Salad Bowl Recipes

No-Cook Creamy Broccoli Bliss Salad

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Get ready for a much-anticipated recipe, highly requested from our community here at ThatSaladLady.com. It’s our wholesome Creamy Broccoli Bliss Salad! Whether you’re a salad enthusiast or new to the greens scene, you’re in for a real treat. Our version not only outshines store-bought options in taste and nutrition but also takes just 15 minutes to make.

We’ll talk about all the different layers of the salad in a bit. But for now, imagine crisp broccoli florets mixed with a variety of vibrant colors and rich flavors. This creates a masterpiece that satisfies your taste buds and nourishes your well-being. The best part is you don’t need to cook anything. In the time it takes to check your social media feed, you could have this delicious salad in your bowl.

Wait a moment because here’s the exciting part: the dressing. Our rich and creamy homemade dressing takes the flavor of this salad to a whole new level. It’s much better for you than store-bought dressings. Say goodbye to mysterious ingredients and hello to a dressing that’s just as good for you as the vegetables it goes on.

Loaded with all the essential goodness your body craves, our Creamy Broccoli Bliss Salad is the ultimate guilt-free indulgence. So, grab your mixing bowl, your curiosity about cooking, and get ready to make a dish that everyone will want seconds of!

THE BALANCING ACT

At That Salad Lady, we believe that building a salad is more than just throwing random ingredients in a bowl. It’s about balancing good flavors, textures and quality nutrients. When you take a bite of our Creamy Broccoli Bliss Salad, you’ll experience this idea. But before we get into the details, let’s appreciate some of the special things that make this salad irresistible.

Unlike traditional broccoli salads made with mayonnaise, ours is different. There’s no mayonnaise here, not because of its fat content, but because we chose something else that’s both flavorful and chock-full of good nutrition. We use Greek-style yogurt instead. It’s creamy like mayo but has better fats and protein. This change isn’t just about creaminess – it’s about making the salad even better for you.

Along with the yogurt, we’ve added other good things. There’s the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants packed in red cabbage, and the natural benefits for your skin, hair and nails that come with carrots owing to all the beta-carotene they contain. Also, chickpeas join the mix, giving you lots of plant-based protein and fiber that keeps you full and helps your digestion.

We can’t wait for you to try all of this goodness yourself. So, without waiting any longer, let’s zoom in on each building block that creates our satisfying and nutritious Creamy Broccoli Bliss Salad.

The Nutrient-Packed Star of the Bowl

First up, there’s broccoli – the unsung hero of our Broccoli Bliss Salad. This simple green vegetable does more than just give good crunch. Packed with essential nutrients like fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants, broccoli delivers a nourishing punch that’s hard to beat. While its fiber content alone supports healthy digestion, the vitamin C it contains is not only great for your immune system but also plays a role in promoting healthy skin.

But there’s more to broccoli. As a cruciferous vegetable, broccoli is packed with specialized compounds called glucosinolates. When digested, these compounds exert antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that contribute to various aspects of wellness. Be sure to check out our Nutrition Glossary for more insight into the wonders of broccoli and other cruciferous veggies.

Broccoli’s Disease-Fighting Cousin

Now, let’s shine the spotlight on red cabbage (sometimes called purple cabbage) – another vital layer of our Broccoli Bliss Salad whose vibrant color is a visual reminder of the many nutrients it holds within. Compared to its green counterpart, red cabbage boasts a much higher concentration of antioxidants. In fact, it’s dark purple-reddish color is due to the presence of potent antioxidants called anthocyanins that have been linked to promoting heart health and reducing inflammation.

As a cruciferous companion to broccoli, red cabbage is also packed with lots of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and contains a hefty dose of those good-for-you glucosinolates as well. So, as you enjoy the satisfying crunch and flavor of red cabbage, know that each bite is a step towards nourishing your well-being.

A Vibrant Duo to Complete the Veggie Layers

Next, let’s look at the last veggies in our Broccoli Bliss Salad: carrots and red onion. Each brings their own set of nutritional benefits to the bowl. Carrots, for instance, are packed with antioxidants including beta-carotene, which is great for your skin, eyes and immune system. It is beta-carotene that gives carrots their vibrant orange hue. In addition to all the nutrients housed in carrots, their natural sweetness perfectly complements all the other layers in the bowl.

