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.
It’s easy to prepare, and makes a great side dish or full meal.
How to make broccoli bacon salad:
First, start by prepping your ingredients. I can’t emphasize enough the importance prepping everything in advance.
It makes the cooking process so much smoother and cuts down the likelihood of mistakes in the kitchen, and it makes the recipe move much more quickly.
If you don’t have bacon cooked, go head and do that, too. Otherwise, jump right in.
Next, begin making your 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.
Do you need to cook broccoli for broccoli bacon salad?
We don’t cook the broccoli for this salad. However, if you’d prefer to eat it cooked rather than raw, 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.
Do you need to cook the bacon from scratch?
You can use pre-cooked, microwave bacon or bacon bits if you’d prefer. To shorten the cook time on bacon, try cutting it into small chunks then frying it. Another option is to make Air Fryer Bacon while you prep the other ingredients.
Can this salad be made ahead of time?
Yes, but I wouldn’t add the bacon or the dressing until you’re ready to serve the salad. The bacon will begin to get soggy after it comes into contact with the dressing.
How big should the broccoli florets be?
The broccoli florets should be cut into bite-sized pieces. This may be different depending on the person, but I aim for about 1-inch to 1 1/2-inches in diameter.
What are some add-ins or substitutions for broccoli bacon salad?
Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
Other broccoli side dishes you may enjoy:
Don’t forget to check out our Broccoli Bacon Salad web story!
- 1 Cup Mayonnaise
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 1/4 Cup White Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoons Black Pepper
- 4 Cups Broccoli Florets
- 6 Slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1/2 Cup Walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 Cup Cranberries
- 1/2 Cup Red Onion, diced
- 1/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds
- In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, combine the broccoli florets, bacon, walnuts, sunflower seeds, cranberries, and onion.
- Pour the mayonnaise dressing over the broccoli salad, and stir to coat.
- Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of ½ cup of salad. Actual calories will vary.
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 0.5 Cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 240Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 484mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 5g
*The calories are an estimate and are based on the ingredients and serving size listed. The calories can vary depending on the brand of product purchased.