Easy Broccoli Salad Recipe

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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 221 votes
Review Recipe

Easy Broccoli Salad Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Refrigerate 1 hour
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
A fresh crisp broccoli salad tossed in a simple homemade dressing!

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

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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.

Recipe 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.

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
Broccoli Salad in a glass bowl with a title
Broccoli Salad in a glass bowl with writing
About the author

Holly

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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. 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 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!