Broccoli Salad Recipe (2024)

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Simple Broccoli Salad is tasty and hearty topped with a delicious homemade dressing. It’s perfect for BBQs and get-togethers.

This summery salad is a classic side dish – especially for any summer BBQ. I can never decide between taking this version, Broccoli Cauliflower Salad, or Broccoli Strawberry Salad to potlucks, because all are equally delicious!

Broccoli Salad Recipe (1)

Broccoli + Bacon = DELISH

We have enjoyed broccoli bacon salad for as long as I can remember. I think we first had it at a BBQ restaurant years ago and have tried numerous recipes since then.

I’ve posted a few broccoli salads here on the site (Strawberry Broccoli Salad and this Broccoli Slaw), and both are delicious, but this broccoli salad is my all-time favorite. It comes from my sister-in-law (on the hubby’s side).

As mentioned, we have tried lots of versions of this recipe, but today’s version has all the ingredients that I love. The combination of broccoli, sunflower seeds, bacon, and craisins is absolutely amazing.

With summer get-togethers and BBQs every week, you need a good salad recipe on hand, and this one is a winner!

Broccoli Salad Recipe (2)

How to Make Broccoli Salad

This simple recipe of broccoli salad is quick, easy, and SO tasty.

DRESSING. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar and mix well.

COMBINE. Add broccoli and Craisins and stir to coat.

CHILL + SERVE. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Before serving, stir in sunflower seeds and crisp bacon.

Variations

Customize this best broccoli salad recipe by either swapping or adding ingredients.Here are some ideas for ways to tailor this recipe:

  • Swap out the sunflower seeds for pine nuts, chopped pecans, cashews, or almonds.
  • Add cubed or shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
  • Use raisins or fresh red grapes instead of dried cranberries.
  • Add other fruits and veggies: cauliflower florets, chopped kale, shredded carrots, chopped celery, apple chunks, or chopped red onion.
  • Use lemon juice in place of the vinegar.
Broccoli Salad Recipe (3)

Recipe Tips

Broccoli Salad Dressing. This super simple dressing is just the right amount of creamy without being too heavy. It consists of only three ingredients: mayo, vinegar, and sugar.

  • For a punch of flavor, add 1-2 tablespoons of Creole or other coarse-grain mustard (2 tablespoons is strong, so for a more mild flavor, stick with 1 tablespoon).
  • Make it a little bit “healthier” by using miracle whip (dairy-free), or plain greek yogurt (less fat), but it will change the flavor slightly.
  • Use honey or an alternative sweetener in place of the sugar.

Prepare the broccoli. Buy a bag of broccoli florets or cut your own. Wash the broccoli under running water and then pat dry. Remove the leaves, if any.

Use a paring knife to cut the crown from the larger stalk. Finally, cut each floret off the crown, leaving about an inch of the stem. If the florets are larger, cut them in half.Do not cook the broccoli, it’s used raw!

Vinegar. I usually use white wine vinegar, but apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar works great too!

Broccoli Salad Recipe (4)

Making Ahead and Serving

Make ahead of time. Broccoli salad can be prepared a day ahead of time without losing its texture. Leave out the bacon and nuts until ready to serve or they might get a little soggy.

If preparing it 2-3 days in advance, combine all of the salad ingredients and leave the dressing out until ready to serve. Once the dressing has been added to the broccoli salad with bacon, it will only last 1-2 more days in the fridge.

Serving outdoors. Since this broccoli salad recipe contains mayo I recommend adding ice to a bowl and then nestling the bowl of broccoli salad inside. The ice will help in keeping the salad cool.

Still be cautious about leaving it out for longer than a couple of hours, or less if the temperature is on the higher side.

Broccoli Salad Recipe (5)

Recipe FAQ

Should I use fresh or frozen broccoli?

For this salad I feel like fresh is best to maintain the right crunch, but if you’re in a pinch and only have frozen that will work just fine, but you may want to blanch the frozen broccoli first.

What should I serve with broccoli salad?

This salad is the perfect compliment to you summer barbecue so we love serving it alongside Hamburgers, Dr. Pepper Ribs, and Baked Beans.

For more salad recipes, try:

  • Summer Corn Salad
  • Greek Pasta Salad
  • Quick Caprese Salad
  • Easy Coleslaw
  • Broccoli Strawberry Salad
  • Pea Salad

Broccoli Salad Recipe (6)

Broccoli Salad Recipe (7)

4.98 from 82 votes

Broccoli Salad Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna

Simple Broccoli Salad is tasty and hearty topped with a delicious homemade dressing. It's perfect for BBQs and get-togethers.

