressing!
What Dressing Goes On Broccoli Salad?
Traditional Broccoli Salad contains a creamy, sweet mayonnaise dressing. I played with this flavor profile and amped it into a sweet and tangy Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing that is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy. It’s wonderfully silky and just creamy enough to cradle all your Broccoli Salad ingredients without being overpowering.
The Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing is made with only 1 tablespoon sugar, half vanilla Greek yogurt and half mayonnaise so it’s much healthier than dressings made with a lot of sugar and all mayonnaise. You can even use fat free or lowfat mayonnaise, or sub some of the mayonnaise for Greek yogurt. I find Greek yogurt to be a little tart so if you decide to make the mayo/Greek yogurt swap you will want to add sugar or honey to taste.
Can you Make Broccoli Salad in Ahead of Time?
YES! You can serve this Broccoli Salad immediately but it tastes even better if allowed to chill for a few hours. The apples and pears don’t brown due to the lemon juice in the dressing. If you don’t have time to make the whole salad in advance, then you can just make and chill the dressing.
To make Broccoli Salad ahead of time, add all of the ingredients to a large bowl EXCEPT the avocados and toss to combine. When ready to serve, gently stir in freshly chopped avocados and dive in!
Broccoli Salad. The salad of your crunchy, creamy, sweet, refreshing, tangy dreams.
LOOKING FOR MORE SIDE SALAD RECIPES?
- Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad wit Italian Dressing
- Outback Copycat Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Ranch
- Perfect Fruit Salad with Honey Citrus Dressing
- Southwest Salad with Creamy Salsa Dressing
- Asian Salad with Sriracha Peanut Dressing
- Southwest Orzo Salad with Chipotle Honey Lime Vinaigrette
- Grilled Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
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Strawberry Broccoli Salad with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing
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Strawberry Broccoli Salad
- 5 heaping cups chopped broccoli florets
- 1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries (a little less than 1 lb)
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 pear, chopped
- 1 sweet apple, like Fuji, chopped
- 1 large avocado, chopped
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta
Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing
- 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (I use nonfat)
- 1/2 cup real mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoons sugar (2 for sweeter)
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- Add all of the Salad Ingredients to a large bowl except avocados.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the Dressing ingredients. Add desired amount of Dressing to Salad and toss until evenly coated. Best if chilled for at least 30 minutes up to overnight. Toss with avocados just before serving.
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