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Broccoli, pecans, cranberries, carrots and apples come together to make an amazing salad with delicious flavors and textures. The creamy dressing on top makes this salad absolutely incredible!

Broccoli is amazing in salads, it adds crunch, nutrition and flavor. Some of the best salads with broccoli in them include Broccoli Cauliflower, Greek Broccoli Pasta and this incredible Bacon Ranch Pasta salad.

Broccoli and apple salad with a tangy dressing in a bowl.

Easy Broccoli Apple Salad

Broccoli in salads is my favorite. I especially love this Broccoli Cashew Salad that is on the blog. But this Broccoli Apple Salad became an instant favorite! As I was eating it, I just couldn’t get enough! I knew this salad would be amazing but I wasn’t expecting it to become a new favorite! SO many delicious new textures and flavors in this salad. The broccoli, carrots, and red onion, was followed by the sweetness of the apples and dried cranberries. The pecans added another yummy flavor and crunch. The creamy dressing on top was THEE best. It completed this fresh and delicious salad perfectly. I know that if you make this salad, it will become an instant favorite as well!

At first you might think that broccoli and apples don’t go together, but they do, trust me. This is truly one of the best salads out there. It’s healthy, full of flavor and the dressing is even light. I traded out some of the mayonnaise for greek yogurt, giving you a boost of calcium, protein and cutting the fat. All without compromising on taste and tang. It’s going to be a new go to salad for sure!

Ingredients for Broccoli and Apple Salad

Full of fresh crunchy ingredients, this salad is truly satisfying and filling. You are going to love all the vegetables and the tangy dressing.

  • Fresh Broccoli Florets: About 2 medium heads
  • Shredded Carrots: You can sometimes find pre shredded carrots in the produce section
  • Red Onion: Adds a bit of spice and tons of flavor.
  • Apples: 2 large apples will work, pick sweet ones not tart or sour. I used Gala
  • Pecans: Coarsely chopped
  • Dried Cranberries: Perfect bit sweetness and tartness

Creamy Dressing Ingredients

  • Light Mayonnaise: Creates the base of the dressing
  • Low Fat Greek Yogurt:  Gives it more creaminess and a nice bit of tang
  • Lemon Juice: Adds a bit of tartness, and helps keep the apples fresh looking
  • Sugar: Balances out the tart with a bit of sweet
  • Salt and Pepper:  Add more or less as desired.

How to Make Broccoli Salad with Apples

Chopping all the ingredients for this insanely delicious broccoli apple salad is the longest part of throwing this together. But it is so worth it. Add the flavors meld so perfectly together, it’s so good!

  1. Combine: In a large bowl combine broccoli, carrots, red onion, apples, pecans, and dried cranberries
  2. To make the dressing: Whisk together mayonnaise, greek yogurt, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper.
  3. Add: the dressing to the salad and toss to coat. Chill until ready to serve.

The ingredients to make broccoli apple salad in a bowl ready to combine.

Why This Recipe Needs to be Made Today!

Besides being extremely delicious this broccoli apple salad has so many pros to it, you will truly want to keep this recipe close by.

  • Nutritious: Packed with vegetables and fruit and even nuts, this broccoli salad is an immune boosting, fiber enhancing delicious dish. This salad is high in vitamin C, K and A plus it’s high in fiber. Pecans add protein and a healthy fat. Even though you have mayonnaise in the dressing, it’s such a big salad that the amount you’ll actually ingest is just little. Unless you eat the whole thing, which I wouldn’t blame you. It’s extremely diet friendly.
  • Make Ahead: This broccoli apple salad actually tastes better if it sits for at least an hour. The flavors and the dressing all meld together in the most fantastic way. This non lettuce salad is full of hearty ingredients so this will stand up to being made ahead of time beautifully. It’s a great choice for packing in lunches, taking to potlucks, and having as leftovers. Make it ahead of time and free up time for making other dishes before dinner.
  • Colorful: It’s been said we should eat the rainbow! Well, this broccoli apple salad is definitely a rainbow of colors! It’s as fun to look at as it is too eat! Not only isn’t appealing to the eyes, but to the tastebuds too! It’ll be a salad that gets eaten first at your next picnic
  • Hearty and Satisfying: This salad is packed with nutritious ingredients that will not only taste good, but fill you up. The crunchiness satisfies your desire to chew and the high fiber will fill up your tummy!

Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients.

Tips and Variations for Creamy Broccoli Apple Salad

This salad is delicious as a side dish for beef, fried chicken or even salmon. Or make it a highlight in a light meal served with a refreshing fruit salad and some breadsticks. Yummy!

