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Broccoli Bacon Salad

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Broccoli Bacon Salad is going to make you rethink broccoli! So pull out some broccoli and bacon and get ready for crispy, savory goodness.


Main image for Broccoli Bacon Salad


This is not just your everyday broccoli salad, it’s a delicious mix of crunchy broccoli florets, crispy bacon, sweet craisins, tangy red onion, sunflower seeds, and savory cheddar cheese. 

All this goodness is tied together with a creamy, sweet, and tangy dressing. 

You’ll never look at broccoli the same way again!

This salad has the perfect balance of flavors. The craisins, red onion, and savory bacon create a yummy combination that will be a big hit!

And if you’re a fan of foods with texture, step right up! The crunchy raw broccoli and sunflower seeds will make you want to come back for seconds and thirds!

This broccoli salad with bacon comes together in a snap. All you have to do is mix the ingredients, let it chill, and then gobble it up! On your own or with someone. You choose!

Also  this works well as a light lunch, a side dish, or the perfect addition to your summer cookouts. It’s also a great side dish for holiday dinners.

Plus this broccoli salad recipe tastes even better the next day. The flavors meld together as it chills, making it perfect for meal prep.


broccoli salad with craisins in a bowl


What Ingredients are in Broccoli Salad

These broccoli salad ingredients make the perfect side dish! All you need is a few minutes of prep time and these ingredients:

  • Broccoli Small Florets: These provide a crunchy base for the salad. They’re also packed with Vitamin C!
  • Chopped Bacon: The savory bacon adds a delightful contrast to the other ingredients.
  • Red Onion: This adds a tangy bite that balances the sweet and savory flavors.
  • Craisins: These sweet craisins add a touch of sweetness to the salad.
  • Sunflower Seeds: They bring a nutty flavor and an extra crunch.
  • Cheddar Cheese (Optional): If you like, add some shredded cheddar for a creamy touch.
  • Mayonnaise, Sugar, and Vinegar: These are combined to make the dressing that pulls the salad together.

Pro Tips:

  • I recommend using white vinegar, though you could use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar too. The flavor is just a lot different.
  • You can also swap for real bacon bits if you’re short on time.

How to Make Broccoli Salad

As far as summer salads go, this is the best broccoli bacon salad recipe!

It’s savory with a subtle sweetness and is such an easy side dish too!

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the broccoli, bacon, red onion, craisins, sunflower seeds, and optional cheese.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar to make the dressing.
  3. Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and stir until everything is coated.
  4. Chill the salad in the fridge for a few hours before serving to let the flavors meld together.


close up side view of broccoli salad in bowl ready to serve


Is Broccoli Salad Healthy

This easy broccoli salad recipe is jam packed full of nutrients! We’re talking broccoli, craisins, onions, sunflower seeds here!

And goodness, you could even count that bacon as protein too! The cheese too for that matter.

To make it ultra healthy, try choosing a light mayo and go easy on the sugar.

Honestly though, this is one I feel good about my family eating. It’s so good for you and delicious too!

If you’re worried about it, you can always look up the exact daily values and nutritional information for yourself though.

How Long Does Broccoli Salad Last

This classic broccoli salad recipe  lasts for about 3-4 days in the fridge. 

Make sure to store it in an airtight container to keep it fresh.

The mayo will go bad pretty quickly in the hot sun so if you’re taking it to a potluck or picnic, just keep it out of the heat as much as possible.


top side view of bacon broccoli salad in a bowl


Can You Use Frozen Broccoli for Broccoli Salad

While you can technically use frozen broccoli, fresh broccoli florets will give you a better texture and flavor. 

I really prefer the fresh over the frozen here as that texture does change a lot.

If you choose to use frozen broccoli, make sure to thaw it completely and pat it dry before using.

Otherwise it will thaw in the salad and your dressing will be extra liquidy.

What Goes with Broccoli Salad

This delicious salad pairs well with a bunch of different dishes. 

It’s a great side dish for pork chops or grilled chicken. It also works well as a side salad for a summer barbecue or a holiday dinner.

Here are some great Main Dish Recipes that I think pair really well with it:


top view looking down at broccoli salad with bacon


Can You Freeze Broccoli Salad

I really don’t recommend it. While you can technically freeze it, just like above, freezing really changes the texture of broccoli.

It tends to become soft and much less than ideal. 

I highly recommend eating this delicious summer salad fresh.

Is Broccoli Salad Gluten-Free

As long as you use a gluten-free mayonnaise, this salad should be gluten-free. 

While most of the time mayo is gluten free, you can’t always be sure about that.

Always check the labels on your ingredients to be sure!

This yummy Broccoli Bacon Salad is the perfect salad for your summer! 4th of July? Labor Day? Memorial Day? All of the above!

It’ll quickly become one of your favorite side dishes! Enjoy!


wooden spoon scooping a portion of broccoli salad out of the bowl


Discover the perfect balance of crunch, sweetness, and tang with this Broccoli Bacon Salad. It’s perfect for any occasion and super easy to make!


Yield: 8 Servings

Broccoli Bacon Salad

wooden spoon scooping a portion of broccoli salad out of the bowl

Broccoli Bacon Salad is going to make you rethink broccoli! So pull out some broccoli and bacon and get ready for crispy, savory goodness.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Inactive Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes


  1. In a bowl combine broccoli, bacon, red onion, craisins and cheese (optional).
  2. Set salad aside.
  3. In a separate bowl combine mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar. Mix well.
  4. Pour dressing over broccoli mixture and mix well.
  5. Refrigerate for 2 hours - 24 hours before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 438Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 988mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 5gSugar: 13gProtein: 17g
Originally Posted: March 6, 2018

Text Updated: September 9, 2021

Photos & Text Updated: October 18, 2023

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Crystal Tidwell

Friday 1st of July 2022

Love Love Love this variation of broccoli salad❤️ it is soooo delicious. Everytime I take it to a potluck everyone raves over it wanting the recipe!!!!!


Sunday 3rd of July 2022

Awe Crystal! You've made my day!! Thank you so much for your comment!!

Judy Plutchak

Thursday 1st of July 2021

I have a similar recipe except it has radiator noodles. If I have fresh broccoli I usually have carrots and cauliflower so I started adding them. YUM. gotta get those veggies in.


Sunday 18th of July 2021

Sounds delicious Judy! Thanks for your kind comment!

Marileen Geiger

Thursday 8th of October 2020

can i add califlower to it


Friday 16th of October 2020

Of course! Cauliflower makes a lovely addition to this salad. You can do 1/2 broccoli and 1/2 cauliflower if you wish. :)


Friday 10th of April 2020

Great salad and so easy to prepare! Everyone loved it! Thank you!


Monday 24th of August 2020

So glad to hear! Thanks for your comment Catherine!


Thursday 6th of February 2020

One of the best salads around! Love all of the different flavors in it!

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