Then there’s the red onion with its distinctly sharp and tangy flavor. It’s not just about flavor either. Red onion delivers a hefty dose of quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that supports heart health and fights inflammation too. Even though they’re not the main layers, both carrots and red onion contribute to the bowl’s goodness and overall nutrition.

The Protein Power in the Bowl

Now, let’s shift gears a bit and talk about chickpeas – the key source of protein in our Creamy Broccoli Bliss Salad. Also known as garbanzo beans, these tiny legumes bring robust plant-based protein to the bowl, making them a vital component that elevates both texture and nutrition. Chickpeas also house lots of fiber and healthy fats that promote healthy digestion and provide a satisfying feeling of fullness.

After gazing at the ingredient’s list, you might discover a surprising twist – we suggest using canned chickpeas for this bowl. That’s why it’s a “no-cook” dish. While making chickpeas from scratch is an option, using canned ones is just as good in terms of nutrition, except for some extra salt. If you choose canned chickpeas, go for low-sodium or sodium-free chickpea varieties – organic too, if you can spring for it. Also be sure to drain and rinse the chickpeas well to reduce their salt content.

Whether you go with canned or dried chickpeas, they mix perfectly with the creamy parts of the salad. Each forkful gives you not only great flavors but also plenty of plant-based protein, beneficial fats and fiber. 

Sweet and Savory Accents

Then there’s our sweet and savory trio, which adds little bursts of taste and nutritional richness: sunflower seeds, dried cherries and an optional layer of bacon bits. Sunflower seeds are nutty by nature and full of healthy fats and protein. Plus, they add plenty of good crunch and a savory flavor that makes the salad more interesting. Dried cherries are sweet and a bit tart and come with a nice burst of vitamins and antioxidants that make the salad even tastier, and healthier too.

As for the bacon bits, they add a smoky flavor that makes the salad really special. While the salad is easy to make without cooking, adding bacon makes the bowl much more indulgent. If you want bacon in your salad, you can find our recipe for homemade bacon bits in the recipe card below. It’s all about building your bowl, your way.

The Special Dressing

Finally, there’s our oh so creamy dressing. As we mentioned earlier, instead of the regular mayo that typically binds traditional broccoli salads, our dressing is based with Greek-style yogurt, which houses lots of quality protein and probiotics that support healthy digestion. If you use full-fat yogurt without added flavors, it’s just as creamy and nutritious as mayo.

For a bit of sweetness, our dressing includes 100% pure honey. It’s a natural sweetener that also helps control appetite. Adding extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), apple cider vinegar and a little mustard to the mix makes for a dressing that’s even more nutritionally balanced and tasty. We suggest using raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard for the best tang and the most nutrients. And, with its fruity, peppery notes, EVOO brings plenty of good quality fat.

GET YOUR CHOP ON

With the exception of the optional layer of homemade bacon bits, no cooking is required for our Creamy Broccoli Bliss Salad. Therefore, the bulk of the work is in the chopping. As always, using a high-quality chef’s knife will make the process a whole lot easier. Our recipe calls for first chopping the broccoli into florets and then shredding the cabbage. From there, you’ll simply julienne the carrots and onions.

Julienning essentially means cutting them into thin strips using either a grater or a knife. Now, you can eliminate an extra step, by using the matchstick carrots sold prepackaged at your local grocery store. You can also use pre-cut broccoli florets. However, these pre-packaged varieties do come at a higher price point and have a much shorter shelf life so be sure to use any excess in a timely fashion to avoid unnecessary waste.

Once you’ve chopped up all the ingredients, simply transfer them to a large salad bowl and let the mixture chill in the fridge while you gather the remaining layers and prepare the dressing.

START MIXING

To make the dressing, all you’ll need to do is mix the ingredients to your desired consistency (see recipe card). It’s that simple. If you have a blender or a food processor, start by adding everything to your pitcher or work bowl. With variable speed units, start with a low speed. From there, you can gradually increase it to a higher speed until the mixture is nice and smooth.

If you don’t have a blender or a food processor, no sweat! Simply combine and whisk all your ingredients together in a bowl.

BUILD YOUR SALAD BOWL

When you’re ready to build the salad, combine the drained and rinsed chickpeas with the chilled vegetables and then stir everything together for a nice, even distribution of colors. From there, use a spoon to scoop out the dressing, adding it to taste and stirring the mix occasionally to ensure that it’s evenly distributed throughout the whole salad. Finally, add the sunflower seeds, dried cherries and bacon bits (if using) to the bowl and continue to mix everything well.

