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Broccoli Salad

Classic Broccoli Salad with bits and pieces of cranberries, bacon, cheddar cheese, onion, nuts, and apple. A quick and healthy side salad recipe to bring to a potluck or feature on a holiday menu. The BEST way to serve fresh broccoli is in a crunchy salad with a creamy dressing.

Broccoli Salad - Fresh broccoli salad with nuts, cheese, bacon, onion, cranberries, and apples tossed in a creamy dressing. Healthy side dish recipe to serve for Easter, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, or summer potlucks and cookouts.

Creamy Broccoli Salad made in 15 minutes! My fresh broccoli salad recipe is loaded with crunchy pieces of dried cranberries, nuts, bacon, apple, onions, and velvety smooth cheese and it’s tossed in the creamiest mayonnaise and sour cream dressing. Serve this classic salad recipe staple for Easter dinner, Mother’s Day brunch, summer cookouts, potlucks, and holiday parties. Pair as a side salad to your main course meal. Even the pickiest of eaters will devour this healthy salad.

The BEST way to serve fresh broccoli is in a salad. Of course, my Roasted Broccoli Recipe gets 5-star raves and is just as good, but as it heats up outside, a fresh and cool salad is my favorite dish to serve up next to Honey Baked Ham and Pulled Pork Sandwiches.

Close up of broccoli salad. Pieces of broccoli crowns in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon. Mostly green broccoli with lots of yellow cheddar cheese shredded and spread throughout the bowl. Sprinkles of dried cranberries, diced red onions, yellow sunflower seeds, chopped bacon pieces. Tossed in a white creamy salad dressing. Text in middle says loaded creamy broccoli salad with pink background white text. Second photo is of broccoli salad ingredients. A close up of broccoli, sunflower seeds, cheddar cheese, apple, bacon, white onion, dried cranberries

HOW TO MAKE BROCCOLI SALAD

  1. Cut broccoli into florets and rinse under cold water.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together broccoli florets, dried cranberries, shelled sunflower seeds, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, onions, cooked bacon, and diced apples.
  3. Make the creamy dressing in a small bowl. Mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  4. Pour the homemade dressing over the salad and toss together.
  5. Refrigerate salad until ready to serve.
Broccoli Salad made with broccoli florets, dried cranberries, nuts, apple, bacon, cheddar cheese, and onions. Tossed in a creamy mayonnaise and sour cream dressing.

CLASSIC BROCCOLI SALAD INGREDIENTS

  • BROCCOLI: Fresh broccoli is best. I use two medium bunches and cut large stems off.
  • DRIED CRANBERRIES: These cranberries have a nice sweetness to each bite, but dried cherries, apricots, or prunes work, too.
  • BACON: Thick sliced bacon adds a nice salty feature to the salad. Cook more if using regular bacon. Do SKIP premade bacon bits.
  • APPLE: Use an apple you like. I like apples that are slightly tart. A nice green apple with some red is my preferred flavor.
  • ONION: Red onions add a nice crunch and flavor to the salad. Use sparingly until the flavor is achieved.
  • CHEDDAR CHEESE: Buy a block of sharp cheddar cheese and shred it. Cheese cubes go well with this recipe, too.
  • PARMESAN CHEESE: Parmesan cheese has a nice salty nutty flavor. Use the green can cheese OR head to the gourmet cheese section and pick up shaved parmesan.
  • SUNFLOWER SEEDS: Shelled sunflower seeds come without the black shell. If you are having trouble finding it, swap it out for pistachios, pecans, walnuts, or almonds.
Broccoli Salad - The perfect side dish recipe made with broccoli florets, dried cranberries, bacon, cheese, onions, nuts, and apples. Tossed a a creamy homemade dressing with apple cider vinegar.

CREAMY SALAD DRESSING

  • MAYONNAISE: Traditional ingredient in homemade dressing. I prefer Hellmann’s Real Mayonaise.
  • SOUR CREAM: For the best salad dressing flavor, use sour cream in combination with mayonnaise.
  • VINEGAR: Apple cider vinegar is sweeter than white vinegar and adds a nice sweet and sour flavor. Add more sure if using white vinegar.
  • SUGAR: A little sugar rounds the savory flavor of the dressing by adding a touch of sweetness. The dressing tastes similar to a good chicken salad sandwich recipe.
  • SALT & PEPPER: Salt and pepper work to deepen the flavors of the dressing.
Broccoli Salad - The BEST Easter side dish with fresh crunch. Our family devours this healthy salad recipe made with fresh ingredients.

