Salad Challenge: Sweet + Creamy Broccoli Salad

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on January 3, 2012

Creamy & Sweet Brocolli Salad #paleo #grainfree

For an introduction to this weeks’ salad challenge, check out this post.

Day two of our challenge and I just had to begin by posting my favorite of all the recipes I’ll be sharing this week.

I know, I should have probably worked up to my favorite, but I couldn’t help myself.

Maybe I’ll change my mind come Friday?

Creamy & Sweet Brocolli Salad #paleo #grainfree

I’ve probably made this salad half a dozen times already, going back to it again and again because it’s just so darn easy. It’ll take you 20 minutes from start to sweet + creamy finish – a definite win in my books!

Creamy & Sweet Brocolli Salad #paleo #grainfree

Sweet + Creamy Broccoli Salad

Vegan [option], Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar-free, Yeast free, Corn free, Grain free

This salad is a breeze to assemble during the evening for a weeks’ worth of lunches and lasts for days in the fridge without wilting or spoiling. One of my favorite characteristics of broccoli is it’s ability soak up dressing at the bottom of your bowl… which is why it’s just so perfect for this sweet and creamy salad!

Yield: 8 cups

Servings: 6



  • 6 cups fresh broccoli florets, steamed for 3 minutes
  • 7 strips uncured beef bacon, cooked fully and then chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, chopped


  • handful of fresh parsley (optional)


  1. Lightly steam the broccoli for 2-3 minutes, just until the florets are crisp tender. This is optional, I just find broccoli easier on my digestion when it’s lightly steamed. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Fry bacon as per package instructions. Be sure to cook until crisp. We like beef bacon because it’s higher in protein, easier on digestion, a has less fat. Plus it tastes so good! Once cooked, set on a paper towel lined plate. Pat dry and break up into small pieces.
  3. Add bacon, sun dried tomatoes, currants, sunflower seeds and red onion to the broccoli bowl.
  4. In a separate small bowl, combine dressing ingredients and stir until incorporated. Pour over the broccoli mix and stir to coat.
  5. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and enjoy!

note: to make vegan, serve with veggie bacon bits and stick with egg-free mayonnaise

View nutrition facts

Creamy & Sweet Brocolli Salad #paleo #grainfree

We decided to head to the mountains yesterday as a spur-of-the-moment thing. I knew that both of us would be hungry the minute we hit the road – isn’t that always the way it works? So I whipped up a quick batch of this salad for me, and a big bowl of tuna and veggies for Kevin.

We enjoyed our salads on the road to Kananaskis before we endured a chilling hike near Wasootch creek.

It actually wasn’t that bad, I just exaggerate.

The sun was shining but there was a terrible wind. But once we got further into the valley it lightened up a bit and was quite lovely!

This is the face of a man who claims I didn’t feed him enough before we headed out. If only he would have had the broccoli salad!

Darn his aversion to dried fruit!

Little did he know, I had some spiced flax balls and coconut vanilla cookies in my pockets for snacking!

Because really, I don’t go anywhere without a snack in my pocket, common’ now!

Going out to the mountains was a perfect way to end our Christmas break. But (unfortunately) we’re back to the grind today! I guess I’m excited to get back to a routine, but am sad to say goodbye to lounging around in my pajamas until noon.

Are you going back to the office after an extended time away during the holidays?

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }


Is is wrong that my mouth actually salivated from a broccoli salad????


Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

heck no, that’s not wrong at all. That’s fantastic! Mine does the same, so I think we’re good ;)


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

OMG Kananaskis!! We used to go there ALL the time when I was little, both in the summer and in the winter. Just the mention of it brings back tons of great memories! You’re so lucky to live so close to such a beautiful place. And that salad… yum! I love broccoli and have been trying to eat more of it, mainly for its detox benefits. I can’t wait to try this!


Kristy @ KristyRuns

What a gorgeous place!!!


Lauren @ What Lauren Likes

So making this for lunch today! Yum :D


Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free

So pretty-what a great place to walk around!

And I love how you steamed the broccoli first. I usually don’t like broccoli salads because I hate raw broccoli, but I know I’ll love this.


Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous

I love broccoli. It has so many health benefits and is low in calories. Thanks for this great looking recipe!



Oh, I am so photogenic. That is such a flattering and attractive shot. :)


Kati Mora, MS, RD, Kellogg's FiberPlus(R) Wellness Advocate

I’m loving your salad challenge – what a great idea! Salads are definitely one of my favorite dishes because of how versatile they are. Plus, they just taste delicious. I especially like to load mine up with extra veggies and beans for added fiber power. I can’t wait to give this a try. Yum.



We’ve nominated you for the Versitility in Blogging Award. Thanks for all the great recipies!


katie @KatieDid

I want this salad right NOW. Love the combo of greens and bacon so so much.


Maria Mac

have never seen beef bacon – does anyone know where it is available in the UK? This salad would be great for work lunches and looks amazing – really want to find it!!


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

I love broccoli salad! When I first started blogging, I think I posted about it about 5x a week. Lol



After all the salad talk, I went out and bought a salad for lunch. I feel sooo ripped off, $8.49 for a salad? no thanks. Thanks Leanne for sharing these recipes!! I’m going to try them as soon as I get back from vacation.


Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Yay! Salad power :D It is a bit of a rip off, but try to forget about that while you eat it and just be proud you’re munching down on greens!



What wonderful timing! I have put myself on a salad challenge for weekday lunches for the month! You are beautiful!


Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Nice Amanda! Can’t wait to hear what salad creations you come up with :)



Kananaskis is beautiful! I have family in Calgary and I sometimes get spoiled with trips to Banff or to the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis. Love love love. I always want to apply for a job and stay there for a while. I’m jealous.


Frugal Jen | Frugal, Freebies and Deals

There is a restaurant we used to eat at all the time (not anymore due to all the gluten they but they have a broccoli salad almost just like this one (only I am sure less healthy!!).

I sure do miss the all you can eat hot fudge lava cake sudden you can eat.. alas..




Ohhh I have been looking for a way to use up all the broccoli in my fridge! Any ideas for a vegetarian substitution for the red onion and veggie bacon? I absolutely despise both, didn’t even like bacon when I was a meat eater, weird I know :)


Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

For sure! You could use green onions, are you good with those? For the bacon – try roasted tamari chickpeas. I bet they would be delicious in this!



This is similar to one I make.
I go the olive oil route,
I’m not a fan of creamy dressings, on the whole.

I like your addition of sunflower seeds and the sun dried tomatoes.




I can just tell this salad is going to taste delish! I’m going to Costa Rica tomorrow and sharing a condo with friends…these ingredients will be first on my shopping list.



I made this and posted about it. It was really delicious and you made it easier for us to go on vacation.


Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Wow, I’m so happy that you liked it, Angie!



Came across this whilst looking for tasty gluten free recipes – I’m new to the clean eating, gluten free lifestyle so I’m having a problem “converting”. Naturally didn’t have all of the ingredients so decided to twist it a little – ended up with steamed broccoli, squirt of lemon, little salt and cracked pepper, semi-dried tomatoes, a little mayo, tuna and chopped raw almonds. It worked really well and it kept me away from craving real bread!



Oh my goodness, this is delish, delish, delish!! Made this as a side with bbq salmon and it was a great meal! Thanks again for all your wonderful recipes.


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