Servings: 9

Prep: 10 minutes mins

Chill Time: 2 hours hrs

Total: 2 hours hrs 10 minutes mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 7 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • ½ cup Craisins
  • ½ cup shelled sunflower seeds
  • 8 slices bacon cooked and crumbled

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar and mix well.

  • Add broccoli and Craisins and stir to coat.

  • Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

  • Before serving, stir in sunflower seeds and bacon.

Video

Notes

Make Ahead: Broccoli salad can be prepared a day ahead of time without losing its texture. Just be sure to leave out the bacon and sunflower seeds until you are ready to serve, or they might get a little soggy. If you need to prepare it 2–3 days in advance, combine all the salad ingredients except the dressing; wait to add the dressing until you are ready to serve. Once the dressing has been added to the salad, it will only last 1–2 more days in the refrigerator.

Variations: Swap out the sunflower seeds for pine nuts, chopped pecans, cashews or almonds. Use raisins or fresh red grapes instead of Craisins.

Additions: Add cubed cheddar cheese or other fruits and veggies, like cauliflower florets, chopped kale, shredded carrots, chopped celery or apple chunks.

CAULIFLOWER BROCCOLI SALAD: Make the same dressing above and substitute half the broccoli for cauliflower florets. Add 1 cup cubed cheese along with sunflower seeds and crumbled bacon.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 245kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.04g, Cholesterol: 17mg, Sodium: 360mg, Potassium: 323mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 469IU, Vitamin C: 63mg, Calcium: 42mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad

Cuisine: American

Making this recipe? Tag us!

Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #lilluna, so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!

Categorized as: American Recipes, Cuisines, Recipes, Salads, Seasonal Recipes, Sides, Summer

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Broccoli Salad Recipe (2024)

FAQs

Why do you blanch broccoli for salad? ›

The broccoli will still be firm enough for the salad, the color will be even prettier, because blanching brings out the green, and the taste will be less raw and more cooked.

What is the active ingredient in broccoli? ›

Broccoli and its active ingredient, sulforaphane were reported to possess tremendous pharmacological activities such as anticancer, antimicrobial, antidepressant, antihypertensive and antidiabetic to mention but few.

What are the healthy ingredients in broccoli? ›

Broccoli is a rich source of antioxidants, including vitamins C, K, and A. It also contains several important minerals, including potassium, calcium, and iron. These antioxidants help protect the body from oxidative stress and reduce inflammation.

Is it OK to eat broccoli every day? ›

Regularly incorporating broccoli into your daily diet can contribute to stronger bones and potentially lower the risk of conditions such as osteoporosis. Broccoli can be a beneficial inclusion in the diet of those seeking to manage their weight.

How long does broccoli last in fridge? ›

Fresh broccoli lasts between 3 to 5 days in the fridge when properly stored. “For cut-up broccoli, I would say no more than 4 days for optimal use,” Amidor says. “But it's best to cut from the whole head right before cooking or eating to maintain nutrients.”

Do you boil broccoli before cutting? ›

If you are using small broccoli florets in a stir-fry, there is no need to cook it in water first. I, personally, never “boil” broccoli even if I'm cooking it stems and all. I cut off the long stems, peel them, cut them into 1/2″ thick coins, then bring lightly salted water to a boil.

What happens if you don't blanch broccoli? ›

If you don't blanch your broccoli, it will turn color and acquire a bitter taste. You can either stick it in boiling water for three minutes to blanch, or steam it for five minutes, whichever you choose.

Can broccoli be eaten raw as in a salad? ›

Broccoli can be prepared in numerous ways, including sautéed, steamed, boiled, or roasted, but it can also be served raw in salads or with dips.

How long to boil broccoli? ›

Peel the stem and trim right where the florets branch off. Break apart the florets. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli florets and cook, uncovered, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes depending on the size of the florets.

Can you eat broccoli raw in a salad? ›

Broccoli has a fantastic nutritional profile that offers plenty of potential health benefits. It's rich in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants ( 1 ). Broccoli can be prepared in numerous ways, including sautéed, steamed, boiled, or roasted, but it can also be served raw in salads or with dips.

What is the difference between broccoli and broccoli heads? ›

The dark green broccoli plant has a firm stalk and branching arms that end in heads of florets. Broccoli heads are actually groups of buds that are almost ready to flower; each group of buds is called a floret.

Why is restaurant broccoli so good? ›

How do restaurants make broccoli taste so good? As with everything made by chefs, they have unexpected (read: unhealthy) additions to their meals — mostly butter, oil and heaps of salt. An excellent tip for the perfect broccoli is the blanching step.

Is broccoli slaw made from stems? ›

The next time you cut into a head of fresh broccoli, don't toss the stems—use them to make this crunchy broccoli slaw. Broccoli stems are not only edible, they're healthy too—they offer essential nutrients, like fiber and vitamin C, just like the rest of the head.

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