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Macro Friendly Lightened Up Broccoli Salad

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bowl of lightened up broccoli salad

Recipes, Side Dish

Brace yourself for our lightened-up broccoli salad, where the hero of the show is none other than the creamy, dreamy Greek yogurt. With a burst of flavors, crunchy textures, and a tangy twist, this salad is a delightful way to indulge without any guilt.

Now, let's talk about Greek yogurt – a true game-changer in the kitchen. This versatile ingredient is not only packed with protein and gut-friendly probiotics but also adds a creamy, velvety goodness to any dish it graces. In our lightened-up broccoli salad, we cut back on the usual heavy mayo and welcome the Greek yogurt to the party. It not only lightens up the dressing but also infuses it with a zesty tang that will have your taste buds doing a happy dance.

Get ready to be blown away by the explosion of colors and textures in this salad. We've got crisp, vibrant broccoli florets, punchy red onions, and a delightful crunch from sunflower seeds. To balance out the flavors, we've tossed in some sweet dried cranberries that add a pop of juiciness. And let's not forget that incredible Greek yogurt dressing that ties it all together like a flavor-packed symphony.

So, whether you're looking for a satisfying side dish, a refreshing lunch, or a potluck star, this lightened-up broccoli salad is here to steal the show!


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3 Reasons Why You Will Love This Recipe

  1. Healthier Twist with Creamy Greek Yogurt: This recipe offers a healthier twist to the classic broccoli salad by swapping out the heavy mayo dressing with creamy Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt not only adds a luxurious creaminess but also brings in a tangy flavor profile. With its high protein and probiotic content, Greek yogurt boosts the nutritional value of the salad, making it a guilt-free indulgence that you can enjoy without compromising on taste.
  2. Burst of Vibrant Flavors and Textures: The crisp broccoli florets, zesty red onions, chewy dried cranberries, and crunchy sunflower seeds come together in perfect harmony. Each bite offers a delightful combination of sweet, tangy, and savory elements that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving more. The diverse textures add an enjoyable crunch, creating a well-rounded salad experience.
  3. Versatility and Customization: This recipe provides a solid foundation for a delicious broccoli salad, but it also allows for customization based on personal preferences and ingredient availability. You can sprinkle some crumbled feta cheese for an extra tangy kick or add chopped nuts for a delightful crunch. The flexibility to tailor the salad to your liking ensures that you can create a unique and personalized dish that suits your taste buds perfectly.

If you love this recipe, be sure to check out our macro-friendly greek yorgurt egg salad recipe!

Swaps or Alternatives

Here are some swap to try if you have any special dietary needs: 

  • Dairy-Free or Vegan Option: If you follow a dairy-free or vegan diet, you can easily replace the Greek yogurt with a non-dairy yogurt alternative such as almond milk yogurt or coconut milk yogurt. Ensure that the substitute has a creamy texture and tangy flavor similar to Greek yogurt.
  • Mayo-Free Option: For those who prefer to avoid mayonnaise altogether, you can skip it entirely in the dressing. Instead, increase the amount of Greek yogurt to achieve the desired creamy consistency. 
  • Nut-Free Variation: If you have a nut allergy or simply don't enjoy the crunch of sunflower seeds, you can substitute them with pumpkin seeds or toasted sesame seeds. These alternatives will still add a pleasant texture and depth of flavor to the salad.
  • Additional Vegetables: Feel free to get creative and add other vegetables to the salad to suit your taste. Finely diced bell peppers, grated carrots, or cherry tomatoes can bring extra color and texture to the dish.
  • Gluten-Free Variation: Ensure that all the ingredients used, including the dried cranberries and any optional additions, are certified gluten-free if you need to adhere to a gluten-free diet.

