The only Broccoli Salad Recipe you’ll need! Made from bacon and raisins, and mixed with a healthy broccoli salad dressing too good not to add it into cauliflower or slaw! This easy broccoli salad is a no-cook cold broccoli side that’s keto and low-carb approved! It’s an excellent standby salad that goes well with different add-ins, so, use this recipe for broccoli salad as a base!
Out of all the broccoli salad recipes, this one is my favorite! If you need more ideas to use up vegetables in a tasty way then make these Roasted Vegetables that you can top over this Cauliflower Pizza (Costco Copycat) or make this Asian Broccoli Recipe!
Broccoli Salad With Bacon
This broccoli bacon salad is a “Can’t-Stop-Eating-It-Delicious” side! The dressing for this broccoli salad is a bit tangy with a touch of sweetness from honey and is a neutral side to serve with almost any main dish meal! It’s a healthy broccoli salad recipe with no added sugar and if you want to make the homemade dressing for a slaw or cauliflower salad–go for it!
My favorite way to prepare bacon for this salad is to make my Oven-Baked Bacon and freeze it for quick recipes like these. I then pull out as many bacon slices as I need and microwave them for about 30 seconds before chopping. It’s so handy!
If you’re lucky to have leftovers it holds up well in the fridge and requires no steaming or cooking! The broccoli wilts on its own the longer it sits in the dressing but is just as delicious and served crunchy and fresh! I also like to cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces, to easier digest.
This bacon broccoli salad recipe goes back to when I first started blogging (back in 2015) when Marina approached me with a few of her family’s favorite recipes. She approved of this Broccoli Salad to be worthy of a blog post. I’ve had it on the blog for all these years and have tried it with different variations so, know that it’s super versatile!
Ingredients for Broccoli Salad:
The dressing makes this one of the best recipes for a broccoli salad! This salad is highly versatile, so, if you’re out of raisins use dried cranberry, and if you want to add in extras add in up to 1/3 cup of cherry grape tomatoes and seedless grapes! Do not exceed a limit of two extra add-ins otherwise, you’d need to alter the dressing.
- Broccoli- look for a firm head of broccoli at the grocery store. Broccoli bunches with crisp leaves and tightly closed dark green or purplish-green buds are the kinds you should look for. However, bunches with open buds and wilted stems are no longer fresh.
- Bacon- you can use 8 slices of cooked and chopped up bacon or if in a rush substitute with 1/3 cup of bacon bits.
- Red Onion- sweet purple onions add color to the green broccoli. You can also use white sweet Vidalia onions.
- Raisins- I’ve had a reader try it with dried red cranberries so, either raisins or cranberries will work.
- Broccoli Salad Dressing: this broccoli salad is made with a creamy honey dressing. All you need is mayonnaise, a touch of honey, and vinegar.
How To Make Bacon Broccoli Salad:
To make a broccoli salad recipe with bacon, then begin by cooking your bacon first. I like to bake mine in the oven however, you fry bacon in a skillet or make broiled bacon. To substitute bacon slices simply use bacon bits instead.
- Choose your bunch of broccoli and wash then pat dry with paper towels. Cut into bite-sized pieces and place into a large serving bowl.
- Add in bacon, diced onions, and raisins.
- Prepare the salad dressing, by whisking together the dressing ingredients. Pour over salad and toss to coat.
- Serve immediately, or keep in the fridge for up to 2 hours to wilt.
What’s In Broccoli Salad?
You may be wondering what’s in broccoli salad? The Original broccoli salad recipe called for seedless grapes, and sunflower seeds. However, grapes and certain nuts are not always found in my house, so, I made the base of this salad even more simple by using easy-to-access ingredients for anyone to prepare in a cinch.
This Broccoli Salad recipe calls for ahead of fresh firm broccoli, onion, raisins, and bacon all tossed with a creamy honey dressing. Many recipes mix granulated sugar into the mayonnaise, but adding the honey makes it healthier yet so flavorful! I also love the little zing from the vinegar it balances out the sweetness perfectly!
Choosing the Right Broccoli:
Look for broccoli heads with firm stems and compact clusters of broccoli florets. You want crisp leaves with dark green or purplish-green buds. However, avoid limp and wilted florets or stems, because they are no longer fresh.
Storing and Preserving broccoli: fresh and unwashed broccoli can keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can You Make Broccoli Salad With Frozen Broccoli?
If you don’t have fresh broccoli and want a quick side to accommodate grilled chicken or meat then steamed broccoli salad is a thing! Keep in mind steamed broccoli is softer than fresh crunchy broccoli thus, there will be a difference in texture.
