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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.

This delicious broccoli salad is a combination of broccoli, bacon, red onion, cranberries, sunflower seeds and goat cheese. It's an easy, healthy broccoli salad recipe.

Broccoli Salad

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.

What goes into a broccoli salad?

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.

This delicious broccoli salad is a combination of broccoli, bacon, red onion, cranberries, sunflower seeds and goat cheese. It's an easy, healthy broccoli salad recipe.

This delicious broccoli salad is a combination of broccoli, bacon, red onion, cranberries, sunflower seeds and goat cheese. It's an easy, healthy broccoli salad recipe.

What kind of 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!

This delicious broccoli salad is a combination of broccoli, bacon, red onion, cranberries, sunflower seeds and goat cheese. It's an easy, healthy broccoli salad recipe.

This delicious broccoli salad is a combination of broccoli, bacon, red onion, cranberries, sunflower seeds and goat cheese. It's an easy, healthy broccoli salad recipe.

How to make this broccoli salad

The only thing that requires cooking in this salad is the bacon. So 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 that 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.

Watch this quick video of my broccoli salad recipe

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For more healthy salad recipes

This delicious broccoli salad is a combination of broccoli, bacon, red onion, cranberries, sunflower seeds and goat cheese. It's an easy, healthy broccoli salad recipe.
5 from 29 votes

Broccoli Salad

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

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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84 comments on “Broccoli Salad”

  1. Made this for dinner tonight, absolutely AWESOME! Received rave reviews from my husband and kids. I was going to try your coleslaw, but my kids don’t like any coleslaw, so I opted for your healthy broccoli salad instead. I will save the coleslaw recipe for just my hubby and I. The broccoli salad received excellent rating from my family. They didn’t miss the usual sugar that I have always used in my past broccoli salad dressings! Incredible! I did squeeze some lemon juice over mine.
    I also tried your Garlic Butter Shrimp tonight, absolutely amazing!!
    I am hoping to transform my body and my health one Downshiftology recipe at a time. I have learned so much from your videos and blog.
    Thank you for your excellent video content and flavorful recipes.

  2. So good! I used sliced almonds instead of sunflower seeds and non-fat, plain greek yogurt with regular mayo and it was delicious. I think it’s good with or without goat cheese. I did not put the goat cheese into the whole mixture, but I did add some feta in my own individual serving which was very tasty.

  3. So delicious, the only problem with your recipes is that they are so perfect that I am afraid to ever tweak anything…Thank you, Lisa, for this wealth of awesome food ideas <3

  4. Hi! I am making this for the first time for meal prep lunches. Any recommendations if I should mix the dressing on as I prep or day of when I go eat the lunch? Wondering if it would get too soggy if I dress today for a lunch in 2 two days?
    Any advice appreciated! I’m excited to try this recipe, a friend passed it along to me because she LOVED it!

  5. Any suggestions on what to use instead of mayo? Boyfriend isn’t a fan heh :) Thanks!

  6. We are vegetarian (not vegan) so could you suggest something to replace the bacon in this recipe please

  7. SO GOOD! I am always looking for ways to get my two year old to eat more veggies and this is the perfect “disguise.” I had avocado mayo and plain greek yogurt and it still turned out perfectly. We omitted the cranberries as well (picky eaters) but this is going into the recipe book! Thank you so much. :)

    • Awesome! Recipe success with a two year old should definitely be celebrated. :) So happy you all loved it!

    • If you cut up veggies, even broccoli, into bite size pieces and put them on their high chair tray, kids will put them in their mouths and chew, I promise. (Mom and Grandma with experience.)

  8. This was a great recipe.  I did add a little grated carrot and used organic mayonnaise.  Delicious and healthy.

  9. Totally love this Broccoli Salad! The melange of cranberries, goat cheese, sesame seeds and bacon were just delightful.  I am excited to try more recipes, next on the list Shrimp Tacos!  You encourage us all to eat healthier and live a simple life. I am a huge fan of yours.  You have made cooking more exciting and fun. I love watching your videos not only about food, but how to sleep better and just seeing your beautiful home on the screen has helped me to declutter and strive to be like you.  You are very much appreciated and I wish you the best!

    • Aw, thanks so much Charlotte for your kind words! I’m thrilled you love this broccoli salad recipe and my other posts and videos as well. I really appreciate that! :) x

  10. Surprisingly delicious and hearty. I feel full after eating a bowl of this, unlike other salads. Also, it travels well. Picnics, bag lunches, road trips, the hearty broccoli doesn’t wilt and the flavors are good cold, warm, or hot. 

    • Thanks for the kind comment, Amber! I’m so glad you loved the broccoli salad recipe. And you’re totally right about its versatility :)

  11. Sounds excellent, but my substitution will be replacing the bacon with a leaner part of the pig, like pork loin ? Yes after all, I think I read back at the beginning of this thread that its about HEALTHY EATING . and probably delete the yogurt and add a puree of strawberry, mango or something like that. Thx for a great idea, so looking forward to this !

  12. Made this salad without the cranberries since my husband doesn’t like “fruit” in food unless it’s dessert :) Also exchanged the sunflower seeds for walnuts (just because I had them on hand) and the goat cheese for feta (because my husband doesn’t like goat cheese). We were super surprised by the flavor and the crunchy bacon is just perfect. I will make this my staple salad for summer to bring to any bbq and people are going to want the recipe. I just know it! Yummmy! Thanks Lisa – as always – for broadening my food horizon :)

    • Oh yay! I’m so happy you loved the recipe Lena. It’s a perfect summer salad recipe and great with so many variations. Definitely tweak it to your liking! :) x

  13. Hi how many servings does it make?

    • Hi Suzi – Servings are mentioned in the beginning of the recipe card. For this recipe it makes 6 servings. :)

  14. I made this and brought to an Easter dinner. So easy to make and really good! Healthier and also cheaper than buying the bagged salad kits. Thanks Lisa!

