This creamy Tahini Broccoli Salad is a flavorful and easy way to mix up a classic summer recipe! Perfect for BBQs, picnics or as a vegetarian side.
Broccoli salad is integral to spring and summer. As soon as the weather hits 80 degrees my oven is off and cold dishes like this are the move!
Most summers include at least few BBQs or potlucks, and this salad is a great option to add to your outdoor eating list.
I love sharing this as a side because It only takes about 15 minutes to make and uses flavorful and inexpensive pantry staples.
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Using tahini in the salad gives it a lot of flavor and depth where 100% mayo-based salads are sometimes lacking.
Don’t get me wrong, I love mayo-based salads (this vegan ranch pasta salad, for example, is delicious!). Adding tahini just livens things up a bit and gives traditional broccoli salad a little extra flair.
To keep the creamy factory we’ll be using a mix of tahini and mayo. This salad can easily be made vegan by omitting feta and swapping out regular mayonnaise for vegan mayo.
Tahini is a creamy, nutty butter made of sesame seeds. I’ve had a few friends call me while they’re in the grocery store to ask where they can find tahini — sometimes I even have to think about where to find it!
If you have a ‘natural” section it will likely be there next to items like nutritional yeast and peanut butter. Otherwise, check out the Middle Eastern foods section, usually found in the international aisle.
Make sure to stir your tahini well before using it.
Customization and substitution ideas
This salad uses raw broccoli. After sitting in the fridge overnight the broccoli is softened, but it is still a crunchy salad.
You can parboil the broccoli if you prefer softer broccoli. To do this, heat a pot of water to boiling. Add the broccoli and boil for just one minute. Immediately drain in a colander. Once drained, transfer to a bowl on ice. This will stop the broccoli from cooking and cool it down quickly.
I like to use raisins in this recipe but dried cherries or cranberries also work. You can even use sliced grapes!
If you don’t have sunflower seeds you can use toasted walnuts, almonds or even pecans.
This salad can easily be made into a main dish by adding chickpeas, tofu or your favorite plant based protein.
Regular or apple cider vinegar can be used in place of red wine vinegar as needed.
Tahini Broccoli Salad
- 2 crowns broccoli (about 4 cups with stems removed)
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar see note #2
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons water as needed to thin
- 1 cup shredded carrot see note #3
- 1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup feta
- Prep broccoli. Remove stems and cut into small, bite sized florets. The stems can be grated and added to the salad if desired. If you prefer softer broccoli, see note #1.
- In a small bowl, make tahini sauce by whisking together tahini, mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Add 1-2 tablespoons water as needed to thin (see images in post for reference).
- In a large bowl, add the broccoli, shredded carrot, roasted sunflower seeds, raisins and feta. Drizzle with the sauce, tossing to coat.
- Transfer to the fridge to chill for at least an hour before serving. Serve cold. Keeps well for 4-5 days.
- Broccoli: You can parboil the broccoli if you prefer softer broccoli. To do this, heat a pot of water to boiling. Add the broccoli and boil for just one minute. Immediately drain in a colander. Once drained, transfer to a bowl on ice. This will stop the broccoli from cooking and cool it down quickly.
- Red wine vinegar: This can be replaced with white or apple cider vinegar as needed.
- Shredded carrot: I usually grate my own carrots using a box grater. Two whole carrots yields about one cup of grated/shredded carrot. Otherwise you can use pre-shredded carrots.