Broccoli Salad

08.05.2019

Broccoli Salad – made with tiny cut, crisp fresh broccoli florets, crunchy toasted slivered almonds, sweet and chewy dried cranberries, bright red onion, salty hearty bacon and it’s all tossed and coated with a rich and creamy honey sweetened dressing. It’s a classic recipe you’ll be using for years to come!

Classic broccoli salad in a salad bowl set over a wooden bread board.

Broccoli Salad Recipe

This salad makes a delicious side dish to just about any dinner and it’s perfect for potlucks and dinner parties. It’s also great for summer lunches and cookouts as it’s served cold and it’s so refreshing. Plus it’s fun to switch out that basic green salad with something different like so.

And another great thing about this amazingly good salad is that it uses basic ingredients and it’s easy to make! Just a bit of chopping, toasting and mixing. No special cooking skills required, easy breezy.

You get such a delicious blend of flavors and textures each ingredient complimenting the next. It’s recipes like this that remind us of home that we all crave time and time again.

Serve it with pulled pork sandwiches or a turkey burger to finish off the dinner!

Ingredients to make broccoli salad shown here including broccoli, salt, honey, apple cider vinegar, mayonnaise, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, bacon and red onion.

Broccoli Salad Ingredients:

  • Broccoli florets – only use fresh broccoli here. If you’d like it more tender you can parboil after chopping: cook 2 – 3 minutes then add to ice water and cool, then drain and dry with paper towels or in a salad spinner.
  • Bacon – I like to oven cook it for an easy hands off method but you can also saute the bacon.
  • Mayonnaise – use good quality mayo for best flavor. We add a generous amount here (see notes for substitutes).
  • Honey – you can adjust the amount to taste if you like the dressing more or less sweet.
  • Salt – you may not need much depending on how salty the bacon is.
  • Apple cider vinegar – white wine or red wine vinegar will work well too.
  • Slivered almonds – sliced almonds will be good as well. And if preferred use toasted sesame seeds.
  • Dried cranberries – use sweetened dried cranberries unless you like them very tart. Dried cherries will work too.
  • Red onion – to remove some of the harsh bite you can rinse after dicing.

Mixing broccoli salad dressing ingredients in a glass mixing bowl.

How to Make Broccoli Salad Dressing:

  • Mix all dressing ingredients in a bowl: in a mixing bowl whisk together mayonnaise, honey, apple cider vinegar and season with salt to taste (I only use about 1/4 tsp since the bacon is salty).
  • Dressing can be made up to 1 week in advance, store in refrigerator in an airtight container.

Toasted slivered almonds on a baking sheet.

How to Make Broccoli Salad:

  • Toast almonds: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds on a baking sheet and toast in preheated oven until just golden brown, about 6 – 8 minutes, tossing once halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool.
  • Cook bacon: heat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place bacon in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until cooked through (it will crisp up as it cools), about 12 – 16 minutes (cook time can vary based on thickness of bacon).
  • Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain and cool, then chop.

Strips of oven cooked bacon on a baking sheet lined with foil.

  • Toss together all salad ingredients with dressing: add broccoli, bacon, almonds, cranberries and red onions to a salad bowl. Pour dressing mixture over the top and toss to evenly coat.
  • Salad can be served right away or let the flavors meld in the fridge 1 hour if you have time.

Chopping broccoli florets into tiny bits.

Pouring dressing over broccoli salad ingredients in a large white bowl.

How Long Does it Keep?

This broccoli salad should keep well for 1 day in the refrigerator.

How to Make it Healthy?

To make this healthier you can omit the bacon and substitute 2/3 cup Greek yogurt and 1/3 cup mayonnaise in place of 1 cup mayonnaise (then reduce vinegar to 1 1/2 Tbsp since Greek yogurt already has some tang to it). You could even use olive oil in place of that remaining 1/3 cup of mayonnaise.

Broccoli salad in a serving bowl with serving spoons.

