Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw

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Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw - It's Not Complicated Recipes #salad #slaw #partyfood #broccoli #broccolistems #carrots #easyrecipes #glutenfree #vegetarian #sides #sidedishes

Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw is crisp, colourful and totally delicious. I make it from simple, everyday ingredients and yet every bite of this salad is full of texture and bright flavours, all of which complement each other. It is the perfect side dish to serve with a barbecue, alongside a family dinner or to take on a picnic. It is also ideal to serve alongside a burger or in a sandwich.

But first, I must implore you, PLEASE do not throw your broccoli stems away.

I wince when people tell me that they discard them. They are delicious and there are so many ways in which to use them.  Add them to home-made stock or use them in a stir-fry. You can cut them into strips as you would carrot or celery, to serve as crudites on a dip platter. Or, as I am suggesting today, use them in a delicious Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw.

However, the stems do have a tough, fibrous outer layer which is best to remove. All you have to do is use a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler to remove it. The interior of the stem is beautiful; it varies from the exterior in that it is a soft, pale green. 

The stems have a lovely sweet flavour and their crunchiness adds great texture.

In fact, the stems taste a little like cabbage, so naturally, they work well in a slaw. It is not surprising that the taste is similar as they are both members of the Brassica family. The Brassicas, sometimes known as cruciferous vegetables, also include kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

Broccoli has long been touted as a superfood due to its high nutritional content and anti-cancer properties. It is high in fibre, Vitamins C, A and K, Folate and Calcium. In fact, health professionals recommend that we eat it at least twice a week. Therefore, to avoid repetitive dishes, it is important to have a number of ways in which to use it.

Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw is a great way to use the part of the broccoli which is frequently discarded.

I toss the broccoli stems, carrot and apple in a creamy dressing which is made from mayo, yet lightened with yoghurt, and flavoured with the tang of lemon juice.  For a touch of spice, I use freshly ground black pepper and some Dijon mustard, their flavours balanced by a touch of honey sweetness. Add dried cherries to the top of the salad for colour and flavour

I cut the broccoli stalk into matchsticks, or, as known in France, julienne. It is easy to do this by hand, slicing the stem into thin planks. I then stack them and slice them again to make matchsticks. However, you could use a mandoline to julienne the broccoli or use a shredding attachment on a food processor. I shredded the carrot using a hand-held shredding instrument, similar to a vegetable peeler but this could also be done on a mandoline. I cut the apple in a similar manner to the broccoli stem, choosing to not grate the vegetables as I want the salad to have texture.

Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw is the ultimate side dish; it is full of crunch, with a refreshing flavour.

It makes a healthy, nutritious salad, with infinite possibilities for you to make it your own. You could add more crunch with the addition of some roasted almond slivers or cashews. Instead of cherries you could use dried cranberries, chopped fresh dates or pomegranate arils. Add some lemon zest or finely chopped mint to brighten the flavours. If you would like more spice add more Dijon mustard; if you like a sweeter dressing, add a little extra honey. Always check that the balance of flavours is the way you like it. Personalise this salad to make it your own.

If you’re making food for a crowd, my Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw is ideal.

It’s a simple matter to increase the number of ingredients. And if you want to prepare it in advance, keep the dressing and the salad ingredients separate until about a half hour before serving. Refrigerate to allow the flavours to blend. For more salad ideas, click here. Be sure to make this salad after trying our Broccoli, Bacon and Cashew Salad.

I do hope you’ll try this – let me know in the comments below!

Alex xx

P.S. I love to serve this salad with my Easy Tuna and Potato Patties!

Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw
5 from 45 votes

Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw

If like me, you’re not generally fond of raw broccoli salads, there’s now a way to enjoy one. The secret is to use the stem. Are you ready to try making Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw? I assure you that after eating this salad you will not put those stems in the trash. 

Course Appetiser, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Western
Keyword broccoli, carrot, delicious, easy, gluten free, salad, side dish, simple, vegetarian
Prep Time 40 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 385 kcal
Author Alexandra


  • 4 broccoli stems *
  • 1 large carrot *
  • 1 large apple * I used Pink Lady
  • 15 ml lemon juice 3 teaspoons
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries * optional


  • 1/4 cup egg mayonnaise good quality
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp honey
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • sea salt (add at the last minute) to taste


  1. Wash and peel the broccoli stems, removing the tough, fibrous layer, using either a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler.

  2. Cut the broccoli stalks into matchsticks/julienne. First, slice the stem into thin planks. Then stack them together and slice again to make matchsticks.*

  3. Add the broccoli stem matchsticks to a bowl.

  4. Peel and wash the carrot*.

    Cut the carrot into matchsticks using the same method as for the broccoli stem.

  5. Add the carrot to the bowl with the broccoli stems.

  6. Cut the apple into matchsticks, add to a separate small bowl and toss with the lemon juice.*

  7. Add it to the bowl with the broccoli and carrot and toss well together.

  8. Using the bowl which contained the apple, combine all the dressing ingredients well. Check that the balance of flavours is to your taste.

