The Best Vegan Broccoli Raisin Salad

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 parties!

Ivory bowl with broccoli salad on red napkin. Silver spoon sitting next to bowl on marble countertop.

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…

Chopped broccoli and sauce in a silver mixing bowl sitting on marble countertop.

Making Broccoli Raisin Salad Healthier

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.

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.

Chopped broccoli mixed with dressing in a silver mixing bowl with a silver spoon on a marble countertop.

Creamy Cashew Dressing

The key to this recipe is the creamy cashew dressing. It brings all the flavor and really brings this broccoli salad to life. Once cashews are soaked and blended, they get so creamy and make an amazing non-dairy dressing for broccoli raisin salad. No need to mayo or loads of sugar!

White bowl with vegan broccoli raisin salad on marble countertop.

More Vegan Salads You Might Enjoy

If you try these vegan broccoli raisin salad be sure to leave a comment and star rating letting me know how it turns out. Your feedback is super helpful for me and other EBF readers who are planning to try the recipe. 

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Vegan Broccoli Raisin Salad


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

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.


Ingredients

  • 6 cups broccoli (two small to medium sized crowns), chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Cashew Dressing

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 1- 2 hours
  • 1/3 cup fresh water
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. Soak cashews: place cashews in a bowl, cover with water and let sit for 1-2 hours or until soft. Drain water.
  2. Mix together broccoli, sunflower seeds, red onion and raisins.
  3. Make dressing by combining soaked cashews, fresh water, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, shallot, garlic, salt and dijon mustard in a high powered blender or processor until completely smooth.
  4. Top with dressing and combine until all ingredients are covered. Serve immediately or let chill in the fridge a bit before serving.
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 329
  • Sugar: 14g
  • Fat: 21g
  • Carbohydrates: 31g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 11g

Keywords: broccoli raisin salad, broccoli salad, vegan

 

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Recipe rating

    76 comments
    1. Susan Walsh
      January 25, 2021 AT 1:41 pm

      Like you, I was raised with this delicious broccoli salad, loaded with sugar, bacon, and mayo. I asked my mom to make it often and I’d despaired of ever tasting it again, now that I eat vegan. Thanks for caring enough to make it healthy! I’m making it tonight, so excited! I love your recipes ♡♡♡

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 26, 2021 AT 8:55 pm

        How did it turn out for you, Susan?!

    2. JS
      July 8, 2019 AT 8:50 am

      Do you soak the cashews in the 1/3 c of water, or is the 1/3 cup of water needed in the dressing?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 8, 2019 AT 9:58 am

        Great question. You soak the cashews in water and then discard that water, then use 1/3 cup of fresh water for blending the dressing. I’ll update the recipe to make sure this is clear. 🙂

    3. Alice
      September 23, 2016 AT 8:25 pm

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

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 24, 2016 AT 5:10 pm

        So glad you liked it, Alice!!

    4. Deborah
      September 5, 2016 AT 5:32 pm

      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!

    5. Aylin
      August 6, 2016 AT 4:36 pm

      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!

    6. Elouise
      July 17, 2016 AT 4:37 am

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

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 17, 2016 AT 12:26 pm

        Hi Elouise. Thank you! It should last 3-4 days.

    7. Melissa
      May 22, 2016 AT 9:50 pm

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

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 23, 2016 AT 10:33 am

        Woot woot! So glad you like it, Melissa.

    8. Rita
      May 8, 2016 AT 6:35 pm

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

    9. susan
      April 26, 2016 AT 9:22 pm

      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.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 27, 2016 AT 9:38 am

        Gah, I have a Vitamix as well and the same thing has happened to me before. I’m glad you still enjoyed the salad despite the dressing not being super creamy.

    10. Rachel
      April 23, 2016 AT 2:01 pm

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

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 23, 2016 AT 4:17 pm

        haha. I feel the same way. Enjoy!! 🙂

    11. Catherine
      April 21, 2016 AT 8:03 am

      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

    12. Kendra
      January 16, 2015 AT 12:29 pm

      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!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 16, 2015 AT 4:01 pm

        Hi Kendra. I think it tastes good right away and a little while after it’s been sitting! 🙂 I hope you enjoy it.

    13. Shannon
      January 7, 2015 AT 4:34 pm

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

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 7, 2015 AT 10:40 pm

        You could try it but I don’t think the consistency would be the same. The cashews soaked with water is definitely thicker than milk.

    14. Wisewoman
      December 10, 2014 AT 6:12 pm

      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….

    15. Sy
      November 7, 2014 AT 4:17 pm

      Really delicious! My new fave

    16. Karen
      October 2, 2014 AT 3:50 am

      This salad was sensational!!!!!

    17. Allen Hancock
      August 11, 2014 AT 11:20 pm

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

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 12, 2014 AT 8:24 am

        So glad that you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂

    18. Becky
      March 9, 2014 AT 9:57 pm

      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.

    19. Alix
      December 21, 2013 AT 12:43 am

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

    20. Emily
      May 11, 2013 AT 2:40 pm

      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.

    21. Meaghan
      April 17, 2013 AT 4:23 pm

      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 🙂

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 17, 2013 AT 6:31 pm

        So so glad that you’re loving this recipe. It’s one of my favorites. 🙂

    22. Stacy
      April 1, 2013 AT 1:31 pm

      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. 🙂

      1. Stacy
        April 1, 2013 AT 1:32 pm

        Oh and I used sliced almonds instead of cashews 🙂

    23. Sabrina
      February 24, 2013 AT 11:46 am

      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!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 24, 2013 AT 11:51 am

        Honey should work fine! Enjoy the recipes.

    24. Jen
      February 3, 2013 AT 2:06 pm

      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?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 3, 2013 AT 2:12 pm

        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.

    25. gretchen
      January 24, 2013 AT 5:04 pm

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

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 24, 2013 AT 6:10 pm

        Just place cashews in a cup of filtered water and soak for at least 2 hours, then drain and use in the recipe.

        1. gretchen
          January 24, 2013 AT 6:13 pm

          Thank you s much! !! I assumed thst was it, then I was like hmmmmm surely it cant be that simple lol

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