Broccoli Salad is a quick anytime 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 over this recipe), it is the perfect potluck dish, great for any gathering, and a favorite addition to a holiday table.

Broccoli Salad in a clear bowl

A Favorite Salad Recipe

My friends and family absolutely love this fresh broccoli salad recipe.

  • It’s so incredibly easy to make
  • The dressing is quick, creamy, and flavorful.
  • Since it’s best made ahead of time, it’s perfect for potlucks and barbecues
  • It is always a hit and I never end up with leftovers!

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

Fresh crisp broccoli is the star of this dish and it doesn’t need to be cooked first. Simply wash and drain well. A salad spinner can help ensure it’s dry.

Crisp 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), and 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 tastes great)!

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, resulting in an even more flavorful salad!

For the Best Salad be sure the broccoli is dried well so it doesn’t water down the dressing.

Broccoli Salad Dressing

I absolutely love this creamy broccoli salad dressing and it’s super simple with just a few ingredients. If you’re looking for a premade dressing, try coleslaw dressing or creamy poppyseed dressing. A few notes on the dressing:

  • To make this broccoli salad recipe healthier, substitute half of the mayonnaise for plain Greek yogurt and skip the bacon bits.
  • Mayonnaise can be swapped for dressing (like Miracle Whip).
  • A sugar substitute of your choice will work well in this recipe.

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!
  • 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, resulting in an even more flavorful salad!

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 it, which makes it so much easier to get everything together!

This salad is great to serve alongside any grilled foods from Honey Mustard Chicken or BBQ Chicken to tender ribs! Add some Corn on the Cob for the perfect summer meal!

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 wooden spoons
4.97 from 238 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Easy Broccoli Salad Recipe

A fresh crisp broccoli salad tossed in a simple homemade dressing!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Refrigerate 1 hour
Total Time 15 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
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • salt & pepper

Instructions 

  • Whisk together cider vinegar, sugar, mayonnaise, salt and pepper 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

Dry broccoli very well so moisture doesn't water down the dressing.
Reserve some crisp bacon for garnish if desired and add just before serving.
Store-bought coleslaw dressing can replace the homemade dressing if desired.
4.97 from 238 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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About the author

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. I made this and it was a huge hit. The cool thing is that it is versatile, so you can add or swap out ingredients.
    I suggest doubling the recipe, I will be doing that tonight. The first time I made it everyone wanted more.5 stars

    1. Hi Candace, there is a recipe card that has the entire recipe. Scroll down the page, or click on the Jump to Recipe button at the top of the post to find it. You’ll find the ingredients and instructions there! Enjoy the recipe!

  2. Followed the recipe exactly and it came out fantastic. Rave reviews from friends and family. Just as tasty the next day for lunch. I took the time to make sure the broccoli was dry and the dressing clung beautifully.5 stars

  3. This is one of my “go-to” broccoli salad recipes! My husband and I enjoy this alot!! As you suggested, we do add other ingredients to it – i.e. apples!! We cannot get enough of it!! Thank you for sharing! Also, I wanted to let you know that we “eat with you” a lot! When I say that I got a recipe from “Spend with Pennies,” my husband always says “Well, I know it’s gonna be good!!” Again, thank you for this recipe, and so many others!!5 stars

    1. Hi Lori, frozen broccoli won’t have the same crunch or texture as fresh broccoli so I wouldn’t recommend it. But if you try this recipe with frozen broccoli we would love to hear how it turns out.

  4. I made this recipe tonight and we love it! I substituted blue cheese chunks for the bacon. It was great but can’t wait to use bacon next time.5 stars

    1. The simulated bacon bits can soak up moisture and get a bit soggy. If that’s all you have on hand, I would suggest sprinkling it on top as you’re serving. Let us know how it goes!

  5. This is a good blend for the dressing. Great recipe, whether you add the bacon or not. It’s also good whether you use sliced grapes, raisins, or the craisins. And the sunflower seeds can easily be switched for pecan pieces-either works well. I vary according to what’s in my fridge, or what people prefer. Thanks for posting the recipe. I also appreciate that you answer questions that people have. One more tip I’d like to share… if some of the leftovers get a bit runny it gets perfect again if you add a small dollop of Miracle Whip (store brand ok) I imagine Mayo would do it too, but haven’t done that with it yet. I have prepared the salad with either to begin with.5 stars

  6. Your recipes look incredible, are home-cook friendly and use items that most of us have in the kitchen without having to spend money on ingredients we may use only one time.