The Best Broccoli Raisin Salad (Vegan + Gluten-free)

The most amazing vegan broccoli raisin salad made with a rich and creamy cashew dressing instead of mayo. This salad is a total crowd-pleaser and perfect for summer parties!

The BEST vegan broccoli raisin salad made with a rich and creamy cashew dressing instead of mayo. |

Like many of the recipes you’ll find here on EBF, this one is inspired by my mom. She used to make broccoli salad all the time when I was growing up. Her version was sweet, crunchy and a staple dish at all of our summer cookouts. I loved that salad and used to request it frequently. Alas, said salad is like most southern “salads” and has a good amount of mayo, 1/2 cup of sugar and bacon…

The BEST broccoli raisin salad made with a rich and creamy cashew dressing instead of mayo. |

I decided to try my hand at a healthy version of this old favorite — one that still has the crunchy, sweet vibe, but healthier without the added sugar, dairy and meat.

The BEST broccoli raisin salad made with a rich and creamy cashew dressing instead of mayo. |

My broccoli raisin salad is crunchy, rich in flavor and sweet, but with much healthier ingredients like raw nuts, seeds and raisins. I even managed to sneak uber-healthy apple cider vinegar into the dressing! I think I’ll take it to my next family cookout and see if my version stacks up to mom’s.

The BEST vegan broccoli raisin salad made with a rich and creamy cashew dressing instead of mayo. |

5.0 from 3 reviews
Vegan Broccoli Raisin Salad
Prep time
Total time
Vegan broccoli raisin salad with a rich and creamy cashew dressing instead of mayo. This salad is crunchy, sweet and absolutely delicious, perfect for summer parties.
Serves: 6
  • 6 cups broccoli (two small to medium sized crowns), chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup raisins
Cashew Dressing
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 1- 2 hours
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1½ Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  1. Mix together broccoli, raisins, red onion, raisins, and sunflower seeds.
  2. Make dressing by combining all ingredients in a high powered blender or processor until completely smooth.
  3. Top with dressing and combine until all ingredients are covered. Serve immediately or let chill in the fridge a bit before serving.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 329 | Fat: 21g | Carbohydrates: 31g | Sugar: 14g | Fiber: 6g | Protein: 11g

The BEST vegan broccoli raisin salad made with a rich and creamy cashew dressing instead of mayo. |

Have a great day. If you’re on the east coast, enjoy the beautiful weather! The high is supposed to be in the mid-80’s here today, just like yesterday. I’m loving it!!

PS- Did anyone catch Modern Family last night? We missed it so we’ll probably watch it tomorrow, but I know it’s about Cam and his ex-clown partner so I’m excited. 

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  1. I need to try this! Looks amazing! 😀

  2. Yay! My mom used to make this same salad! Thanks for the healthy recipe version of it.

  3. aww this bring me back to my childhood because my mom use o make it a lot! 🙂

  4. Modern Family was hilarious last night!! Definitely don’t wait too long to catch up!

    This broccoli salad looks fantastic! The perfect meal for the warmer temps lately 😀

  5. This is awesome! I’ve had whole foods broccoli salad and LOVE it.. this is probably slightly healthier though. Can’t wait to try it!

  6. I love broccoli salads… try adding a cut up apple next time.

    Nice dressing, I am going to try that. Thanks!

  7. Is this like the one at Sweet Tomatos? yum

  8. OMG I used to eat this growing up too! So excited to see it made vegan, just wrote everything down for my shopping list. Yum.

  9. I love how this recipe makes me think of spring! I need to start working on a few more of my own 🙂

  10. um just found the site and this isn’t bird food at all! YUM! trying to find new recipe blogs since being on Renee Stephens’ new method… check it out!

  11. This recipe looks so fresh and tasty! I love that it is (almost) raw too, as I am trying to eat at least one raw meal a day!

  12. Oh man that looks delicious! I am LOVING big refreshing salads right now. It’s like my body is already ready for summer! 🙂 There were definitely clowns involved in last night’s modern family!

  13. hi, this recipe looks delicious. my children are allergic to tree nuts, can you suggest an alternate dressing?

  14. Yummy! So cute you were their first customers 🙂

  15. Can u put a pin it icon on your receipes….thanks

  16. this recipe sounds delicious! perfect for upcoming summer picnics!

  17. I used to love broccoli salad, but stopped making it because it usually contains quite a few calories. I’m really digging your version. The cashew dressing is a neat idea. I’ll totally have to give this a try.

  18. Oh my! That recipe looks SO good! I am bookmarking it now 🙂 have you tried Whole Foods detox salad? I bet you know what I’m talking about hehe.


