This healthy broccoli salad is a twist on traditional recipes and has more protein, calcium and even some vitamin D, with a lot less sodium and fat.
I love broccoli, and broccoli salad has always been one of my favorite dishes to take to picnics. Not only is it easy to make, there are tons of ways to make it. This year for the Memorial Day picnic, I was asked to bring the broccoli salad again. Though my original recipe was tried and true, I took the opportunity to try a healthier version.
This twist on traditional broccoli salad has more protein, calcium and even some vitamin D with a lot less sodium and fat. I swapped out the mayonnaise for plain Greek yogurt, added more white wine vinegar. I also swapped the cranberries for the traditional raisins.
I knew this broccoli salad would be flavorful, but I anxious to see what everyone else thought. The biggest difference in taste from traditional broccoli salad was the sodium content. Mayonnaise has a lot more sodium than yogurt, so this recipe is definitely lower in sodium than others. I included just enough, while still keeping the fresh flavor. Since my diet tends to be lower in sodium, I didn’t notice at all. I was interested to see if others noticed.
How To Make Healthy Broccoli Salad
Start by cleaning and chopping the broccoli stalks. I try to cut it into bite size pieces, so it’s easier to eat. Put the cut broccoli in a strainer and rinse with cool, running water. Set it aside to drain completely.
While the broccoli is draining, cook the bacon, then crumble it into pieces. On a separate cutting board, chop the onions into very small pieces. If you have a chopper, I highly suggest using it. It makes it’s much easier to get small pieces.
Lay a towel on your counter top and dump the broccoli on it. Pat each piece dry as much as possible. Water that is left on the broccoli will cause the finished product to be watery, and you don’t want that. It’s especially important with this recipe, since it doesn’t have the heavy fat from the mayonnaise to hold it together.
Combine the broccoli, bacon, onion, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries in a large bowl. Toss well, then set aside.
How To Make The Dressing
In a small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, white wine vinegar, sugar and salt. Continue to stir until it is a completely smooth consistency. Then, pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture. Toss well, then cover and put it in the refrigerator. Vinegar helps to soften the broccoli, so it’s best to make this salad in advance. That gives it time to absorb into the salad and balance the flavors. I suggest allowing it to chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
Healthy Broccoli Salad Modifications
This healthy broccoli salad got raving reviews at my party. If you try this recipe, and think it’s missing something, add an additional ¼ tsp of salt. I used a 2% milk fat Greek yogurt in this recipe, but if you’d like to reduce the fat content even further, can use fat free. If you do that, I suggest only making enough for that meal or party. The reduction in fat means that the salad has a higher liquid content. The longer it sits, the more liquid will settle. Stir before eating, especially if you are eating it as a leftover.
If you make this modified healthier version, let me know what you think.
Want more salad ideas? Check out this Tri-Colored Tomato and Asparagus Salad or this low-sugar, protein-packed three bean salad.
Healthy Broccoli Salad
- 2 pounds Fresh Broccoli Florets (cleaned and chopped into bite size)
- 1/3 cup White Wine Vinegar
- 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt (2% fat)
- 3/4 cup Sunflower Seeds
- 2 tbsp White Sugar
- 6 pieces Bacon (cooked crisp and crumbled)
- 1/2 Large Red Onion (diced)
- 3/4 cup Dried Cranberries
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- Clean and cut the broccoli into bite sized pieces, then allow to drain in a collander.
- Cook the bacon, then crumble into pieces.
- On a separate cutting board, chop the onions into very small pieces. If you have a chopper, I highly suggest using it. It makes it's much easier to get small pieces.
- Lay a towel on your counter top and dump the broccoli on it. Pat each piece dry as much as possible, removing any extra water.
- Combine broccoli, bacon, onion, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries in a large bowl. Toss well. Set Aside.
- Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, white wine vinegar, sugar and salt until smooth. Pour over the broccoli mixture and toss well.
- Cover, and allow to chill in the refrigerator before serving.
- Recipe Makes: 13 cups
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Servings Per Recipe: 13
- Nutrition Facts (per serving): 140 calories, 16 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 7 g protein, 7 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 160 mg sodium, 6% DV iron, 6% DV potassium, 6% DV calcium
- Meal Planning Servings: 1 CHO; 1 PRO; 1.5 FAT
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Lovely recipe, thanks for sharing. I try this one out.