Tips for the Best Broccoli Salad:

  • Cut broccoli florets into tiny pieces and cut most of the stem away and reserve for another use. The floret ends are the most tender so you don’t have an overly crunchy, jaw tiring salad.
  • Use honey in place of traditional sugar for added flavor.
  • Use almonds instead of traditional sesame seeds, I did a side by side taste test with both versions and almonds won.
  • Use cranberries in place of traditional raisins for another upgrade, better yet use the cherry juice infused cranberries for even more flavor.
  • If time allows let salad rest for 1 hour to let flavors meld, also the dressing will help soften the broccoli just lightly as it rests.

Broccoli salad close up showing ingredients

More Broccoli Salad Variations to Try:

More Classic Side Dish Recipes You’ll Love:

 

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Broccoli Salad

5 from 5 votes

Made with tiny cut, crisp fresh broccoli florets, crunchy toasted slivered almonds, sweet and chewy dried cranberries, bright red onion, salty hearty bacon and it's all tossed and coated with a rich and creamy honey sweetened dressing. It's a classic recipe you'll be using for years to come!

Servings: 10
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 cups tiny chopped broccoli florets (from about 3 broccoli crowns)
  • 8 oz. bacon (8 strips)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise*
  • 3 Tbsp honey**
  • Salt
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar***
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds****
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries (I like the cherry juice infused kind)
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds on a baking sheet and toast in preheated oven until just golden brown, about 6 - 8 minutes, tossing once halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool.

  2. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place bacon in a single layer on baking sheet*****. Bake in preheated oven until cooked through (it will crisp up as it cools), about 12 - 18 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain and cool, then chop.

  3. In a mixing bowl whisk together mayonnaise, honey, apple cider vinegar and season with salt to taste (I only use about 1/4 tsp since the bacon is salty).

  4. Add broccoli, bacon, almonds, cranberries and red onions to a salad bowl. Pour dressing mixture over the top and toss to evenly coat.

  5. Salad can be served right away or let the flavors meld in the fridge 1 hour if time allows.

Recipe Notes

  • *To make a lighter dressing you can use 2/3 cup thick plain Greek yogurt (such as Fage) along with 1/3 cup full fat mayonnaise. Reduce vinegar to 1 1/2 Tbsp.
  • **1/4 cup sugar can be used in place of honey if you don't have honey on hand.
  • ***White wine vinegar or red wine vinegar will work well too.
  • ****Sliced almonds or raw sesame seeds can be substituted, just reduce toasting time a few minutes since they will toast quicker.
  • *****Alternatively bacon can be chopped then sautéed in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through.
Nutrition Facts
Broccoli Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 362 Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Fat 30g46%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 24mg8%
Sodium 311mg14%
Potassium 290mg8%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 363IU7%
Vitamin C 49mg59%
Calcium 51mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: broccoli salad
Calories: 362 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

9 comments

  • Gina Miller: This salad was so delicious!! My husband promptly requested another batch be made!
    😍 August 18, 2019 at 10:09am Reply

  • Cassandra Pendleton: Hi guys,I even said I would make my dressin with a Balsamic vinegar and a little sesame seed dressin.I jus like to experiment..Please tell me how does that sound guys. August 18, 2019 at 6:02am Reply

  • Lesley: A friend gave me this recipe year ago,and it is my go to salad for potlucks. I use toasted sunflower seeds instead of the almonds, and add some cherry tomatoes. August 16, 2019 at 7:04pm Reply

  • Jennifer Collins: Didn’t have cranberries I add red grapes. Super flavor. August 7, 2019 at 8:27pm Reply

  • Barbara Brooks: I want to make this!! August 7, 2019 at 5:39pm Reply

  • Rex: Best broccoli salad I’ve made. August 7, 2019 at 7:21am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked this broccoli salad Rex! Thanks for another review! August 7, 2019 at 8:20am Reply

  • Janet Vinyard: I love this recipe! In fact, I just made some day before yesterday. I add sunflower seeds, grated cheddar cheese and golden raisins to my recipe, which is virtually the same as yours. Delicious! August 6, 2019 at 9:21am Reply

  • Rita: Wonderful and filling. I added a few black olives August 6, 2019 at 8:22am Reply

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