Broccoli Bacon Salad

The BEST Broccoli Bacon Salad Recipe! Loaded with crispy bacon, red onion, and shredded cheddar cheese. Tossed in a creamy, tangy dressing. All you need to make this recipe is 9 ingredients and 15 minutes! This easy broccoli salad makes a great low-carb side dish for Summer parties, potlucks and barbecues!

Getting prepared for a cookout? Try my BLT Pasta Salad or my Curry Chicken Salad. They go really well with just about everything!

Broccoli Salad in a white bowl with tongs.

Cold broccoli salad has been a staple in our house ever since I was a little girl. We often made this as a side dish for burgers or grilled chicken and it was always the dish we brought to potlucks! Needless to say, we have had a lot of time in the past to PERFECT this easy broccoli salad.

This broccoli and bacon salad gets dressed with a sweet, tangy, and creamy homemade dressing. It’s the perfect ratio of dressing to the salad. I hate when a broccoli salad recipe is too dry or too soggy with dressing. This is the perfect amount! I opted to omit the usual cranberries or raisins and added lots of bacon, cheese, and red onion. This truly is the BEST Broccoli Salad.

What is Broccoli Salad made of?

  • Broccoli: You’ll need about 4 cups (2 heads) of broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces. You could also use cauliflower or a mix of both!
  • Onion: Red onion is sweet and a little spicy! It is delicious with the broccoli and the broccoli salad dressing. If you’re not a huge fan of raw onion flavor, begin with half of the amount and adjust from there.
  • Bacon: Crispy bacon is finely chopped and added at the last minute. If you’re making this recipe ahead, wait to mix the bacon in until you’re about to serve so it can stay nice and crispy.
  • Cheese: Cheddar cheese adds a little sharpness and tanginess. It’s so tasty! You could also try parmesan or pepper jack for a kick of spice.

Broccoli Salad Dressing:

  • Mayonnaise: The base of the broccoli salad dressing is mayonnaise. It’s creamy, tangy, and takes on all of the other flavors so well.
  • Sugar: Plain, white sugar provides a lovely sweetness, and balances the other flavors so well.
  • Vinegar: I added red wine vinegar, however, white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar would also work.
  • Seasonings: To finish off, I threw in a little garlic powder and onion powder. This salad dressing is sweet, creamy, tangy, and addictive! It’s great on other salads as well so go ahead and make a double batch!

How to make the BEST Broccoli Salad (ever!)

  • Make the salad: In a large bowl combine broccoli florets, diced red onion, cooked bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese.

broccoli, cheese and bacon in large white bowl

  • Combine the broccoli salad dressing: In a small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, and onion powder. Pour the dressing on top of the salad mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate the broccoli salad dressing for 1 hour before serving or until cold.

creamy salad dressing in white bowl

  • Store: Leftover broccoli bacon salad in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days!

Broccoli Salad in white bowl with fork

Can this be made ahead of time?

Yes! I actually like making it a day or two before a party to let the flavors develop! I like to hold off on adding my chopped bacon until right before serving if I plan on making this salad ahead of time. This helps to keep it crispy!

Broccoli Salad in a white bowl with broccoli salad dressing.

What to serve with Broccoli Salad

Variations

  • Optional add in’s: Raisins, sunflower seeds, chopped celery, sliced almonds, diced or shredded apples, dried cranberries, or grapes.
  • Make it vegetarian: Leave out the bacon and substitute it for extra veggies. Add cauliflower, shredded carrots, or any of the optional add in’s above!
  • Use your favorite type of cheese: I used shredded mild cheddar. However sharp cheddar, Colby jack, or pepper jack would all be really good in this!
  • Broccoli cauliflower salad: Substitute half of the broccoli for cauliflower florets.
  • Use greek yogurt: In place of some of the mayonnaise to save on some calories!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long is Broccoli Bacon Salad good for in the fridge? This easy salad side dish keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you store the broccoli salad dressing separately, it will keep for an extra day or so.
  • How many calories is Broccoli Salad? This recipe has 339 calories per portion. Perfect for a healthy side dish, packed full of vegetables!
  • Is this Broccoli Salad with bacon healthy? To make this broccoli salad healthier use less mayo (you can even substitute some of the mayonnaise for Greek yogurt!) And use less sugar or even add honey instead.
  • How do you cut broccoli for a salad? I begin by cutting off the excess stems (which are edible and can be added to the salad as well!) and then cutting the broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces or a little smaller.

Broccoli Salad in a white bowl with a hand holding tongs.

Here are more Easy Side Dish Recipes to try!

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The BEST Broccoli Salad

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8

The BEST Broccoli Salad Recipe! Loaded with crispy bacon, red onion and shredded cheddar cheese. Tossed in a creamy, tangy dressing. All you need to make this recipe is 9 ingredients and 15 minutes! This easy broccoli salad makes a great low carb side dish for Summer parties and barbecues!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium heads of broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Images:
  • In a large bowl combine broccoli florets, diced red onion, cooked bacon and shredded cheddar cheese.
  • In a small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, red wine vinegar, garlic powder and onion powder.
  • Pour the dressing on top of the salad mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
Nutrition Facts
The BEST Broccoli Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 339 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 26mg9%
Sodium 346mg15%
Potassium 548mg16%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 1036IU21%
Vitamin C 137mg166%
Calcium 129mg13%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Broccoli Salad, Summer Side Dishes

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