  9. Add the dressing to the broccoli, carrot and apple and toss well together.*

    Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to blend together.

    Season to taste just prior to serving*.

  10. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and add dried cherries*.

Recipe Notes

*The stems weighed 380gm/ before trimming and 270gm/ after trimming.
*You could also use a mandoline to julienne the vegetables or use the shredding disc of a food processor. It is better if they are not shredded too finely, some texture is preferable.
*Whether or not to peel the carrot is optional.
*I left the skin on the apple for added nutrients and colour.
*Tossing the apple with the lemon juice will prevent it oxidising and discolouring.
*Instead of dried cherries, you could use dried cranberries, chopped fresh dates, sultanas/golden raisins or pomegranate arils.
*If you’re preparing the salad in advance, prepare the slaw ingredients and the dressing separately. Toss them together about a half hour before serving to allow the flavours to blend together.
*If you would like to add salt, do so just before serving. If done early, the salt will draw moisture from the ingredients, making the dressing watery.

Nutrition Facts
Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw
Amount Per Serving
Calories 385 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 6mg2%
Sodium 323mg14%
Potassium 2038mg58%
Carbohydrates 59g20%
Fiber 18g75%
Sugar 24g27%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 7095IU142%
Vitamin C 547.4mg664%
Calcium 318mg32%
Iron 4.7mg26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw
Gluten Free Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw - It's Not Complicated Recipes #salad #slaw #partyfood #broccoli #broccolistems #carrots #easyrecipes #glutenfree #vegetarian #sides #sidedishes
Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw - It's Not Complicated Recipes #salad #slaw #partyfood #broccoli #broccolistems #carrots #easyrecipes #glutenfree #vegetarian #sides #sidedishes

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247 Comments on “Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw”

  1. Pingback: Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower Salad - It's Not Complicated Recipes

    1. Hi Alice, I also love that there’s no waste. I always feel sad when people tell me that they throw them out. Look forward to hearing if you try the recipe. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Love this idea. Very clever – no waste – even better. I never throw the stems out, as I enjoy eating them – great to have a new way to enjoy them too.

    1. Hi Brian, I see that you also enjoy the stems; they are lovely and sweet and there are so many ways to enjoy them. Let me know if you try the recipe. 🙂

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  4. 5 stars
    Oh yes, I am LOVING this idea!!!!!!!! So good. Broccoli is one of my favourite vegetables without a doubt.

    1. Lorraine, I’m keen to start a movement – #savethebroccolistem 🙂 They are so sweet and delicious, I’m glad the word is spreading. 🙂 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    I always feel like I’m wasting so much food, when I compost my broccoli stems. At least I am composting them, but this is so much better! I can’t wait to try it this week!

    1. Thank you so much, I do hope you try it. When you peel off the tough, fibrous exterior you will find the interior is beautifully sweet and crunchy. 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    That looks amazing! I love carrot salad. I make it all the time, in fact. I’ve never tried a version with broccoli in it before.

    1. Hi Stacie, when the tough, outer layer of broccoli is peeled off the interior is sweet and crunchy. They make a great addition to the salad. Let me know if you try it. 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    You make an excellent point about broccoli stems, Alexandra! They’re delicious! And I love how you took those stems and turned ’em into this delicious side dish. I love grilling out during the summer, and I’m always hunting for a tasty side dish…I think this one fits the bill perfectly! 🙂

    1. Thank you David for the great comments. I’m on a campaign – “save the broccoli stems” ha ha. They are so sweet and crunchy, just delicious to eat. Enjoy this with your grill. 🙂

  8. You are so right! I have never really known what to do with the broccoli stems and now i have so many ideas, thanks to you! Imma try this recipe!

  9. It look soooo delicious! I usually eat the whole broccoli but I had never thought about using the stems separately.

  10. 5 stars
    I’ve never thought of using the broccoli stems in this way! I’ll keep this in mind next time I’m thinking of throwing them away 🙂

  11. My husband and I were just talking last night about broccoli stems! He had no idea what the stems were for. I will have to try out your recipe so he can see that they are very useful after all!

  12. how is it possible that I got to my 50s and no one ever told me to peel the broccoli stem to get rid of that bitter flavour I don’t like. Now I can start using them. And that recipe sounds great, loving the dried cherries on top.

    1. Don’t you love the fact that we’re learning all the time? I’m so pleased that you like the recipe Rhonda, would love to hear if you make it. 🙂

    1. Hi Kara, how lovely that your children like coleslaw, they get a generous amount of vegetable with this salad. Let me know if you try this one. 🙂

  13. I have bookmarked this recipe, it’s looks so delicious and healthy ?☺ I love the crunchiness of broccoli stems and most of the time, I make mixed vegetable curry with this… but now will try your recipe ☺

  14. Slaw is one of our favorites when it comes to serving sandwiches as a topper. I bet this one would be great on one!

    1. Hi GiGi, I’m starting a campaign, “save the broccoli stems” ha ha. They are just too good to throw away and work so well in the salad. Let me know if you try it. 🙂

    1. Hi Chelle, I’m so pleased that you like the recipe. I’m sure you will enjoy the broccoli stems used this way. Please let me know how it goes. 🙂

  15. I love broccoli stems! Also, I love that you added Apple to this slaw ? I love this recipe!

  16. 5 stars
    I love coleslaw! I like mine a bit more savory with some spices and a kick to it! But this looks very good and it’s a quick dish so I can appreciate it!

