A favorite side dish at barbecue events, potlucks, and parties has always been this easy sweet and savory broccoli apple salad recipe. It seems like it might be a bit too much, but really, the ingredients complement each other beautifully. Combining a simple homemade poppy seed dressing with broccoli, onion, berries, nuts, and apples creates a sweet and savory side dish that is full of fiber, protein, and nutrients!
Broccoli Apple Salad Recipe
If you've ever had kids who didn't want to eat their vegetables, this is the best recipe for them. It has just enough sweetness to appeal, and the addition of seeds and nuts makes it a healthier option. There are so many textures and flavors in this that everyone who tries it will love it!
If you want something that is more of a meal than, then you may prefer the easy ham salad recipe, Vietnamese steak and noodles salad, or this coronation curried chicken salad instead. They are all great options with a bit more protein if desired.
Can I Use Frozen Broccoli for This Salad?
No. While it might be more convenient, it will not turn out right when made with frozen broccoli or blueberries. For this salad, you really do need fresh produce. If you can't find fresh broccoli, you can use equal amounts of cauliflower or romanesco for this recipe.
What Apples Should I Use in This Recipe?
For variety, one green and one red apple are recommended. This gives you both sweet and tart options to complement each other in the salad. I prefer to use a Granny Smith green apple over Golden Delicious. The red apples I reach for most are Jonagold, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, and Gala. You can, however, use whatever apple you have on hand or that is convenient for you.
What Other Mix In's Can I Add?
I personally love this mixture, but some people want something a little different. Below are some swaps you can make in equal amounts of other ingredients.
- Mix half broccoli and half cauliflower for the base.
- Use cashews, pecans, almonds, or hazelnuts in place of walnuts.
- Replace the sunflower seeds with pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, or hemp seeds.
- Add in ¼ cup hemp hearts, dried cherries, chopped dried apricots, or dried pineapple chunks.
- Add in ½ cup cubed cheddar cheese or crumbled bacon.
How Long is Broccoli Salad Good For?
This salad recipe is best served within 3 to 4 days of preparation. While it may be good for up to 6 days, the dressing tends to separate the longer it sits, so it may have a slightly unpleasant texture and lose some of the crispness of the broccoli and creaminess of the dressing.
It is best stored in an airtight container in the main portion of your refrigerator. Putting this into the vegetable drawer or colder sections can cause it to freeze and create an unpleasant texture once thawed.
Can This Be Made Into a Vegan Broccoli Salad?
If you want to make this a vegan broccoli salad, you would just need to replace the yogurt, mayonnaise, and honey. Not all vegans are opposed to eating honey, but since it does come from an animal, it is to be avoided in most circles.
There are many soy and almond milk yogurts you can use, tons of options for vegan mayonnaise, and agave nectar or maple syrup can both be used in place of the honey.
Can I Freeze Homemade Broccoli Salad?
While the ingredients all can be frozen, this salad does not thaw well. The dressing as well as moisture in the vegetables will change the texture drastically once thawed. It leaves it a soggy mess rather than the crunchy and flavorful salad you want and love. I do not recommend making ahead and freezing.
- Red onion
- Dried cranberries
- Sunflower seeds
- Lemon juice
- Greek yogurt
- Apple cider vinegar
- Poppy seeds
Handy Kitchen Tools
How to Make a Broccoli Apple Salad
Prepare your fruit and vegetables to assemble. Wash all vegetables and pat dry as needed.
Start by trimming the stems from the broccoli and cutting the crown into small florets around 1" to 1 ½" in size.
Peel and chop the onion.
In a large mixing bowl, add the broccoli, blueberries, dried cranberries, red onion, walnuts, and sunflower seeds. Stir to combine and distribute ingredients evenly.
Core and chop the apple(s) into 1" pieces then place into a medium bowl and add toss with 1 tablespoon lemon juice then set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, honey, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and poppy seeds until combined.
To the broccoli mixture, add the apples then the dressing.
Stir well until all pieces are coated.
Refrigerate until time to serve.
More Tasty Salad Recipes
Salads can be a meal in themselves, or can just as easily turn into a delicious choice as a side dish. Below you will find some more of my favorite salads that are sure to be great additions to your menu. Bookmark these recipes, or pin and print them to use in your menu plan soon.
- Beetroot and Feta Salad Recipe
- The Best Ever Caprese Salad Recipe
- Fast and Fresh Greek Chickpea Salad Recipe
- Cold Pasta Salad with Italian Dressing
- Cucumber Pomegranate Salad
- Persian Shriazi Salad
- 1 ½ lb fresh broccoli florets (680 gm)
- 1 cup fresh blueberries (190 gm)
- ¼ cup chopped red onion (13 gm)
- ½ cup dried cranberries (65 gm)
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds (34 gm)
- ½ cup walnuts (50 gm)
- 1 green apple, chopped
- 1 red apple, chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (15 ml)
- ½ cup Greek yogurt (140 gm)
- 1 cup mayonnaise (230 gm)
- ¼ cup honey (85 gm)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (15 ml)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (30 ml)
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds (9 gm)
- Prepare your fruit and vegetables to assemble. Wash all vegetables and pat dry as needed.
- Start by trimming the stems from the broccoli and cutting the crown into small florets around 1" to 1 ½" in size.
- Peel and chop the onion.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the broccoli, blueberries, dried cranberries, red onion, walnuts, and sunflower seeds. Stir to combine and distribute ingredients evenly.
- Core and chop the apple(s) into 1" pieces then place into a medium bowl and add toss with 1 tablespoon lemon juice then set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, honey, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and poppy seeds until combined.
- To the broccoli mixture, add the apples then the dressing.
- Stir well until all pieces are coated.
- Refrigerate until time to serve.
Best if chilled at least 2 hours prior to serving.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 397Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 458mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 6gSugar: 25gProtein: 6g