Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (2024)

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Everyone needs to know how to put together a classic bacon broccoli salad. It’s so easy to whip up and tends to be a hit with most people! This recipe can be made all year round and it’s the perfect option for potlucks!

Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (1)

Once upon a time I worked in downtown Calgary at an oil and gas company. There was a woman that I worked with named Mary that was famous for her broccoli salad that she would bring to staff potluck suppers. To sum Mary up, she was a wonderful woman from Newfoundland who could cook like a boss, was hilarious beyond measure and her favourite saying was “Lord Lamp-lighting Jesus” when she was worked up about something. And her broccoli salad was the BEST I have ever tasted. Plus, we all know that any recipe that kicks off with “bacon” is going to go down pretty well, just like my Classic Caesar Salad.

Also once upon a time, I could actually eat broccoli. Oh, to be in my early 20’s again when I had a cast iron stomach. Now I can’t eat broccoli, but I DO have Mary’s recipe and technique for making the best broccoli salad ever.

Cut everything as small as you can. Tiny tiny TINY little broccoli trees. Mary said she would take her cutting board to the living room on a TV tray and watch the tube as she chopped and chopped and chopped to make a massive salad to feed the whole office. While you don’t have to watch TV or make a quadruple batch, if you make sure that the ingredients in this are small, you’ll understand how the way they blend together makes this an amazing broccoli salad!

Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (2)

Ingredients in Broccoli Salad

  • Broccoli – florets, chopped very small
  • Red onion – finely diced
  • Raisins – I use dark Thompson raisins
  • Sunflower seeds– salted and hulled
  • Bacon – cooked and then crumbled into small pieces
  • Mayonnaise – you can use low fat but the texture of the dressing will change slightly
  • White sugar – use Splenda or your favorite no sugar sweetener to make it low carb
  • White vinegar – you can also try using cider vinegar for a unique taste

How to make Broccoli Salad

  • Place all of the salad ingredients into a medium-sized bowl.
  • Prepare the dressing by mixing the mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar together until smooth. Stir into the salad ingredients.
  • Cover the bowl and let the salad chill – Mary would let it chill overnight and then bring it to the potluck and it was spectacular!
  • Serve cold.

Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (3)

Try a different salad dressing

If you fancy spicing up your dressing, try it Jamie Oliver style! Start by peeling some ginger and grating it into a bowl, then stir in some sesame oil, along with olive oil, soy cause, and lime juice. Then add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar before whisking the dressing together. Easy!

How healthy is broccoli salad?

To make this healthy simply use LOW FAT mayo and watch the sugar! You can use as little as you want to make the dressing to your taste! Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring and this is the perfect example! The classic bacon broccoli salad is super healthy and completely customizable depending on your tastes. Why not add some grapes or cranberries too for an added boost of flavour?

Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (4)
What should you serve broccoli salad with?

This salad is perfect on its own for a light lunch but it can also be a great accompaniment to some simple Porterhouse Steak or roast chicken. Maybe you could even try ham hocks? There really is no limit to the combinations available here! Oh, how about egg drop soup for a soup and salad combo that is seriously awesome?

I’d love to hear what you like to serve alongside your broccoli salad, so don’t forget to share it in the comments to give us all some extra inspiration! I’m super excited to see what you come up with!

More salad recipes for you to try

  • Winter Citrus Avocado Salad: who doesn’t love avocado?! This salad is full of fruit and greens and all sorts of Vitamin C!
  • Avocado Egg Salad: more avocado! I think I have avocado on the brain today.
  • Fast and Easy Greek Pasta Salad: an awesome combo of veg and pasta in one super tasty recipe.

Hope you love it! I have such fond food memories of this salad, I’m so sad that I can’t eat broccoli anymore. The family taste tested this over Christmas and it was deemed fantastic, so let me know what you think!



Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (5)

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Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (6)

Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe

This bacon broccoli salad is a classic! The secret that makes this the best broccoli salad ever is to chop the ingredients very small, then let the salad sit overnight for max flavor!

5 from 137 votes

Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (7)



Prep Time
25 minutes
Total Time
25 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


Broccoli Salad

  • 8 cups broccoli florets, chopped very small
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup salted sunflower seeds, hulled
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and then crumbled into small pieces

Sweet Mayonnaise Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4-1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons white vinegar


  • Place all of the salad ingredients into a medium sized bowl.

  • Prepare the dressing by mixing the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar together until smooth. Stir into the salad ingredients.

  • Cover the bowl and let the salad chill - Mary would let it chill overnight and then bring it to the potluck and it was spectacular!

  • Serve cold.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 783kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 68g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 50mg, Sodium: 713mg, Potassium: 595mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 21g, Vitamin A: 815IU, Vitamin C: 110.9mg, Calcium: 73mg, Iron: 1.5mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a co*cktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

Site Index Bacon Broccoli Salad Vintage recipe

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Ruby says


    Love this recipe. My go to side dish. Thank you.Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (12)

  2. Sabrina says


    Made this with pecans (didn’t have sunflower seeds), honey instead of sugar (3-4 tbsp) and added some small-cubed cheddar cheese. It was soooo delicious.

