Easy Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad is an easy summer side with raisins, bacon and sunflower seeds for barbecues and summer potlucks that can sit without wilting!

There’s always a potluck going on in the summertime, and here are some perfect recipes for you to pack like Cole Slaw, Macaroni Salad, Crab Salad (Seafood Salad), and Baked Beans!

Broccoli Salad in bowl

Broccoli Salad is an easy go-to cold salad side dish recipe, right up there with this favorite Potato Salad. It’s made with fresh broccoli (broccoli florets), red onion, raisins, and sunflower seeds mixed with seasoned mayonnaise and topped with crispy crumbled bacon. Broccoli salad is quick and you’ll enjoy it all summer long, and even get the kids to enjoy eating broccoli!

This broccoli salad recipe needs almost no prep time, and in fact takes a total time of five minutes to throw together. Leave some time to refrigerate the salad, because it tastes better cold and it gives all of the flavors a chance to come together.

If you love broccoli salad and you’re looking for more summer side dishes and summer salad recipes be sure to stay tuned, we are heading full speed ahead with summer friendly food items everyone will love! If you’re looking for other great side dish potluck recipes, check out Tuna Salad, Chicken Salad, and Egg Salad!

More ways you can make Broccoli Salad

  • Swap your sunflower seeds for chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds.
  • Add in some chicken for an easy and quick filling lunch option.
  • Squeeze in some lemon juice and add lemon zest to the dressing.
  • You can easily swap out golden raisins for the regular variety or for dried cranberries.
  • If you don’t like raisins, you can substitute red grapes cut in half.
  • You can use regular onion instead of red onion for a stronger flavor.
  • Mix in half cauliflower and half broccoli for another spin on this recipe.

Can you make Broccoli Salad ahead?

You can make broccoli salad ahead of time, and the flavor of the dressing even gets better as it sits in the refrigerator. But you’re still making it with fresh broccoli florets so try to only make it at most 24 hours before you’ll be serving it.

This is actually one of the best things about broccoli salad. You can enjoy greens without worrying about how they’ll fare sitting out while being dressed. Plus getting people to eat broccoli that is raw is not a challenge when you make this amazing salad!

Broccoli Salad with Bacon

What to Serve with Broccoli Salad

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different vinegar for the Broccoli Salad dressing?

You can use apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar instead of white vinegar if that’s what you have, either one will work. Apple cider vinegar will have a slightly different flavor than white vinegar.

Can I use pre-cooked bacon for Broccoli Salad?

This salad can be put together in just five minutes if you buy pre-crumbled bacon. If you do buy some, make sure to microwave your bacon for ten seconds on a paper towel to crisp it back up.

Can I add cheese to Broccoli Salad?

You can add ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese to this salad for a different variation.

How do I make Broccoli Salad healthier?

This healthy broccoli salad is naturally gluten free and low carb. You can also make this easy broccoli salad low fat by swapping the mayonnaise for either light mayo or plain greek yogurt (or a mix of mayo and greek yogurt), and use turkey bacon instead of regular. You can also make this more creamy by mixing it with half sour cream and half mayonnaise.

What other tips make this Broccoli Salad even easier?

Make this broccoli salad recipe even faster by buying pre-cut vegetables, and whisking together the dressing the night before. Or chop the onion faster by pulsing it in the food processor.

Can I use frozen broccoli for Broccoli Salad?

I don’t recommend using frozen broccoli for this broccoli salad because it’s already blanched before it’s frozen, so it won’t have the same crunch that you’d get from fresh broccoli. If you want a softer broccoli to start with instead of crunchy, blanch the raw broccoli quickly and drain it completely before mixing everything together.

How should I prepare the ingredients for Broccoli Salad?

Make sure to cut everything into bite sized pieces, to make the broccoli salad look more uniform. Making everything bite-size will also help make the salad easier to eat.

How can I add some crunch to Broccoli Salad?