Quick Tip(s)

Here are 3 quick tips to help make sure this recipe is a success:

  • Make Ahead for Enhanced Flavor: For even better flavor development, consider making the salad ahead of time and allowing it to chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. This will allow the flavors to meld together and result in a more cohesive and delicious salad when you're ready to serve.
  • Adjust the Dressing Consistency: The dressing's consistency can be easily adjusted based on personal preference. If you prefer a thicker dressing, add more Greek yogurt. For a thinner dressing, you can mix in a small amount of water or milk. Gradually adjust and whisk until you achieve your desired consistency. Remember, the dressing will slightly thicken as it chills in the refrigerator.

FAQ’s

Here are some FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) about Lightened Up Broccoli Salad:

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

Absolutely! In fact, making this salad ahead of time allows the flavors to meld together and enhances the overall taste. You can prepare the salad, including the dressing, and store it covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Give it a gentle toss before serving to ensure all the ingredients are well coated and enjoy the convenience of having a ready-to-go dish for your meals or gatherings.

Can I use frozen broccoli instead of fresh?

While fresh broccoli is recommended for optimal texture and flavor, you can use frozen broccoli as a substitute if fresh is not available. Thaw the frozen broccoli according to the package instructions, then drain any excess moisture before using it in the salad. Keep in mind that frozen broccoli may have a softer texture compared to fresh, but it will still work well in this recipe.

How long will the leftovers last?

If stored properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the leftovers of this broccoli salad can last for up to 2-3 days. However, keep in mind that the broccoli may become slightly softer as it sits in the dressing. Give it a quick toss before serving any leftovers to redistribute the flavors and textures.

Can I substitute other vegetables in this recipe?

Absolutely! While this recipe focuses on broccoli, you can get creative and incorporate other vegetables according to your preference. Finely diced bell peppers, grated carrots, or cherry tomatoes would be excellent additions. Just keep in mind that the dressing should complement the flavors of the vegetables you choose, so you may want to adjust the seasoning accordingly.

Can I freeze this salad?

It is not recommended to freeze this salad, as the texture and flavors may change significantly upon thawing. The Greek yogurt-based dressing may separate and become watery, while the broccoli can become mushy. It's best to enjoy this salad fresh or store any leftovers in the refrigerator for a few days.

bowl of lightened up broccoli salad

Macro Friendly Lightened Up Broccoli Salad

Tami Smith
This vibrant dish combines crisp broccoli florets, zesty red onions, sweet dried cranberries, and crunchy sunflower seeds, all tossed in a creamy Greek yogurt dressing. It's a refreshing and nutritious salad that will leave your taste buds craving more!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 131 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Cutting Board
  • 1 Knife
  • 1 Large mixing bowl
  • 1 whisk
  • 1 large spoon

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large broccoli head, cut into florets
  • cup red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup unsweetened dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup bacon bits
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup light mayo
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Prep the broccoli: Start by washing the broccoli heads thoroughly under cold water. Trim off any tough stems and separate the broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces. Place them in a large mixing bowl.
  • Chop the red onion: Finely chop the red onion into small pieces. Add them to the bowl with the broccoli florets.
  • Add the dried cranberries, bacon bits, and sunflower seeds: Toss in the dried cranberries, bacon bits, and sunflower seeds into the bowl with the broccoli and red onion.
  • Prepare the Dressing: In a separate bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt and mayonnaise until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Dress the Salad: Pour the creamy Greek yogurt dressing over the broccoli mixture in the large bowl. Use a large spoon to gently toss and coat all the ingredients evenly with the dressing.
  • Chill and Serve: Transfer the salad to a covered container. Place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together. When ready to serve, give it a final toss and dish out the refreshing and vibrant lightened-up broccoli salad.

Notes

Feel free to customize this salad by adding your favorite toppings such as crumbled feta cheese or chopped nuts for added flavor and texture.
Nutrition information may vary depending on brands and ingredients used.

Nutrition

Calories: 131kcalCarbohydrates: 8.3gProtein: 7gFat: 8.1g
Keyword macro friendly
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