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Light Marinated Broccoli Salad | Make Ahead Mondays

Crunchy, refreshing, and simple, this Marinated Broccoli Salad has sweet grapes and carrots, quickly pickled red onions and a tangy dressing made of rice vinegar and mayonnaise. While it is great on its own as a light lunch it is also the perfect accompaniment to grilled pork chops, chicken, fish, or beef. This salad is great for up to a week in the refrigerator, if it isn't eaten first!
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Rebecca Lindamood


  • 1 medium red onion
  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar not seasoned
  • 2 cups red or black seedless grapes
  • 8 crowns broccoli
  • 2 small to medium sized carrots
  • 3/4 to 1 cup mayonnaise start with the smaller amount,
  • 1 tablespoon sugar I use raw sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt or more to taste, divided
  • black pepper to taste I use a full teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.


  • Halve the red onion, peel it and cut from near the root end to the blossom end at 3/4-inch intervals leaving it intact at the root end. Turn the onion 90° and slice across the cuts so you have thin slices that are about 3/4-inch long. Add them to the bottom of a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and pour the rice vinegar over the onions. Stir well and let stand while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Begin by halving the grapes. If they are particularly large, you might want to quarter them. Once they are all halved or quartered, transfer them to the mixing bowl on top of the onions but do not stir yet.
  • Next, cut all the broccoli florets away from the stems. Reserve the stems for another use (*See Notes) and cut the florets down to bite sized. They should be roughly the same size as the pieces of grape. Scrape the broccoli into the bowl on top of the grapes, but again, do not stir yet.
  • Use a large hole side of a box grater (like one you would use to grate Cheddar) to grate the carrots. Add those to the bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss until everything is evenly combined and a thin dressing has formed from the rice vinegar and mayonnaise. If you want it creamier, add a little bit of mayonnaise at a time. Remember, though, that as the salad sits in the refrigerator, the vegetables and grapes will release some liquid and increase the amount of dressing in the container.
  • Transfer to a tightly lidded container and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving but preferably overnight. Toss before serving to re-distribute the dressing.
  • Leftovers stored in a tightly lidded container in the refrigerator will last for at least 7 days.


*If you do not have an immediate use for the broccoli stems, just cut them into pieces that are roughly 1-inch in size, put them in a resealable freezer bag and stash in the freezer for the next time you make cream of broccoli soup. I believe the best cream of broccoli soup has lots and lots of broccoli stems in it!