This Easy Broccoli Salad recipe is an amazing addition to your summer salad menu! Raw, crunchy broccoli, lots of salty bacon and cheddar cheese, and a creamy dressing will make this one a family favorite!
Craving a fresh salad 16 Summer Salad Recipesbut want something a little bit different than the usual greens and Italian dressing? Why not try my broccoli salad! It’s made with raw, crisp broccoli that’s mixed with nutty sunflower seeds, chopped bacon, and sharp cheddar cheese for richness. Then it’s finished with a creamy, mayo-based dressing that brings it all together. This is one of my favorites!
Best Broccoli Salad Recipe
As soon as the warm weather rolls around, you can bet we start planning our summer picnics and get-togethers. And at the top of our list, the menu! This broccoli salad is an easy summer salad recipe always makes the list!
Made with bacon and cheddar cheese plus other yummy goodness, this savory salad has ingredients everyone loves! Along with my Cucumber Tomato Salad and Ramen Noodle Salad, this recipe for broccoli salad is always a standard cook out or a potluck offering. It holds up well and can be made in advance, other points in its favor. Plus, it will make even a broccoli-hater interested!
Ingredients for Broccoli Salad
- Broccoli – I use fresh broccoli for this recipe and just use the florets.
- Red Onion – This gives a nice crunch and a bit of spice to the salad.
- Sunflower Seeds – You can use raw or roasted sunflower seeds.
- Bacon – For a nice salty, meaty element.
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese – You can shred your own cheese or buy pre-shredded cheese.
- Vinegar – I use distilled white vinegar.
- Mayonnaise – Use your favorite brand of mayonnaise in this salad.
- Salt and Pepper – I like to use kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper!
How To Make Broccoli Salad
- Make the dressing: Whisk together vinegar, sugar, mayonnaise, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Combine the rest of the ingredients: In a large bowl, combine broccoli, onion, sunflower seeds, cheese, and bacon. Pour the prepared dressing over and mix well.
- Chill the salad: Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
You can make this salad the night before you plan to serve it. Store in the bowl, tightly covered in plastic wrap, or in an air-tight container in the fridge. The extra time will help the dressing sink into the broccoli, turning it ultra-flavorful.
How to Store Broccoli Salad
Store leftover broccoli salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Serve cold, straight from the fridge.
You can prepare your broccoli salad a few days in advance of serving it, but leave off the dressing. Undressed broccoli salad can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days before serving. Add the dressing just before you plan to serve it.
Broccoli salad is a great side for all occasions! I love it at a cookout with Grilled BBQ Chicken or Bacon BBQ Pork Sliders. If you’re just cooking for a weeknight dinner, this broccoli salad goes great with Mississippi Roast Sandwiches or Baked Lemon Chicken Thighs!
To cut bite-sized pieces of broccoli for a salad, cut off the tougher stem and reserve the florets. Then cut or separate out the florets by hand and place in a bowl.
It’s so easy to make broccoli salad! Chop up your florets, mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl, and stir in a creamy dressing!
Nutritional experts agree that the healthiest way to eat broccoli is raw or lightly steamed just for a few minutes. This will preserve most of its beneficial nutritional qualities.
- 8 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
- ⅓ cup red onion, diced
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ½ pound bacon, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
- ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Whisk together vinegar, sugar, mayonnaise, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine broccoli, onion, sunflower seeds, cheese and bacon bits. Pour the prepared dressing over the salad and mix together well.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.