An easy Vegan Broccoli Salad recipe with crunchy raw broccoli florets and packed with plant-based proteins from roasted chickpeas, sunflower seeds, and creamy tahini lemon dressing.
Bonus, this vegan broccoli salad recipe is also gluten-free, dairy-free.
Are all broccoli salads vegan?
No, a classic broccoli salad is not vegan because it contains bacon and mayonnaise as a dressing. However, you can make a delicious vegan broccoli salad with no mayo or meat but still full of flavors and proteins.
How to make Vegan broccoli salad?
It’s the easiest vegan salad recipe for lunch or as a side dish to summer BBQ. You only need a few simple ingredients and just 15 minutes to make this chickpea broccoli salad vegan recipe.
For the salad you need:
- Broccoli florets – remove the broccoli feet and cut the broccoli florets into small tiny pieces.
- Red onion – finely chopped or sliced based on your preference.
- Pecans or walnuts depending on taste, but pecans marry very well with broccoli, so it’s our recommendation.
- Sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
- Dried cranberries
For the roasted chickpeas, you will need:
- Canned chickpeas – one can of drained, rinsed chickpeas. You can also soak raw chickpeas and cook following your packaging instructions if you like.
- Olive oil or avocado oil to roast the chickpeas in a frying pan.
- Smoked paprika or regular paprika powder if you can’t find the smoked version.
- Garlic powder
For the tahini dressing – this is the healthy replacement to vegan mayo – you need:
- Maple syrup
- Lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
First, prepare the broccoli florets. Rinse the broccoli and cut out their feet. Next, chop the broccoli florets into tiny small pieces.
To make the best vegan broccoli salad, I recommend cutting the florets as small as possible, as seen in the pictures below.
Set aside in a large bowl.
Pan-fry chickpeas – fast method
Next, fry the chickpea in a frying pan. Heat olive oil over medium heat then had the drained chickpeas and roast for minutes.
Next, add spices, salt, and pepper and keep roasting until fragrant. It takes about 2-3 minutes. This won’t deliver ultra crunchy chickpeas.
Oven-roasted chickpeas – longer but crispier
For crunchy chickpeas, use your oven preheated to 400F/200C. Lay the drained chickpeas onto a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 30 minutes.
After that time, toss olive oil and spices onto the chickpeas and keep baking until crispy.
Meanwhile, prepare the tahini dressing. Add all the salad dressing into a large glass mason jar and shake vigorously to combine.
How to assemble the salad?
To serve your broccoli salad, first, arrange the raw broccoli florets onto a large serving plate or salad bowl. Top up with diced red onions, chopped tomatoes, and dried cranberries. Set aside.
Next, top the salad with lukewarm chickpeas and reuse the frying pan to quickly roast the chopped pecans and sunflower seeds. This is optional, but it gives more flavors to the seeds and nuts.
Top the salad with the toasted nuts and pour the dressing over just before serving. Toss ingredients together and serve this delicious recipe as a light lunch or side dish.
When to serve vegan broccoli salad?
I love this recipe as a light lunch or side for a summer BBQ table. It also tastes great, wrapped in coconut flour flatbread to make a fresh, crunchy veggie wrap.
Can I make this salad recipe oil-free?
Sure, you can roast the chickpea in the frying pan without adding any oil. For your salad dressing, you can replace the tahini with vegan yogurt, like coconut yogurt or soy yogurt, to lighten up the dressing
this vegan broccoli salad is versatile, and you can swap and substitute many ingredients to make it more appropriate to your taste or diet. For example, you can swap:
- Tomatoes – swap for grated carrots, grated beetroots, or chopped red bell pepper.
- Chickpeas – slice mushrooms thinly and stir fry. This is a great option to make a low-carb keto vegan broccoli salad.
- Nuts and seeds – any kind of nuts and seeds taste amazing in this salad, including sliced almonds, walnuts, hemp seeds, or pumpkin seeds.
- Tahini – if you don’t like the slightly bitter taste of tahini, swap for almond butter or peanut butter. Both options make a tasty vegan salad dressing that goes well with broccoli and packs the salad with proteins.
More vegan salad recipes
I have other great recipes for healthy salad on the blog. Check them out!
Have you made this vegan broccoli and chickpea salad? Share a comment or review below!
Your friend Carine
Vegan Broccoli Salad
- 2 small heads Broccoli - feet, removed, florets cuts into tiny pieces, 4 cups
- ½ small Red Onion - finely diced
- ½ cup Cherry Tomatoes - cut in quarter
- ½ cup Pecans - or walnuts, finely chopped
- ¼ cup Sunflower Seeds
- ½ cup Dried Cranberries
Smoked paprika chickpeas
- Trim broccoli heads, remove feet and cut each floret into very tiny pieces. You should get 4 cups of small raw broccoli florets. Set aside into a large salad bowl.
- Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the drained, canned chickpea, and fry for 1 minute. Then, sprinkle spices: smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook the chickpeas over medium heat for about 2 minutes until fragrant. They won't get very crispy. Scroll up in the post for the oven-roasted method to make crunchy chickpeas. Remove the chickpeas from heat. Set aside in a bowl.
- In the same skillet, add sunflower seeds and finely chopped pecans. Stir and fry for 1 minute or just until fragrant.
- To assemble the salad, add the tiny broccoli pieces onto a large serving bowl, top with diced red onion, diced tomatoes, dried cranberries, toasted pecans/seeds, and crispy chickpeas.
- Serve with tahini lemon sauce.
Tahini lemon dressing
- Add all the dressing ingredients into a tall glass mason jar, close the lid, shake vigorously until combined. Store for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.