The first time I made this simple, crunchy, deliciously tangy gluten free broccoli salad for a family dinner, I was shocked and delighted at how quickly the bowl was emptied. It soon became my signature dish that was requested time and time again. Give it a try and maybe it will become your signature dish too.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect portable dish to take to a backyard barbecue, or you’re hosting a family meal and need a simple, reliable gluten free salad to round out your menu this recipe will be a crowd-pleaser. And the best part is, it’s naturally gluten free. No special, hard to find ingredients. No special cooking techniques. Just simple, fresh crisp vegetables, smoky bacon and cheesy cheddar.
Broccoli is an amazing vegetable, we all know that. Stacked full of vitamins K and C, it's a powerhouse of nutrients that support heart and bone health. We also know that, like all fresh fruits and vegetables, broccoli is naturally gluten free. But the thing that’s most important for you and I with celiac disease is the amount of dietary fiber in broccoli. If your digestive system is on a “go-slow protest” the 2.2 grams of fiber per cup is a delicious way to get things moving.
Preparing the broccoli is easy. It takes two or three broccoli crowns to make up the 8 cups. You don’t need to be too precise. I like to chop up the florets quite small. It makes them bit sized and easy to chew, and allows the creamy, tangy dressing into all the little crevasses.
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Anything that has bacon and cheddar tastes great right?! This team helps to pump up the flavor of this salad and may be responsible for the empty bowl you’ll find on the table a few minutes after you put it out. Fry your bacon nice and crispy and shop it up small. Dice up the cheese and your good to go. Want to change it up a bit? Diced ham works well in place of the bacon or swap out the cheddar for crumbled feta.
Slice it paper thin, the tears will be worth it. Red onion adds a punch of color to your gluten free broccoli salad and slicing it thin releases those peppery juices. Not an onion fan? You can leave it out if you like but think twice. The spicy kick is an important part of the flavor profile, even if you push the onion slices off to the side of your plate like I do.
Three Simple Ingredients.
Making your own gluten free salad dressing means that you control the ingredients. Ditch the long list of chemical preservatives and emulsifiers. This dressing calls for three simple ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry. Mayonnaise, white vinegar, and a little sugar. And I’ll tell you a little secret. This is the same dressing I use for coleslaw.
If you’re trying to take it easy on the carbs, you’re going to love this salad. All the ingredients are on your list of keto friendly choices. You’ll need to make one small adjustment to the dressing though. Mayo and vinegar are fine, but sugar is a no-no on keto. You can leave it out or use a sugar substitute like monk fruit or erythritol. Start with one tablespoon, taste and add a little more if you think it needs it.
But what if you're vegan or you have guests who are? Or if you have other food intolerances so eggs and dairy aren’t your friends. Not to worry, I've got you covered. Swap the mayonnaise with vegan mayonnaise, replace the cheese and bacon with a generous sprinkle of sunflower seeds for a nice healthy crunch, and toss in some dried cranberries for a hint of sweetness. It's that easy, and it keeps the salad every bit as flavorful!