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The Best Vegan Broccoli, Bacon, and Cranberry Salad

Overhead of broccoli salad with vegan bacon bits, cranberries, and dressing.

Forks up and prepare for rave reviews with the best vegan broccoli, bacon, and cranberry, salad with creamy sweet dressing, and red onions ever.

Ingredients

Units Scale

Dressing

  • 3/4 cup of raw cashews, soaked
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 - 1/2 water

Salad

  • 2 small broccoli crowns
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup hemp seed bacon bits (or other vegan bacon bits)

Instructions

  1. Prep the cashews. Add the cashews to a small bowl and cover them with boiling water. Soak the cashews for about 15 minutes. Drain them before making the dressing.
  2. Make the bacon bits. Follow the instructions for hemp seed bacon bits if you are using them.
  3. Prep the salad ingredients. Cut the broccoli into small florets and then dice the stems. Cut the ends from the stalks and peel them. Dice the stalks into cubes to be used in the salad. Dice the red onion. And place the ingredients into a large bowl.
  4. Blend the dressing. Place all the dressing ingredients (except the water) into a blender or food processor. Blend the ingredients for about 30 seconds on low, then add ¼ of a cup of water. Gradually increase the blender speed, and continue adding water, a little at a time, until you have a 'pourable' consistency.
  5. Finish the salad. Add the cranberries and vegan bacon bits to the salad bowl with broccoli and onions. Mix the ingredients and then add the salad dressing. Mix well, taste, and add salt and/or black pepper if desired. 

Notes

  • There is no need to cook broccoli before using it in the salad. Cut it into small florets, and it will be nice and crunchy. If you want to cook it, steam it for no more than 2 minutes. Immediately remove it from the heat and place it in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain it promptly, and be sure you get it as dry as possible before mixing it with the rest of the salad ingredients.
  • You can make the entire salad or the bacon bits and dressing a day ahead. If the salad needs to be refreshed after sitting, add a few drops of lemon juice to loosen it up.
  • This salad will last for two days in the refrigerator. Sorry, we’ve never kept it longer than that to test.

Keywords: vegan broccoli bacon and cranberry salad, vegan bacon bits, hemp seeds, broccoli salad, plant-based broccoli salad

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