Harvest Broccoli Salad

 
Harvest Broccoli Salad Recipe Perfect for Potlucks and Holiday Get Togethers

Harvest Broccoli Salad Recipe

I’ve got a harvest broccoli salad recipe that’ll knock the socks off of your friends or family at your next potluck or family dinner. This recipe is actually my remixed version of my mom’s infamous broccoli salad that she would often bring to church potluck lunches and every holiday gathering from Thanksgiving to Christmas or Easter. I remember my family members specifically calling my mom a few weeks before the family dinner and asking, “now you’re going to be bringing your broccoli salad, right?” It was, and still is, one of her most requested recipes.

broccoli harvest salad recipe from cheers years

I think what makes this recipe unique is that it’s a tasty way to add a green vegetable to a dinner besides green beans or creamed spinach. It’s also different because it’s served cold instead of hot, like most of the other dishes commonly brought to a potluck or family dinner. Now, you may have tried a broccoli salad recipe that was heavy on the mayo with a creamy white color and goopy consistency. Trust me, this ain’t your average broccoli salad! In this recipe I use 1 cup of Earth Balance “mindful mayo” with olive oil, balanced out with 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar and ¼ c. of agave, which thins the dressing and makes it tangy yet sweet. This broccoli salad isn’t dry, by any means. It soaks up the dressing to add a nice juiciness to the bite. Plus, there are so many other ingredients besides broccoli, that help soak up the dressing and add a level of depth to the flavors in this recipe.

Raw Broccoli

raw broccoli

Raw broccoli is one of those vegetables that need’s a little help from a flavor friend in order for me to eat it. I don’t hate the taste of raw broccoli, but I definitely wouldn’t seek it out. There’s a reason they put ranch dip in the middle of those pre-made veggie trays, y’all! I don’t know if anyone would actually go for the raw veggies at a party unless there was some type of dipping sauce. Am I right? Since broccoli hasn’t ever been my vegetable of choice, it’s surprising that this salad was always one of my mom’s favorite holiday dishes. I think it’s because the broccoli, apple, and onion go so well together with the tangy sauce, sweet golden raisins, and toasted pumpkin seeds.

I’m also not crazy about raw onion in salads. If I go to a restaurant and a menu item has raw red onion, I’ll ask them to leave it off. So once again, it’s funny how raw red onion works so well in this dish that I’ll leave it in for this broccoli salad recipe. I’m strange, I know! Seriously though, the raw broccoli and onion balance each other so perfectly with the other ingredients. If you too shy away from these main ingredients, I think you still need to give this recipe a try. Even the kids at our family dinners will eat this salad, which is amazing since most of them are on a picky eater’s all potatoes or Cheerios diet.   

I call this a harvest broccoli salad because of all the wonderful fall flavors of apple, golden raisins, and toasted pumpkin seeds added into this recipe. If you wanted to make this recipe in the spring or summer, it would work just as well. You could substitute other seasonal ingredients like mandarin oranges and sunflower seeds or toasted almonds. Yum!

I love recreating my favorite traditional southern recipes to be just a little bit healthier. It’s important to me to hold onto recipes that were handed down from generation to generation while at the same time honoring my health and my body. There are certainly times when I make the recipes in the original way they were written, but when I’m cooking at home for just John and I, I like to clean up the ingredients a bit.

easy broccoli salad recipe

I love this recipe because:

·      It’s an easy recipe to bring to group dinners

·      The leftovers keep in the fridge for up to 4 days afterwards

·      It’s a tasty way to add nutrition of a green vegetable

·      It’s crunchy, sweet yet tangy flavor will leave you wanting seconds (and maybe thirds!)

A few notes on the ingredients of this recipe

My mom’s classic version of this recipe calls for pork bacon, but I personally recommend substituting turkey bacon or tempeh “bacon” to keep the dish lighter. Don’t worry, there is plenty of flavor added to this salad without the greasy bacon fat. If, however, you’re a bacon fanatic that would never dream of substituting, feel free to add the traditional pork bacon. It will be a little saltier, but you’ll end up with another amazing variation of this recipe.

You might be wondering, “why golden raisins?”. The reason is because they have a slighter sweeter flavor and they add fantastic color to the recipe. You could use regular raisins, but I promise the golden raisin makes a pretty big difference in the flavor and overall dish balance with the salty turkey bacon.

I hope you enjoy this broccoli salad recipe and take it to your next potluck or family dinner!

The Harvest Broccoli Salad Recipe Video 

Directions

Here’s how I make it:

Pre-cook 1 lb. of turkey bacon and let cool*

Take 4 large washed broccoli (I bought 2 bunches of 2 in the grocery store), and chop them into small, bite-sized pieces.

Place them into a large mixing bowl.

Chop 1 apple into small chunks (I prefer Fala, Fuji, or Red Delicious, but you can use whichever variety is your favorite). Then, add to the broccoli.

Dice 1 small red onion and add to the broccoli & apple, then mix all together.

In a separate small mixing bowl, measure mayo, apple cider vinegar, agave, and pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk together until smooth and creamy.

Pour the dressing onto the broccoli mixture in the large bowl.

Add 1 lb. of cooked turkey bacon, golden raisins, and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Mix together one more time, then it’s ready to be served! I end up transferring the mixture into a traveling bowl/carrier and putting it in the fridge until time to serve.

*My preferred method of cooking turkey bacon is to bake on a cookie sheet at 375 °F for 15 mins on one side, then flip and cook another 15 mins. Keep an eye on it after 10 mins to make sure it reaches your preferred level of crispiness and doesn’t burn.

Recipe Card & Nutrition Info 

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Harvest Broccoli Salad
Ingredients
  • 4 broccoli
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 apple
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 lb. turkey bacon
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • pinch salt
  • pepper salt
Instructions
Pre-cook 1 lb. of turkey bacon and let cool* Take 4 large washed broccoli (I bought 2 bunches of 2 in the grocery store), and chop them into small, bite-sized pieces. Place them into a large mixing bowl. Chop 1 apple into small chunks (I prefer Fala, Fuji, or Red Delicious, but you can use whichever variety is your favorite). Then, add to the broccoli. Dice 1 small red onion and add to the broccoli & apple, then mix all together. In a separate small mixing bowl, measure mayo, apple cider vinegar, agave, and pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk together until smooth and creamy. Pour the dressing onto the broccoli mixture in the large bowl. Add 1 lb. of cooked turkey bacon, golden raisins, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Mix together one more time, then it’s ready to be served! I end up transferring the mixture into a traveling bowl/carrier and putting it in the fridge until time to serve. *My preferred method of cooking turkey bacon is to bake on a cookie sheet at 375 °F for 15 mins on one side, then flip and cook another 15 mins. Keep an eye on it after 10 mins to make sure it reaches your preferred level of crispiness and doesn’t burn.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 servings

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harvest broccoli salad recipe for potlucks and family dinners

What is YOUR go-to dish for potlucks or family dinners? Do you have an infamous recipe that everyone specifically requests? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Here’s to all the friend and family gatherings ahead of us… Cheers!