To Make Broccoli Salad with Frozen Florets: simply bring 24 oz of frozen broccoli florets to a boil and immediately place them into ice-cold water (to prevent further cooking.) Drain and cool then proceed with the recipe instructions.
Note: I don’t blanch, steam, or pre-cook the broccoli florets for this salad recipe. It is meant to be a cold broccoli salad served fresh and crisp. Furthermore, it wilts naturally in the dressing the longer it sits, kind of like slaw so if you do have a preference for softer florets just let it sit in the dressing.
How Long Does Broccoli Salad Last?
If you ever wondered how long broccoli salad is good for, you’d be surprised that it’s still good the next day! Broccoli salad can keep in the refrigerator for one day in the dressing. However, if you prep the salad ingredients and keep them separated from the dressing then it keeps for up to 3 days without the dressing.
Can You Make-Ahead Broccoli Salad?
You can make broccoli salad the day before without the dressing. Adding the dressing to the broccoli florets will eventually wilt the broccoli over a long period of time. To serve broccoli salad at its peak toss it in dressing right before serving or it can keep in its dressing for up to 2 hours.
Broccoli Salad Variations:
- Broccoli Apple Salad: core and dice one medium apple to the salad.
- Bacon and Cheese: add in 8 oz of shredded cheddar cheese.
- Cranberry Variation: substitute the raisins for dried cranberries to a 1:1 ratio.
- Broccoli Grape Salad: add-in 1/2 cup halved seedless purple grapes. I also like to add 1/3 cup of halved cherry tomatoes with this combination.
- Broccoli Slaw Salad: add 1/2 cup of shredded red cabbage and 1/3 cup of grated carrots.
- Amish Broccoli Salad: do half cauliflower and half broccoli florets. Feel free to swap out 1/3 cup of mayo with sour cream.
- Broccoli Cauliflower Salad: mix together 7 oz of cut cauliflower and 7 oz of cut broccoli florets together, then mix in the remaining salad ingredients.
- Chicken Salad Broccoli Salad: stir in 8 oz of cooked and ready-to-use chicken breasts (cold.)
Note: depending on how many add-ins you choose the dressing portions may need to be adjusted accordingly. I don’t recommend more than two at a time, otherwise, you will need to up the dressing.
**I think the best broccoli salad recipe is this variation due to its simple base that you can build from.
How To Store Broccoli Salad:
Leftover broccoli salad can keep in the fridge for up to 1 day in its dressing. If you are storing the prepped salad ingredients separately from the dressing then it can keep for 3 days in the refrigerator.
Be sure to use an airtight food container and toss the salad with the dressing right before serving (or 1-2 hours before serving if you prefer wilted broccoli.)
- Make ahead Broccoli salad by prepping and placing the salad ingredients into a food container. Store the dressing separately until needed.
- Don’t have honey? Use agave, maple syrup, or cane sugar!
- Make ahead bacon by baking it in bulk and then freezing it for easy salad recipes like these. Follow my Oven-Baked Bacon Recipe instructions or just buy the pre-cooked bacon slices at the grocery store.
- Use 1/3 cup of Real crumbled bacon bits (not imitation-flavored bits) as a substitute for the bacon slices.
- Add in sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, or crunchy walnuts! Some will add in apples for extra crunch and sweetness.
- This raw broccoli salad is best for 1 day after preparation (in the dressing.)
- See all the Broccoli Salad Variations in the Q and A section.
- This salad is made with minimal prep so you don’t have to blanch or steam the broccoli!
- Make a broccoli salad without mayo (light and easy) by making homemade Honey Mustard Dressing!
- Keto Broccoli Salad-approved!
- Broccoli raisin salad can be evenly interchanged with dried cranberries.
- Lighten up the dressing by using a light mayo-like avocado oil mayonnaise.
More Broccoli Recipes:
- Broccoli Pasta Salad
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Panera Bread Copycat)
- Easy Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice
- Teriyaki Glazed Salmon Recipe (make it a broccoli casserole if you don’t have a sheet pan)
- Broccoli Ramen Salad
How To Make Broccoli Salad:
Broccoli Salad Recipe
- 1 Wire Whisk (to prepare the dressing)
- 1 mixing bowl
- 13 oz broccoli (1 large broccoli head cut )
- 8 slices cooked bacon (chopped)
- 1/2 cup red onion (diced)
- 1/3 cup raisins
Broccoli Salad Dressing:
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp white distilled vinegar
- 2 tsp honey
- In a large salad bowl combine the broccoli florets, bacon, onion, and raisins. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a separate small bowl, whisk together the salad dressing by combining the mayonnaise, honey, and vinegar until smooth.
- Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and toss to coat.
- Serve immediately for a crunchy salad or keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours if you prefer the florets to be wilted.
Nutrition per serving