Delightful Broccoli Salad. Emphasis on the light.

It is Saturday of Holy week. As we prepare for the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, we spend today in silence and contemplation. As busy as Easter can be for us, it’s good to take some time and reflect on what this holiday means. I did some Easter lunch prep today and spent some much needed time in silence. It is hard to get a moment of quiet around my house, but my kids were playing outside for a while and my husband was resting on the couch. It was nice!

I made this broccoli salad with a few changes. I wanted to lighten it up a bit. The original recipe I have is made with full-fat mayo, sour cream, and sugar. While the original recipe is delicious, I wanted to be more conscious of what I was adding to this beautiful vegetable without compromising the taste. I love broccoli salad, so I feel that this lightened up version does it justice. I hope you love this recipe.

Broccoli Salad


You will need:

  • 2 large heads of broccoli (about 5-6 cups), cut into florets, blanched & shocked
  • 1 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 c light mayo (I use light olive-oil based mayo)
  • 1/4 c non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 c bacon, chopped
  • 2/3 c dried cranberries
  • 1/3 c  red onion, or shallot, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

To start: if you don’t know what blanching and shocking is- here’s a quick tidbit. After you’ve cut your broccoli into florets, boil them for 1 minute (blanch). After 1 minute, immediately transfer them to a bowl of ice water (shock). The blanching helps the broccoli cook a little while turning it into a vibrant green (see the difference between photo 1 and 4 below?). Shocking it keeps it from cooking further so it will maintain its color and crunch. Drain the broccoli after it has completely cooled in the ice water. Lay it to dry on a sheet pan lined with paper towels.


Now- for the dressing!

Grab a large bowl. This will be the bowl everything goes in, so make sure it is big. Add the light mayo, Greek yogurt, honey, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Give this a whisk. On top of that, add in the dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, chopped bacon, diced red onion or shallot, and cheddar cheese. Add the broccoli on top. With a large spoon, gently mix the dressing in with the broccoli until everything is well combined.


Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 1-2 hours (or overnight). This is a great dish to make the night before. It sits will in the refrigerator, and I personally like for it to have time to hang out before serving. The flavor gets better! However, if you are in a rush and need something that day- a couple hours in the fridge will yield a delicious broccoli salad.


I hope you and your family have a Happy Easter. We will be attending Mass, hunting eggs, and enjoying a big lunch together with friends. My menu includes a glazed ham, potatoes au gratin, roasted squash and zucchini, and this broccoli salad. There will be dessert too (our friends are bringing lemon bars and we made some homemade ice cream).

As always, thank you for your support. If you don’t already, give me a follow over on Instagram.

Lots of love and many blessings,


When the sabbath was over,
Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome
bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.
Very early when the sun had risen,
on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.
They were saying to one another,
“Who will roll back the stone for us
from the entrance to the tomb?”
When they looked up,
they saw that the stone had been rolled back;
it was very large.
On entering the tomb they saw a young man
sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe,
and they were utterly amazed.
He said to them, “Do not be amazed!
You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.
He has been raised; he is not here.
Behold the place where they laid him.
But go and tell his disciples and Peter,
‘He is going before you to Galilee;
there you will see him, as he told you.'”

Mk 16: 1-7

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