Broccoli Bacon Salad is full of fresh ingredients like broccoli florets, red onions, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and bacon and tossed with homemade dressing.
When most people hear the word "salad," they probably think of a big bowl of lettuce, some shredded carrots, maybe some diced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, croutons, and a drizzle of salad dressing.
That's the kind of salad I grew up eating. Lettuce, carrots, toss in some white onions, and a healthy does of ranch dressing.
This salad is full of broccoli florets, crunchy walnuts and sunflower seeds, salty bacon, red onions, and sweet dried cranberries.
Then it's tossed in a tangy sweet mayonnaise dressing. Broccoli Bacon Salad easy to prepare, and makes a great side dish or full meal.
How to Make Broccoli Salad with Bacon:
Scroll to the recipe card below for full instructions and ingredient amounts!
- If you don't have bacon cooked, go head and do that, too. Otherwise, jump right in and start making the salad.
- Next, begin making the salad dressing. Start with a medium bowl, and combine the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. Set the dressing in the refrigerator until you're ready to dress the salad.
- Place the broccoli florets in a large mixing bowl. Then add the walnuts, onions, sunflower seeds, cranberries, and bacon.
- When you're ready to serve the salad, pour the dressing over the ingredients, and toss to combine. Make sure to stir well, because the dressing has a tendency to sink to the bottom of the bowl.
- Serve the broccoli bacon salad immediately, or store it in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
Tips and Variations:
- We don’t cook the broccoli for this broccoli bacon salad. However, if you’d prefer to cook it, we recommend blanching the broccoli for 1 to 2 minutes. This will soften the broccoli slightly, bring out a bright green color, and still leave it with some crunch, which is what you’re looking for in this dish.
- Feel free to use fully cooked bacon or bacon bits to save on prep time.
- Cut the broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces. This may be different depending on the person, but we aim for about 1-inch to 1 ½-inches in diameter.
- Try this add-ins for extra flavor and crunch:
- Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
- Cheddar Cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Diced Ham
- White Onion
- Pomegranate Seeds
Refrigeration: Store broccoli bacon salad in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Make Ahead: Toss all the ingredients together except the bacon and dressing. Save those until you're ready to serve the salad. Otherwise, the bacon will get soft and the other ingredients will get soggy.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoons ground black pepper
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup purple onion, diced
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside.1 cup mayonnaise¼ cup granulated sugar¼ cup white wine vinegar½ teaspoon kosher salt¼ teaspoons ground black pepper
- In a separate large bowl, combine the broccoli florets, bacon, walnuts, sunflower seeds, cranberries, and onion.4 cups broccoli florets6 slices bacon½ cup walnuts½ cup dried cranberries¼ cup purple onion¼ cup sunflower seeds
- Pour the mayonnaise dressing over the broccoli salad, and stir to coat.
- Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.