October 2, 2023Review Recipe
Table of Contents
This delicious broccoli salad is an easy, healthy side dish that brightens up any table. It’s loaded with cranberries, sunflower seeds, almonds, bacon, and a creamy homemade dressing — the perfect flavor combination.
Best Broccoli Salad Ingredients
The delightful crunch of fresh broccoli combines perfectly with other ingredients like red onions and chopped nuts.
The flavors of sweet and tangy mixed with a touch of creaminess explode in your mouth with every bite.
- 6 cups of broccoli florets, broken into bite-size pieces
- 1½ cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ⅔ cup of chopped craisins
- ⅔ cup of diced red onion
- ⅔ cup of cooked and crumbled bacon
- ½ cup of sunflower kernels
For The Broccoli Salad Dressing:
- 1¼ cup of mayonnaise
- ½ cup of sour cream
- 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper
Substitutions And Additions
BROCCOLI: If you’re looking for a different green vegetable in your salad, consider substituting cauliflower for broccoli. It has a similar crunch and absorbs flavors beautifully. Or, for a more colorful option, try purple broccoli, which will add a vibrant touch to your salad. Keep in mind, however, that the taste of your salad might change slightly based on the substitute you choose.
VEGGIES: For some added variety, substitute half of your broccoli for other veggies like cauliflower or carrots in this classic side dish.
BACON: This perfect summer salad can use savory bacon bits or crumbled real bacon. Or leave out the bacon to make this recipe completely vegetarian.
CHEDDAR CHEESE: There’s an array of other cheeses you could consider. For example, crumbled blue cheese or feta can introduce a tangy note, while shredded mozzarella or gouda will create a milder flavor. For those with dairy-free needs, a vegan cheese substitute would work just as well.
SUNFLOWER SEEDS: Pumpkin seeds or chopped almonds would make an excellent substitute for sunflower seeds and maintain the desired crunch in your salad.
MAYONNAISE: If you’re looking to reduce the amount of mayo in your salad, half the amount could be substituted with Greek yogurt for a tangier, lighter version. Vegan readers could use plant-based mayonnaise to keep the creamy texture.
How To Make Broccoli Salad
Mix up the creamy dressing and add it to all the ingredients in a salad bowl before serving this delicious salad.
OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS
If you are chopping a whole head of broccoli, cut off bite-sized florets. Be sure to trim the stems of the cut florets as well (trim them completely off or leave a small stem). You can also buy store-bought chopped broccoli to save time.
STEP ONE: Using an extra-large mixing bowl, combine the broccoli, shredded cheese, craisins, red onion, crumbled bacon, and sunflower kernels.
STEP TWO: Using a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, sugar, kosher salt, and pepper until smooth.
If you love this salad and plan to make it frequently, double or even triple the dressing and store the extras in a mason jar in the fridge for next time.
STEP THREE: Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and stir to completely coat the salad ingredients.
STEP FOUR: Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
How To Serve This Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe
How To Store Broccoli Salad
Let’s dive into some best practices to keep your broccoli salad fresh and flavorful.
MAKE AHEAD: This broccoli salad can certainly be made ahead of time, and it’s a great option when you’re prepping for a gathering. Simply prepare the salad without the dressing, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also prepare the dressing separately and store it in the fridge in its own container.
When you’re ready to serve, toss the salad with the dressing. This ensures your salad stays crisp and the flavors remain vibrant. It’s best to consume the salad within 1-2 days of preparation for optimal freshness.
IN THE FRIDGE: This fresh broccoli salad will last in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, making it a great recipe to make ahead of time for potlucks and parties. The flavors of the broccoli salad get even better over time, and the longer it sits, the more the ingredients mix together.
IN THE FREEZER: We do not recommend freezing broccoli salad. All the fresh ingredients will lose their crisp texture and become soggy.
This crunchy broccoli salad is a light and fresh side dish that’s easy to make and loaded with tasty toppings like cranberries, almonds, crisp bacon, and sunflower seeds, plus a tangy dressing.
Broccoli Salad FAQs
This easy recipe can be stored in the fridge for up to two days.
This favorite broccoli salad recipe is best made ahead of time so that the ingredients can soak up all the flavors of the delicious dressing.
If you are chopping a whole head of broccoli, cut off small florets. Be sure to trim the broccoli stem off the florets as well (trim them completely off or leave a small stem). You can also buy chopped broccoli at the grocery store to save time.
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Best Broccoli Salad
- 6 cups broccoli florets, broken into bite-size pieces
- 1½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ⅔ cup chopped craisins
- ⅔ cup diced red onion
- ⅔ cup cooked and crumbled bacon
- ½ cup sunflower kernels
- 1¼ cups mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- Using an extra-large mixing bowl, combine the broccoli, shredded cheese, craisins, red onion, crumbled bacon, and sunflower kernels.
- Using a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, sugar, kosher salt, and pepper until smooth.
- Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and stir to completely coat the salad ingredients.
- Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- If you are chopping a whole head of broccoli, cut off bite-sized florets. Be sure to trim the stems off the cut florets as well (trim them completely off or leave a small stem). You can also buy store-bought chopped broccoli to save time.
- If you love this salad and plan to make it frequently, double or even triple the dressing and store the extras in a mason jar in the fridge for next time.