Chickpea Apple Broccoli Salad with Honey Dijon Dressing

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I remember absolutely despising broccoli salad when I was growing up; every time it appeared on a party table or at a potluck it involved a lot of weird textures and a mayo-drenched salad. Yet ever since I created my tahini curry broccoli salad there’s nothing I love more than REALLY, REALLY GOOD crunchy salad that doesn’t involve lettuce.

Today I’m back to reinvent the classic broccoli salad and get the party table a little bit healthier with my fall-inspired apple broccoli salad: it’s packed with chickpeas, crunchy sweet Honeycrisp apples (or whatever apples you’d like), dried cherries, pecans for some crunch and fresh herbs.

The honey dijon dressing involved brings it all together and damnnnnnn it is GOOD. No, there’s no mayonnaise or even greek yogurt involved.

The best part of this salad is that it’s no cook and only takes about 20 minutes to whip up. Chop all your veggies and throw everything in a big bowl, toss with the dressing and you’re good to go!

apple broccoli salad on a plate with a fork

Everything you’ll need to make this healthy broccoli apple salad

This beautiful dairy free broccoli apple salad recipe is loaded with crunchy veggies for plenty of fiber, protein from chickpeas, and a sweet & tangy honey dijon dressing. Here’s everything you’ll need to make it:

  • Produce: we’re packing this salad with broccoli, carrots, green onion, and juicy Honeycrisp apples.
  • Chickpeas: this apple broccoli salad gets plenty of protein from chickpeas!
  • Mix-ins: you’ll also mix in sweet dried cherries, crunchy pecans, and fresh parsley.
  • For the dressing: give this salad delicious flavor with a tangy dressing made from olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper. You could also use lemon juice in place of the apple cider vinegar if you’d like.

Do I need to cook the broccoli?

Nope! This salad uses fresh, raw broccoli, which I think is perfect as is. If you’re sensitive to raw veggies like broccoli you can feel free to give it a quick blanch to make it a little bit easier to digest.

apple broccoli salad on two plates with a fork next to an apple

Customize your apple broccoli salad

Looking to mix it up a bit? Here’s what I can recommend in terms of ingredient swaps:

  • Go vegan. Simply swap the honey in the dressing for maple syrup.
  • Choose your protein. If you’re not eating plant-based, you could swap the chickpeas for cooked, cubed honey mustard chicken, shrimp, or even salmon.
  • Swap the produce. Feel free to use what you have on hand! I think bell pepper, red onion, and/or shredded cabbage would be great additions, and you could even swap the broccoli for shredded brussels sprouts. Fuji, gala apples, braeburn, or tart granny smith apples would also be great — it’s just up to your taste preference!
  • Try a new dressing. This sesame ginger dressing and this Thai-inspired peanut dressing would also be delicious.
  • Have fun with mix-ins. I love the crunch of pecans, but cashews, sliced almonds, walnuts, or even sunflower seeds make a great swap. Feel free to omit nuts if need be! You could also add chopped dates, dried cranberries, or raisins in place of the dried cherries.

apple broccoli salad on a plate with a fork

Don’t forget these broccoli salad tips

  1. Chop your broccoli very finely. The trick to this salad is to make sure your fresh broccoli florets are VERY finely chopped so that you get delicious bites with a little bit of everything.
  2. Meal prep or feed a crowd. This salad is perfect to make during the week because it keeps well in the fridge, but it’s also great for parties & gatherings! Feel free to double it for a crowd to make a yummy side dish that everyone will love. I suggest leaving out the pecans until you are ready to serve.
  3. Make it ahead of time. If you’re looking to save some time, I’d recommend chopping up all of your veggies 1-2 days ahead of serving or eating the salad so that you can easily throw it together! You could also make the dressing 1-2 days ahead of time as well and store it separately in the fridge.

Add a little heartiness

If you’re looking for a heartier meal, feel free to add this crunchy salad to your favorite tortilla to make a wrap!

apple broccoli salad on a plate with a fork

Storing tips

Store this healthy apple broccoli salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. The apple cider vinegar prevents the apples from browning! I recommend adding the pecans to your individual portion before serving.

More salad recipes you’ll love

Get all of my salad recipes here!

I hope you love this vegetarian apple broccoli salad recipe. If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know you liked it!

Chickpea Apple Broccoli Salad with Honey Dijon Dressing

4.96 from 21 votes

apple broccoli salad on a plate

Prep Time 20 minutes

Total Time 20 minutes

Serves4 servings

Healthy apple broccoli salad with chickpeas, dried cherries, carrots, pecans and fresh herbs. Toss everything together in a light honey dijon dressing to bring this salad together. Easy to make, great for lunch or parties and makes excellent leftovers!

Ingredients

  • For the salad:
  • 1 head broccoli, very finely chopped
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups diced honeycrisp apples (from about 2 medium honeycrisp apples)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (or 1 cup matchstick cut carrots)
  • cup diced green onion
  • cup dried cherries
  • cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • For the dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
  • To garnish:
  • Extra cherries and pecans

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, add finely chopped broccoli, chickpeas, apples, carrots, green onion, dried cherries, pecans, and parsley. Set aside.

  • Make the dressing by whisking together the following ingredients in a small bowl: olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, garlic, salt and pepper. Immediately drizzle over salad and toss to combine. 

  • Taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Garnish with extra cherries and pecans and serve immediately or place in the fridge for later. Salad will keep well up to 5 days. Serves 4.

Recipe Notes

If you are making this for a party, it most likely serves 6 rather than 4 people.
To make vegan: sub agave or maple syrup for the honey.
See the full post for tips, tricks, and optional ingredient swaps!

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 410kcalCarbohydrates: 54.7gProtein: 11gFat: 19.2gSaturated Fat: 2.3gFiber: 13.7gSugar: 19.5g

This post was originally published on September 27th, 2018, and republished on August 30th, 2023.


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