Tasty broccoli salad is made without mayo. I use an olive oil dressing instead. It’s a wonderful, fresh alternative to the traditional salad made with mayonnaise, bacon, and raisins.
I must confess, I never really liked the traditional broccoli salad. You know – the one made with bacon and raisins (or cranberries) and dressed with a mayonnaise-based dressing.
I much prefer the taste of this nutritious, fresh and light salad. It is made with no mayo, no bacon, and certainly no fruit. It’s is one of my favorite summertime side dishes (this asparagus salad is another good one).
The ingredients needed for this recipe
These are the ingredients you’ll need to make this tasty salad. Exact amounts are listed in the recipe card below.
Olive oil. I like to use extra-virgin olive oil. But if you prefer a light and fruity olive oil, that’s fine too.
White wine vinegar. You can also use champagne vinegar. However, I don’t recommend using distilled white vinegar in this recipe. It’s too harsh and acidic.
Dijon mustard. It’s creamier and tastier (and less vinegary) than yellow mustard.
Minced garlic. Mince your own or use the stuff that comes in a jar. I’m lazy, so you know what I do…
Salt and pepper.: I use 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. When I use coarse Kosher salt, I use a full teaspoon.
Crushed red peppers. Just a little adds an extra kick to the salad. It doesn’t actually make it spicy – it just adds an interesting layer of flavor.
Fresh broccoli florets. It’s easiest to buy bagged pre-washed broccoli – simply chop them into smaller florets, since they tend to be quite large. 🥦
How to make a broccoli salad without mayo
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
You start by mixing all the ingredients except for the broccoli to make the tasty dressing.
Next, you add the broccoli florets and toss to coat.
Refrigerate for two hours, to allow the broccoli to slightly soften and the flavors to meld. Toss again and serve.
The tasty dressing is made with extra-virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar.
The type of olive oil you use makes a difference. It’s one of the main ingredients here, so you want to make sure it’s good. It’s best to use high-quality extra virgin olive oil.
As for the vinegar, it’s best to use white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar. I wouldn’t use distilled white vinegar in this recipe. I think it’s too harsh.
Is this a raw broccoli salad?
Not exactly. Even though I don’t cook the broccoli at all, it’s not truly raw. Much like ceviche, the broccoli is marinated in the acidic dressing and gets slightly “cooked.”
So if you’re not a fan of eating raw broccoli, rest assured, this will not actually feel like eating it raw. The broccoli pieces WILL be crunchy, but I think that’s a good thing.
However, in order for this “cooking” method to work, it’s important to cut the broccoli into truly small florets or pieces and to allow it to marinate for the full two hours.
How to serve it
This broccoli salad is truly versatile. You can literally serve it with any main dish you like! I often serve it with any of the following:
How long can you keep leftovers?
I don’t usually have leftovers when I make this salad. When I do, I try to use them up the next day or two. I wouldn’t try to keep this salad for longer than 2 days.
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- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 lb. small fresh broccoli florets
- In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Add the broccoli and toss to coat.
- Cover and refrigerate the broccoli salad for 2 hours.
- Remove from fridge 15 minutes before serving and toss again.