Broccoli Salad is a quick salad full of fresh crisp broccoli, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and bacon bits. It’s all tossed in a really easy creamy homemade dressing.

Since it’s best made ahead of time (and everyone raves about this recipe), it’s a great potluck dish and a favorite addition to a holiday table.

broccoli salad in a bowl with dressing

What Makes This The Best Broccoli Salad

Simple. Delicious. Easy. The best broccoli salad recipe doesn’t need a lot of fancy ingredients.

  • It’s so incredibly easy to make!
  • The 3 ingredient dressing is super simple and extra creamy with a little tang. We love that it doesn’t have tons of sugar!
  • Since it’s best made ahead of time, it’s perfect for potlucks and bbq’s or even lunches throughout the week.
  • It is always a hit, we almost never have leftovers but if you do have leftovers, they last for about 5 days!

If you have extra veggies you need to use up, you can easily add them to this dish. Zucchini, cauliflower, celery, or peppers can make great additions!

ingredients for broccoli salad

Ingredients in Broccoli Salad

Fresh broccoli florets are the star of this dish. The broccoli doesn’t need to be cooked first. Just wash and drain well (a salad spinner can help ensure it’s dry).

Crispy bacon adds a salty smoky flavor. I use real bacon bits in this recipe to keep is simple but you can cut and crumble your own if you’d like.

Add ins include:

  • onions (red or green work well)
  • dried cranberries (add raisins if you’d like)
  • sunflower seeds. Swap out the seeds for any kind of chopped nuts like almonds or pecans.
Ingredients for Broccoli Salad in a clear bowl

How to Make Broccoli Salad

This is probably one of the easiest salads you will throw together, which is why it has become a favorite (plus it’s so yummy)!

  1. Wash the broccoli and dry it very well. Cut the florets (and the stem) into bite-sized pieces, this can be done up to 4 days ahead of time. If you’d like you can also add some broccoli slaw to the salad.
  2. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside per the recipe below.
  3. Place the ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and toss with dressing. Remember to allow time for the recipe to chill in the fridge. This gives the broccoli a chance to soak in some of the dressing making it even better!

Broccoli Salad Dressing

We love this creamy broccoli salad dressing and it’s super simple to make in just 3 minutes.

  • Mayonnaise can be swapped for dressing (like Miracle Whip).
  • A sugar substitute of your choice will work well in this recipe.
  • If you’re looking for a premade dressing, try coleslaw dressing or creamy poppyseed dressing.
  • To make this broccoli salad recipe healthier, substitute half of the mayonnaise for plain Greek yogurt and skip the bacon bits.
Broccoli Salad in a bowl with wooden spoons

Tips for the Best Creamy Broccoli Salad

  • Wash your broccoli ahead of time if possible, this helps to ensure it drains well.
  • This gives the broccoli a chance to soak in some of the dressing, resulting in an even more flavorful salad!
  • Allow time for the recipe to chill in the fridge. This gives the broccoli a chance to soak in some of the dressing, resulting in an even more flavorful salad!

Make Ahead & Leftovers

Broccoli Salad can be made in advance and kept in the fridge (at least an hour but up to 24 hours) until you’re ready to serve. If you’d like to make further ahead, keep the dressing separate and toss a few hours before serving.

Leftovers will last about 4-5 days in the fridge.

More Easy Salads We Love

Did you enjoy this Broccoli Salad? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

broccoli salad in a bowl with dressing
4.98 from 392 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

The Best Broccoli Salad

A fresh crisp broccoli salad is tossed in a simple & creamy homemade dressing.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients  

  • 8 cups broccoli cut into bite-sized pieces
  • cup red onion diced
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup bacon bits

Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Whisk together dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine broccoli, onion, cranberries, sunflower seeds, and bacon bits. Pour the prepared dressing over and mix well.
  • Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Video

Notes

Broccoli Salad can be made ahead & kept in the fridge (at least an hour but up to 24 hours) until ready to serve. 
Leftovers will last about 4-5 days in the fridge.
Dry broccoli very well so moisture doesn’t water down the dressing. Broccoli does not need to be cooked for this recipe.
Reserve some crisp bacon for garnish if desired and add just before serving.
Store-bought coleslaw dressing can replace the homemade dressing if desired.
4.98 from 392 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

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

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

Course Salad
Cuisine American

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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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Comments

  1. Seriously this is the best broccoli salad. 2nd time making this. Everyone devoured it first time. Making for Turkey day today.5 stars

  2. I love this recipe. I didn’t have cider vinegar so had to use apple cider vinegar. It turned out super good. Another addition could be apples. I might try this next time. Thanks for an another amazing recipe.5 stars

    1. You could try swapping for Miracle Whip. Or other readers have had great success with plain greek yogurt. I hope this helps Marge and If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

    2. If due to eggs, this might not help, but if want healthier substitution for regular Mayo, Primal Kitchen Avocado Mayo or Chosen Foods Avocado Mayo are good. More pricy but good.

  3. This recipe reminds me of one of our family favorites! It’s really, really good! I just made some to munch on for a few days. Thanks for reminding me! ❤️

  4. This is my go to dish to bring to potlucks and everyone always raves about it! And when there are leftovers I have to say it’s even better the next day! So good!!5 stars

  5. This recipe is amazing and one of the favourites of my family. You can interchange seeds/nuts etc. I use Miracle Whip instead of mayo for the dressing….delicious!5 stars

  6. I love it but I have always been adventurous when it comes to trying new flavors and recipes and culturally different dishes as well. My husband and 4 of his brothers love this salad and I caught 2 of them sneaking in the fridge to get more when they thought I did not see them. The sneaking happened before dinner so I think they were afraid they would not get more of this delicious salad. I had given all of them a small sample to try right after I made it. That was the first time I made it and now it is a family favorite. Thanks for sharing. % stars for this family.5 stars

  7. Someone brought this to a work buffet and we were all obsessed! I had to come on and fine the recipe because I need to make this as soon as possible. Gorgeous!5 stars

  8. So easy and delish! Always get so many compliments when I make it. Had to sub red wine vinegar last time and still just as good.5 stars

  9. I love this summer salad. I add chopped cauliflower too. My vinegar change is 1/2 red wine vinegar 1/2 balsamic vinegar. 1-2 tsp AGAVE or Raw honey. Delicious! I’ve added chopped cucumber as well if had little leftover cuc.5 stars

  10. A real hit with the hubby! Happy because it’s a healthier choice than a heavy carb salad(potato or macaroni).