Delicious broccoli kale salad tossed in a healthy creamy dressing. Made with all fresh ingredients and comes together in 15 minutes. Great for BBQs or weeknight meals.
Say hello to your new favorite broccoli kale salad. This better-for-you broccoli salad skips the traditional cheese, craisins, and sugar laden dressing (lots of the other broccoli salads have SO.MUCH.SUGAR, but not this guy). Better-for-you ingredients makes for a delicious and healthy kale broccoli salad!
Looking for something to serve this with? Serve it alongside some cilantro lime chicken, pulled pork, or turkey burgers.
Why You'll Love This
- Flavorful – Creamy dressing and the crunch of the broccoli and apples; so many flavors and textures packed into this kale broccoli salad.
- Lightened up dressing – The key to a healthy broccoli salad is in the dressing. I use avocado oil mayonnaise and plain/unsweetened dairy-free Greek yogurt (regular Greek yogurt works too) to keep it creamy, but light! It's also sweetened with a bit of honey.
- Quick and easy – A little chopping and mixing, and in 15 minutes you’re set to go with this salad.
- Dietary needs – Gluten free, dairy free friendly, grain free, refined sugar free!
For the Salad
For the Dressing
A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below. Here are some specific call-outs, and when needed, some tips on keeping the ingredients clean.
Kale – I recommend using curly kale. That is what I always use. You could try lacinato kale, but that is a bit richer in flavor and might be overpowering in this kale broccoli salad.
Cabbage – I like adding in some more color, plus the cabbage adds more nutrients, but you could omit all together if needed.
Bacon - Bacon is a guilty pleasure of mine and I love the flavor it brings to this salad. If you don't love bacon, just skip it.
Clean food tip: First, look for uncured bacon, which means it's processed without added nitrates or nitrites. Preferably look for organic bacon (or a label stating no antibiotics were used) and bacon without any added sugar. Both Applegate and Niman Ranch have great options.
Apples – You’ll definitely want to use a sweet apple, such as honey crisp, Fuji, or gala. I don’t recommend a green apple, or any other tart variety.
Sunflower nuts - These are the small seeds inside a sunflower seed - these are often referred to as "nuts" even though they're technically seeds. Just make sure you are buying shelled sunflower seeds (most commonly referred to as "sunflower nuts").
Greek yogurt - Make sure to use unsweetened plain Greek yogurt. I use Kite Hill plain unsweetened Greek yogurt to keep it dairy free. If not dairy free, you could use regular Greek yogurt, just make sure it is plain and unsweetened.
Mayonnaise – Look for mayonnaise that is made using 100% avocado oil and has no added sugar. I use Primal Kitchen’s Avocado Oil Mayonnaise. Mayonnaise can get a bad wrap because of the unhealthy oils and sugar it’s typically made with, but Primal Kitchen is a life saver with their avocado oil mayonnaise. Chosen Foods is another good option.
Honey - look for raw honey, as it does not go through a lot of processing like regular honey does. This means it retains most of the nutrients and antioxidants that honey is known for.
Apple cider vinegar - You can use apple cider vinegar, or fresh lemon juice can be used in its place.
How to Make
Step 1: Add all the salad ingredients to a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, add the dressing ingredients. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and then pour on the salad ingredients.
Tip: If your honey is crystalized, throw in in the microwave for 5-10 seconds to thin/smooth it out before whisking it into the dressing.
Step 2: Use tongs, or large spoon, and mix until dressing has fully coated the salad ingredients.
Step3: Technically the salad is read. However, I highly recommend allowing it to sit in the fridge for a minimum of an hour to allow the flavors to meld together and for the salad to chill – it’s best when it’s cold!
Stir before serving and enjoy your kale broccoli salad!
Yes, this salad will stay good in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can easily make this broccoli kale salad the day before you need it, but I wouldn't recommend making it days in advance of when you first plan to eat/serve the salad.
You can leave this broccoli kale salad out at room temp for up to two hours. However, if it's outside and is hot (85+) you'll only want it out for a max of an hour.
