Broccoli Salad

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Broccoli Salad is a quick summer salad recipe that everyone always LOVES!  Fresh and colorful broccoli, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and bacon bits are tossed in a creamy homemade dressing.

This is the perfect potluck dish; great to serve along side Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken with some fresh Crock Pot Corn on the Cob! Not only is it easy to make ahead of time but everyone raves about it!

Broccoli Salad prepared in a large clear glass bowl

My family absolutely LOVES  their vegetables so I always serve fresh salads! Along with Creamy Cucumber Salad, this Broccoli Salad is one of our favorites! It’s so incredibly easy to make and my kids love it almost as much as I do!  I love making this for potlucks and barbecues, it is always a smash hit! When we fire up the grill at home to make some kabobs or perfectly grilled steaks, I always make sure I have this broccoli salad ready to go as a side dish!

Broccoli Salad can be made in advance and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it, which makes it so much easier to get everything together!

If you have extra veggies you need to use up, you can easily add them into this broccoli salad. Zucchini, cauliflower, celery, peppers, or even mushrooms can make great additions!  You could easily turn this into a broccoli cauliflower salad by adding some cauliflower florets

Ingredients for Broccoli Salad laid out in a clear mixing bowl

How to Make Broccoli Salad

Broccoli salad is probably one of the easiest salads you will throw together, which is why it has become a favorite summer salad!

I prefer a creamy broccoli salad dressing rather than using a vinaigrette style dressing. 

Simply whisk together mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to make your delicious creamy dressing! 

Next, wash and cut the broccoli into bite sized pieces and drain well!

Broccoli Salad served with wooden serving spoons

Add all of your ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and toss them. Add your dressing and toss well so everything is coated! Bacon bits and sunflower seeds can clump together when you add the dressing, so make sure you toss everything together well.

Before you serve broccoli salad, refrigerate it for about an hour. This gives the broccoli a chance to soak in some of the dressing, resulting in an even more flavorful salad!

4.86 from 27 votes
Review Recipe

Broccoli Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Refrigerate 1 hour
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Salad
Cuisine American
A fresh crisp broccoli salad tossed in a simple  homemade dressing!


  • 8 cups broccoli cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/3 cup red onion diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup bacon bits
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • salt & pepper

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  1. Whisk together cider vinegar, sugar, mayonnaise, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, combine broccoli, onion, cranberries, sunflower seeds, and bacon bits. Pour the prepared dressing over and mix well.

  3. Refrigerate for an hour before serving.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 317, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 18mg, Sodium: 330mg, Potassium: 365mg, Carbohydrates: 17g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 10g, Protein: 6g, Vitamin A: 585%, Vitamin C: 81.7%, Calcium: 50%, Iron: 1%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword Broccoli Salad

Repin this Super Salad Recipe!

Broccoli Salad in a clear bowl

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Broccoli salad is the fun summer salad recipe that you didn’t know you were missing! Fresh and colorful broccoli, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and bacon bits are tossed in a creamy homemade dressing to give you a dish that will be raved about by everyone one long after its gone! #spendwithpennies #summersalad #easyrecipe #simplerecipe #withcranberries #healthyrecipe #healthyrecipe #creamydressing #homemadedressing

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. Swapped pomegranate for cranberry, honey for sugar, and pepinos for sunflower seeds. It was a hit!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. I just made this and it is absolutely delicious. I followed the recipe with one modification. Instead of sugar is used pure Canadian maple syrup. It gave it a real wow factor.

    Thank you for sharing

  3. I plan to make this tomorrow for Thanksgiving. I accidentally bought roasted, salted (shelled) sunflower seeds. Will this work? Thanks!

  4. I quick pickle my red onions first and use a mandolin… adding crumbled goat cheese is also AMAZING instead of bacon! Best salad ever… a fine foods store in my neighbourhood sells this recipe for 10 bucks a cup!!! Goat cheese!!

  5. Do you think the onions are a must in this recipe? I’m not fond of raw onions, so want to eliminate them – this salad just sounds too good to pass up!!

  6. Excellent taste. And, that’s before the Broccoli Salad is fully chilled.
    I followed your recipe, exactly.
    It’s 100 degree CA day, and we just bought beautiful fresh organic brocoli. No way would today be a steamed broccoli day with dinner! This broccoli salad will be perfect along side our cold roasted chicken pieces n potato salad tonight. Thank you for inspiring me to make this Summer Delight.

  7. Absolutely love this salad – I change it up using cashews instead of sunflower seeds for slightly different crunch!

  8. Gonna make this tonight for a BBQ tomorrow (Father’s Day). How much broccoli is 8 cups? 1 head or 2 (approximately)? Also is it just the head or do you use some of the stalk/stem? I am gonna add some matchstick carrots as well for color. Thanks in advance!

    1. A medium head will give you 3-4 cups. You can use just the head or you can include the stalk. If you’re using the stalk, I’d suggest peeling it first until you reach the light green area (the outer parts can be tough and woody). Once peeled, slice it and add to the salad.

