I’m back with another simple, yet incredibly addicting broccoli salad recipe for #MeatlessMonday that will make you want to run to the store and stock up on every single veggie available. GET READY TO EAT THE RAINBOW KIDS.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good leafy green salad but is there anything better than a NON-LETTUCE salad that’s crunchy, flavorful and packed with a literal rainbow of vegetables? Nope. I originally made this salad about 2 years ago and I still make it all the time.
So, I’d like to re-introduce you to my Thai-inspired broccoli salad with protein packed chickpeas, lovely cashews, and a spicy ginger peanut dressing. Uh huh, honey.
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Thai-inspired broccoli salad ingredients
This gorgeous cashew broccoli salad is not only beautiful, but it includes plenty of rainbow veggies that will stay crunchy all week long. It’s tossed in sweet & spicy ginger peanut dressing that you’re bound to make again and again. This broccoli salad is gluten & grain free, easily made vegan, and might just be your new favorite lunch to meal prep. Here’s what you’ll need:
- For the veggies: we’re using a beautiful mix of broccoli, shredded red cabbage, shredded carrot, red bell pepper, jalapeño & fresh cilantro.
- For the protein: this broccoli salad has a boost of plant based protein from chickpeas.
- For the peanut dressing: that addicting Thai-inspired spicy ginger peanut dressing is made with peanut butter (use the code ‘AMBITIOUS15’ for 15% off Wild Friends!), honey (or maple syrup), rice vinegar, sesame oil, fresh ginger, garlic and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- To garnish: I love topping this salad with more cilantro and roasted cashews. Honey roasted is amazing!
Should I cook the broccoli?
No need! This salad uses fresh, raw broccoli — it’s delicious! If you’re sensitive to raw veggies like broccoli you can feel free to give it a quick blanch to make it a little bit easier to digest, but I think it’s perfect as is.
Make this salad your own
The great part about this crunchy chopped Thai-inspired broccoli salad is that it’s easy to customize! Here are some suggestions for making it your own:
- Keep it vegan. Feel free to sub maple syrup for the honey to keep this salad vegan.
- Swap your protein. Cooked, cubed tofu and/or cooked quinoa would be delicious in this recipe, and some cooked honey mustard chicken, shrimp or my maple glazed salmon would be perfect if you’re not eating plant based!
- Pick your produce. If you’re out of broccoli I think shredded brussels sprouts would be perfect.
- Change up the dressing. Facing a nut allergy? Replace the peanut butter with tahini and skip the cashews. Or try this flavorful sesame ginger dressing.
Tips for making this chopped cashew broccoli salad
- Chop your broccoli very finely. The trick to this salad is to make sure your broccoli is VERY finely chopped. Get wild with that knife and chop, chop, chop!
- Adjust the sweetness & spiciness. Personally, I prefer just one tablespoon of honey (or maple syrup) in the dressing and I love a hearty pinch of cayenne, but you can easily adjust this based on your preferences. I recommend tasting as you go when mixing the dressing. If you want it spicier or sweeter, just adjust seasonings as necessary.
- Meal prep or feed a crowd. I absolutely love making this during the week because it keeps well in the fridge, but it’s also perfect for parties & gatherings! Abra and I noshed on it all week long after we tested it out. Feel free to double it for a crowd to make a yummy side dish that everyone will love. I suggest leaving out the cashews until you are ready to serve.
How to store broccoli salad
As I mentioned, this crunchy chopped Thai-inspired broccoli salad keeps getting better over the course of a few days as it marinates in the delicious, spicy peanut dressing. Store it in an airtight container (or a few meal prep containers like these) for up to 5 days and enjoy all week long. It’s also perfect for both parties and meal prep, and you can easily make it the night before. We recommend adding the cashews right before serving though.
What to serve with this broccoli salad
This broccoli salad packs plenty of protein, fiber & flavor to eat on its own for lunch, but it also makes the perfect side dish for a party. Here are some other delicious plant based sides and mains that you can serve it with:
If you’re not vegan or vegetarian, this recipe is delicious with simple chicken breast on top (check out these marinades for the perfect inspo!) or as a side to my famous One Pan Ginger Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce.
More salad recipes you’ll love
I hope you love this easy chopped Thai-inspired broccoli salad. If you make it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe — I really appreciate it! xo.
Spicy Cashew Chickpea Broccoli Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing
Delicious healthy Thai-inspired broccoli salad made with colorful veggies like crunchy carrots, red cabbage and sweet bell pepper. This easy vegan cashew broccoli salad is tossed in a spicy ginger peanut dressing and packed with delicious, plant based protein thanks to chickpeas!
(15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
medium head broccoli, VERY finely chopped into bite sized pieces (3-4 cups VERY FINELY diced)
packed shredded red cabbage
red bell pepper, diced
diced green onions (mostly green part)
jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
chopped fresh cilantro
- For the dressing:
natural creamy peanut butter
low sodium gluten free soy sauce or coconut aminos
honey (or pure maple syrup to keep vegan)
sesame oil (or sub olive oil)
fresh grated ginger
garlic, finely minced
- Optional: ¼ teaspoon red cayenne pepper, plus more if you like it extra spicy!
warm water, to thin dressing
- To garnish:
roasted cashew halves (honey roasted or a fun flavor is yummy)
In a large bowl, add the chickpeas, finely chopped broccoli, shredded red cabbage, shredded carrots, red bell pepper, green onion, jalapeno and cilantro. Set aside.
Make the dressing by whisking together the following ingredients in a small bowl: peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper and water. Drizzle over the salad and toss well to combine.
Serve immediately with a fresh squeeze of lime juice and sprinkle roasted cashews on top and toss a few more times, or place in the fridge for later (do not add cashews until you are ready to eat for optimal crunch!) Salad will keep well covered in the fridge for up 3-5 days. Serves 4.
Feel free to double the recipe for a crowd to make a yummy side dish that everyone will love. I suggest leaving out the cashews until you are ready to serve. Salad will stay good for 3-5 days in the fridge.
See notes in the blog post for suggested recipe substitutes.
Servings: 4 servings
Serving size: 1 serving (based on 4)
Saturated fat: 3.1g
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats