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 parties!

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

WATCH HOW TO MAKE VEGAN BROCCOLI SALAD:

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.

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


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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    74 comments
    • 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. 🙂

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

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

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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!

  8. 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….

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 🙂

  12. 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. 🙂

  13. 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?

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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 mayo..it 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..

  18. 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.

    • You might try soft silken tofu instead of the nuts, add the water by tablespoons, you may not need it all!
      Good luck!

  19. 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.

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