BROCCOLI SALAD TIPS & QUESTIONS

Can I make this salad the day before? Yes, it can be made ahead. I do like to store the dressing separately and then add it before serving but you do not need to do that.

I can’t get my hands on all the ingredients due to current grocery store issues. Do I need to use everything listed? No. Feel free to omit ingredients or swap any of them out with something better.

Can I steam the broccoli instead of serving it raw? Yes, you may. Be sure not to over steam it. Run it under cold water before adding it to the salad.

Other ingredient ideas: Asparagus tips, cauliflower, avocado slices, pear, raspberries, plums, crunchy roasted brussels sprouts, green onions, almonds, pecans, different cheeses, fresh mozzarella balls, carrots, celery.

Close up of broccoli salad. Pieces of broccoli crowns in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon. Mostly green broccoli with lots of yellow cheddar cheese shredded and spread throughout the bowl. Sprinkles of dried cranberries, diced red onions, yellow sunflower seeds, chopped bacon pieces. Tossed in a white creamy salad dressing.

HOW TO SERVE BROCCOLI SALAD

Broccoli salad is a delicious side dish for summer potlucks, cookouts, Easter brunch, Mother’s Day food menu, Memorial Day and 4th of July grill out, and holiday parties.

Serve Broccoli Salad with these Main Meal recipe ideas: Honey Baked Ham, Juicy Roast Turkey, Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Pineapple Ham, Slow Cooker Turkey Breast, Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken.

Serve this fresh Broccoli Salad as a side dish along with these classic side dish recipes: Loaded Baked Potato Salad, Crack Broccoli, Easy Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, Crack Brussels Sprouts {AKA BEST Roasted Brussels Sprouts}, Cream Corn Bacon recipe, Cranberry Relish, Cherry Fluff Salad, Classic Sweet Cornbread recipe, Cranberry Fluff Salad, Classic Ambrosia Salad, Dill Pickle Pasta Salad, BLT Pasta Salad, Italian Pasta Salad.

Broccoli Salad - The BEST Broccoli Salad recipe with fresh ingredients tossed in a creamy cool dressing.
Classic Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad

Creamy Broccoli Salad made in 15 minutes! My fresh broccoli salad recipe is loaded with crunchy pieces of dried cranberries, nuts, bacon, apple, onions, and velvety smooth cheese and it's tossed in the creamiest mayonnaise and sour cream dressing. Serve this classic salad recipe staple for Easter dinner, Mother's Day brunch, summer cookouts, potlucks, and holiday parties. Pair as a side salad to your main course meal. Even the pickiest of eaters will devour this healthy salad.
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Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Broccoli Salad, Creamy Side Dish Salad Recipe, Easter Side Dish, Potluck Recipees
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 263kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup shelled sunflower seeds ((swap for any nuts))
  • 1 cup (4 oz) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • cup diced red onions
  • cup grated or shaved parmesan cheese
  • 6 thick bacon sliced, diced
  • ½ apple, diced
  • ½ cup Mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar ((swap for white vinegar or red wine vinegar))
  • tbsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • Cook bacon according to package directions. Cut into pieces; set aside.
  • Cut any large stems off the broccoli. Cut broccoli into bite-size pieces.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add broccoli florets, dried cranberries, shelled sunflower seeds (or any nuts), cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, red onions, diced apples, and bacon pieces.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  • Pour dressing over salad bowl and toss together until well combined.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

SUNFLOWER SEEDS: Shelled sunflower seeds come without the black shell. Some grocery stores or health food stores sell them near the snacks. If you are having trouble finding it, swap it out for pistachios, pecans, walnuts, or almonds.
MAKING AHEAD: Mix salad ingredients. Store salad dressing separetly. When ready to serve, pour dressing over salad and toss together.

Nutrition

Calories:263kcal | Carbohydrates:10g | Protein:7g | Fat:22g | Saturated Fat:7g | Cholesterol:30mg | Sodium:380mg | Potassium:141mg | Fiber:2g | Sugar:7g | Vitamin A:253IU | Vitamin C:14mg | Calcium:120mg | Iron:1mg
Broccoli Salad - The BEST broccoli salad recipe with healthy, fresh ingredients.
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