This vegan broccoli raisin salad is tossed with roasted onion, almonds, and a mustard vinaigrette for an easy and healthy make-ahead side dish!
Growing up, we had a friend whose broccoli salad was a party favorite.
It was loaded with mayonnaise, bacon, cheese– and everyone LOVED it.
Recently, I was thinking back on that broccoli salad, and wondering if I could make a version where you could actually taste the broccoli.
A healthier, lighter salad that would give a nod to the classic Southern dish, and then take a sharp detour.
This vegan broccoli raisin salad is inspired by both the Southern-style broccoli salad that Connie used to make, and also by my shaved brussels sprouts salad.
This easy broccoli salad is tossed with an easy mustard vinaigrette, and filled with raisins, red onion, and nuts.
Should I Buy Broccoli Heads or Crowns?
Broccoli heads will have more stem attached. The stems are edible, and you could finely dice them and use them in the salad if you want to.
Broccoli crowns will have most of the stems removed.
Buy whichever looks best at the supermarket– it doesn’t really matter!The broccoli in the photos uses broccoli crowns.
Do I Have to Roast the Broccoli for a Broccoli Raisin Salad?
Traditionally, Southern-style broccoli salad uses raw broccoli.
I chose to roast the broccoli in this recipe for just a few minutes– for three reasons.
First– you’ll be using red onion in the salad, and roasting red onion for just a few minutes mellows out the sharp raw onion flavor.
Second– the broccoli itself gets an extra flavor boost when you roast it.
And third– but possibly most importantly– the broccoli florets don’t get stuck in my teeth as badly when the broccoli is cooked.
And that seems like the best reason of all!
But yes– if you prefer– you can use raw broccoli or blanch it briefly.
Can I Make this broccoli raisin salad ahead of time?
This salad can be served warm right after you make it, or serve chilled up to a day later.
To make it ahead of time, simply roast the veggies and add all the salad ingredients, but leave off the vinaigrette.
When it’s time to serve, toss the salad with the dressing.
You Used Almonds. Can I Use a Different Kind of Nut?
Serve this easy and light salad as a quick side dish with your next meal, or bring it as an easy covered dish for a party or BBQ!
Broccoli Raisin Salad
No, But Can Be Prepared 1 Day Ahead (Dressing Separate)
Broccoli Raisin Salad:
- 2 broccoli crowns
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 1 TB olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/8 cup raisins
- 1/8 cup almond slivers
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Break broccoli into florets. Cut stalk into thin strips, or discard stalk. Roughly dice the florets.
- Lay broccoli and diced onion on a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and then sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes.
- Roast 9-10 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender.
- While the broccoli roasts, whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients.
- Add roasted broccoli and onion to a bowl, along with the raisins and almonds. Toss with the vinaigrette, and serve.
- Make Ahead: Assemble the salad without the dressing up to 1 day ahead, and store in the refrigerator. Toss with the dressing right before serving. Serve cold.