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My favorite broccoli salad recipe features a simple mix of fresh sweet and savory ingredients that everyone will love!
Picnic season is officially back with our friends here in Barcelona, now that the weather has gotten warmer, which means it’s time to bring back all of my favorite potluck salad recipes to share! After sharing some of my favorite potato salad, pasta salad, ramen pasta salad, chicken salad, and quinoa salad recipes over the past few years, it felt like it was high time to share my favorite recipe for another classic American potluck…
…Broccoli salad. ♡
When it comes to broccoli salad, I always tend to go the nostalgia route, supercharging mine with this classic sweet and savory combination of crispy bacon, crunchy toasted almonds, dried cranberries, and a sweet creamy dressing. I also love the mild flavor that comes from adding lots of crumbled feta cheese, although just about any soft crumbled cheese or traditional cheddar would do as well. And while my childhood broccoli salads were usually tossed with mayo, sugar, and — well — more mayo, I’ve included a recipe below for a lightened creamy dressing with a hint of honey that I prefer a lot more.
A great accompaniment for this time of year gatherings, this fresh and vibrant salad is always gone in a jiffy. So if you’re looking for a great broccoli salad recipe to add to your repertoire, I highly recommend you give it a try!
The Best Broccoli Salad Recipe | 1 minute video
Ingredients Broccoli Salad:
Before we get to the full broccoli salad recipe outlined below, here are a few pointers on the ingredients you’ll need…
- Broccoli: You can either chop up some raw heads of broccoli yourself for this salad. (Here’s a video tutorial on how to chop broccoli florets.) Or, if you want to save time, you can pick up some pre-chopped florets at the grocery store.
- Bacon: I love a generous amount of crispy bacon bits in this broccoli salad! I definitely recommend frying the bacon until it’s nice and crispy, as it softens up a bit after tossing with the dressing. Then feel free to crumble it into pieces as big or small as you prefer.
- Nuts: I like to add slivers of almonds to this salad for a rich flavor and crunch that needs a quick toast in the oven or pan beforehand to bring out the best in their flavor. But if you don’t have slivers of almonds handy, any other chunky almond, pecan, walnut, pistachio, pine nut, pepitas, sunflower seed, or other nut/seed you like best will work!
- Dried Cranberries: These give the salad the perfect touch of slightly bitter sweetness! But dried berries, raisins or dried apricots would also be delicious here.
- Red onion: You can either finely dice or slice a red onion to add some crunch to the salad. If you prefer a milder onion flavor, simply rinse the diced onions briefly with cold water in a colander to soften them.
- Cheese: I usually make broccoli salad with crumbled feta cheese, but crumbled goat cheese, crumbled gorgonzola, or cheddar cheese are also fantastic options.
- Creamy Dressing: Finally, you’ll need some mayo, plain Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, honey, Dijon, salt and pepper to make this classic creamy dressing. Feel free to adjust the amounts as well if you’d like to make the dressing a little sweeter, vinegary, or mustard.
Broccoli Salad Variations:
Here are a few more variations you’re welcome to try with this broccoli salad recipe…
- Blanch broccoli: If you prefer not to eat broccoli raw, you can blanch the florets. Simply cook the florets in a large stockpot of boiling water for 1 minute, then immediately transfer to an ice bath to stop further cooking, drain and use in the salad.
- Make it gluten free: Good news – this salad is naturally gluten-free!
- Make it vegetarian: Feel free to just omit the bacon to make a veggie broccoli salad. Or if you like, you can add some vegan bacon too.
- Use a different type of nuts/cheese/dried berries: As mentioned above, these ingredients in this recipe are all extremely flexible. So just swap in whatever type of nuts, cheese, or dried fruit you happen to have on hand and like the most!
More make-ahead salad recipes:
Looking for more delicious picnic and potluck salad recipes? Here are a few classics I always enjoy…
My favorite broccoli salad recipe features an irresistible blend of fresh sweet and savory ingredients that everyone will love!
Ingredients Broccoli Salad:
- 24 ounces broccoli florets (Above 3 broccoli with big heads)
- 8th cooked bacon slices, crumbled
- 2/3 cup Almond slivers, roasted
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (or goat or blue cheese)
Ingredients for the creamy dressing:
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon
- Pinch of salt and black pepper to taste
- Make the dressing. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Taste the dressing and season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange the salad. In a large mixing bowl, combine the broccoli florets, bacon, almonds, dried cranberries, red onion, and feta cheese. Drizzle evenly with the dressing, then toss until fully combined.
- Surcharge. Serve immediately, or transfer the salad to a sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
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