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
4.99 from 896 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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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


  • 8 cups broccoli cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 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.



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.
4.99 from 896 votes

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
glass bowl with The Best Broccoli Salad and a title
close up of The Best Broccoli Salad and wooden spoons with a title
ingredients in a bowl to make The Best Broccoli Salad with writing
ingredients in a bowl to make The Best Broccoli Salad and plated dish with writing


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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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Recipe Rating


  1. I loved this salad when i would get it from Wal-Mart. I made a small bowl this morning using your recipe…soooo gooood!! I got a small head of broccoli & all the other ingredients, I eyeballed it. I used a handful of real bacon bits, sunflower seeds, and red onion. I used a handful & half of cranberries. I used 3 tbls of light mayo, 2 tbls kewpie mayo, 2 tbls ACV & 2 tbls of Rice Wine vinegar & 2 tbls of sugar. When I say so good, I mean SOOOOOO GOOOOD!!! Everything about this salad is just good. The tart, sweet, salty (bacon bits) crunchy, & twangy, all blend so well. I have it in the refrigerator so it can continue to marinate. This is a keeper & thank you for sharing 5 stars

  2. This recipe is a keeper! Even my friend, who doesn’t enjoy meal prep/cooking, gobbled up multiple bowls and asked for the recipe.5 stars

  3. I have had this type of broccoli salad from a deli before and loved it, but wanted to make it fresh. Your recipe sounds great, going to make it tomorrow for a family birthday dinner!5 stars

  4. I have had this type of broccoli salad from a deli before and loved it, but wanted to make it fresh. Your recipe sounds great and easy to make!5 stars

  5. I put half of drained, well crumbled, oven baked or air fried bacon in salad to meld with flavors. The other half I sprinkle on top for crunchiness. I also sprinkle the nuts on top just prior to serving to maintain crispness. Furthermore, I add the cranberries prior to serving to avoid the gumminess if you leave them in the salad overnight. If your cranberries are a little old (but within expiration date) just put them in a low temp oven until they become shiny and leathery. I started learning to cook over 60 years ago when I spent summers with my beloved grandmother. This was one of the salads she made so it brings back good memories! I don’t know if gumminess or crunchiness are real words but you get what I mean …

    1. I went at my son for a bbq and he has made this beautiful broccoli salad, I couldn’t stop eating the salad and ask him to share the recipe with me, the next day I’ve made a batch of it , love it, love it
      Thanks for sharing this beautiful healthy broccoli recipe .

  6. This broccoli salad is excellent. Love the recipe for all the substitutions that are available for individuals with food allergies, special diets or picky eaters who don’t eat certain foods.
    It’s perfect for a busy mom as long as she has a bag of pre washed broccoli florets!
    Thank you for making it so easy & healthy,5 stars

  7. This is the BEST! I started to panic because I couldn’t find it and I’m taking it to a gathering this weekend and for some reason my printed recipe wasn’t where I thought it was!! Thank goodness I found it. It is the very BEST one I have tried
    Thank you5 stars

  8. This was really good. Made it according to the recipe. Wish I had gotten to let it sit a little longer. I made it about an hour before dinner. I think four hours would have helped the flavors to meld better.5 stars

  9. Delicious recipe! I made it for a church covered dish lunch and divided it among 12-15 clear plastic cups (9 oz size), covering each with plastic wrap. I have learned over the “Covid years” to minimize the number of germs spread through touching shared serving pieces, breathing/sneezing over open serving bowls, and such. People seem to appreciate the ease of just picking up a prepared serving in a cup also. I do the same with fruit salad, banana pudding, and other dishes that can easily be portioned into small cups.5 stars

  10. So delicious! Our SIL made this for us and we LOVED it! She mentioned she had coleslaw dressing on hand so used that. I am looking forward to making it for our friends.

  11. This sounds like a broccoli salad I use to get at the Walmart deli, if it is it will be a five star rating. Can’t wait to try it!!


  12. Thank you for this ohhh so yummy and eye pleasing recipe. A perfect addition to any summer table. Since discovering this recipe, I’ve made it three times and let me say, guests were coming back for seconds. I did add diced red pepper, apple and pomegranate to the mix. I also added a tablespoon of dry mustard… delish!5 stars