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Broccoli Salad

Broccoli salad is a combination of broccoli, bacon, red onion, cranberries, sunflower seeds and goat cheese. And it’s topped with a creamy mayonnaise yogurt dressing. So easy and delicious!

Serve this salad with my Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs, Herbed Honey Mustard Chicken or Grilled Chicken Souvlaki.

Broccoli salad in a white bowl.

The Best Broccoli Salad Recipe

If ever there was a salad recipe that unexpectedly knocked my socks off, it’s this one – an easy, unassuming, broccoli salad. But don’t let easy fool you, because this salad recipe is loaded with flavor. It’s simultaneously crispy, creamy, sweet and savory. And did I mention bacon is involved?

When it comes to salad recipes most of us gravitate towards leafy greens. And I’ll be the first to admit that spinach is my salad green of choice. So when you’re looking for a little salad shakeup and want something that’s perfect for potlucks, picnics and barbecues (because it’s durable), give this broccoli salad a whirl.

Broccoli Salad Ingredients

The great thing about a broccoli salad recipe is how easy it is to customize. Raw broccoli forms the bulk of this salad and bacon, dried fruit, cheese and seeds are usually involved. But you can tweak each of those to your personal dietary preference. Here’s what is included in my broccoli salad:

  • Broccoli
  • Bacon
  • Red Onion
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Goat Cheese

So if you’d like to use raisins instead of dried cranberries or slivered almonds instead of sunflower seeds, go for it. I’ve included goat cheese instead of cheddar cheese as I prefer it in salads and I think it adds amazing creaminess. But you could also make this salad dairy-free.

Broccoli salad ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Broccoli salad recipe in a bowl with salad tongs.

What Dressing Goes on a Broccoli Salad?

The typical dressing for a broccoli salad is a creamy, mayonnaise-based dressing. I don’t add any extra sugar to my dressing, but I do up the creaminess by adding a little homemade yogurt to the dressing. It adds just the right sweetness and tang. And of course, I use my homemade mayonnaise as the starting point.

Can You Make this Broccoli Salad Dairy-Free?

Absolutely. You can omit the goat cheese or use a dairy-free cheese and swap in dairy-free yogurt in the dressing. It’ll still be delicious!

Broccoli salad in a serving bowl.

How to Make This Easy Broccoli Salad

The only thing that requires cooking in this salad is the bacon. The rest comes together easy! Here’s how you make it:

  • Cook the bacon in the oven (it’s way easier) and when that’s done, blot it dry with a paper towel.
  • While the bacon is cooking, slice the florets off a large head of broccoli and add them to a mixing bowl.
  • Dice up some red onion and add that to the bowl along with the sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and goat cheese.
  • Once the bacon is cooked and cooled, crumble the bacon in the bowl and mix it all together.
  • In a separate small bowl make the dressing by stirring together the mayonnaise and yogurt. Then add that to the salad and stir everything together for the most delicious, flavorful, highly addictive, healthy broccoli salad recipe.

Broccoli Salad Recipe Video

While this is an easy recipe to make, it always helps to watch a quick tutorial video. Give it a watch below!

More Healthy Salad Recipes You’ll Love

Want more easy, healthy salad recipes? Check out some of these reader favorites.

Broccoli salad in a serving bowl.
5 from 62 votes

BEST Broccoli Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Broccoli salad is incredibly easy to make. It's healthy, loaded with flavor and topped with a creamy mayonnaise yogurt dressing. Watch the video above to see how quickly it comes together!

Ingredients

Broccoli Salad

  • 1 broccoli head, approx 5 cups of florets
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Broccoli Salad Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Add the bacon slices to a parchment lined baking tray and cook for 15 minutes or until crispy. Remove the bacon from the oven and transfer to a paper towel to dry and cool.
  • While the bacon is cooking, slice off all the broccoli florets and make sure they're in bite-sized pieces. Add them to a large mixing bowl along with the red onion, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and goat cheese.
  • To make the dressing, add the mayonnaise and yogurt to a small bowl and stir together. Add the dressing to the mixing bowl and stir until everything is well combined.

Lisa's Tips

  • Make sure you've sliced the broccoli florets into small, bite-sized pieces. It makes it far easier to eat that way.
  • If you're wondering what to do with the broccoli stem, spiralize it! Yes, you can totally spiralize a broccoli stem, just as you would a zucchini. It's delicious! And while I don't show you how to spiralize a broccoli stem on my Spiralizer Beginner's Guide video, you can still get a little inspiration from the video.
  • If you've never cooked bacon in the oven before, make sure to read my recipe post and watch my video. Whenever I'm cooking a whole package of bacon it's definitely my favorite method.
  • I also have recipes for homemade mayonnaise and homemade yogurt, but of course, you can buy these from the store as well.

Nutrition

Calories: 376.7kcal, Carbohydrates: 22.2g, Protein: 12.4g, Fat: 28.7g, Saturated Fat: 6.8g, Cholesterol: 30.8mg, Sodium: 328.6mg, Fiber: 4.5g, Sugar: 12g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: broccoli salad
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag @downshiftology and hashtag it #downshiftology.

Recipe originally posted June 2018, but updated to include new information. 

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160 comments on “Broccoli Salad”

  1. So delicious and so easy to put together, especially if I prep the bacon beforehand. Definitely adding this to the rotation.

  2. This is by far my favourite Salad to make and eat. It is just so perfectly crunchy, and the dressing is just right not overpowering.  It is so easy to put together. 

  3. So many wonderful flavors in this recipe. Thank you!!!

  4. re: BEST BROCCOLI SALAD RECIPE

    With regard to the nutritional values & specifically the carbs, is the value given at the end of the recipe the total carbs per serving, if so what would the serving size be?, otherwise is the amount for the whole dish?