  • Make it Easy: You can make the prep for this salad even easier by buying pre shredded carrots, and pre cut broccoli florets.
  • Substitute Dried Cranberries: Use raisins, golden raisins, or dried cherries instead of the cranberries if you wish.
  • Nuts: Try using walnuts or cashews instead of pecans. Also try toasting them in a pan on the stovetop till fragrant and slightly browned for added flavor.
  • Cheese: For a twist add blue cheese to the broccoli apple salad which adds incredible flavor.
  • Apples: I used gala apples in this recipe. You want an apple on the sweeter side. Try Fuji or Braeburn as well for excellent results.

How to Store Apple Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Apple Salad keeps great for up to 3 days before it will start to really get soggy. It’ll still be good for another 2-3 days after, but the quality of the vegetables and fruit will decrease rapidly. If you plan to eat it all week long, try dividing the salad in half and only add dressing to the half you are eating up first. It will help keep the sogginess at bay.

Upclose picture of broccoli apple salad with pecans, raisins and dressing.

More Broccoli Loving Recipes To Try

Broccoli is good for you, we all know that! I love it, but not everyone does. Sometimes we have to drown it in amazing cheese sauce or ranch dressing to get our kids or loved ones to eat it. Well, these recipes are tried and true and absolute favorites! So if you’re trying to get more good for you broccoli in your family’s diet, try one or all of these recipes! You won’t regret it!

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Broccoli Apple Salad

5 from 13 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
Broccoli, pecans, cranberries, carrots and apples come together to make an amazing salad with delicious flavors and textures.  The creamy dressing on top makes this salad absolutely incredible!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings

Ingredients 

Creamy dressing ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup lite mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup low fat greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl combine broccoli, carrots, red onion, apples, pecans, and dried cranberries.
  • Whisk together mayonnaise, greek yogurt, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Add the dressing to the salad and toss to coat. Chill until ready to serve.

Video

Notes

Updated on February 11, 2021
Originally Posted on January 27, 2015

Nutrition

Calories: 215kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 5gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 272mgPotassium: 334mgFiber: 5gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 2217IUVitamin C: 60mgCalcium: 63mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!

Broccoli apple salad with a tangy dressing in a bowl ready to eat.

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About Alyssa Rivers

Alyssa Rivers is the author of 'The Tried and True Cookbook', a professional food photographer and experienced recipe-developer. Having a passion for cooking, her tried and true recipes have been featured on Good Morning America, Today Food, Buzzfeed and more.

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Recipe Rating




174 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is one of my favorite recipes !!!!! Never disappoints and a weekly staple for work. Thank you!!!!

  2. 5 stars
    My husband and I love this recipe. It’s great to take to gatherings, especially since you can make ahead of time. I sometimes make a half batch since there’s only two of us. Sometimes I make the full recipe for us to eat over a few days. We prefer granny smith apples, but any are fine. We also like a bit of sunflower seeds added sometimes. There are many different adds depending on your preferences.

  3. I don’t eat mayonnaise is okay to leave it out and use the yogurt. Or what other ingredients could I use

  4. 5 stars
    This salad is a favorite in our house. Amazingly delicious! I make it once a week, i could eat it everyday if it were up to me. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  5. I’m planning to make this for a potluck. How do you think adding candied pecans instead of plain would do in the recipe?

  6. 5 stars
    I read this recipe, broccoli in a salad with all the other ingredients, hum, sounded interesting ….I tried it, followed the recipe to a tee (exception: steamed broccoli, still crunchy)…..WOW……I’m already looking forward to making in the future many times……absolutely delicious!

  7. Hello Alyssa,

    Just to clarify your comment above.

    You meant if I do not add the red onion, do not put onion powder in the salad either, leave them both out?
    Just want it to be as fabulous as it sounds.

    1. Yes, I would not use onion powder as a subsitute. You could always cut some red onion up for yourself and add it to your own portion!

  8. I am going to make this recipe this Friday July 15th.
    My husband does not want the red onion in the salad, can I use Onion Powder instead?
    This sounds delicious!
    I am going to carmelelize the Pecans.

    Thank You
    Maggie

    1. I would just leave them out altogether! Let me know how it turns out. This is a favorite of mine!

    1. You don’t need to peel the apples first. And you can cut the apples however you like! I like to cut mine into smaller, bite-sized pieces.

  9. 5 stars
    This is Tasty!! I always blanch my broccoli first. I added sunflower seeds, dried cherries instead of cranberries and used 1/2 the sugar and was delicious! Good combo…

  10. Delicious!
    Since I had a mandolin out that’s how I cut up all the veggies, including the carrot. I just chose a smaller setting. Used walnuts as that’s what I had. Will be making this again and again. I grow broccoli and need lots of ways to eat it.