Fall Broccoli Salad with Pecans, Apples, and Craisins
Creamy, crunchy, and delicious, this Fall Broccoli Salad combines favorite fall flavors with an easy, make-ahead, healthy broccoli salad perfect for a holiday side dish… or any day for lunch or dinner!
When you think about broccoli salad, what comes to mind? Do you think of summer picnics with a container of sad-looking soggy broccoli, covered in mayo?
Typical broccoli salads are kind of boring – they’re not delicious, they’re not particularly healthy, and you’d never think to eat them outside of a summer picnic or potluck.
So let’s turn broccoli salad upside down and make it delicious – with a fall twist. Broccoli salad at Thanksgiving dinner? Oh yes, it’s time.
This fall broccoli salad is crisp and crunchy with a creamy-but-not-heavy dressing, a touch of sweetness from honey, and full of fall favorites like pecans, dried cranberries, apples, and pomegranate arils.
Eat More Raw Broccoli
Why eat your broccoli in this fall broccoli salad, as opposed to roasted or steamed broccoli? Because raw broccoli is even better for you!
(I mean, don’t get me wrong – I’ll never turn down a big plate of roasted broccoli! But why not try things a little different – especially when you’re eating so many other roasted or baked vegetables this time of year?)
What makes raw broccoli better? It’s time for my favorite subject… kitchen chemistry!
Broccoli contains high concentrations of glucosinolates, sulfur-containing compounds found in cruciferous vegetables. Glucosinolates are hydrolyzed by an enzyme called myrosinase, resulting in products with anti-carcinogenic (cancer fighting!) activity. Heat damages enzymes, including myrosinase, destroying its ability to function. (ref)
Perfect Make-Ahead Salad
Another reason this fall broccoli salad is so great? It tastes even better the day after you make it! The dressing softens the broccoli just a touch and the flavors combine so well.
A side for Thanksgiving (or any day!) that requires no cooking and can be made a day or two in advance? Yes, please!
Common Questions about Fall Broccoli Salad
Nope! Raw broccoli is pretty standard in broccoli salad, and the dressing helps to soften the broccoli a little. If you really don’t like raw broccoli, you can blanch it first: add the broccoli florets to boiling water for 1 minute, then transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
If you’re mayo-hater (or looking for a higher protein, lower fat swap), just use all Greek yogurt instead of half Greek yogurt and half mayonnaise.
Yes! Broccoli salad tastes even better a day (or two!) later.
Broccoli salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freezing is not recommended, as the Greek yogurt gets grainy after thawing.
Any of your favorite fall foods — think of this as a side dish for just about anything! It’s perfect with holiday turkeys or ham, or delicious with One Pot Tortellini with Sweet Potatoes, Instant Pot Beef Stew, Balsamic Mushroom Pork Chops, Sheet Pan Mini Meatloaves, Macaroni and Cheese Souffle, or Cranberry Maple Pork Chops!
More Easy Fall Salads
- Spicy Butternut Squash Salad
- Roasted Eggplant and Smoked Almond Dip
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Roasted Beet Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Goat Cheese
- All Salad Recipes »
- 2 large heads of broccoli, florets coarsely chopped (about 6 cups)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup reduced-sugar dried cranberries
- 1 apple, chopped
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, red onion, pecans, dried cranberries, apple and pomegranate arils.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper until smooth and well combined.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
- Mayonnaise can be swapped out and replaced with additional Greek yogurt.
- Nuts can be omitted or switched for walnuts or almonds.
- Broccoli salad tastes even better after sitting in the refrigerator overnight.
Broccoli salad can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 319Total Fat: 21.33gCarbohydrates: 31.2gProtein: 5.17g