This Broccoli Salad recipe is a fresh, crunchy salad with broccoli, bacon, raisins, sunflower seeds, walnuts in a delicious, creamy dressing!
A DELICIOUSLY FRESH SUMMER SALAD
Broccoli salad is such a fresh and delicious salad. The sweet and sour style dressing that coats all the ingredients really pulls it altogether. The salad is chock full of broccoli, bacon, raisins, cheese and sunflower seeds yet manages to still taste so light! If you like my Creamy Bacon Broccoli Pasta Salad recipe then you’ll love this one!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Yes absolutely! Sometimes it’s best to make a day ahead because it gives time for all the flavors to really meld together. Just make sure to stir it again before serving.
Yes! It is safe to eat whether it is raw or cooked. As with all vegetables, make sure to rinse them very well before eating.
If you are trying to estimate how much broccoli salad you’ll need for your guests, the rule of thumb is about one cup per person.
Generally I serve this with just about anything (usually a protein). I think grilled chicken, grilled ribs or pulled pork are all perfect to serve with this salad. It also pairs really well with seafood!
You can purchase bags of fresh chopped broccoli florets near where the bagged lettuces are located in your grocery store. . If you can’t find the florets, just purchase a couple of bunches of broccoli and remove the thick stalks from the bottom then chop up the top parts to make florets. Do not use frozen broccoli florets.
As long as it is stored in a covered container, broccoli salad will last in the fridge for 3-4 days. Keep in mind, the broccoli will continue to lose it’s crispness the longer it is in the refrigerator.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)
- fresh broccoli florets – do not use frozen broccoli florets here – they will add too much moisture and will not stay crisp.
- bacon – you can fry it up yourself or use microwave bacon or even purchase the bacon pieces.
- raisins – dried cranberries (like Craisins) work great here too!
- chopped walnuts – if you don’t like nuts just leave them out or you can substitute for pecans or even almonds.
- red onion – if you think red onions have too pungent of a flavor, try soaking the slices in some ice water for about 10 minutes. It really helps!
- sunflower kernels – you are going to look for the sunflower seeds that are already removed from the shells. You will generally find them near where the other nuts are located in your grocery store.
- shredded cheese – I use cheddar cheese but you really could go with any cheese you enjoy here.
- mayonnaise – I only use real mayonnaise here, not Miracle Whip. I like Dukes or Hellmans the best.
- sugar – this might seem weird to add but this dressing is like a sweet and sour dressing and it’s not a large amount.
- vinegar – I like apple cider vinegar but white vinegar works just fine too.
HOW TO MAKE BROCCOLI SALAD:
In a medium bowl or lidded jar, make the dressing. Whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar and black pepper until thoroughly combined.
Or if using a jar, just pop the lid on and shake vigorously.
In a large bowl, add broccoli, bacon, raisins, walnuts, chopped onions, sunflower kernels and shredded cheese.
Pour dressing over salad ingredients.
Give it all a really good stir to combine.
CRAVING MORE SALADS?
Broccoli Salad (+Video)
For the dressing:
- In a separate medium bowl, make the dressing. Whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar and black pepper until thoroughly combined.
- In a large serving bowl, add chopped broccoli, bacon, raisins, walnuts, chopped onions, sunflower kernel and shredded cheese.
- Pour dressing over salad ingredients. Give it all a really good stir to combine. Then serve or allow it to soften in the refrigerator (covered) for about an hour before serving.
- Please refer to my FAQ’s and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
- You could use chopped green onion for a milder onion flavor if you prefer but I love the look of the red onion in this salad. It adds color and flavor.
- This salad can be made a day ahead of time and should be kept stored in a bowl with an airtight lid in the refrigerator. Just remember to stir well again before serving.
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.
Originally published April 2012
Updated & Republished: January 2023