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Broccoli Salad with Bacon

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This broccoli salad with bacon is a perfect side dish; with its sweet and savory smothered vegetables, it works as a delicious summer salad and sits well on the holiday dinner table too.

main image of broccoli salad with bacon

If you are looking for an easy broccoli salad recipe, this is it. Perfect for the summer months or all year round, we love serving this simple side dish recipe to all our dinner guests.

You just toss the broccoli salad with bacon ingredients together, mix the dressing, pour it over the top and let it sit in the fridge.

Do you want to know the best part?

This is an easy recipe that you can make ahead of time. It doesn’t have leafy greens that will wilt if they sit covered in dressing.

In fact, this recipe actually tastes better if you let the flavors sit a day in the fridge before you serve it.

That’s what makes this the best broccoli salad recipe you will find.

zoomed out side view of broccoli salad with bacon ready to eat

What ingredients are in broccoli salad with bacon?

  • Broccoli Florets: you want these crunchy broccoli florets cut into small bite sized pieces.
  • Bacon: you will need cooked, crispy bacon so you can crumble it easily
  • Red Onion: dice these as small as you would like to give extra crunch and flavor to your salad
  • Craisins: these are my favorite dried cranberries, but any dried cranberry brand will work
  • Sunflower Seeds: a crunchy sunflower seed is a great topping to this salad
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese: this ingredient is optional; I have had the salad both ways and make it with and without the cheese
  • Mayonnaise: this dressing helps make the perfect salad flavoring
  • Sugar: this sweetens the dressing just a bit to make this the best sweet and savory salad there is
  • White Vinegar: this gives you that classic tangy dressing flavor

Pro Tip: You could add a pinch of salt, but we find the bacon adds enough. Adjust to personal tastes.

How to make broccoli salad with bacon:

  1. Combine broccoli and the other salad ingredients in a large bowl, then set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients and mix well.
  3. Pour dressing over broccoli mixture and mix well.
  4. Refrigerate before serving.
side view of salad in bowl with a wooden spoon scooping some out

Is broccoli salad with bacon healthy?

Yes broccoli salad with bacon is healthy. Even with a little bit of dressing, this salad has fresh broccoli florets, red onion, craisins, and sunflower seeds which are all super foods with great nutritional value and antioxidants.

So this is a delicious salad that is also good for you. Broccoli bacon salad is really a perfect side dish.

Pro Tip: You can make the dressing healthier by swapping out the mayonnaise for plain greek yogurt. It will change the flavor of the dressing and give you more of a tangy taste, but if you are wanting to practice healthy eating habits, it is a simple swap.

How long does broccoli salad with bacon last?

Broccoli salad with bacon can last up to a week in the fridge if stored in an airtight container. I would not try to keep it longer than that since fresh vegetables are best as soon as you can eat them.

zoomed in side view of salad in bowl ready to serve

Can you use frozen broccoli for broccoli salad with bacon?

No you cannot use frozen broccoli in this broccoli salad with bacon. You need raw broccoli florets to give you a good crunchy texture.

Frozen broccoli has been partially cooked already, and when it thaws it is softer and not crunchy. Which is fine for cooked broccoli. But this salad really needs the crunch of the raw vegetables.

What goes with broccoli salad with bacon?

I think almost anything goes with broccoli salad with bacon, but here are some of my family’s favorite combinations:

  • Meat: chicken, turkey, steak, pork, fish, you name it they go great with this salad
  • Rolls: I really love bread and rolls, and the fresh flavors in this salad go really well with a buttery roll
  • Wraps: Make it a meal on the go by wrapping it up. Choose your favorite tortilla wrapper and add protein (chicken, chickpeas, chopped bacon) and put a big scoop of leftover broccoli. Salad wrap leftover magic!
top view looking down at bowl of broccoli salad ready to serve

Can you freeze broccoli salad with bacon?

Yes you can freeze broccoli salad with bacon, but we always eat it before we have time to stick it in the freezer. My mom has frozen it before and says it works great.

The thing you need to watch out for is the mayonnaise in the dressing. Adding the sugar will help the mayo freeze and thaw, but sometimes it will separate or clump when you freeze and thaw mayo.

One trick I use whenever I freeze bite sized produce is to spread this broccoli bacon salad recipe on a cookie sheet and freeze it for an hour before putting it in a freezer safe container or zip bag.

That lets the pieces freeze individually without clumping so I can just pull out the amount I want at a time.

Let the cold broccoli salad thaw overnight in the fridge. And if your mayonnaise separates, just stir it together until it looks nice enough to eat again.

top side view of bacon broccoli salad in bowl with wooden spoon

Is broccoli salad with bacon gluten free?

Yes broccoli salad with bacon is gluten free. But as always when you are cooking gluten free, it is important to check the label of every item you use because things that are normally gluten free can have gluten in them in different brands.

zoomed in photo of broccoli salad with bacon in bowl

More Vegetable Side Dish Recipes You’ll Love…

Even if you are not a fan of raw broccoli, this broccoli salad with bacon will quickly become a favorite. Creamy homemade dressing, crunchy and balanced sweet and savory flavors, and it is one of the easiest salads to bring to family dinners or summer parties. You will love it.

Yield: 8 Servings

Broccoli Salad with Bacon

zoomed in photo of broccoli salad with bacon in bowl

This broccoli salad with bacon is a perfect side dish; with its sweet and savory smothered vegetables, it works as a delicious summer salad and sits well on the holiday dinner table too.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes


  1. In a serving bowl combine broccoli, red onion, craisins, sunflower seeds, cheese and bacon. Mix well.
  2. In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar. Mix well.
  3. Pour mayonnaise mixture over broccoli mixture and mix well.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or longer.
  5. Before serving, mix again and serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 321Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 588mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 4gSugar: 12gProtein: 8g

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