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Broccoli Salad Recipe

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April 12, 2022 | Author: Ashley McCrary

A classic broccoli salad recipe that serves as a great side dish for your next BBQ, party or gathering. Made with simple ingredients such as broccoli, bacon, cranberries, toasted sunflower seeds, and a delicious homemade poppy seed dressing.  This salad packs a punch with flavor and crunch. This recipe is gluten-free and can be tailored to be dairy-free. 

Broccoli salad has always been one of my top favorite summer side dishes. My childhood consisted of lots of family BBQs and this beautiful creamy salad was always on the picnic table. Now I’m keeping the tradition alive with my family. I make this salad for all my family gatherings or for family picnics. In addition, I also love my Jalapeno Popper Chicken Salad and my Bacon Ranch Chicken Salad.

a close up photo of the creamy broccoli salad in a large serving bowl

Let’s Talk Ingredients!

  • Broccoli
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Cranberries
  • Bacon
  • Red Onion
  • Toasted Sunflower Seeds
  • Mayo
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Lemon Juice
  • Monk Fruit OR Sugar
  • Salt/Pepper

Ingredient Notes

Broccoli: Fresh heads of broccoli cut into florets with stems removed. No need to blanch, use it raw.

Dried Cranberries: Cranberries adds the perfect balance of sweet and tart to the recipe. You can also use raisins.

Bacon: For this healthy Cobb salad I like to use spring mix, but you can use whichever greens are your favorite.

Cheddar Cheese: This cheese adds a great mild nutty flavor that goes perfect with the sweetness of the dressing and cranberries.

Red Onion: I slice my onions into thin matchsticks, however, you can also dice them.

Toasted Sunflower Seeds: Adds the perfect salty crunch to the salad.

Creamy Poppyseed Dressing: This salad is the shining star in this recipe. It is the perfect balance of sweet, creamy and tart.

broccoli salad ingredients

How To Make Broccoli Salad

  • Toast Sunflower Seed: Add a small skillet over medium heat. Add in the sunflower seed and cook until warm and toasted. About 3 minutes. Make sure to keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn. 
  • Make The Dressing: In a medium bowl add the mayo, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, monk fruit (or sugar), salt, and pepper. Whisk together until smooth. Add in the poppy seeds and mix together until combined.
  • Assemble The Salad: In a large bowl, add the broccoli florets, cheddar cheese, craisins, toasted sunflower seeds, and cooked crumbled bacon. Pour the dressing over all of the ingredients and toss together with a wooden spoon until combined.  
  • Serve: Serve the salad immediately or for best results allow it to chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.  

What Pairs With Broccoli Salad

When I think of this salad, I think of a warm spring or summer BBQ. However, you can use this simple and easy broccoli salad anytime throughout the year. Whether it be a BBQ or even a simple weeknight family meal, this salad is sure to hit the spot. Below are my favorite pairings.

  • BBQ: Think all things off straight the grill: Hot dogs, ribs, pork shoulder, and hamburgers.
  • Chicken: Grilled, baked, or roasted chicken.
  • Chicken Wings: Baked, grilled, or air-fried wings.
  • Fish: Salmon, trout, cod, or mahi-mahi.
a side shot  up photo the easy broccoli salad in a large serving bowl

Poppy Seed Salad Dressing:

The poppy seed dressing is the shining star in the recipe. It has the perfect balance of creamy, sweet, and tart. Not only is it absolutely delicious, but super simple to make. I use mayo as the base, but you could also use Greek yogurt. Then, I had lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, monk fruit or sugar,

Recipe Variations:

Lightened Up Version: If you are needing to lighten up this salad, simply swap Greek yogurt for the mayo. You can even remove the cheese if needed. I have had it without cheese before and it still tastes amazing.

Dairy-Free: Use either a vegan mayo or my homemade dairy-free mayo and swap out your favorite dairy-free cheese for the cheddar.

Vegan: Simply swap the regular mayo for vegan mayo and the cheddar for your favorite vegan cheddar cheese.

Low Carb/ Keto: To make this broccoli salad low carb, use mayo and not Greek yogurt, and also remove the cranberries.

a close up photo of the creamy broccoli salad in a large serving bowl

FAQs

Broccoli Salad Recipe: FAQs

Do I need to blanch the broccoli or serve it raw?