Once everything is well blended, give the salad a taste and adjust as needed. In this case you might add a little salt, pepper or more dressing. Whatever suits your taste. We recommend letting the Creamy Broccoli Bliss Salad chill in the fridge for at least 20-30 minutes before eating or serving it.

All put together, the actual blend is large enough for 6-8 generous-sized servings. You can use it to round out a meal as a side dish or make it a full meal deal by adding even more protein (see “finishing touches” below). In an airtight sealed container, leftovers will keep fresh in the fridge for about three days. 

Add Your Finishing Touches

To boost the protein content and overall filling effect of the bowl, experiment with other proteins like cooked shrimp or salmon, canned tuna or chicken, cooked quinoa, roasted extra-firm tofu or even your favorite nuts. Visit our Nutrition Glossary for more ideas, as it’s all about making YOU confident in building YOUR bowl.

SHOW US YOUR BOWL

That Salad Lady wants to see your bowl! If you like it, which we are sure you will, drop a comment below and tag pics on Instagram (@that.salad.lady) and TikTok (@thatsaladlady). Add the hashtags #thatsaladlady and #buildyourbowl too. If you really love it, pin it on Pinterest and share it on Facebook and Twitter using #thatsaladlady.

No-Cook Creamy Broccoli Bliss Salad

5 from 4 votes
Recipe by That Salad Lady Course: Appetizers, MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

8

servings
Prep Time*

15

minutes
Calories

350

kcal
Total Time

15

minutes

Our “Creamy Broccoli Bliss Salad” is a quick and easy, guilt-free indulgence that outshines store-bought options in taste and nutrition.

Ingredients

  • Base Salad Blend
  • 2 heads broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces (florets only, about 4 cups)

  • 1/4 head red cabbage, shredded or finely chopped

  • 2-3 carrots, shredded or julienned (about 1 cup)

  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced or julienned

  • 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed**

  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries (dried cranberries work too)

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

  • 4 strips bacon, pan-fried or oven-baked, sliced and chopped into tiny bits (see recipe, optional)***

  • Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

  • Creamy Yogurt Dressing
  • 1 cup plain full-fat (4-5% fat) strained (Greek-style) yogurt (2% fat yogurt works too)****

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, raw, unfiltered

  • 2 tablespoons honey, pure, raw and unfiltered

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste

Directions

  • Add all the vegetables to a large bowl, cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap, and let everything chill in the fridge while you prepare the dressing.
  • Mix the dressing by adding all the ingredients to a blender or food processor. With variable speed units, start with a low speed and then gradually increase it to a higher speed until the mixture is perfectly smooth. If you don’t have a blender or a food processor, simply combine and whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl until everything’s well-mixed.
  • Combine the chickpeas with the chilled vegetables and then stir everything together for a nice, even distribution of colors.
  • Use a spoon to scoop out the dressing, adding it to taste and stirring the mix occasionally to ensure that it’s evenly distributed throughout the whole salad.
  • Add the sunflower seeds, dried cherries and bacon bits (if using) to the bowl and continue to mix everything well.
  • Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and allow the slaw to chill for at least 20-30 minutes before eating or serving it
  • Enjoy as a side dish, on a sandwich or make it a full meal deal by adding more protein.*****

Notes

  • *Total prep time does not include the time it takes to prepare the optional bacon bits.
  • **We suggest using canned chickpeas. Aside from the sodium used in canning, there are no major nutritional differences between canned and dried varieties. We suggest using a brand that’s low in sodium or free of added sodium to reduce the overall amount.
  • ***Feel free to use whatever type of bacon you prefer, whether pork, turkey or even meatless bacon.
  • ****We suggest using full-fat yogurt as it’ll bring the “mayonnaisy” texture and flavor that’s characteristic of traditional broccoli salads.
  • *****To boost the protein content and overall filling effect of the bowl, experiment with other proteins like cooked shrimp or salmon, canned tuna or chicken, cooked quinoa, roasted extra-firm tofu or even your favorite nuts.
  • Transfer any leftover salad to an airtight sealed container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

This information is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate. Please review our full disclaimer to get a clear understanding of the nutrition and health information and resources presented and written on our website.

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