A mayo-less, vegan broccoli salad that’s as easy to make as throwing a bunch of stuff in a bowl (literally).
I’ve had “raw broccoli salad” written on my recipe brainstorm Google doc for many months (years?). I’ve eaten raw broccoli before, obviously – usually as part of that generic veggie platter that encircles a tub of ranch dip at parties – but had a hard time imagining it as a functional base for a salad. I just assumed it would taste raw/chalky and be too crunchy to actually enjoy.
Then I saw this Ali Slagle recipe on NYT Cooking and got very intrigued. I wrote up my own version (veganized, of course) – using the ingredients I already had in my fridge – and took it for a spin. The TL;DR version: I ate half of the giant bowl immediately, while still standing at the kitchen counter. I was very wrong about raw broccoli. The salad was good.
Why You Should Make Raw Broccoli Salad
This vegan broccoli salad is very easy to make – you literally just toss everything together in a bowl. It also requires zero cooking (unless you count toasting your own almonds). After hanging out with oil and vinegar for a few minutes, the broccoli softens just enough so it no longer tastes raw.
Kalamata olives add briny hits of saltiness, while red onion and a splash of maple syrup balance things out with a hint of sweetness. The crunchy texture and contrasting flavors make it super satisfying to eat. Another perk: unlike many other broccoli salads, this one’s without mayo – so you can leave it out for several hours at a bbq/picnic and not have to worry.
Ingredient Notes + Substitutions
- Broccoli: Don’t toss the stalk! Slice off and discard the fibrous outer layer, chop up the rest of the stalk, and add it to the salad.
- Red Onion: A shallot will work, too.
- Olives: For the freshest olives, look for them in the cold buffet or refrigerated section of your supermarket. Avoid canned if possible.
- Garlic: Since it’s staying raw, crush it in a garlic press or grate it on a zester for even distribution.
- Almonds: Chopped walnuts, pecans, or pistachios are all good subs. If you have a nut allergy, use roasted sunflower seeds instead.
- Mustard: Dijon is best, but you can use brown or whole grain mustard here too.
- Maple Syrup: Honey works too.
- Balsamic Vinegar: Adds sweetness and tanginess.
How to Make Vegan Broccoli Salad
Soak the Onions: Thinly slice the onion, place it in a bowl, and cover with cold water. Set aside while you chop up the other ingredients. (Soaking raw onion reduces its spiciness while keeping it crunchy.)
Combine the Salad Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, olives, almonds, parsley, and the drained soaked onions.
Make the Dressing: Grate, crush, or finely mince a garlic clove, and place in a small bowl. Add balsamic, olive oil, mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper, and whisk to combine.
Dress the Salad: Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and toss to coat. Set aside for 15 minutes to marinate before serving.
Making Raw Broccoli Salad in Advance
This vegan salad is best eaten the same day as it’s made, and you can make it up to several hours in advance for parties, potlucks, etc. It’s also still pretty delicious on day 2. While it won’t go bad after that, just know that the onions and almonds will lose their crunch.
More vegetables this way…
- Cast Iron Skillet Charred Broccoli
- Cucumber Kimchi Salad
- Vegetarian Collard Greens
- Potato Salad with Olives and Green Beans
Let me know if you try this recipe! Give it a rating below and leave a comment, and don’t forget to tag @thenewbaguette on Instagram with your creation.Print
A mayo-less raw broccoli salad that’s as easy to make as throwing a bunch of stuff in a bowl (literally).
- 1/2 medium red onion, cut into thin halfmoons
- 3 cups roughly chopped broccoli (about 1 medium head)
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted* (see substitutions below)
- 1/4 packed cup parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 small garlic clove, grated, crushed, or finely minced
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard*
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Place the onions in a small bowl, cover with cold water, and set aside for at least 10 minutes while you prep the other ingredients.
- In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, olives, almonds, and parsley.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, vinegar, oil, mustard, maple syrup, salt, and a generous amount of black pepper.
- Drain the onions and add to the broccoli mixture.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss vigorously to coat everything evenly. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. Let stand for 15 minutes before eating.
- To toast raw almonds, put them in a dry skillet over low heat and cook, tossing frequently, until fragrant – 3 to 5 minutes. As a sub, you can use chopped walnuts, pecans, pistachios, or sunflower seeds.
- Brown or whole grain mustard also OK.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
- Calories: 170
- Fat: 13.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 8.9 g
- Fiber: 3.1 g
- Protein: 3.4 g
Keywords: vegan, raw, healthy, broccoli, salad