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Broccoli salad with bacon is healthy, colorful and delicious. It features tasty veggies, bacon and cheese with a simple dressing that’s light and flavorful. Assemble this easy summer salad in just 20 minutes.
🥗 WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS BROCCOLI SALAD
- Healthy broccoli salad makes an excellent main dish or side.
- It’s a fabulous choice for potlucks, picnics, and BBQs. The recipe is easy to upscale to feed a crowd.
- To make this recipe in advance, prep the salad ingredients and the dressing. Transfer the items to separate containers, and refrigerate. When ready to serve, toss everything together in a salad bowl.
🥦 AVOID FOOD WASTE: If there’s fresh broccoli leftover after assembling this dish, use it for another recipe like broccoli cheddar soup.
Broccoli Salad with Bacon
- Broccoli: This veggie is the star of our broccoli salad. At the market, look for broccoli with bright green heads and compact clusters of florets. The stalks and stems should be nicely firm, but not woody.
- Red Onion: Adds color, flavor and texture.
- Grape Tomatoes: Look for firm ripe tomatoes that are deeply red. If desired, use cherry tomatoes instead.
- Medium Cheddar Cheese: This ingredient is so delicious. It’s a nice addition to this recipe, and pairs well with bacon.
- Bacon: We prefer thick-cut bacon from the butcher’s counter. We cook it until crispy, then roughly chop it. It adds protein, flavor and texture to this delicious broccoli salad.
- Sunflower Seeds: Contribute a nutty flavor and lots of texture.
- Mayonnaise: Is the creamy base of our homemade dressing. I prefer Best Foods Real Mayonnaise or Duke’s Mayo. But feel free to use the brand you have on hand.
- Granulated Sugar: Adds the perfect amount of sweetness.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Provides delicious tang.
📖 RECIPE STEPS
RECIPE PREP: Fry the bacon until crisp. Rinse and dry the veggies. It’s important to fully dry the broccoli – use with paper towels or a lint-free kitchen towel. We don’t want droplets of water to thin out the dressing.
- STEP 1: Chop off the stalk and stems from the broccoli and discard them. For broccoli salad we’re only using the florets. Cut the florets into bite-size pieces. Transfer them to a salad bowl.
- STEP 2: Chop the red onion. Slice the grape tomatoes in half. Cube the cheese. Chop the cooked bacon. Add them to the salad bowl along with the sunflower seeds. Gently toss to combine.
- STEP 3: Prepare the salad dressing. In a small bowl or mason jar, whisk together the mayo, granulated sugar and apple cider vinegar.
- STEP 4: Pour 2/3 of the dressing over the broccoli salad. Reserve the rest of the dressing for later, to add as desired. Toss the salad. Serve immediately, or cover the bowl and refrigerate until serving time.
🧑🏼🍳 HOW TO KEEP BROCCOLI SALAD CRISP
When assembling the salad in advance, don’t add the dressing until serving time. Refrigerate the salad in one container, and the dressing in a separate container. This will help keep the texture of the veggies, bacon, and seeds crisp, and protect the cheese from getting wet and sticky.
Broccoli salad is best enjoyed the same day. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container and saved until the following day, but the texture will not be the same. Tomato juices will have thinned out the dressing. The texture of the bacon will be limp not crisp, and the cheese may be gooey.
👩🏻🍳 HOW TO KEEP BROCCOLI SALAD COOL
Summer is the perfect season to take this salad to potlucks, picnics, or serve it at a backyard gathering. Because the salad has bacon and cheese, and the dressing has mayo, for food safety we need to keep this dish cool.
- For outdoor venues, look for a shaded area. Fill a deep chafing dish with ice. Place the covered salad bowl on top. Arrange additional ice around the sides of the bowl. This will keep your salad nice and cool.
- If the extra salad dressing will be served separately (not mixed into the salad), be sure to keep that cool as well.
- If packing broccoli salad for a picnic, keep it cold in an ice chest.
- When packing this salad for lunch, keep it cool in an insulated tote.
🥗 MORE HEALTHY SUMMER SALADS
During the hot-weather months we’re all looking for healthy refreshing meals and sides that won’t heat up the kitchen. These healthy summer salads really fit the bill. Add them to your meal-plan rotation.
- Watermelon Arugula Salad
- Strawberry Spinach Salad
- Chinese Chicken Salad
- Summer Pasta Salad with Veggies
- Cucumber Salad
- Tropical Fruit Salad with Agave-Lime Dressing
RATE THIS RECIPE ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Flavor testers rated this the BEST broccoli salad with bacon. They loved the colorful fresh ingredients, crisp delicious textures, and the easy flavorful dressing. They appreciated how quick and easy it came together.
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Healthy broccoli salad with bacon is a delicious way to enjoy your veggies. This colorful salad is hearty, satisfying, and easy to assemble. Serve it as a main dish or side.
Broccoli Salad with Bacon
- 2 large heads of broccoli, rinsed and pat dried
- 1 pound thick-cut bacon (about 8-10 slices), cooked until crispy then chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
- 1 cup cubed cheddar cheese
- 10.5 ounces grape tomatoes (about 1 1/4 cups), sliced in half
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, plus more for garnishing
- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise, refrigerated and cold
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
RECIPE PREP: Fry the bacon until crisp. Rinse and dry the veggies. It’s important to fully dry the broccoli – use paper towels or a kitchen towel. We don’t want droplets of water to thin out the dressing.
- Chop off the stalk and stems from the broccoli and discard them. For broccoli salad we’re only using the florets. Cut the florets into bite-size pieces. Transfer them to a salad bowl.
- Add in the red onion, grape tomatoes, cheese, bacon and sunflower seeds. Gently toss to combine.
- Prepare the salad dressing. In a small bowl or mason jar, whisk together the mayo, granulated sugar and apple cider vinegar.
- Pour 2/3 of the dressing over the broccoli salad. Reserve the rest of the dressing for later, to add as desired. Toss the salad. Serve immediately, or cover the bowl and refrigerate until serving time.
For food safety – keep this dish cool: When packing this salad for a picnic, keep it in an ice chest or insulated tote. For potlucks and backyard gatherings, set the salad bowl inside a larger container and surround it with ice.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Category: Salad
- Method: Tossing
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: broccoli salad, broccoli salad with bacon, cold broccoli salad
BROCCOLI SALAD WITH BACON 👉🏻 JOIN THE CONVO
Do you love making cool healthy salads during warm-weather months? What do you think about this broccoli salad recipe? Join the conversation by leaving a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!