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 889 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


  • 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 889 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


, ,

Like our recipes?
Follow us on Pinterest!

Follow us on Pinterest

Recipes you'll love

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!
See more posts by Holly

Follow Holly on social media:

pinterest facebook twitter instagram

Free eBook!

Subscribe to receive weekly recipes and get a FREE Bonus e-book: Quick & Easy Weeknight Meals!

You can unsubscribe anytime by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of emails you receive.

latest & greatest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. I made the recipe as written, except with miracle whip instead of mayo, since that is how my family rolls. It was way too tart. Not sure if it was the substitution, or just too much vinegar. I ended up adding about 1/4 cup sour cream, 2TB of milk, and another TB of sugar to fix it.3 stars

    1. Miracle whip tends to be more vinegary than mayo, so that makes sense that it would be more tart. Sorry that you didn’t enjoy it. We really love this recipe. Thanks for giving it a try.

    2. I prefer MW for this salad and most salads because it has more flavor. For 1 c of MW(I use lite) only add 2 T of vinegar and 4 T sugar is my preference.5 stars

  2. I added 1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes. I also used crumbled fried bacon instead of bacon bits. I love this salad.5 stars

  3. I love this recipe! I made a couple small modifications: pumpkin seeds instead of sunflower (because I like them better) and fried chopped bacon instead of bacon bits (adds to the freshness). You can get away with a little less sugar in the dressing if you wish. Even my husband, who hates broccoli, loves this salad!5 stars

  4. I made a huge batch of this for my daughter’s baby shower and it was a success! Numerous people told me it was the best broccoli salad they have ever had and begged for the recipe!5 stars

  5. Absolutely delicious!! My sister in law first made this and I fell in love and asked where she got her recipe and it led me here. She swapped the cranberries for raisins, as did I because I love raisins. Next time I think I’m going to only add 1 T of sugar instead of 2.5 stars

  6. Another great recipe. I’ve tried a few of your recipes and they are all great! Just subscribed to receive your weekly recipes. Can’t wait!!!5 stars

  7. I have a jar of bacon bits not the real ones I’ve had in my fridge for a while can I use those in place of real bacon bits for the broccoli salad?

    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!

    1. Welcome Theresa! To receive emails with new recipes, you can click here to sign up to receive emails. Look forward to sending you recipes!

  8. Made the dressing last night with olive oil Best foods Mayo and was going to add to salad this morning. Dressing seems really thick. What is consistency suppose to be snd should I add any more apple cider?

    1. I have only used regular mayonnaise. Take a look at the video to see the consistency. I’d suggest whisking it and adding it to the salad. It should come together just fine after tossing. Add additional vinegar only if needed.

  9. Personal modifications because well I always do…slightly less than 1/4 cup sugar, 2Tb of apple cider vinegar, juice of 1/2 tangerine, and dash of pepperoni the dressing. Cherry craisins on sale, also added pepitas and sliced almonds. Had macadamia nuts on hand, maybe next time. Found sweet tasty carrots at farmers mkt so grated them. Holy smoke is this salad good! Thank you!5 stars

  10. I made this yesterday for Easter dinner and got lots of compliments on it. We especially like that the recipe doesn’t call for cheese–we just don’t care for cheese in our broccoli salad (we just leave it out but it is always cool to be able to say we found a recipe just the way we like it.)5 stars

    1. I actually have done that Nancy! I have swapped the mayonnaise for plain greek yogurt. It is definitely thicker and creamier but I enjoyed the flavor.

    1. While I haven’t tried balsamic vinegar, I think that would be great! You may want to add about half of the vinegar first, and add more to taste. Let us know if you do try it.

    1. You could reduce the sugar, dried cranberries, and bacon, as well as use a reduced calorie mayo. All of those will change the taste somewhat, but it’ll still be delicous! Hope that helps Brielle!