  3. Sandra Prsa says


    thanks for the great recipe. made it for our First BBQ of the summer and it was a big hit! Followed the directions as instructed.

  4. Cassi Petersen says


    Refreshing summer (or anytime;)
    side! I skipped the sugar in the dressing, doesn’t seem to be missed flavor wise, used dried cranberries instead of raisins…and used bacon bits as I was short on time. Yummy 😋Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (13)

  5. Bell says


    I wanted to make this salad while on the yatch. the only broccoli on board was frozen broccoli. there was some trail mix with cranberries and sunflower seeds. I had ranch dressing and string cheese and an onion. I diced up the string cheese, onion and broccoli and mixed it all together it was delicious!Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (14)

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Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (2024)


What does broccoli salad contain? ›

What Is in Broccoli Salad?
  • Raw broccoli florets. Yep, no need to blanch broccoli for this salad. ...
  • Bacon. Cooked until crispy, then minced.
  • Raw red onion, also minced.
  • Sunflower seeds, for crunch. Look for the unsalted kind.
  • Raisins.
Feb 20, 2024

How to make brocoli salad? ›

Whisk together mayonnaise, cider vinegar and honey. Toss salad ingredients with dressing: Combine broccoli florets, almonds, crumbled bacon, chopped onion, and peas in a large serving bowl. Add dressing to the salad and toss to mix well.

Why do you blanch broccoli for salad? ›

The salad is better if you blanch the broccoli. “Blanching” is a cooking term that means dunking it in boiling water (or cooking it in the microwave) just briefly, so the broccoli turns bright green and loses its woody quality. It becomes softer, your mouth doesn't have to fight with it and the flavors meld better.

Can broccoli be eaten raw as in a salad? ›

Broccoli can be prepared in numerous ways, including sautéed, steamed, boiled, or roasted, but it can also be served raw in salads or with dips.

What is the active ingredient in broccoli? ›

Broccoli and its active ingredient, sulforaphane were reported to possess tremendous pharmacological activities such as anticancer, antimicrobial, antidepressant, antihypertensive and antidiabetic to mention but few.

When not to use broccoli? ›

First, check the color of the florets. They should be a bright, uniform green. If they have any yellow or brown spots, that's a sign your broccoli is starting to spoil. If you notice fuzzy white or black patches growing on the florets or the stem, that tells you that mold is starting to form, and it's time to toss it.

What do you soak broccoli in before cooking? ›

Nope, not those commercial produce washes; the USDA actually advises against using those. Instead, use a pantry staple: vinegar. Fill a large bowl with 2 ⅔ cups cold or warm water and ⅓ cup white vinegar. Allow it to soak for 2 minutes, then dump the broccoli into a colander.

What happens if you don't blanch broccoli? ›

You may find that frozen broccoli that hasn't been blanched doesn't have as good of a taste or texture in recipes. However, it's usually fine in soups and stews, especially blended soups where it's not as crucial to have florets with a specific texture.

Do I need to wash broccoli before blanching? ›

Before you cook or eat fresh broccoli, be sure to clean it to remove dirt, pesticides, and even bugs. You can wash your broccoli quickly and easily with water or a vinegar solution, and you can remove cabbage worms from the florets with a salt water solution.

How long should you blanch broccoli? ›

To blanch the broccoli, bring a pan of water to the boil. Have a bowl of iced water ready, along with a tray lined with kitchen paper. Cook the broccoli in the boiling water for 2-3 mins. Remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon and plunge into the bowl of iced water, then leave for another 2-3 mins.

Is it OK to eat broccoli every day? ›

Regularly incorporating broccoli into your daily diet can contribute to stronger bones and potentially lower the risk of conditions such as osteoporosis. Broccoli can be a beneficial inclusion in the diet of those seeking to manage their weight.

Do you wash broccoli before or after cutting? ›

Before you proceed with any of these methods for how to clean broccoli, it's worth noting the ideal timing to do so. The USDA recommends washing produce just before using it to slow spoilage.

How long will broccoli last in the fridge? ›

Fresh broccoli lasts between 3 to 5 days in the fridge when properly stored. “For cut-up broccoli, I would say no more than 4 days for optimal use,” Amidor says. “But it's best to cut from the whole head right before cooking or eating to maintain nutrients.”

What does a bowl of salad contain? ›

Common raw vegetables (in the culinary sense) used in a salad include cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, radishes, mushrooms, avocado, olives, artichoke hearts, heart of palm, watercress, parsley, garden beets, and green beans. Nuts, berries, seeds, lentils, and flowers are less common components.

What does a vegetable salad contain? ›

Vegetable salads may be marinated or sauced mixtures of raw or cooked vegetables. They are commonly based on tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, beets, and mushrooms. Cole slaw (from the Dutch kool, “cabbage”) is made of shredded or chopped cabbage with a mayonnaise or vinegar-based dressing.

What is broccoli slaw made of? ›

1For the dressing: Whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until smooth. 2For the slaw: Add the broccoli slaw, broccoli florets, carrots, cabbage, green onions, raisins, and sunflower kernels to the dressing; stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.

What vitamins are in broccoli slaw? ›

Broccoli Slaw
Vitamin A 35%Vitamin C 120%
Calcium 4%Iron 4%

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