Broccoli Salad with Cranberries and Sunflower Seeds is a classic. This recipe for Honey-Mustard Broccoli Salad with homemade honey-mustard dressing tastes even better! It's a healthy mayo-free broccoli salad that's always popular!
Packed with fiber and nutrients, this honey-mustard broccoli salad is a healthy choice for a dinner side salad or satisfying lunch.
The sweet and tangy dressing is made with honey and Dijon mustard, which pairs perfectly with the crisp broccoli and sweet dried cranberries.
Toasted sunflower seeds add a delicious nutty flavor and satisfying crunch!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
While I used to make broccoli salad with mayonnaise, in the last few years I've switched to a variety of dressings.
I make this Broccoli Quinoa Salad with Sesame Miso Dressing and this Asian Broccoli Salad with Peanut Sauce regularly. In apple season, I love making this Broccoli Apple Salad with Maple-Balsamic Dressing.
Have you tried this Raw Carrot Salad with Honey-Dijon Dressing yet? So delicious--so nutritious!
This mayo-free Honey-Dijon Broccoli Salad with cranberries and sunflower seeds that I'm sharing with you today is my newest crush!
Everyone seems to love the sweet and salty contrast between dried cranberries and toasted, lightly salted sunflower seeds. Most importantly, I feel good serving a vegetarian salad made with such a nutritional powerhouse!
If you've followed my blog for a while, you'll know that I love honey-mustard sauce. I use it on chicken, salmon and veggies! For instance, you'll find it here on
- Honey-Dijon Turmeric Chicken Thighs
- Smoky Chipotle Honey-Mustard Glazed Chicken Thighs
- Chipotle Honey-Mustard Glazed Chicken Wings
- Honey-Dijon Glazed Salmon in Foil
- Roasted Carrots with Honey-Mustard Glaze
and now on this healthy honey-mustard broccoli salad!
🛒 Ingredients for mayo-free broccoli salad
Here's what you'll need.
- broccoli: for a side salad for 4 to 6 people, you'll need four cups of broccoli florets. One large crown (without the stem) weighs about 1 pound and will yield about 4 cups of florets.
- sunflower seeds: toasting and lightly salting sunflower seeds heightens their flavour considerably. You could substitute pumpkin seeds or flaked almonds instead.
- dried cranberries: for added sweetness and colour
- cheddar cheese: sharp (or your favourite cheese)
- green onions: use two, or substitute red onion (soak in a little water first to remove the strong flavour)
- hemp hearts: a tablespoon or two for garnish and extra protein
- honey-mustard dressing: extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar), Dijon mustard, honey, garlic and salt
- Start by combining the ingredients for the honey-Dijon dressing in a small jar with a lid. Give it a good shake to emulsify it. Set it aside to allow the flavours to blend.
- There's no need to blanch the broccoli for this recipe. The florets will become slightly softened, but will still be crisp-tender when combined with the dressing.
- Next, cut the broccoli in small bite-sized florets. Save the stems to grate for a slaw or another salad. If you chop the broccoli florets too finely, they may lose their crisp texture. Everyone loves a little crunch in their salad!
- Next, in a large mixing bowl, combine the florets with dried cranberries, toasted sunflower seeds, green onion, and cheddar cheese. The cheese adds lots of flavour and helps to bind the salad together.
- Toss with the honey-Dijon dressing and refrigerate until serving time.
- Finally, I like to sprinkle hemp hearts on top just before serving to add some crunch (and extra protein) to this healthy salad.
👍🏼 Helpful Tips
- Avoid pre-cut broccoli. Buy it on the stalk or broccoli crowns. It will be fresher than pre-cut broccoli and will have much more flavour.
- Cut it very small. If you cut it into small, bite-sized pieces, it will absorb more of the dressing.
- Make ahead! If you make it a day in advance or the night before, the honey-Dijon dressing has a chance to blend into the ingredients. You'll find the cranberries become even plumper, too!
- Save time! Buy toasted, salted sunflower seeds instead of making your own.
⏰ Make ahead!
You can make this healthy broccoli salad with cranberries ahead of time. It will last for 3-4 days in the fridge. It's a sturdy salad that will hold up well.
🍽 What to serve with broccoli salad
One of the best things about Broccoli Salad is that it makes a popular side dish at any time of the year. While it's a great choice for summer picnics and potlucks, fresh broccoli is available year-round. Don't limit this dish to summer meals.
You can make it a meal! Serve a bowl of broccoli salad with grilled meats or shrimp or your favourite plant-based meat substitute.
For instance, I recently had it as a side dish with Greek Lemon Chicken Kabobs.
Try it with Pistachio-Crusted Salmon, too.
Last night I had this healthy broccoli salad with Grilled Cajun Chicken Thighs with Zesty Quinoa!
Keep healthy and enjoy this nutritious honey-mustard broccoli salad one day this week! When you make this salad, please leave a comment and a rating! I love hearing what you've made. Thanks in advance!
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🗒 More healthy salad recipes
This post was first published in 2019. It has been updated with new information to make it more helpful!
Honey-Dijon Broccoli Salad with Cranberries
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup sunflower seeds, toasted in 1 teaspoon oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt or Kosher salt, to sprinkle on sunflower seeds
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 medium green onions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons hemp hearts, for garnish (optional)
- Begin by toasting the sunflower seeds in a skillet over medium heat. Heat 1 teaspoon oil, then add the sunflower seeds. Stir frequently and watch carefully as they burn easily. Remove from heat when they are lightly browned, then sprinkle with ½ teaspoon fine sea salt.
- Next, combine honey-mustard dressing ingredients in a small jar. Shake to emulsify.
- Chop broccoli into small bite-sized florets, saving the broccoli stems to add to a slaw or for another salad.
- In a large bowl, combine broccoli florets with cranberries, toasted sunflower seeds, finely chopped green onion, and grated cheddar cheese. Toss with honey-mustard dressing and refrigerate until serving time.
- Finally, sprinkle with hemp hearts just before serving.