  19. I am so pleasantly surprised that your cashew dressing doesn’t have mayo in it! YES! My boyfriend’s mom makes a broccoli salad similar to yours, but she adds mayo to it…although I like her salad, I hate the thought of gives me the heebie jeebies! I’m bookmarking this recipe right now to make this week! Looks awesome! Hope you’re having a fun St. Paddy’s..

  20. I just made this tonight and it is WONDERFUL! I made it in a $20 blender from target and it worked just fine. Yum!

  21. I love this salad. I tried it before but I never knew how to make it. Thanks so much for sharing this delicious recipe with us. I am going to make it today!

  22. I made this today to bring to work. It’s easy, wonderful and delicious! I had everything in my pantry, minus the fresh broccoli. Thanks for the inspiration to eat more veggies!

  23. Brittany! You are very creative with all of your recipes…where do you find most of your inspiration?
    Thanks for sharing!

  24. I used to love broccoli salads as a kid, but with lots of mayo and bacon! I can’t wait to try this healthy version!

  25. I just made this! It is amazing! Didn’t have sunflower seeds, tossed in a few pine nuts instead.

  26. thank you! this is amazing! I tried it 2 times and serve it in our cafe.
    I find it too hard to digest completely raw brocoli, so I slightly steamed it. this also gives the brocoli a really brilliant green colour.
    first time I didn’t have raisins, so I used chopped up dates.
    second time I didn’t have cashews, so I used soaked sunflower seeds for the sauce.
    both times it turned out incredible.

  27. samantha says:

    This sounds amazing… I will be trying this before summer is over, my cousins love this stuff and always serves it during outings long story short I fell in love with it! Now I can make it healthfully!! Thank you!

  28. When you say to soak the cashews, what do you mean?

  29. I’ve made this twice, and LOVE it!! I want to use this cashew dressing for more than just this salad. Are there any other dishes you’ve used the cashew dressing with?

    • Hi Jen. Thanks for your comment. I haven’t used this dressing on anything else but I’m sure it would be great on other dishes. Let me know if you experiment and find something tasty.

  30. Can I use honey instead of agave or maple syrup?

    I like your blog by the way! I’m going to try a bunch of your recipe this week!

  31. What a delicious recipe! I just told my husband last night how I wasn’t a big raw broccoli fan but was very interested in this recipe. Made it today with some shredded mozzarella and it was great! Thank you. 🙂

  32. OMG…this is AMAZING. I just finished whipping this up the dressing is to die for! I have not made one of your recipes I have not loved 🙂

  33. I am so excited to see this recipe! It’s also funny that I was looking on Pinterest for this recipe and then read that you too live in Richmond. I walked by Modern Artifacts just a few minutes ago.

  34. Love this idea! Any ideas instead of the Dijon mustard? Not a fan!

  35. This was really good! We’re on the Eat to Live diet and this made a great veggie side dish. I omitted the salt and agave and it was just fine.

  36. Allen Hancock says:

    This is a delicious recipe. For variety I substituted dried cranberries for half the raisins. I really liked it.

  37. This salad was sensational!!!!!

  38. Really delicious! My new fave

  39. I am about to make this salad. It will get tweaked a bit. I am going to use half broccoli, half cauliflower, half walnuts and half sunflower seeds. it should be amazing….

  40. Can cashew milk be used in place of the raw cashews soaked in water?

  41. Just wondering, is this similar to the original recipe where it get a better still tastes good if it’s sets for a while or is it better served immediately? Oh, and thanks, I’m excited to try this tonight!

  42. Dear Brittany, this broccoli salad is next on my list! I don’t often dress up broccoli but I love the sound of that cashew dressing…I bet it tastes marvelous! Thank you! xo, Catherine

  43. This is sooo good! I could eat the dressing straight out of my vitamix! Thank you!

  44. I made it and loved it. Only problem was that I halved the recipe and the amount of sauce was too little for my Vitamix to handle, so it did not get as creamy as it should. I will use a smaller blender next time.

  45. This salad is outstanding. It really hit the spot. It will be made many more times this summer. Thank you !

  46. Melissa says:

    Day-yum! Tried it out tonight and it’s delicious! Thanks for the healthier option. I’ll be using this all summer!

  47. Elouise says:

    Love this recipe!! So delicious and fresh. How long do you think this will keep in the fridge?

  48. Wow this was so creamy and nutty! I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed broccoli so much. My husband and I are just loving your recipes!

  49. This is an excellent salad! We took it to a potluck last night and it was a hit! I plan to use the dressing recipe for my mayo substitute. Thank you for your creativity in food preparation!

  50. I made this today and it is excellent! Thanks for a great broccoli salad recipe. Definitely a keeper.

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