This crisp, fresh Paleo Broccoli Salad is a healthier version of the classic side dish. Simple, ready in minutes and full of flavorful goodies like apples, walnuts and chopped bacon this recipe is sure to be your new family favorite. Make this salad for backyard BBQ's, picnics or a quick & healthy dinner.
Sick of eating soybean oil laden salads at potlucks? I have a solution. Bring your own healthy side dish and save everyone. This recipe is gluten-free, free of refined sugar and loaded with nutrients. Plus, it is free of inflammatory vegetable oils!
This Paleo Broccoli Salad is the perfect alternative to those less healthy BBQ side dishes that lack flavor. In this salad you will find fresh broccoli, celery and green onions mixed with apple, crunchy bacon and walnuts and dressed with a perfectly sweet and tangy dressing. Undoubtedly, this will be your new summer fave and a potluck go-to.
Is Mayo Paleo?
Mayo is made from a few simple ingredients including egg yolk, oil, vinegar, salt and sometimes mustard. That means some mayonnaises are paleo-friendly and some are not depending on the type of oil used. While some mayo brands will boast that they are made with olive, avocado or coconut oil, they are not made exclusively with these oils and often contain canola oil and/or soybean oil.
My favorite paleo-friendly mayo brands are Sir Kensington's, Primal Kitchen, Chosen Foods and Better Body Foods. These brands have clean labels and carry an avocado oil (or other non-seed oil) mayo that does not contain any funky ingredients.
This recipe pairs well with so many dishes and can even be a meal all it's own. Here are some ideas:
- Serve it with ribs or burgers
- Throw it in a bowl and top with pulled pork
- Pair with grilled drumsticks or salmon
- Bring to a potluck
- Top with diced chicken breast and eat as a salad
- Apple - I like to use a Honeycrisp apple because they are super flavorful, but you can use your favorite. If apples aren't in season you could substitute dried cherries or golden raisins, or omit the apple all together for a more savory dish.
- Green Onions - I like using green onions because they have a lighter flavor and I am not a huge onion fan. If you'd prefer you could sub in a small shallot or part of a red onion.
- Bacon - I like to use really good, thick cut bacon. Generally, I dice the bacon when raw and cook it. I prefer more uniform pieces vs. crumbling cooked bacon but either would work. You could also add cooked pancetta or prosciutto instead of the bacon if you are feeling fancy.
- Walnuts - The nuts just add a nice textural component. You could easily sub pecans or crushed roasted almonds. If you are nut-free, you could add in some roasted sunflower seeds!
- Honey - Honey can easily be substituted for maple syrup in a pinch.
- Because the broccoli is raw it helps to chop the pieces fairly small. This allows for more surface area to be in contact with the dressing helping it soften a little.
- If prepping ahead of time, I like to add the walnuts and bacon right before serving to help retain the crunch.
- Because this salad contains mayo, avoid leaving it out unrefrigerated for an extended period of time.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep safely for 4-5 days but will start losing it's crunch by day 2 and the apples will begin to brown.
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Paleo Broccoli Salad
- Cutting board
- Large salad bowl
- Small bowl
- 3 cups Coarsely chopped broccoli About 2 small heads
- 3 Stalks of celery Thinly sliced
- 3 Green onions Thinly sliced
- 1 large Apple Diced
- 4-6 slices Thick cut bacon
- ¼ cup Walnuts Or pecans
- Heat a pan over medium heat. Chop bacon and place in pan. Brown bacon and cook until crispy. Place cooked bacon on several folded paper towels to absorb the grease. Set aside.
- While the bacon is cooking, prepare the veggies. Chop the broccoli into florets removing most of the stem and then coarsely chop. Add the broccoli to a large mixing bowl. Remove the core from the apple and dice in to ½ inch cubes and add to bowl. Thinly slice the green onions and the celery ribs and add both to the bowl.
- Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a separate bowl and whisk together until smooth. Pour the dressing over the bowl of veggies, add walnuts and bacon and then stir together.
- Serve immediately or store in the fridge in an airtight container for 1-2 days.