Sweet Broccoli Salad gets a makeover by adding tender pasta and a lightened up Greek Yogurt dressing. It’s the perfect cold side dish for any time of the year!
Have you tried Joan’s Broccoli Madness Salad from Costco? It’s a make-at-home version of the famous Broccoli Salad from Souplantation and it’s delicious! Crunchy broccoli, cashews, bacon, onion and a sweet and creamy dressing. We picked up a package on our last big Costco trip and devoured it at dinner time.
Looking at the ingredients (just mayo, sugar and vinegar – yikes!) it was obvious that if I wanted to keep on enjoying this salad I was going to need to come up with a lighter version.
Greek yogurt based dressings are my go-to when I’m trying to lighten things up, like this Hawaiian Macaroni Salad or this Crunchy Chicken Asian Style Salad. For this broccoli salad I knew I needed the creaminess of the mayo so I chose to replace just half of it with the Greek yogurt. Instead of sugar I used honey, and the kept the apple cider vinegar for a little acid.
While the broccoli salad is great on it’s own I wanted to make it a heartier salad so I added some grapes and bowtie pasta. The grapes also help to give a little more sweetness since you’re leaving out the sugar. My son is allergic to cashews so I swapped them out for some dry roasted sunflower seeds but you could use any nuts you like. They really do give a nice added crunch. You could also add a little chopped up bacon if you miss that flavor.
This was really a fun and deliciously different salad and a nice detour from our regular green dinner salad. It’s great for summer picnics or barbecues, or potlucks and parties any time of the year.
Lightened Up Broccoli Pasta Salad
Yield 6 -8
- 1/2 - 3/4 pound broccoli (about 2 small heads), cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 cup red grapes, sliced in half
- 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped onions
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 1/2 cups dry farfalle (butterfly) pasta, cooked according to package directions
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside.
- Stir together remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour dressing over broccoli mix and stir until completely coated.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with sunflower seeds if desired.
For more delicious sides and salads, here are some favorites: