This easy and healthy broccoli salad recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and easily vegan! It is the perfect summer side to add to your quick lunch or BBQ dinner.
Broccoli Salad is a classic summer side dish in my house. This naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and easily vegan version is the perfect addition to your next summer BBQ. Crunchy, tangy, and subtly sweet, this simple side is guaranteed to be a hit. If you want to learn how to make this gluten-free broccoli salad recipe, just keep on reading!
Ingredients you will need
The lovely thing about this simple side dish is how easy it is to throw together. 4 main ingredients, a quick dressing, toss it in the fridge, and you're ready to serve! Here's what you're going to need to make your own gluten-free broccoli salad:
- Broccoli crowns: If you're not familiar, a broccoli crown is sold as just the top, "fluffy" part of a broccoli bunch. I like to purchase broccoli crowns because then I'm not paying for the stalk - which I don't even use anyways! But if your grocery store doesn't sell broccoli crowns, you can always use bunches of broccoli. You definitely want to use fresh, and not frozen, though.
- Red onion: I find that red onion gives a nice zing to this dish. I also typically like red onions when I need them to be raw in a recipe. But you can totally use your favourite onion here!
- Craisins: Aka dried cranberries. Craisins give a nice sweetness to this salad as well as a little chew.
- Pine nuts: Pine nuts give a great nutty crunch to this broccoli salad. They are expensive though, so you could substitute for slivered almonds if you prefer.
- Mayonnaise: This makes up the base of the dressing. Mayonnaise is typically made of oil and eggs, which makes it naturally dairy-free (check your label though to be sure!). To make this recipe vegan, all you have to swap is a vegan mayo here.
- Apple cider vinegar: ACV gives the dressing some acid and tang. You won't necessarily be able to put your finger on it in the final product, but you'll just know that it tastes delicious.
- Sugar: The same goes for sugar. It's subtle, but it's important, and you'll miss it if you omit. Sugar balances the acid of the vinegar & lemon juice to make this dressing irresistible!
- Lemon juice: A small amount of lemon juice adds brightness to the dressing.
- Pinch of salt and pepper: Basic seasoning to taste.
The great thing about this gluten-free broccoli salad is how easy it is to prepare. It's as simple as 1, 2, 3! Chop, mix, refrigerate. Here's how you can make broccoli salad in just 10 minutes of hands-on time.
1. Prepare the salad
The first step in making gluten-free broccoli salad is to prepare the broccoli. Ensure it is thoroughly washed and dried before breaking the broccoli crowns down into bite-sized pieces. Discard the stems and place the florets into a large bowl.
Chop the red onion into a medium-sized dice. You don't want the pieces to be so small you can't pick them up with a fork. They should be approximately equal size to the craisins and pine nuts. Add the diced onion, craisins, and pine nuts to the bowl with the broccoli.
In a separate, smaller bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine all of the dressing ingredients. This includes the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Once thoroughly mixed, pour the dressing into the large bowl with the salad ingredients. Toss to mix, ensuring that every piece of the broccoli salad is evenly coated with dressing.
When thoroughly mixed, cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and place into the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Remove from the fridge just before you are ready to serve. Give it a final toss and you're ready to eat. Enjoy!
This gluten-free broccoli salad will keep for up to 2 days in an air-tight container in the fridge. It's the perfect make-ahead side dish! Just give it a quick toss before eating, as the smaller pieces may fall to the bottom of the container.
Frequently asked questions
Absolutely! This gluten-free broccoli salad recipe holds up great in the fridge for up to 2 days. Just be sure to give it a toss before serving, as the dressing and smaller pieces may fall to the bottom of the container.
Mayonnaise is typically made from an emulsion of oil and eggs. Because of this, there is usually no dairy in mayonnaise, and therefore in this recipe! Do be sure to check the labels of your products though, as there may be exceptions and companies can sneak other ingredients in.
To make this recipe vegan, all you'd have to do is use a vegan mayonnaise. There are many vegan mayos on the market that use mainly oils to replicate the taste and texture of mayonnaise without the eggs. All other ingredients are plant-based and vegan in this recipe.
And there you have it, a healthy and delicious summer side that is gluten-free, dairy-free, and easily vegan! This gluten-free broccoli salad recipe is sure to be a hit with the whole family at your next summer BBQ.
Have you made this gluten-free broccoli salad? Leave a comment below and tag me on instagram @liv.glutenfree. I'd love to see!
Looking for more gluten-free sides? Check out some of these blog favourites!
Gluten-Free Broccoli Salad (Dairy-Free)
- 2 broccoli crowns or bunches of broccoli
- ½ red onion diced
- ½ cup craisins
- ¼ cup pine nuts or slivered almonds
- 1 cup mayonnaise use vegan if preferred
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Prepare the broccoli by chopping into small pieces and discarding stems.
- Add the broccoli to a large bowl along with the diced onion, craisins, and pine nuts.
- In a smaller separate bowl or liquid measuring cup, mix up the dressing by combining all ingredients. Pour into the large bowl with the ingredients. Toss to mix and ensure the dressing is evenly dispersed.
- Cover the bowl and place into the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Remove from the fridge just before ready to serve. Give it a final toss and you're ready to eat. Enjoy!