If you want this broccoli salad recipe to have a crunch to it, stir in some nuts or seeds right before serving, because the broccoli itself will soften the longer it sits in the dressing.

How to Store Broccoli Salad

  • Serve: Do not leave Broccoli Salad out of the refrigerator for longer than two hours. If serving on a warm day, use a cooler or bucket of ice to place your serving dish in to keep the mayonnaise at a safe temperature.
  • Store: Broccoli salad will keep for 3-4 days, when tightly sealed in the refrigerator.
  • Freeze: It is not recommended to freeze Broccoli Salad because the mayo will not look good once it’s defrosted.
Broccoli Salad in bowl

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Broccoli Raisin Salad

Broccoli Salad is an easy summer side with raisins, bacon and sunflower seeds for barbecues and summer potlucks that can sit without wilting!
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 6 cups broccoli , cut into small florets
  • 1/2 red onion , finely chopped
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 pound bacon , cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Instructions

  • In a very large bowl mix the mayonnaise, sugar, white vinegar, Kosher salt and black pepper. Add in the broccoli, red onion and raisins into the bowl and mix.
  • Top with the bacon and the sunflower seeds. Mix broccoli, bacon, red onion, and raisins in a bowl.
  • Leave in the refrigerator for at least an hour, preferably 2 hours.

Video

Notes

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

Nutrition

Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 422mg | Potassium: 458mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 450IU | Vitamin C: 62.4mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1.4mg
Keyword: broccoli salad
Broccoli Salad Collage

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Easy Broccoli Salad
Broccoli Raisin Salad is the perfect summer salad for your barbecues, picnics and summer parties that even your kids will love!
Broccoli Raisin Salad is the perfect summer salad for your barbecues, picnics and summer parties that even your kids will love!

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. Made this for family thanksgiving dinner today. Everyone (except kids who won’t eat vegetables) said it was very good! To make it more fall themed I used walnuts instead of sunflower seeds. Definitely a keeper!

  2. Very easy and so very good. I mixed in some strawberry flavored pecans and cranberries with a touch of lemon juice. Also found 1/2 red onion was a bit too much so cut it in half. Also mixed in golden raisins for more sweetness.

  3. I replaced the sugar with about half the amount of splenda but used golden raisins which gave it plenty of sweetness so I will not add splenda or any sweetener to my dressing next time. I used lightly salted sunflower seeds so no need to add salt or pepper. I also ended up with about 10 cups of bite sized broccoli florets, oh yes I went way overboard cutting up my broccoli, so I added another 1/4 cup of Blue Plate Real Mayonnaise and a little more crumbled bacon but left everything else the same and it was more than enough to coat it all. Even with almost double the broccoli florets, I used 1/2 of a purple onion and this honestly was too much but that could definitely just be that the onion I chose was bigger or stronger than normal! This is a delicious salad that can be personalized to fit your taste buds!

  4. I used a squeeze of honey instead of all that sugar and it turned out great. Tip for next time – I need to make sure the broccoli is totally dry before mixing it with the dressing.

  5. I made it tonight using Hellman’s and Blue Plate mayonnaise. The sauce by itself was wonderful, but I could have used 1/4 to 1/2 cup more dressing. I doubled the recipe and used 1 1/4 cup seedless raisins, 3/4 cup dried cranberries and added cashews instead of sunflower seeds. I don’t know how it would have been if I hadn’t used the cranberries. It was good but too sweet. Thank you for posting the recipe. Before I saw this, I was guessing. By the time I figured out how to get the taste right, the dressing would be too thin and too much of it.

  6. This is perfect to step up my barbecue hosting!! Am going to try it out for Memorial Day wkend! Thanks!

  7. I’m ready for summer! I’d love to take this salad to my next potluck!

  8. YUM! What a salad! Broccoli and raisins are two of my daughter’s favorite things, so I know she’s gonna love this recipe this summer.