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Lightened Up Broccoli Salad

broccoli salad

broccoli salad

Broccoli is on pretty much every superfood list you see, so broccoli salad sounds like a healthy thing, right?  Well, the one I have eaten most frequently has quite a bit of mayonnaise, sugar, and bacon in it, and I am pretty sure those ingredients counteract a lot of the good broccoli does, so I decided to try to make it healthier.  This salad tastes at least as good as the others I have eaten, and is so much better for you!

In my recipe, I used fat free Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, low fat cheese, and smoked almonds instead of the regular almonds and bacon to lower the fat.  Yes, I do know that smoked almonds are not as good for you as plain and especially raw, but next to bacon, they win out, and they give you a slightly smokey flavor, so you won’t miss the bacon.  To lower the sugar content, I used balsamic vinegar instead of the wine vinegar because it is slightly sweet and added a little honey – not nearly as much as the sugar found in most similar recipes.   These changes also make it great for my vegetarian son because not only has the bacon been removed, but the Greek yogurt adds protein.

The proportions are quite different, because I made this recipe to my taste, but these are the recipes I looked at to get an idea of where the flavors came from in the recipes I had eaten before as it was not a recipe I already make:  Ocean Spray and All Recipes.

Lighter Broccoli Salad

Lighter Broccoli Salad


  • 2 head broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces (about 8 to 10 cups)
  • 2/3 cup smoked almonds, chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup shredded low fat cheddar cheese
  • 12 oz. fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsps. honey
  • 2 tsps. onion powder
  • 2 tsps. sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Toss together broccoli, almonds, cranberries, and cheese.
  2. Whisk together yogurt, vinegar, honey, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour over broccoli and stir to evenly distribute.
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From Calculus to Cupcakes

I am a Calculus teacher who just happens to love to cook and blog about it.

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  1. dr val b says:

    Cant wait to try the lighter version of my fav salad.

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