Roasted Broccoli Salad Cabbage Cups

I am LOVING this warm weather, how about you!? Every year those first few really steamy days make me so happy. I officially declare that it is positively picnic season. We had our first grill out last weekend at my grandfather's house and let me tell you, it really hit the spot.

We had fresh tomato salad, grilled corn on the cob, grilled baby asparagus (asparagi?), veggie burgers, blackened potatoes, and iced tea with mint grown in my grandfather's garden. Mm mm mm. It was a righteous plant-based feast. But it made me realize how lucky I am to have family members who, whether begrudgingly or not, leave the butter off the veggies, leave the mayonnaise out of the salads and leave the cheese off the veggie burgers. Or heck, even have veggie burgers in the first place!

I'm so fortunate with the amazing, supportive family I have, and a special shout out to my mom for Mother's Day who holds down the veggie fort while I'm away. She's one bada**, incredible woman in so many ways and yet so humble that if you tell her that to her face she just giggles and looks sheepish :D.

Anyway, summer is packed with outdoor fun, picnicking, swimming, munching, grilling and celebrating sunshine. What it does not have to be packed with is mayonnaise based salads and sides. I've loathed mayonnaise since I was a kid so it's not just my plant-based ways that make me look high and low for other options. This roasted broccoli salad is absolutely killer at filling the need for those creamy side salads so omnipresent at summer potlucks. 

With a mix of roasted and raw vegetables, it's crunchy, creamy, flavorful and fresh. When I gave it to my dad to try he took one bite and said, "Wooooooow..." and looked at me with big, impressed eyes. And he's a guy who insists on barbecue.

This dish works great as a stand alone side at a picnic or scoop it into some cabbage cups or lettuce wraps and it makes for a super easy and portable lunch or light dinner. I gave my official taste testers some to try and after they approved, I happily chowed down on several of these roasted broccoli salad cabbage cups myself. Deeelicious. No one wants to feel weighed down when it's hotter than hockeysticks outside so whether you're vegan or not, this broccoli salad is a great light – but still creamy – alternative to the old-fashioned favorite. 

P.S. My Dad highly recommends topping it off with some of those crunchy sesame sticks. You could also sprinkle on some toasted sesame seeds, sunflower seeds or just about any nut to add extra oomph.  

Roasted Broccoli Salad Cabbage Cups

Yield: Makes 8 cabbage cups or enough broccoli salad for 6 larger portions


  • 4 cups broccoli from 1 medium head
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels from 2 ears of corn
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 ripe avocado 
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • salt, black pepper & red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 head of green or red cabbage, butter lettuce or iceberg works too


  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Cut up head of broccoli into 1-2 inch pieces, both florets and stalk can be used. Mince garlic and toss in bowl with broccoli, 1 tablespoon canola oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to roasting pan, let roast in oven for 15 minutes. 
  2. Dice red onion. Use a sharp knife to remove corn kernels from cob.  
  3. In large bowl, mash avocado, add dried oregano, red wine vinegar and red pepper flakes, if using, and stir. Add diced onion, corn kernels, and roasted broccoli. Mix together until avocado evenly coats the veggies. If serving as a side the broccoli salad is ready to go!
  4. If making cabbage wraps, cut the core off the bottom of the head of cabbage. Delicately peel off leaves of cabbage. Scoop roasted broccoli salad into each cabbage leaf, wrap it up and chow down :) 

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