Better Broccoli Salad [Paleo, Egg-Free, Sugar-Free]

broccoli salad paleo egg free sugar free

Are you familiar with that broccoli salad you find at so many pot luck dinners? It’s sweet and tangy and rich and crunchy and everything you could ever want in a broccoli salad. Plus, there’s bacon, which means I might call it lunch.

But when I finally got my hands on the recipe it called for gobs of soy oil mayo and tons of sugar. I’m not anti-sweetener, but it seems like a crime against humanity to do that to broccoli… and bacon.

So, I came up with something different… something, I think, better. It’s sweet and tangy and rich and crunchy, but it’s also made more simply, with ingredients that won’t necessarily offend the delicate sensibility of that green vegetable called broccoli.

And there’s still bacon, but you could call that optional.

broccoli salad paleo egg free sugar free

This recipe is best when made at least 30 minutes ahead of time, but keeps well if you’d like more lead time. The most important part of this recipe, in my opinion, is chopping the broccoli. If it’s too big, then eating it is a workout. If it’s too small, you’ve basically got broccoli slaw. Somewhere in between is where perfection lies.

broccoli salad paleo egg free sugar free

The Players

The How-To

  1. Prepare bacon, if using.
  2. Remove the largest part of the broccoli stem and compost or throw to your chickens. Cut the remaining broccoli – florets and small stems – into very small pieces and add to a medium bowl. Dice onion and add to broccoli along with roughly chopped almonds.
  3. In a pint-sized jar combine raw honey, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil. Cover tightly, shake, and pour over salad ingredients. Toss well, sprinkle with sea salt to taste, and allow to marinate in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. This may also keep in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Double recipe if bringing to your next potluck!

For recipes and practical instructions for eating this way (dairy-free and grain-free), I highly recommend the PaleoGrubs Cookbook.

It’s the simplest way to get started, and it includes every kind of recipe you’ll ever need (more than 470 of them!).

(Click here to check out the PaleoGrubs Cookbook.)



  1. Karen says

    I don’t do well with raw broccoli but…I pinned this to keep to play with sometime in the future. In looking at the ingredients, I think it would do just as well with steamed broccoli and onion….and be easier on my tummy.

  2. says

    Broccoli makes everything better! Even though bacon is optional, I am going to have some with the dish, hard to stay clear of bacon.

  3. Elaine says

    Sounds great, but don’t waste those broccoli stalks! Peel the stringy skin off and the inside is crisp and easy to chew. Just chop it up and add to the salad!

    • Ellen Tresidder says

      I’m with you Elaine! I always trim the tough part from the outside of the stalk and use the yummy inside. Just as good as the tops of the broccoli. :-)

  4. Jeanie says

    We are Jewish, so we don’t eat pork, but we do love the flavor of bacon and wanted a healthy alternative. Turkey bacon doesn’t cut it, even if it’s ‘healthy’ turkey. I found beef bacon on U.S. Wellness’ website and it is awesome! It is grass-fed and delicious. Just wanted to share the awesomeness! :)

  5. Elaine says

    recently found a NEW mayo called Just Mayo from a small start-up company in San Francisco. Egg free, dairy free, sugar free, made with non-GMO expeller pressed canola. I’m a new convert after 50 yrs of BestFoods, love it! It’s plant based…. try it if you can find it. Colorado carries it in Costco and Whole Foods.

  6. Amy says

    I make mayo with sunflower oil/Olive oil and egg with salt and powdered mustard. Super easy. Delish. And a good alt to store junk for those who must have this salad with mayo. Sunflower oil has a better omega 6:3 balance than most oils so I don’t mind using it as a condiment

  7. Brittany says

    I usually just use homemade mayo in my broccoli salad recipe (which is otherwise very similar). However, this sounds like an easier alternative on the nights when the homemade mayo isn’t already made. Thanks! :)

  8. Zoë says

    I, too, think it might be better to at least lightly cook the broccoli – both for easier digestion and to neutralize of some of the goitrogenic compounds. Delicious salad!

    • says

      I’ve done it both ways, Zoe. I prefer the crunch of raw broccoli, but I agree that if people have a hard time digesting it a light steaming followed by refrigeration can do a lot to make it easier to digest.

  9. InalienableWrights says

    Just FYI…..
    Even nitrate free bacon creates carcinogens because of the highly heated oil. Anything fried in oil can do this.

    This is the reason for the high cancer rates in the South where they fry everything.

    • says

      That’s only true if the fat or oil reaches its smoke point. So, just be sure to cook at medium heats and low enough temperatures that you’re not oxidizing the fat (and producing smoke).

    • Zoë says

      And they’re frying everything in industrialized vegetable oils in the south! In the old days when the recipes were developed they used lard and tallow and were healthier for it.

  10. Linda Torgrimson via Facebook says

    Hain makes a mayonnaise with safflower oil. They are the only one I’ve been able to find. Be sure to read the label, though, because once at Grocery Outlet I found both the safflower and one made with canola oil. I had never seen it before or since. But the safflower one has been sold for years.

  11. Tom Gibson says

    Mayonnaise is incredibly easy to make and can be very healthy too since you control whose eggs and oil to use. There are many recipes that you can find online to guide you to how to flavor it but the possibilities are rich and numerous. You just need egg yolk, oil and an acid. Most food processors have a built in drip hole that makes it easy to slowly drizzle oil into the egg/acid combination, about 1/2 cup of oil for each large egg yolk. It is done when you hear it start to slap inside the mixing bowl. You can make mayonnaise in about five minutes if you can throw your food processor mixing bowl in the dish washer. Home made mayonnaise won’t last as long in the fridge as store bought but you can make it in small batches.

    • Ellen Tresidder says

      Tom, Kristin of this site has a post all about making healthy homemade mayonnaise. You’re preaching to the choir here 😉

  12. Danielle says

    I love that your recipe includes instruction to compost or feed the chickens with the unused broccoli portion. So often things like that don’t even occur to people, it was lovely that you pointed it out.Here’s hoping that innocent comment changed someone’s perspective on trash forever.

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