    1. Hi Brianna, I agree, I also love coleslaw with spice. In fact, one of my favourite versions is Thai inspired, using chillies, coriander and Thai sauces in the dressing. One of the reasons I love coleslaw is that it can be made in so many different ways. Please let me know if you try this one using broccoli stem. 🙂 🙂

    1. Enriqueta, thank you so very much for the beautiful comments. I am delighted with your positive response; you are obviously as keen as I am to use the broccoli stems. Thank you also for pinning the recipe. 🙂

  17. Ok, this is a really cool recipe! I always feel weird for loving the stem of broccoli and this gives me an excellent reason to eat it!!!!

  18. This recipe is right on time! I was looking for a great recipe for an upcoming picnic and this is colorful and beautiful! It looks yummy, I will be adding raisins just cause I love raisins hehe and I can’t wait for my friends to try it.

    1. Thank you for your feedback Maria. I’m delighted that you will try the recipe – it will be delicious with raisins. I do hope that you all enjoy it. 🙂

  19. That looks delicious Alex. Did you use a stock photo of the finished meal or is that your actual meal?!

    Recipe seems straightforward. Yum, will try it! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Owen, thank you for the great feedback. I haven’t used a stock photo, all photos on the blog were taken by me. I’m so pleased that you like the recipe and look forward to hearing when you make the Slaw. 🙂

  20. OMG! Thank you for this idea! I always throw broccoli stems out thinking they’re not good or can’t be eaten! Good thing you shared this recipe! Next time, there will be no more waste.

    1. Thank you for the great feedback. I’m delighted that you have become a broccoli stem convert. 🙂 Just make sure to remove the tough, fibrous exterior – and then enjoy. 🙂

  21. I’ve been throwing away broccoli stems my entire life and never even thought to remove the outer layer! Thanks for enlightening me – I’ll be trying this out and if all goes well, adding sliced stems to my next veggie tray 🙂

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  23. I used to hate coleslaw growing up but the older I get the more I appreciate it! This one looks extra healthy!

  24. I’ve never heard of this dish before, but it does look like the perfect little party dish. This is something I’ll definitely have to give a try for our next get together. Thanks for sharing!

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  27. Yum, this sounds delicious! I admit I tended to throw away broccoli stems, but I’ve been trying to find more ways to use them. This sounds like a great recipe that even my kids might enjoy!

  28. 5 stars
    I feel like a fool to throw away broccoli stems! I am definitely trying this out next time I get broccoli! This is actually so simple to makes for a side dish! You can always add to it too. Love it!

  29. Wow! That’s a very interesting option for a coleslaw! I must admit that I’ve already tried it out and it’s really delicious! 🙂

  30. My mom used to make something similar for us when we were kids. I always wondered how she did it. I remember this being so good so I’ll have to try it soon.

  31. Oh my goodness, this looks like such a delicious recipe! With so many autumn parties coming up in the near future, this would be a great thing to make when either hosting your own, or being invited to someone else’s!

  32. The gastronomic experience is promised with every step and every photo. You make a great job with your article being so delicious. It tempts to make a culinary activity not a mere household chore but a fun time to share love.

  33. I would absolutely love to try this recipe. I have never had anything like this before.

  34. Oh wow, this looks really delicious! All the textures would definitely make a perfect side dish. I agree, we should not throw the broccoli stems away. There are SO many ways to use them. Thanks for sharing this! ~ Ola @ WanderWithOla

  35. 5 stars
    Great way to consume broccoli stems,I wonder why some people just throw them away, it’s so delicious folks..! ?

  36. My mom used to make a similar slaw when I was a kid and I always loved it. I can’t wait to give this recipe a try. It’s perfect for all my long weekend events.

  37. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe! I’ll have to try this one day. I love the idea of using broccoli stems, that’s a good way to sneak them into a meal for kids. We have a potluck every Sunday after church, this will be a great dish to take. Thank you for sharing!

  38. 5 stars
    This looks so delicious! I would probably have never thought of using broccoli stems to make a slaw. A great way to prevent waste and add a healthy side dish to your meal.

  39. 5 stars
    Never heard of using Broccoli stem in slaw.But this sounds an amazing recipe and a great way to use all the parts of Broccoli in different recipes without wasting…

  40. Hey, I love this recipe. I am gonna try making the Broccoli Stem and Carrot Slaw. It looks colourful and the texture is great too.

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