Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad is a classic summer side dish! This no-bake recipe is packed with flavor, and it’s perfect for summer picnics and potlucks.

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Broccoli Salad is a classic summer side dish!  This no-bake recipe is packed with flavor, and it's perfect for summer picnics and potlucks.

There are no less than 4 different recipes for Broccoli Salad in our family’s collection of recipes. I have no idea why there are so many different versions…or where the different versions even came from. All I know is this Broccoli Salad (labeled Broccoli Salad III in the collection) is my favorite by far!

This Broccoli Salad is super easy to make, and it’s loaded with all sorts of delicious toppings. In fact, I could’ve called this Loaded Broccoli Salad thanks to all of the toppings. There’s a bit of salty from the bacon and sunflower seeds. Then there’s sweet from the golden raisins and dried cranberries. Once combined together, this is one heck of a tasty side dish!

Broccoli Salad is a classic summer side dish! This no-bake recipe is packed with flavor, and it's perfect for summer picnics and potlucks.

Broccoli Salad

This no-cook recipe is perfect for hot summer days. If you’ve got about 15 minutes, you can have a batch of this salad whipped up and chilling in the fridge. It’s a fantastic side dish alongside grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. Keep this recipe handy for the next summer potluck!

I’ll be the first to tell you that I can’t stand goopy mayo-based salads. Don’t get me wrong – I love mayo, I just don’t want mayonnaise to be the first ingredient in any recipe. (Well, unless we’re talking about this Cajun Dipping Sauce…then it’s ok!)

Broccoli Salad is a classic summer side dish! This no-bake recipe is packed with flavor, and it's perfect for summer picnics and potlucks.

When I walked into the kitchen to make this easy Broccoli Salad recipe, I was determined to make it “non-goopy.” For the dressing, I used a mix of sour cream and mayonnaise with a bit of red wine vinegar and sugar. This tart, barely sweet dressing was perfect for coating the broccoli florets. Add in all of the other flavors, and you’ve got a fantastic salad!

Broccoli Salad is a classic summer salad for a reason. It’s easy to make, and it’s served cold. Plus, with all of the toppings mixed in there, each bite will be packed with flavor!

Broccoli Salad is a classic summer side dish! This no-bake recipe is packed with flavor, and it's perfect for summer picnics and potlucks.

Broccoli Salad Ingredients

  • Broccoli. I opted for raw broccoli as I like the texture. Feel free to blanch the broccoli if you’d like, though.
  • Bacon. Adds a delicious salty flavor. Use real bacon. It’s worth the extra time it takes to cook it!
  • Sunflower seeds. Adds a nutty, salty flavor. I’m a huge fan of sunflower seeds in all sorts of salads, so don’t skip these! I’ve also seen similar recipes with chopped roasted almonds.
  • Golden raisins. Goldens raisins tend to be a bit plumper and sweeter than their cousins, so I opted for golden here. Feel free to use whatever raisins you have in the pantry, though.
  • Dried cranberries. Brings a sweet + tart flavor to each bite. If you love the fruity flavor from the cranberries, try adding ½ cup of diced Granny Smith apples!
  • Red Onions. The red onion I used was rather mild. If yours is stronger, feel free to soak the diced onions in a bowl of water or milk for 30 minutes. I use this tip when making onion rings, and it helps remove the overpowering onion flavor.
  • Cheddar Cheese. I opted for a sharp cheddar cheese here. I grabbed a block of Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar, and I used the coarsest setting on my cheese grater. I love the way the thicker shreds of cheese look in this salad.
Broccoli Salad is a classic summer side dish! This no-bake recipe is packed with flavor, and it's perfect for summer picnics and potlucks.

As with most summer salads, this Broccoli Salad will taste better if you let it rest in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving. If it’s going to be longer than 2 hours, I recommend waiting to add the crumbled bacon until right before you serve it – that way the bacon stays crispy.

Any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Make sure to give it a good stir before serving.

If you’re looking for a delicious and classic broccoli salad recipe, then put this one on the list. Not only is it easy, but it’s loaded with flavor – perfect for summer picnics and get-togethers in the backyard! Enjoy!

Did you make a batch of this Broccoli Salad at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!

Broccoli Salad is a classic summer side dish! This no-bake recipe is packed with flavor, and it's perfect for summer picnics and potlucks.

Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad is a classic summer side dish! This no-bake recipe is packed with flavor, and it's perfect for summer picnics and potlucks.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 325kcal

Ingredients

For the Broccoli Salad

  • 3 medium heads fresh broccoli approximately 7-8 cups of florets
  • 8 oz. bacon cooked and finely chopped
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 cup thick-cut shredded sharp cheddar cheese I used Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese

For the Dressing

Instructions

  • Chop the broccoli into bite-sized florets. (Tip: If some of the florets are too large, just cut ‘em in half.)
  • Using a large bowl, add broccoli florets, bacon, sunflower seeds, raisins, cranberries, red onions and shredded cheese; stir until well combined.
  • Using a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, red wine vinegar and sugar.
  • Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture; toss until well coated.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving. (Tip: Toss again before serving.) If it’s going to be longer than 2 hours before serving, I recommend waiting and adding bacon right before serving so that it stays crispy.
Broccoli Salad is a classic summer side dish! This no-bake recipe is packed with flavor, and it's perfect for summer picnics and potlucks.

Looking for more tasty summer salad recipes? Check out these other favorites, too:

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14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I am not a huge fan of “goopy mayo-based salads” either and im so loving your vinegar-laced, less goopy version! This is such a fantastic salad-that dressing along with broccoli and bacon = pure bliss, at least, in my opinion!

    1. This broccoli salad is quite tasty, Shashi! It’s one of those recipes that gets buried in the pile of recipes – but it needs to have a place at the top! 🙂

  2. Cant wait to make this soon for me can i use tofu i never had broccoli salad before perfect for my after office meals love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work

  3. 5 stars
    So many flavors in this broccoli salad! I should switch up our typical steamed brocc for this version — I’m sure the addition of bacon would get my kids to eat more ! 😉

    1. Haha – bacon will get the kids to eat anything, right?? 🙂 This broccoli salad is quite delicious with all of the different flavors going on. Much better than just steamed brocc!

  4. 5 stars
    The more salad variations, the better! In fact, we don’t have a single salad recipe that is repeated often; even a few simple additions make a basic salad more interesting and not boring! But actually I haven’t made broccoli salad often, and I need to catch up. And your version sounds perfect for this season 🙂

  5. this sounds really delicious David. I do like me some broccoli. I have made a broccoli salad before and i think i left it raw. Looks good enough to eat 🙂
    cheers
    sherry

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