    Many thanks

    • Hi Howie- The nutritional facts will always be for one serving. And for this recipe, each serving is about 1 cup :)

  5. This has become one of our favorites!
    Quick and delicious. It turns out great each time.
    I do microwave the broccoli for about 1 minute so it’s a bit tender.

  6. It’s have bought the wrong kind of goat cheese. It was very smooth and wouldn’t crumble.  Can you share the brand of goat cheese? 

  7. Yummy! I only had golden raisins and pumpkin seeds, and used about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to thin out the dressing (because Greek yogurt is all I had). And I left goat cheese as optional to each person because my husband is a non-cheese eater. This will be a weekly addition to our menu, thanks!

  8. This was DELICIOUS. I’m not a fan of mayonnaise, so I just dolloped on some yoghurt and drizzled it with your Dijon vinaigrette. 10/10

  9. Super tasty and quick to make! I used raisins as I did not have cranberries, but it did not matter: Excellent anyways. 

  10. Easy to make and delicious! Best broccoli salad I’ve tried! 

  11. I love this salad, I even enjoyed it for breakfast!  I added one thing to make me love it even more:  sprinkled it with seasoned rice vinegar before eating.  Perfect!

  12. Finally made this beauty! The crunchy broccoli and salty bacon – so great!

    I really had no idea what to expect, but once again the voice in my head said “In Downshiftology we trust!”
    – Thanks for all you do Lisa. Big love from Melbourne

  13. I had some left-over broccoli and remembered this recipe. Such a delicious and easy way to use it up. And now I have lunch for the next couple of days ;-). To be honest, I did not make the mayonnaise myself yet. That is still on the to-do list. But thanks Lisa for again a recipe that will be on repeat. 

  14. I made this salad last night with leftover steamed broccoli and it came out amazing! I don’t like mayo so I just used a poppy seed dressing I had and it worked great. I love the sweet and salty combo and the goat cheese took it to another level.

  15. Delish! Quick and easy! Will be a new favorite salad for lunch!

  16. Loved this dish! I did blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 1-2 minutes (then placed in an ice bath) so they weren’t so raw. I also subbed candied walnuts for the sunflower seeds. Love how versatile this dish can be.

  17. One of my all-time favourite salads and an absolute crowd-pleaser. It never fails to produce requests for the recipe when I make for friends. It also holds up well if you need to make it ahead of time so perfect for larger parties. Could eat the salad at every meal!

  18. Hi Lisa,

    Our family are huge fans of your simple recipes!

    Is there a substitute for bacon in this recipe?

  19. I highly recommend this recipe, it is amazing!! I no longer have to pay almost $7.00 a pound for this salad at my local deli. This salad is by far the best I have had. Thank you Lisa.

  20. I’ve been looking for the perfect broccoli salad for a LONG time and this is definitely it! I’m not a big fan of raw broccoli so I blanched it first (set it into boiling water for about 2 min- it will take longer if you have larger pieces I cut mine quite small- tested it and once I felt it was just the right texture I immediately put it into an ice bath until the broccoli was completely cooled, then I laid the broccoli out on a sheet pan to dry as I didn’t want my salad to get soggy) After that I prepared the homemade mayo which is the recipe from this site it was super easy to make and tasted delicious! I pretty much followed the rest of the recipe as shown except that I used dried cherries and toasted almonds instead of the cranberries and sunflower seeds. Also, while I added bacon to it I did not put the full eight strips of bacon as I felt that was just a bit much since I only had four cups of broccoli so I just crumbled it and added it until I felt it was enough, about 4 strips.
    Such a great salad, you’ll love it! I can’t wait to share it at the BBQs is summer

    • Hi Lori – I’m so happy to hear you’ve finally found a winning broccoli salad recipe! As for the bacon, I never end up putting all the strips in there either, so you can always reduce the amount of strips you cook :)

  21. Love this salad ! It is quick , easy & great taste!
      Healthy & great with soup or sandwich ! 
    Replaces starchy potatoes  or fries!!

    • Hi Flora – I’m so glad you loved this salad! It’s great to eat on it’s own or as a side dish :)

  22. This salad is such a crowd pleaser! I’ve brought it to family functions, and always get requests for the recipe. It’s one of the only salads I actually crave on a weekly basis. Thanks Lisa!

    • Hi Kayleigh- This is also one of my favorite salads to whip up and store in my fridge on the weekdays :) But, I’m glad everyone you’ve served this to has enjoyed it!

  23. My husband and I loved this broccoli salad recipe. My husband is asking for this dish almost every week. It’s so easy to make. Thank you for this delicious broccoli salad.

    • Hi Genesis- Looks like you found a winning recipe for your husband! Good thing this salad also keeps well in the fridge for awhile :)

  24. Loved this! It is truly addicting, and we’re talking about broccoli here people! I did add just a little bit of honey to the dressing, but it would have been awesome without it.

    • Hi Aimee- So glad you loved this recipe! It really is such a great salad, especially to store in the fridge for a few days.

  25. Hi Lisa! I just finished the last of this amazing salad today for lunch. Oh my goodness! Seriously delicious. I made it over the weekend and wish there was more. This was my first time successfully baking bacon in the oven!!! I couldn’t cook the whole package (teeny tiny oven problems lol), so I made as much as I could. I made the Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs to go with it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Thank you!!!

    • Hi Sasha – Congrats on cooking bacon in the oven for the first time! And I’m so happy you enjoyed this salad as much as I do. I love how long this salad lasts in the fridge and pairs great with any entree – especially my baked chicken thighs!

  26. Oh My Gosh, another great recipe! Awesome alternative to typical broccoli salad!

  27. This is another delicious meal! I will definitely be making this a lot in the summer.