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Broccoli Chopped Salad with Cilantro & Lime {5 ingredients}

“To make a good salad is to be a brilliant diplomatist — the problem is entirely the same in both cases. To know exactly how much oil one must put with one’s vinegar.” — Oscar Wilde

Tired of eating the same old chopped romaine with a squirt of low-calorie ranch? Then don’t. It’s time to re-think side-salads as dinner stars, not sad associates.

This post was inspired by Robin, who recently requested ideas for making side salads that inspire great eating, not sleeping. I am happy to oblige, because I love a good side salad. I owe it all to my mother, who made all varieties of accompanying salads for most every meal of my youth, for reasons of good taste and nutrition, sure, but also to stretch her budget.

I have one more reason for adding plenty of side salads to my regular menus: they make the rest of the meal a no-brainer. When I am stumped for dinner ideas, I find that, if I figure out a flavorful side salad, the rest of the meal comes together far more easily (insert meatless burger, omelet, poached eggs, etc.).

This simple broccoli salad is just the sort of side salad that makes my day. Or rather, dinner! It is bright with fresh lime and cilantro (wonderful on a wet and gloomy spring day), and cinch to assemble.

If you are a raw broccoli fan, you can skip the step of steaming the broccoli. Simply cut or chop  the raw broccoli into petite florets (and some tender stem pieces).

I am not such a fan, so I give the broccoli pieces a quick steaming. It only takes a minute or two of steaming to transform chewy texture of raw broccoli into crunchy-crispness.

Cool the broccoli, and then toss with fresh lime juice, lime zest, cilantro, green onions, a bit of oil to coat, and salt & pepper to taste. It’s so simple, but so good!

If you want to make the salad a main dish, just toss in a drained, rinsed can of black beans. Easy & delicious!

Happy eating, everyone!

Yield: 4 side-dish servings

Broccoli Chopped Salad with Cilantro & Lime

Broccoli Chopped Salad with Cilantro & Lime

A simple and delicious chopped salad made with broccoli, lime and cilantro!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes


  • 4 medium broccoli crowns (about 1.25 lbs) cut into small florets and small tender stem pieces
  • 2 medium limes
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used avocado oil)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 gren onions, very thinly sliced crosswise (green and white parts)
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Steam the broccoli in a steamer for 1 to 2 minutes until slightly tender and bright green. Transfer to a medium bowl and cool in the refrigerator.
  2. Meanwhile, grate 1-1/2 teaspoons of lime zest from the limes and squeeze 2 tablespoons of lime juice.
  3. Add the oil, lime zest and lime juice to cooled broccoli; toos to coat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss in the cilantro and green onions.


Storage: Store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Variation: Add a 15 ounce can of drained, rinsed black beans to the salad to make it main0dish worthy.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size

1/4 of salad

Amount Per Serving Calories 95Total Fat 5.8gSaturated Fat 0.8gCholesterol 0mgSodium 41mgCarbohydrates 8.5gFiber 5gSugar 2.7gProtein 4.9g

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Tuesday 12th of March 2013

I'm so glad you find this useful, Melanie. I understand the last 15 pounds thing (been there!). You can do it!


Monday 11th of March 2013

This looks so great and simple! I can't wait to try it. I love the option of adding the black beans.

Melanie C.

Sunday 10th of March 2013

Wow--what an awesome post!! I love broccoli, and chopped salads--why have I never combined the two!!? I am trying to get into shape and eat healthy--I am determined to lose that last 15 pounds of weight from my last pregnancy before summer! This will help! THANK YOU!!!

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