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.
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 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.
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)!
- 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.
- Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside per the recipe below.
- 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.
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!
The Best Broccoli Salad
- 8 cups broccoli cut into bite-sized pieces
- ⅓ cup red onion diced
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ cup bacon bits
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- salt & pepper to taste
- 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.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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I’ve been making this for years, but a use bacon that I’ve done in the oven, drained well, cooled and chopped. This is one of my family & friends request the most!!
Do use real bacon bits in the salad??
I do prefer real bacon bits in this salad if possible Heather!
This salad is fabulous and so easy! I subbed lightly toasted pumpkin seeds for the sunflower seeds because that’s what I had, and used cranberries and bacon bits. For the dressing, I made it with mostly best foods mayo, and the remaining greek yogurt, and I used powdered stevia instead of sugar. Next time I’ll try using a little more greek yogurt to make it healthier. Absolutely loved it, thank you for the great recipe! Will add to my favorites!
my Grandma used to make broccoli salad and it’s been years since I’ve had it. always loved it. so I found this recipe and it tastes exactly like my grandma’s used to!!!! I’m so happy to have this recipe! ITS SO GOOD! I make it all the time now!!! Thank you!!!
I am so happy to hear this Laura!
This salad is fantastic & so easy to make. I was so happy I was able to find it again and this time got smart and printed it out. My 1st time I used raisins since I had them in the house, but this time I am opting for the cranberries. By adding roasted & salted sunflower seeds I didn’t need to add any additional salt. The sunflower seeds really pull this salad together.
Love the idea of cranberries instead of raisins. The apple cider vinegar adds a nice touch and alters the flavor in a positive way. Delivers a slight punch of tangy but still sweet. Definitely my favorite broccoli burst salad recipe. I will forever use this recipe. Two gigantic thumbs up for this one!
Excellent flavour matching. Yummy. Thanks again Holly
So easy to make a vegan version. I took it to a party and EVERYONE complimented me on it. (No one knew it was vegan. ) Modifications: veganaise, imitation bacon bits, used 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp of white vinegar, and added crushed glazed pecans on top.
Thank you for this amazing recipe!! It will now be my go to potluck dish!
This is the best and easiest recipe ever. Lots of compliments and now a request to bring for Super Bowl meal. Five stars.
I Never found the actual amounts of ingredients that need to go in the dressing just This could go way wrong by just guessing on the amounts.pictures. This could go way wrong by just guessing on the amounts.
I would not recommend this link for a recipe.
Hi Janice, you can use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post to view the full recipe. Enjoy!
Love this recipe! I added minced garlic but otherwise everything else was the same!
I found this recipe about a year ago & I’ve been making it every month since! My family is obsessed! I added tiny cubes of extra sharp cheddar & used champagne vinegar. I use reduced sugar dried cranberries, light mayo & a sugar substitute. I’ve got really well controlled type 2 diabetes and my little alterations have kept this yummy salad from wreaking havoc on my numbers. thanks for a great recipe!
You’re very welcome Cybil! Thank you for sharing!
easy to make and delicious!
is so easy to made and quick, family favour menu.
It was a sure hit at our neighborhood holiday party. Many people complimented on it. There were 11 people for a buffet dinner, and they ate all of the salad. I will take it to covered dish dinners from now on.