Broccoli Salad with Strawberries (Video!)

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

top view of easy Broccoli Salad in a wood bowl with creamy dressing

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:

  • strawberries
  • avocado
  • pears
  • apples
  • sunflower seeds
  • dried cranberries
  • feta

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!

Pouring creamy mayonnaise dressing over cold broccoli salad

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:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. While you’re waiting for your water to boil, prepare a bowl of ice water large enough to accommodate your broccoli.
  3. Add broccoli florets to boiling water and cook 1-2 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want the broccoli.
  4. Drain broccoli and immediately transfer to prepared ice bath to stop the cooking.
  5. Allow broccoli to cool completely.
  6. Drain broccoli well before adding to salad.
Best Broccoli Salad tossed in creamy dressing in a wood bowl with avocados and stawberries

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.

top view of best Broccoli Salad in a wood bowl on a wood platter with pears, apples, craisins, avocados, strawberries and creamy dressing

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.

combining best broccoli salad in a wood bowl with wood tongs with creamy dressing

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combining best broccoli salad in a wood bowl with wood tongs with creamy dressing

Strawberry Broccoli Salad with Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

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!   It’s packed with fresh strawberries, creamy avocado, crunchy pears, apples, salty sunflower seeds, sweet dried cranberries and tangy feta! The textures and flavors of this Broccoli Salad are out of this world!  And the dressing!!!
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Notes

Don’t miss the “how to make” recipe video at the top of the post!
*The dried cranberries make the salad in my opinion, so I wouldn’t skip them!

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37 Comments

  1. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says

    I think you’ve discovered a solution to my dilemma — by the time I get done eating my salad, veggie, and protein I don’t want or really have room for dessert. Now I can have my salad and dessert at the same time. I love fruit as dessert and what a combination. And I do agree with adding the dressing for the shoot and then having the salad go all wonky. Once I tried to kinda get away with it but darn if some other blogger noticed I hadn’t put the dressing on yet 🙁 I learned my lesson. BTW, I love your pour shot. That is something I’m going to have to practice on. Sending hugs! Have a great weekend.

  2. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Jen! It is always nice to have a new side dish for summer get togethers! You come up with the most creative salads!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Dorothy! I hope this becomes a new favorite summer side! Have a great weekend!

  3. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet says

    I am still trying to convince my kiddos that poppy seed dressing is good! I think this gorgeous salad will do that. They love strawberries!

    • Jen says

      Thank you Anna! I hope they love this salad and maybe if you don’t tell them its poppy seed dressing they will love it too 🙂

  4. Liz says

    Beautiful recipes, Jen. Thank you and have a fun weekend

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Liz, I hope you have a great weekend too!

  5. Danielle says

    Enjoyed this salad a lot. I left out the yogurt from the dressing and blended 3/4 of an avocado instead to make it dairy free. I had to add a bit of water to loosen it, it turned out great. I never would have thought to put all the fruit with broccoli myself. So thanks for that!

    • Jen says

      Hi Danielle, what a great idea to sub an avocado for the yogurt to make it dairy free – and delicious too! So happy you enjoyed it!!

    • Jen says

      So happy you love this salad Stephanie and thank you so much for sharing!

  6. Trisha says

    This looks amazing. Definitely going on my list of recipes to try in the near future. And your photos are beautiful! I want to lick my screen. Haha

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Trisha! I am so excited for you to try this soon, I think you’re going to love it!

  7. Terry Larson says

    Do you have nutrition information?

  8. Vince says

    That’s a very fun combination of flavors. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a salad quite like that but I imagine it would work well.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Vince – it really is fantastic! I hope you can try it soon!

  9. Kelly says

    I am allergic to avocados – can you think of something I could add instead?

    • Jen says

      I would just omit it and it will still be amazing!

  10. Stacy says

    Made this yesterday and it is soooooo good! I subbed sour cream for the mayo, added a mashed up avocado to the dressing, and used honey instead of sugar. Thank you for the creative recipe – it’s such a great combination of flavors! I did add shredded chicken to have for lunches the rest of the week nom nom 😉

    • Jen says

      Hi Stacy, I’m thrilled you loved the salad so much and I love thee addition of avocado to the dressing and chicken to make it a meal! yum!

  11. Wendy Thoen says

    don’t the apple and pear turn brown if you make it the day before serving? And can you substitute mozzarella cheese for the feta? Thanks

    • Jen says

      Hi Wendy! The apples and pears don’t brown due to the lemon juice in the dressing. Enjoy!

  12. Mary says

    I literally stumbled onto your web site early this morning via fb and aready have the cilantro chicken marinating for dinner and the dressing chilling in the fridge. LOVE your recipes can’t wait to keep trying them! You will be my go web site for years to come! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart ,for sharing your beautiful recipes!

    • Jen says

      Welcome to my site Mary, I’m thrilled you found me! I am excited we speak the same foodie language – I hope you have fun exploring my site and trying new recipes!

  13. Hana says

    This recipe looks amazing. Would this last a couple days or does it need to be eaten right away?

    • Jen says

      This Broccoli Salad keeps AMAZING for a couple days!

  14. suzanne says

    This looks SO MUCH better than the typical broccoli salad! It has all of my favorites and none of the yucky ones. Thanks for the great idea!

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Suzanne! I hope you love it as much as us!

  15. Teri says

    I find greek yogurt’s tang to be overbearing, so I have discovered that Icelandic yogurt is much better. High protein and less sour so doesn’t require the added sugar or honey, unless you want to. brands vary on the tang factor. Siggi’s has some tang, Green Mountain’s is far less. Your mileage will vary.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Teri, super helpful!

  16. Kristin Lowman says

    Made this today for Easter and it was delicious! Definitely a keeper!

    • Jen says

      Thanks for the awesome review Kristin, I’m so pleased this broccoli salad will be on repeat!

  17. Dalia says

    This broccoli salad is not only beautiful it’s amazing! Made this salad twice in the last three weeks; it was a great ‘Wow’ moment for my family and guests. I did substitute dried tart cherries for the cranberries… everyone loved the sweet and crunch combination. Enjoy many of your recipes Jen!

    • Jen says

      YAY! Thanks so much Dalia, I’m so pleased this was a another hit! It sounds like you and your guests had a delicious feast!

  18. Jolene Olive says

    Hi there
    Do you think the dressing would last about a few if I made it ahead of time? I’m going camping and would rather do that ahead of time. Also, I had this at a bbq last week and I’m dying to make it!! It is incredible!

    • Jen says

      I’m so pleased you loved it Jolene! Yes, you can definitely make and refrigerate it a couple days ahead of time – no problem!