Easy Broccoli Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 10 servings

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This easy recipe for Broccoli Salad keeps for days in the fridge and will quickly become a family favorite. Made from crunchy broccoli florets, this salad is tossed with a sweet and tangy homemade broccoli salad dressing!

broccoli salad recipe with bacon cranberries cheese and homemade dressing.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I always feel like summer has officially started when I make this recipe for Broccoli Salad for my family.

I know, I know, traditional summertime meals are generally cooked on the grill.

But for us, the warm weather calls for a cold summer salad in the fridge — one that can be pulled out at a moment’s notice and used as a way to round out multiple meals and complement whatever we’ve got grilling!

(Or eaten on its own, straight out of the salad bowl, for a crunchy midnight snack.)

This recipe for Broccoli Salad keeps for up to 4 days in the fridge — even once it’s been dressed. It has a creamy dressing that’s tangy and sweet (you might even recognize it from my Best Homemade Coleslaw Recipe, it’s the same dressing!)

Even if it’s been sitting for a couple of days, the broccoli in this salad stays crisp (it’s also tossed in with other ingredients like shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, and dried cranberries or raisins.)

This makes it a great fuss-free option to make ahead for barbecues, picnics, and cookouts — I’ve never met anyone who didn’t immediately fall in love with this salad!

Planning a picnic? Give my recipes for Creamy Ranch Bowtie Pasta Salad and BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Zucchini, and Corn a try!

How to make this Broccoli Salad Recipe:

  • Cut broccoli florets into uniform, bite-sized pieces using a small paring knife or some kitchen shears. If the broccoli has a thick stem, peel away the tough outer layer and cut the sweet inner stem into an even dice.
  • Cook the bacon until the fat has completely rendered and it can be easily crumbled. The bacon can be cooked several hours ahead of time, refrigerated, and then crumbled once you’re ready to begin making the salad. In a pinch, you can even use bacon bits.
  • Combine salad ingredients with broccoli salad dressing. Toss everything together and serve or keep refrigerated and serve within 4 days.
overhead image of ingredients needed for broccoli salad in a glass bowl.
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How to make this Broccoli Salad Dressing:

This broccoli salad dressing couldn’t be easier to make — it comes together in 5 minutes or less! You can store the salad dressing in the fridge, covered, for up to 2 weeks.

  • Stir the salad dressing ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • I also like to make this dressing in a screw-top jar — all you need to do is give it a good shake and the salad dressing is ready to use!
close up image of broccoli salad with bacon in glass bowl.

Variations on this Broccoli Salad Recipe:

  • Make use of pre-cut broccoli. To make this broccoli salad a super-easy endeavour use pre-cut, bagged broccoli florets. I always like to give the broccoli a good wash, even if the bag says it’s been pre-washed.
  • Add some other crunchy vegetables to the mix. Sliced radishes, cauliflower, and celery all add plenty of crunch and will hold up in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Substitute pancetta or thick-cut bacon for the regular bacon. Pancetta has a slightly gamey taste, so keep that in mind if you decide to make the substitution.
  • Use any mild, shredded cheese in place of the cheddar. Shredded Monterey Jack, havarti, and gouda would all work well in this salad.
  • Experiment with dried fruit. Out of dried cranberries or raisins? Golden sultanas and thinly sliced dried apricots are also tasty additions to this broccoli salad.
  • Play around with different nuts and seeds. Sunflower seeds are my go-to crunchy ingredient whenever I make this salad, but I’ve also tried slivered almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds.
  • Add a touch of heat. Depending on your family’s tolerance for spicy food, you can add a small amount of sriracha (or another favorite hot sauce) to the dressing for a hint of heat.
  • Customize the dressing to your taste. If you like a tangier dressing add more acid — this recipe calls for cider vinegar but you can also use red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar for a more noticeable taste. If you prefer your broccoli salad dressing on the sweeter side you can add more sugar (or try replacing it with liquid honey!)

Recipes for the grill you’ll love:

These recipes for the grill pair perfectly with this broccoli salad recipe!

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Broccoli Salad

5 from 29 votes
This Broccoli Salad recipe is loaded with bacon, cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds, cranberries or raisins and topped with a simple 3 ingredient dressing! Lasts for days in the fridge!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Salad
Servings 10 servings
Calories 248cal


  • 6 cups broccoli florets (about 3 heads)
  • 3 thick slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds


  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


  • Place broccoli, bacon, cheese, cranberries and sunflower seeds in large bowl.
  • Stir together dressing and pour over salad in bowl.
  • Stir to coat and serve or refrigerate up to four days.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 248cal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 296mg | Potassium: 224mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 435IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords broccoli salad

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Kathie says

    I’ve been looking for this recipe for some time! A friend made it, and I fell in love with it! Yummy!

  2. Enid Weygandt says

    I have made this recipe many times. As a vegetarian, I use chopped smoked almonds in place of the bacon. It is delicious!

  3. Kim says

    Have been making this salad for decades. I cauliflower and broccoli and currents and Balsamic vinegar instead of cider. Always a big hit.

  4. Patty says

    Have made this many times. Always so delicious! I agree with “M” about the cookbook idea. Thank you for all your recipes.

  5. Christine Frontino says

    Can I use frozen vegetables in this salad cuz that’s all I have and I have everything else too for the salad I was wondering if that I could do that please give me your answer so I can make it for Christmas Eve and Christmas thank you so much happy holiday Christine frontino.

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Christine! I don’t believe frozen would work unless you let them thaw completely and drain them. Let me know how it goes if you decide to try it out!

      • Andrea Price says

        Can’t wait to make. I am going to Blanche my broccoli for a few minutes first. Fresh broccoli has too strong a taste for me so blanching just drops that taste down perfectly for me. Love broccoli salad. Thanks for posting!

  6. Candace McNabb says

    This is the best broccoli salad I have ever made. Started making it in summer of 2020 and it’s one of our families summer favorites.

  7. Francis says

    A very useful dressing. Have topped several salads with it. It reminds me of a “from scratch” dressing my mother made, cooking it on the wood stove in the 1960’s.

  8. Lisalia says

    Such a delicious and simple salad for summer family meals. Even my youngest kids loved it. The dressing is amazing!

  9. Aimee Shugarman says

    This is one of our favorite summer salads. LOVE it and love sharing this one with family and friends.

  10. Lily says

    This was a great addition to grilled chicken today. An easy and quick salad, its perfect for any summer night.

  11. Sue says

    Love the ease of this recipe & how good it is with other vegetables and fresh or dried fruits.. I dice the bacon before I render it down then it’s ready to use right away.

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