Sweet and Tangy Broccoli Slaw

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Sweet and Tangy Broccoli Slaw is filled with crunchy ribbons of broccoli and carrots, paper-thin onions, sweet chewy cranberries, and pecans.

The broccoli slaw is tossed with just enough light, tangy dressing to blend the flavors without making this a “saucy” slaw. I love all of the different textures in this salad.

Broccoli Slaw

Broccoli Slaw

Broccoli slaw served as a side dish makes a nice change from some of the underwhelming mayo and cabbage-heavy coleslaws out there.

I’ve found coleslaw recipes I like (like this Sweet and Spicy Apple Coleslaw that’s loved by even the coleslaw-averse members of my family) but there’s something extra wonderful about a good broccoli slaw. The crisp broccoli and carrots keep their crunch even after being mixed with the dressing. 

Broccoli Slaw Salad

I like my salad recipes abundant with fresh, flavorful ingredients and lots of different textures. Broccoli Slaw is no different! In this version, I added pecans and dried cranberries for a satisfying layer of crunchy fruity nutty goodness.

The finely sliced red onions bring zest, spice, and a gorgeous color to the salad. Be sure to slice the red onion as thinly as possible to get the right texture and balance of flavors in your broccoli slaw.

I can make Broccoli Slaw with Tangy Dressing again and again and not get tired of it. That’s how I know it’s a real winner!

How To Make Broccoli Slaw

The most labor-intensive part of this slaw recipe is grating the broccoli stalks and carrots into thin matchsticks. You can use pre-grated or sliced carrots to speed up the process and have the salad assembled in the blink of an eye.

You’ll need a total of about 5 cups worth of broccoli matchsticks and tiny florets. I like to use as much of the broccoli stalk as possible and fill out the remaining amount with small broccoli florets.

Every so often, I find bags of grated broccoli stalks in the grocery store and I always buy them. If you can find them, grab them for sure. Having broccoli matchsticks on hand makes this recipe almost ridiculously simple. 

Otherwise, I look for the longest broccoli stalks in the grocery store. You’ll need 2 large stalks worth of grated broccoli for this salad.

If I’m cooking broccoli florets as a side dish for dinner (like our favorite Salmon with Spicy Broccoli, for instance), I’ll often set aside the stalks to turn them into broccoli slaw for lunch the next day. It’s a fantastic way of making sure no part of the vegetable goes to waste.

Sweet and tangy broccoli slaw

This time of year, I’m all about the summer salads. From classic Southern Style Coleslaw to Dill Pickle and Bacon Potato Salad, from the Pineapple Mojito Fruit Salad to Balsamic Berry Salad, there honestly isn’t a salad that doesn’t thrill me when the weather heats up.

Broccoli Slaw Salad is perfect for every occasion, from picnics to potlucks to a breezy lunch at home.

For a great summer meal, pair this Broccoli Slaw with Filthy Burgers or Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches. This salad would also be delicious with these Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches from Foodie with Family or Cuban Sandwiches from Saving Room for Dessert.

Broccoli Slaw with a Creamy Dressing

Broccoli Slaw Dressing

The dressing in this broccoli slaw recipe is equal parts tangy and creamy. A simple combo of mayo, lemon juice, salt, and a dash of sugar do their job well, highlighting the fresh flavors of the veggies without overpowering them. 

I don’t like my slaws completely swimming in dressing so this recipe makes just enough to lightly coat the whole salad with the flavorful dressing. Unlike some salads where you want to wait until serving to add the dressing, this slaw tastes best after the flavors have mingled for a bit.

I add the dressing to the vegetables then let the slaw chill in the fridge for a little while before serving. Don’t worry–your veggies and pecans won’t get soggy or soft. They’ll absorb the creamy lemony flavor of the dressing while staying crisp.

Tangy sweet broccoli slaw

How To Make Broccoli Slaw

  Kitchen Tip: I use this knife and this covered bowl to make this recipe.

  1. Whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the broccoli, carrots, onion, cranberries, and pecans. Stir well to coat.
  3. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving to allow the flavors to mix.
Sweet and tangy broccoli slaw

And while we’re talking about broccoli salad recipes, can I nudge you toward Irresistible Mandarin Broccoli Salad too? (I don’t throw around words like “irresistible” lightly so you know it must be pretty special!)

This simple Broccoli Salad with Grapes is another side dish that even my most broccoli-hating child devoured. My kids ate the whole bowl of salad by themselves in one day–I’d call that a definite win.

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Broccoli Slaw with a Creamy Dressing

Sweet and Tangy Broccoli Slaw

4 from 1 vote
Sweet and Tangy Broccoli Slaw is filled with crunchy ribbons of broccoli and carrots, paper-thin onions, sweet chewy cranberries, and pecans.
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Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients 

Salad Ingredients

  • 12 ounces broccoli stalk and tiny florets see note below
  • 1 large carrot grated or sliced very thinly into 2″ matchsticks
  • 1/2 small red onion sliced as thinly as possible
  • 3/4 cup sweet dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  • Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the salad ingredients and stir well to coat.
  • Refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

Grate the broccoli stalk or slice very thinly into 2-3″ matchsticks. You’ll need a total of about 5 cups worth of broccoli matchsticks and tiny florets. I like to use as much of the broccoli stalk as possible and fill out the remaining amount with small broccoli florets.
Every so often, I find bags of grated broccoli in the grocery store and I always buy them. If you can find them, grab them for sure! Otherwise, I look for the longest broccoli stalks in the grocery store. You’ll need about 2 large stalks worth of grated broccoli for this salad. 

Nutrition

Calories: 154kcal · Carbohydrates: 16g · Protein: 2g · Fat: 10g · Saturated Fat: 1g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g · Monounsaturated Fat: 4g · Trans Fat: 1g · Cholesterol: 3mg · Sodium: 210mg · Potassium: 206mg · Fiber: 3g · Sugar: 11g · Vitamin A: 1547IU · Vitamin C: 40mg · Calcium: 31mg · Iron: 1mg
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{originally published 6/9/15 – recipe notes and photos updated 5/3/22}

Broccoli Coleslaw

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Chris says

    The first time that I heard about broccoli slaw, I thought the person was insane. Then I tried it and I was very surprised at how good it was.

  2. Alicia says

    I make my slaw like this all the time only I used apple cider vinegar with the mayo for the dressing and instead of sugar use granulated Splenda to make it lower in carbs. I change it up sometimes and add grated cheddar cheese or pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, but I never thought of dried cranberries, pecans and onions! Yummo…will be trying this version of yours right away.

  3. njseashore says

    Very Very Good.. Easy to prepare. I did not use as much onion as recipe calls for and the onion overpowered the flavor anyway. Still very good but next time I will use much much less onion. I will make it again..4 stars