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 897 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

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.
4.99 from 897 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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Comments

  1. Important! Dry that broccoli! I failed to read this note and my sauce wanted to travel to the bottom of the bowl. :-( It was amazing though. Loved the slight punch of the Apple Cider Vinager and the softening on the pallette of the sugar. Will be revisiting this recipe often! Thanks!5 stars

  2. I made this salad for my holiday dinner, and it was a huge success! This will be my go-to broccoli salad recipe from now on. The dressing was delicious! I used raisins and pecans. Will not disappoint!5 stars

  3. 5 Stars for this recipe. My mother and I made this and it is delicious. We used raisins instead of the cranberries and reduced the sugar by 1 teaspoon. I will make this again! Thank you for sharing.5 stars

  4. For me, this is very addictive. I love it. I do however sometimes add Gouda cheese in tiny cubes and chopped apple. I cook the bacon myself because I do not care for packaged real bacon bits. Actually, you can just make this salad your own by adding whatever sounds yummy.5 stars

  5. Amazing recipe – a real crowd pleaser. However, I did reduce the sugar by about a teaspoon in the dressing and it was perfect!5 stars