Serve up this broccoli salad recipe as a delicious side dish this summer. Studded with sweet cranberries, crunchy broccoli, sunflower seeds, toss in a homemade mayo based dressing. This easy broccoli salad is a hit for your family or a crowd.
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
I created this broccoli recipe and paired with cranberries. But you can make this into a broccoli raisin salad with just a switch of ingredients.
Why This Recipe Is A Hit
Quick – This cold side dish takes minutes to prep. Whip it up and pair with your favorite main dish, or use it to meal prep for lunches.
Homemade Dressing – No store bought dressing is used. I create a simple mayo-based sauce that really helps to elevate the sweet and tangy flavors of the dish.
Bacon – Who doesn’t love bacon? Here you have the nice salty component that helps to bring the side dish recipe to a completeness in terms of flavor.
All Year Round Recipe – Whip this cold broccoli salad up all year round. Take it to your next family reunion, Easter gathering, or summer cookout. I am telling you, it is easy, and tasty!
- Broccoli Florets
- Colby Jack Cheese
- Dried Cranberries
- Red Onions
- Sunflower Seeds
- Sour Cream
- White Wine Vinegar
- Salt and Pepper
- Granulated Sugar
How to Make
Here is a quick walkthrough on how to make broccoli salad. The full directions are in the printable recipe card below.
Step 1: Prep your broccoli and toss in a bowl. You want to cut into bite-size pieces.
Step 2: Add in the cheese, cranberries, diced bacon, sunflower seeds and the onion. Set it aside.
Step 3: In a bowl you are going to create the broccoli salad dressing. Whisk the mayonnaise, white vinegar, sour cream, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
Step 4: Pour the creamy dressing over the salad, and mix well. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours to allow the flavors to blend. Then stir and serve.
Expert Tip: If your a mom in a hurry, buy the pre-cut and ready broccoli in the bag and diced onion at the grocery store! Then dump it right in the bowl and get to work on the rest of the ingredients.
You will want to store this broccoli and bacon salad in an airtight container in the fridge. It will store for up to 4 days. Anything after that you will find the texture can begin to change, and the onion flavor will become strong.
Serve this up as a side dish for dinner, or save leftovers to meal prep with. I have used it for packing in my kids and husband’s lunch. A fun twist to a classic side.
Variations And Expert Tips
- Swap the dried cranberries with raisins.
- Add a splash of fresh lemon juice, this adds a lot of flavor to the salad.
- If you want a vegetarian broccoli salad leave out the bacon
- Add in some diced cauliflower for added flavor.
- You want to make sure to let your salad sit in the first for a few hours. This is going to help all the flavors blend together.
- Feel free to make this salad up to a day in advance.
- Swap out the cheese with any variety. Sharp, pepper jack, etc.
The broccoli you use in this salad is raw, there is no cooking the broccoli first. The only thing that is cooked is the bacon.
When buying broccoli you want to look at the head of the broccoli. The florets will be tight together, bright in color, and no or little brown spots or colors on the florets. The next thing to check is the texture. Make sure the stem is not rubbery, as that is a sign of the broccoli going bad.
You will find that freezing the broccoli salad will alter the flavor and texture of the salad. It is recommended to not freeze. Just make what you plan to eat.
- 6 cups broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup Colby jack or cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup bacon, crumbled
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- In a bowl you are going to chop and toss in your diced broccoli, chopped onion, dried cranberries, bacon and sunflower seeds. Add in the shredded cheese. Set aside.
- In a new bowl you will add the mayonnaise, sugar, sour cream, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix well until the sauce is creamy and pour over the broccoli mixture. Toss well until incorporated.
- Place the broccoli salad in the refrigerator in a covered dish, for at least 1-2 hours. Then remove, stir and serve!
Broccoli - You can prep your own broccoli or buy pre-cut broccoli in a bag to use for quick prep.
Cranberries - Swap the dried cranberries with raisins if you would like.
Lighten Up - For a lighter version swap the mayonnaise with a plain Greek yogurt.
Vinegar - If you don't have white wine vinegar you can use regular distilled vinegar in replace.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 293Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 696mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gProtein: 8g
Summer Broccoli Salad – a must make if you are on the hunt for a quick and easy dish. Give it a try today and let me know how you like it!