Vegetarian Broccoli Salad with Cranberries and Sunflower Seeds

This tasty Vegetarian Broccoli Salad features cranberries, carrots, cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds, and a tasty lightened-up homemade dressing.

Broccoli Salad with Cranberries and Sunflower Seeds

If you read this blog regularly and follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been a few crayons short of the box lately.

My 64-pack is missing at least 6 crayons and I’m fairly certain the chickpea ate one of them.

When texting my thumbs, have a mind of their own.

If I dare attempt to type “of” it almost always comes out as “if” and “out” ends up “put” while “nut butter” is perpetually autocorrected to “butt butter” for some strange reason.

Clumsy thumbs + tired momma + autocorrect = cheap entertainment. Especially on nights where an adult beverage is involved.

Or three.

While it’s been ages since I’ve poured coffee in the cat’s water bowl or watered my plants sans pants, I’m still a hot mess most of the time.

So for past offenses and in preparation of what’s to come, thanks for sticking with me!

Especially when I do things like bulk-buy broccoli and then put it in every flipping recipe I post.

In my defense, it’s delicious!

Classic Broccoli Salad

Vegetarian Broccoli Salad

Broccoli salads are known for their awesome texture and refreshing combo of savory sweetness and I’m completely bonkers for them!

Traditionally the dressing they’re tossed in is loaded with sugar.

To lighten things up, I nixed the half cup of sugar (yikes!) most recipes call for and used a combination of greek yogurt and honey to lighten things up and give the dressing an amazing punch of flavor.

The light and tangy swaps really let the veggies in this dish shine. Since the dried cranberries are sweet enough as it is, there’s no need for that bucket-o-sugar here!

Here’s my tasty twist on this Southern staple:

Classic Broccoli Salad
5 from 1 vote

Vegetarian Broccoli Salad

This tasty Vegetarian Broccoli Salad features cranberries, carrots, cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds, and a tasty lightened-up homemade dressing.

Course Salad
Cuisine Amerian
Keyword Classic Broccoli Salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 393 kcal
Author Jenn Laughlin – Peas and Crayons


  • 4-5 cups chopped broccoli
  • cup shredded carrots
  • cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion (divided)
  • ¼ cup roasted sunflower seeds
  • 2-4 oz cheese, cubed (cheddar/colby/mozzarella)
  • ½ cup quality mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper


  • sliced almonds
  • vegan bacon bits
  • cauliflower
  • red onion
  • raisins
  • grapes
  • and anything else you can dream up!


  1. In a large salad bowl, make your dressing by whisking together mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, and half the green onion. Set aside.

  2. Wash and dry your broccoli and pat dry with a paper towel. Chop into bite-sized pieces and combine with carrots and cheddar in your dressing bowl.

  3. Fold ingredients together to coat the veggies, cover, and chill for 30-60 minutes before serving.

  4. Before serving mix in cranberries and sunflower seeds and top with remaining green onion. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Chilling for an hour helps develop the flavors in this crunchy broccoli salad. If you’re pressed for time, feel free to dig in sooner. I’m not known for my patience and always snag a little to munch on right away while chilling the rest. Hope y’all love this lightened up broccoli salad as much as we do!

If you go overboard with the mix-ins and extra ingredients (because, yum!) and the dressing can’t cover your creation don’t fret! Just whip up a little extra and add as needed. Easy peasy!

Nutrition Facts below are estimated using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Vegetarian Broccoli Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 393 Calories from Fat 279
% Daily Value*
Fat 31g48%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 27mg9%
Sodium 457mg20%
Potassium 407mg12%
Carbohydrates 23g8%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 2571IU51%
Vitamin C 83mg101%
Calcium 176mg18%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Vegetarian Broccoli Salad
Classic Broccoli Salad with cranberries, carrots, and tasty lightened-up homemade dressing.

Tell me more about this tasty salad!

We’re totally loving this crunchy cruciferous salad!

Broccoli just may be one of my favorite vegetables on the planet. Even as a kid, I was absolutely smitten with it! Granted it was almost always paired with creamy ranch dressing, a blanket of cheddar, or in broccoli cheese soup form. These days I’ll eat it every which way! I’m particularly fond of scarfing it roasted and tossed into salads, crunchy and raw!

This savory sweet salad is no exception, and I’m completely nuts over it!

Speaking of nuts, feel free to swap the sunflower seeds for sliced almonds or get positively nutty and use both!

I usually add whichever I have on hand in my pantry at the moment. The combination of nutty sunflower seeds, sweet and chewy cranberries, and crunchy veggies is absolutely divine here – I can’t wait for you to try it!

Serving this sassy salad at a picnic, party, or potluck?

Awesome! The recipe is easily doubled or tripled to feed a crowd. If you go as far as to quadruple it then you have to invite me over. It’s a rule! ?

If you get a chance to try this classic broccoli salad, let me know!

bonkers for broccoli? try these!

If you get a chance to try this vegetarian broccoli salad recipe, let me know!

Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

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Recipe Rating


  • As someone who doesn’t typically consider herself a big vegetable gal, I LOVE a good broccoli salad! This looks so darn tasty, and is the perfect bbq side. Definitely need to try!

    • Thanks Karly! I hope you get a chance to try it 🙂

  • Carole

    5 stars
    made this salad but left off the dressing. Did it as a side so the veggies will last. Put dressing on as needed.
    I do have tummy issues and was able to eat this up!!! Added Chicken to it one day, and corn.

    Really good !!!!

    • So super glad you enjoyed it Carole, thank you!!! Loved the extras you added in too – delicious!

  • This looks so delicious! Will definitely be trying soon.

    • Yay!!! Thanks Emily – hope you adore it!

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