  9. I didn’t have sunflower seeds or dried cranberries, so I made this using pecan halves and dried berries and it was delicious.

  10. My mom makes this for every bbq and it is amazing! She adds chopped tomatoes and shredded cheddar, which we love!

  11. This is the most delicious Broccoli Salad I’ve ever had! The only change I made was I replaced the cranberries with red grapes. I even had some leftovers for breakfast this morning. I am definitely sharing this with my friend who likes Broccoli salad even more than I do. Love this site, love your recipes.

    1. Thank you so much Janet, I’m glad you’ve loved it and thank you for sharing with your friends! :)

  12. Sorry to say no matter what I did I could not print out this Broccoli Salad recipe. could you help me, my hand writing is very bad anymore.
    Thank you,

    1. Hi Dianna, there is a print button located just above the ingredients list. If you press it, it should bring up a print window.

  13. I didn’t have sunflower seeds so I substituted toasted, chopped almonds. Yummy, and a great way to get my fiber and veggies in. Did I mention how easy and fast it was to make? Since I live alone I only made half a recipe and it was enough as a side for two meals

    1. I think that sounds like a delicious addition to this salad Kaye! I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  14. This salad is delicious. My daughter loves it. I’m the mom that encourages kids to eat more vegetables than starches to help with weight control. Excellent, and will be making it regularly

  15. This an easy, filling, have-everything-on-hand, and delicious salad! I asked my Google app for a Broccoli Salad recipe and this is the recipe that was selected for me. So glad to come across it and also, very glad to come across your site. Loving it and the easy to get together delicious recipes! Thanks!

  16. An interesting variation that I tried tonight was to add crushed dehydrated strawberries (available at Aldi) instead of the dried cranberries. I also added 1/4 c. of milk to the dressing to cut down on dryness. The results were very good.

  17. how many cups is a serving and how many calories is in 1 serving. trying to add to my fitness pal. love this salad it was so good, my hubby really enjoyed it as well.

    1. The recipe makes 8 servings, each serving will be approximately one cup. You’ll find the nutritional information after the recipe. Enjoy Jessica!

  18. The first recipe that popped up when I searched for a broccoli salad while doing my last minute Christmas shopping. This recipe is simple and amazing! Thanks for the reviews too.

    I can’t imagine how much salad 8 cups of broccoli would yield though.

  19. This Broccoli salad was a fantastic hit! It was so easy to make and so delish!! I made it for a Christmas party and it was recipe that everyone wanted! It is on my favorite list for sure!!

  20. Excellent recipe! We substituted chopped pistachios for the sunflower seeds (because we had no seeds) and put in pineapple while reducing the amount of sugar.

  21. This was delicious!! I’m not a brocolli lover and I will certainly eat it raw from now on. It was less overpowering. I paired it with a caprese salad and venison steaks. I didn’t have any sunflower seeds so I used pine nuts instead. The whole family ate it, including Master 4. Thank you for inspiring me!! From New Zealand

  22. Anyone ever blanch the broccoli first to knock off the ‘rawness’ of the broccoli? I love it raw, but my wife and kids not so much.

    1. Yes, I’ve been blanching it 2 1/2 minutes and dipping into ice water before spinning off moisture on my salad spinner. It makes it a brighter green and I read that by doing this it eliminates whatever is in raw broccoli that can play havoc with thyroid.

  23. I’m going to try this salad for a family get together tomorrow, can I make the salad with the dressing today and it would be okay for dinner tomorrow?  Thanks

  24. Used pecans instead of sunflower seeds.more crunch..and I like the idea of no bacon..liquid smoke in the vegan mayo  dressing perhaps…easy dish for any summer bbq..vegan.glutenfree..only nut allergies perhaps…go back to sunflower seeds then

  25. Love this salad. Great for company and goes well with anything grilled! I do add red grapes cut in half, to mine. Gives a bit of a sweet taste, along with the vinegar flavors. A winner here! Thank you!

  26. There must be an easier way to find a recipe rather than looking at all the pictures. I’m sure I saw it on the email after August 10 and thought I’d saved it. Now I have all the ingredients and can’t find it. Maid-Rite Copycat (Better than the Original)

    1. I’m sorry, I don’t have a Maid-Rite Copycat recipe (however I do have a search bar if you’d like to search for recipes). On a desktop, the search bar is near the top, just below the photo of me on the right hand side (or click recipe index at the top).

      On mobile, the search is at the top if you click the menu on the top left (3 little lines).

  27. My recipe is similar. My recipe calls for the raw broccoli, red grapes, red onion, pecans and chopped bacon. The dressing is mayo, vinegar and sugar. My family loves it.

  28. I used vegan mayo instead, and added hemp seeds instead of bacon bits! Also threw in some chickpeas and pumpkin seeds and it turned out soo amazing.

  29. I love this recipe as does everyone else. I also add some cauliflower to this salad. Still just as yummy.

  30. Absolutely love broccoli salad! Never tried it with dried cranberries before, so will have to give it a go some time.