I never blanch my broccoli for broccoli salad- I like the crunch and I think raw broccoli goes better with the dressing. However, if you wish to blanch it, you can add your chopped broccoli to a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds, then drain and rinse with cold water immediately.
I like using curly kale, but you can also use Tuscan kale (aka Lacinato), which is a little thinner. I don't recommend baby kale as it will wilt/get soggy in the dressing.
For this salad, no. With the creamy dressing I don't find massaging the kale first is needed.
Tips and Notes
- Make sure to cut the broccoli florets in small pieces (no big chunks allowed) ; smaller pieces makes for a better salad. Use the florets, but you can also chop up bits of the stem too!
- Add-ins: Play around with your favorite add-ins. Some suggestions include blueberries, cashews, walnuts, shredded carrots, and/or shredded cheddar.
- Let the finished salad sit in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour before eating to allow the flavors to meld together and to chill the salad.
- Before serving, give the salad a good stir. The dressing will settle to the bottom as it sits in the fridge.
- This kale broccoli salad will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Looking for More Salad Recipes? I got your back!
If you make this recipe, please let me know what you think! I would so appreciate you leaving a star rating and/or comment below. And don't forget to share a photo on Instagram or Facebook and mention @CleanPlateMama!
Healthy Broccoli Salad
- 4 cups coarsely chopped broccoli
- 2 cups torn kale leaves
- 1 cup finely chopped purple cabbage
- ⅓ cup sunflower nuts
- 1 large sweet apple, chopped
- 8 oz. cooked and crumbled bacon
- ½ cup mayonnaise (see notes)
- ¼ cup plain/unsweetened dairy-free Greek yogurt (if not dairy free, regular Greek yogurt works)
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp. raw honey (see notes)
- ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
- Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients.
- Add dressing to broccoli mix. Using tongs, or large spoon, mix together until broccoli and all other ingredients are fully coated with the dressing.
- I recommend refrigerating for a minimum of an hour before serving, but if needed, you can serve right away.
- Stir before serving and enjoy!
- Curly kale works best; tear the leaves from the thick inner stems.
- In order to keep the dressing clean, use mayonnaise that uses only avocado oil and has no added sugar (Primal Kitchen is what I recommend).
- You can use fresh lemon juice in place of apple cider vinegar.
- You can use raw or regular honey, raw honey is just better for you. If you are using raw and it has crystalized, throw it in the microwave for 5-10 seconds to thin/smooth out before whisking into the dressing.
- Let the finished salad sit in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour before eating to allow the flavors to meld together and the salad to chill.
- The salad will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
I made this for Thanksgiving. It was a huge hit!
Your avocado Mayo recommendations are ‘crossed out’ but there aren’t any notes to say why...
The link still works if you click on the link. My apologies it's crossed out - I will look into that. Thanks for letting me know!
If you omit the apple, what would Carb count be?
Based on the my nutrition calculator, if I removed the apple, there would be 15g in one serving.
This salad was delicious and easy to throw together. My 9 yr old helped and loved it too! We used shredded carrots instead of the kale. So good.
Thanks for letting me know, Melissa! Subbing carrots sounds delicious, so glad you and your 9 year old love it!
First off, I would like to THANK YOU so very much for these clean eating delicious recipes!! I have no choice other than to eat clean due to health issues. I can not eat any sugar nor mayonnaise. That being said I omitted mayo, and kale only because I can't digest kale and I added a bit more of the Greek yogurt and some other vinegar I had on hand. The salad was lovely!! I had absolutely no issues with digestion at all! Again, I am so grateful to you!!😊
Thank you so much for the kind note, Stacy! I am so glad you have found some recipes here that you can have due to health issues. Love that you can adapt as needed and they still work for you. I so appreciate you letting me know. Enjoy!
I stumbled upon this recipe around Memorial Day and it was such a hit. I spent the last two months looking for it again and I am so happy I found it 🙂 it was so good! I added carrots
I am happy you found it, too! And the addition of carrots sounds just perfect 🙂