No need to waste time blanching the broccoli, feel free to make it with raw broccoli.

How should you cut the broccoli for this salad?

Use a sharp knife and cut the broccoli florets from the main stem into bite-sized pieces. I also remove the stems for this recipe.

What if I am dairy-free?

If you are dairy-free, feel free to sub the cheddar cheese with a dairy-free cheese of choice. My homemade mayo is also dairy-free, but if you are wanting to buy from the store buy a vegan mayo.

Is this recipe considered keto or low-carb friendly?

If you use monk fruit instead of sugar and remove the cranberries it would be considered low carb and keto. However, if you keep the recipe as is, then it is not low carb or keto.

Can leftovers be saved in the fridge?

For sure! As this salad sits, it gets better. I would be sure to remix before serving and add a few fresh sunflower seeds and more crispy bacon.

More Delicious Salads

Chicken Cobb Salad

Keto Bacon Ranch Salad

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Salad

Asian Chopped Salad

Steak Strawberry Salad

Print
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Easy Broccoli Salad

A classic broccoli salad recipe that serves as a great side dish for your next BBQ, party, or gathering. Made with simple ingredients such as broccoli, bacon, cranberries, toasted sunflower seeds, and a delicious homemade poppy seed dressing.  This salad packs a punch with flavor and crunch. 

  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 810 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Salad

  • 2 1/2 heads, fresh broccoli, cut into florets ( around 6 1/2 cups)
  • 5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese*
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Dressing

  • 1 cup mayo OR plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • 3 tablespoons granulated Monk Fruit OR granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zests
  • salt/pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Toast Sunflower Seed: Add a small skillet over medium heat. Add in the sunflower seed and cook until warm and toasted. About 3 minutes. Make sure to keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn. 
  • Make The Dressing: In a medium bowl add the mayo, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, monk fruit (or sugar), salt, and pepper. Whisk together until smooth. Add in the poppy seeds and mix together until combined.
  • Assemble The Salad: In a large bowl, add the broccoli florets, cheddar cheese, craisins, toasted sunflower seeds, and cooked crumbled bacon. Pour the dressing over all of the ingredients and toss together with a wooden spoon until combined.  
  • Serve: Serve the salad immediately or for best results allow it to chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.  

Notes

  • Homemade Mayo: Click here for my recipe
  • Dairy-Free: Use either a vegan mayo or my homemade dairy-free mayo and swap out your favorite dairy-free cheese for the cheddar.
  • Lighten It Up: Sub plain Greek yogurt for mayo
  • Sugar Substitutes: For the sweetener feel free to use honey, monk fruit, coconut sugar, or regular granulated sugar. 
  • Dairy-Free Options- Use dairy-free cheddar cheese 
  • Let It Sit- Allow it to sit in the fridge 1-2 hours before serving. As it sits, it gets better and better. 
  • Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container for 4-5 days. 
  • Nutrition Facts: nutrition facts are calculated using monk fruit and NOT sugar. 
  • Author: Ashley McCrary
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Salad, Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Broccoli Salad Recipe, Easy Broccoli Salad Recipe, Broccoli Salad Dressing

One thought on "Broccoli Salad Recipe"

  1. Ashley McCrary says:

    The perfect salad for a BBQ.


 

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About Me

Welcome to Healthy Little Peach. I’m Mac, the lady behind the recipes. I believe in living a healthy lifestyle that consists of a mix of healthy whole foods, and full-fat comfort meals. Life is too short not to enjoy good food while maintaining a healthy body and mind. Here you will find gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, keto, and even full-fat comfort recipes. Let’s have fun in the kitchen together!

About Me

Welcome to Healthy Little Peach. I’m Mac, the lady behind the recipes. I believe in living a healthy lifestyle that consists of a mix of healthy whole foods, and full-fat comfort meals. Life is too short not to enjoy good food while maintaining a healthy body and mind. Here you will find gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, keto, and even full-fat comfort recipes. Let’s have fun in the kitchen together!

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2. TOAST MUFFINS: You can choose to toast the English muffins with butter under the broiler for 2-3 minutes. However, if you don’t want to toast before adding the tuna, that’s okay. It still turns out great without toasting muffins first. 
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