Healthy Broccoli Salad
A deli classic, made easier on the waistline! You’ll love this healthy broccoli salad, with or without bacon. It’s a crowd pleaser at any barbecue and it keeps well in the fridge.
Why you’ll love it: The dressing is made with yogurt instead of mayonnaise. You won’t be able to tell the difference.
How long it takes: 20 minutes, but allow an extra hour for chilling time. The salad has better flavor if it has a chance to marinate.
Equipment you’ll need: large mixing bowl, measuring cup
I don’t know who first decided to combine raw broccoli, bacon, onions, and raisins in a creamy mayonnaise dressing, but I’m not mad about it. There are lots of recipes for broccoli salad but I wanted to create a healthier broccoli salad. The original version is a little calorie-heavy, especially for a salad, with all the mayonnaise and bacon.
Some of you may be thinking, what’s broccoli salad without the bacon? Don’t worry, my philosophy is everything in moderation (except popcorn), so I didn’t ditch the bacon and I didn’t substitute turkey bacon.
(To be honest, I don’t really like turkey bacon. I like turkey sausage, ground turkey, turkey breasts, turkey tenders, turkey tenderloin, whole turkey, but for some reason, it’s a no go with turkey bacon. For me, bacon is a once-in-awhile treat so I go ahead and splurge on the real thing.)
Now, all that being said, you can certainly substitute turkey bacon if you like, or skip the bacon entirely. My mom is NOT a bacon fan so she substitutes toasted sunflower seeds and I have to say that sunflowers seeds are really good in this salad, too.
About This Recipe
So you may be wondering, how is my recipe for broccoli salad any healthier than the original? Good question!
It’s all in the dressing. Instead of mayonnaise, I use plain Greek yogurt, usually lowfat or nonfat. Skipping the mayonnaise skinnies down the fat content of the salad and you really won’t notice the difference. I substitute yogurt for most of or all of the mayo in my creamy dressings. Try my healthy coleslaw or dill potato salad.
Other than the dressing, this recipe is pretty true to the classic salad you find in grocery stores. Fresh broccoli, red onions, crispy bacon, chewy raisins — they’re all in there. They each bring their own unique qualities to the salad and the combination is a home run every time.
If you’re not a fan of raw onions, be sure to read my tip about how to eliminate the some of the strong flavor. Even though my husband doesn’t care for raw onions, he loves this salad. He still tries to pick around the red onions but he said, “I ate one by accident and they aren’t too bad.” High praise, indeed.
- If you soak the chopped onions in ice water for about 30 minutes before adding them to the salad, it takes the bite out of them and makes their flavor less strong. They are a great addition to this salad even if you think you don’t love raw onions! Or you could try pickled red onions for a different onion flavor.
- I loooove these jumbo raisins. You can use any old raisins but these add a special something and are extra chewy and juicy.
- The recipe includes celery seeds. It’s a little drift from the classic deli-style broccoli salad, but try it, and I bet you’ll love it too.
- If you want to leave out the bacon, add roasted sunflower seeds for a nice crunch. Or do both!
Broccoli salad keeps well in the fridge for up to three days. The broccoli will soften slightly and the bacon won’t be as crisp but the salad still really does taste excellent.
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @rachelcooksblog on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!
- 6 cups (heaping) coarsely chopped fresh broccoli (3 crowns or 1 large head)
- ¼ cup diced red onion (½ large red onion)
- ½ cup crumbled or chopped cooked bacon, optional (8 slices)
- 1 cup raisins (regular or golden)
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon celery seed (not celery salt!)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, onion, bacon, and raisins.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together dressing ingredients: yogurt, honey, vinegar, salt, celery seed, and pepper. Taste, and add additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour dressing over broccoli and stir to combine until all broccoli is coated with dressing.
- For best flavor, refrigerate for at least one hour. Stir again before serving.
- To take the bite out of onions and make their flavor less strong, soak the chopped onions in ice water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain them well before adding them to the salad.
- If you prefer, use turkey bacon, or leave the bacon out altogether. Roasted sunflower seeds are a great substitute.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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