    • Thanks for the kind comment, Jackie! I’m so glad you enjoyed the salad and yes, it’s super easy to make. Bag salads no more! ;)

  15. What kind of goat cheese do you recommend? 

  16. This recipe looks delicious, I can’t wait to try it! Can you make this ahead? How long will it keep?

  17. This salad is delicious! I’m not a fan of mayonnaise, so I just used more plain yogurt. The result probably isn’t as creamy but it’s really tasty. I also used crumbled blue cheese-my favorite. Cooking the bacon in the oven is brilliant. I may never cook it on the stovetop again!  Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. I’m hooked!

    • Yay! I’m glad you loved the broccoli salad Cheryl! And I think your subs with the yogurt and blue cheese are perfect. It’s all about tweaking it to your liking. :)

  18. This was delicious!  I added some chopped kale, slivered almonds and pumpkin seeds.  Everyone loved it and wanted recipe.

  19. I want to add this delicious looking recipe to my meal program. Are the fat grams listed per serving and is the serving equivalent to like a cup or 2 cups?

  20. Could you cook the broccoli and cool it down before adding it to the salad? I’m not a huge fan of raw broccoli but love the idea of this salad!

  21. Lisa, could you please suggest a substitution for goat cheese, as I’m not a fan of it.  Can’t wait to try this recipe, since it fits in with my low-carb diet! 

  22. This was fantastic! Forgot how good uncooked broccoli can be. Thanks for another fantastic recipe! Sooo looking forward to the next meal prep video!

    Rating: 5
  23. Topped mine with avocado yum!!  I cooked the bacon yesterday while making Carne Asada chips.  So to whip them up took no time at all!  Yes, even made home made mayo is so easy.  Worth coming home for!!

    Rating: 5
  24. I made this salad for potluck lunch at work today and everyone loved it! I love your recipes and videos. And please make more food prep videos. The best food prep ever?

    Rating: 5
  25. Can I give it 6 stars? :) Made this last night and it was soo good, thanks Lisa. I did blanch the broccoli though, just so it’ll be a bit nicer on my gut. I’ll definitely add this to the list of meal prep ideas for hubby’s lunch. YUM!

    Rating: 5
  26. Loved this recipe – and so did my family! I fried the onions so that my children would eat them and would try more yoghurt and less mayo into the sauce next time. But this was delish!

    Rating: 4
  27. I subscribed to your YouTube channel and then found your website and I’m glad o have because this salad is delicious!! I’ve made it for quite a few people now and the next day they’ve all asked for the recipe. Such a good mix of crunch, sweetness and it keeps well in the fridge. Thank you!!

    Rating: 5
  28. This recipe showed up at a great time for me. I recently visited home (USA) and had an awesome broccoli salad. With that still fresh in my memory, your video popped up in my feed. As even a better bonus, I was just looking for quick, easy recipes for one of my health coaching clients that needs more greens in her diet. Her two year old can’t get enough of broccoli so I have also recommended it to her. Thanks so much, I enjoy all your videos.

    Rating: 5
  29. This was delish. Ate it for lunch five days in a row. It kept just fine in the fridge.

    Rating: 5
  30. This isn’t quite vegetarian now, is it?

  31. Love, Love, Love your recipes! Did I mention, Love?! ;)…and so does hubby!! Lettuce wraps and spring rolls, our faves, so far!For the broccoli salad, I used 2/3 cup cashew yogurt and only 1/4 cup mayo…delish! :))

    Rating: 5
  32. O-M-G!  So many different flavours attacking my tastebuds – in a nice way.  Beautiful!!!  Definitely going to be making this more often, I can just imagine living off sweet potato egg for breakfast, this for lunch, salmon frittatas for tea along with chia seed pudding every day.  Awesome!!

    Rating: 5
  33. This salad is so good! I wanted to eat the whole bowl myself and not serve it for Father’s Day. I was leery of the raw onions but trusted Lisa because I have always liked her recipes.

    Rating: 5
  34. I love this salad! It is such a great alternative to green, leafy salads and takes less active prep time. It is also very hearty and satisfying. I added shredded Brussels sprouts and did a combo of sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, and pumpkin seeds. Thank you for the recipe!

    Rating: 5
  35. That looks like one tasty salad. I never add broccoli to salad and now I am thinking why not? I will skip the bacon when I try this however as I am veggie. It’s still going to be one tasty salad..

    Rating: 5
  36. I simply love broccoli and it’s definitely one of my favorite vegetables in the world. This salad looks so healthy, colorful and delicious I simply have to try it soon! Perfect for a light dinner!

    Rating: 5
  37. Love this! My husband loves broccoli and I”m slowly learning to eat it. I started with broccoli slaw. I still can’t stand it steamed. But this recipe looks good enough to make me want to see if I can eat larger bits. 

    Rating: 5
  38. What a wholesome and delicious salad!! I literally love every ingredient here!! What a combination of great textures too!! Love it

    Rating: 5
  39. Having a Father’s Day cook out Sunday, would like to make this- guests don’t eat pork, please suggest substitute for the bacon?

  40. I can’t wait to try this. I make a broccoli salad but yours is definitely a healthier version so I’m very happy that I’ll be able to have it again – just couldn’t justify it anymore with the sugar that was in the original recipe. Thanks Lisa!

    Rating: 5
  41. Definitely having that on Monday.  We are away this weekend, it has everything Inlove eating.  I tend to slice up the stems the following day for stir fry.  Will definitely spiralise it.

    Rating: 5