Everyone loves this easy Broccoli Salad made with bacon, almonds, raisins or craisins and onion in a delicious creamy and tangy dressing.

When it comes to quick and easy sides to bring to a BBQ, this easy broccoli salad is very high on my list (along with traditional potato salad and Italian pasta salad). Enjoy!

Broccoli salad with bacon, craisins, almonds and a creamy dressing, served in a wooden bowl with a hand towel in the background.

Your kids may just want to eat their broccoli first, if it’s in the form of this Broccoli Salad!  It’s a CROWD PLEASER! The flavor combination is absolutely delicious, from the crunch of the broccoli and almonds, paired with salty bacon, onions, sweet Craisins and creamy dressing. It doesn’t matter the time of year, the occasion or the entree, this broccoli salad goes well with everything, anytime!

What You’ll Need:

  • Broccoli florets: fresh broccoli will taste best in broccoli salad.
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sugar
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Red Onion
  • Almonds: or you favorite nuts.
  • Onion: chopped red or sweet onion.
  • Bacon: cooked and chopped.

The ingredients needed for Broccoli Salad, in individual bowls.

How to make Broccoli Salad:

1. Prep ingredients: chop and quickly blanch the broccoli , cook the bacon bits, chop the onion and almonds. You can prepare all of these ingredients in advance (or even make the entire salad up to 1 day in advance).

2. Whisk the dressing. Mix salad dressing ingredients including mayonnaise, sugar and apple cider vinegar. (I like to substitute half plain Greek yogurt for the mayo in the dressing because I like the flavor and creaminess it adds).

3. Toss and refrigerate!  Toss the dressing and all of the ingredients in a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Broccoli salad ingredients in a bowl and dressing being poured on top.

Recipe Variations:

One of my favorite things about broccoli salad is that it’s so customizable.  Make some adjustments based on your diet, mood, or what kind of ad-ins you have available. Some of my favorite things to add include:

  • Vegan Broccoli Salad: sub vegan mayonnaise and leave out the bacon or use an alternative like coconut bacon.
  • Add nuts or seeds: sunflower seeds, pine nuts, pecans.
  • Add cheese:  I like to add a handful of chopped cheddar cheese.
  • Sub raisins for craisins.

More Healthy Side Dishes we LOVE:

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Recipe

Broccoli salad with bacon, craisins, almonds and a creamy dressing, served in a wooden bowl with a hand towel in the background.
Prep 20 mins
Chill 1 hr
Total 1 hr 20 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
  

  • 2 heads fresh broccoli , cut into florets
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (I often use half plain Greek yogurt)
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 8 slices bacon , cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup red onion , chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
  • 1/2 cup almonds , chopped (*see note below)

Instructions
 

  • Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water. 
  • In a large bowl mix together mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar. Stir well.
  • Add broccoli, bacon, onion, cranberries or raisins and almonds to a large bowl. Drizzle with desired amount of sauce.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Toss again to coat before serving.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Notes

Recipe Variations:

  • Vegan Broccoli Salad: sub vegan mayonnaise and leave out the bacon or use an alternative like coconut bacon.
  • Add nuts or seeds: sunflower seeds, pine nuts, pecans.
  • Add cheese:  I like to add a handful of chopped cheddar cheese.
  • Craisins: Substitute raisins or dried cherries.

Nutrition

Calories: 498kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 10gFat: 41gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 403mgPotassium: 546mgFiber: 5gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 735IUVitamin C: 101.1mgCalcium: 104mgIron: 1.7mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

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Have you tried this recipe?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

*I first shared this recipe in March 2015. Updated December 2020.

 

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This salad was always a favorite when my mom did sides for our family get togethers. Never had an exact recipe for it though. I did 3 crowns of broccoli but didn’t blanch it as we never did that in the past. I always use just white vinegar for my coleslaw dressing so I used that, along with sugar and mayonaise. I am going to try yogurt as you mentioned next time, but didn’t have any this time. I also used, thinly sliced red onion, craisins, and chopped walnuts. Such a refreshing and beautiful salad and I win mother in law points when I make for my son in law.

  2. 5 stars
    My mother-in-law made this all the time and I loved it so she gave me the recipe and I have been making it for years. This time around for a family summer gathering I am going to try it with the craisins in it.

  3. My mom made this for us, we
    loved it.
    Second helpings are “guilt free” since she used Equal instead of sugar – that makes it a “diet food”, right?

  4. 4 stars
    This was very tasty, and a good way to get more dark green vegs into us. For us – and we normally are the family of “bland” – it needs just a bit more flavor. Might add some shredded sharp cheddar tomorrow to a portion to see if that helps. But for the ease of making, you can’t beat this. 🙂

  5. THANK YOU for posting such a detailed recipe with the tantalizing photos; I could hardly wait to make it! I added green onions but other than that I stuck to the recipe and it was simply Marvellous! Thanks again! Looking forward to trying your other ones!

  6. 5 stars
    Took a little less than 30 minutes to make and it was super easy and it tastes delicious. I loved the dressing – perfect blend of sweet and sour and the bacon adds great savory flavors. Thanks for sharing a great recipe. I’m looking forward to making your artichoke dip this afternoon!

  7. I’ve made this salad before used honey instead of sugar and it was less sweet. I really enjoyed this salad, it pairs well with many dishes.

  8. 4 stars
    This is delicious! We omit the sugar all together and it’s still wonderful. Just wondering, is the nutritional info per serve or for the whole amount?

  9. 5 stars
    I made the recipe this morning and the dressing tasted well, but too sugary for my taste. Next time I will reduce the sugar to 2 Tab. I don’t eat bacon, but I could make it for others with the protein. Also I used 3 crowns of broccoli instead of two because I had so much dressing by changing the mayo to half mayo, half yogurt. All in all a great salad for anytime.

  10. 5 stars
    Made this for a Thanksgiving side. Turned out great! I used finely chopped green onions & sliced almonds but followed the recipe otherwise. All of the different flavors go together really well. Thanks! =]

  11. 4 stars
    I used this recipe more as a guideline: I left out the sugar. I used raisins instead of dried cranberries. I used raw broccoli and did not cook it at all. I am not a fan of ACV and so I used white vinegar, and I used sunflower seeds instead of almonds. I also added shredded carrots. It came out delicious!! Thanks.

    1. I was wondering how it would taste without the sugar. I do like the dried cranberries, so I’ll use those. I’ll leave the broccoli raw as well. Thanks for posting 🙂

  12. 5 stars
    Hi! Your recipe looks great! Broccoli is so good for us, and raw even better. Anytime you can add flavors like this together, it makes healthy eating all the more easier. I use sweet and spice pecans with my salads and I will try them in this one! Thanks!

  13. 4 stars
    I just made this over the weekend and my mom loved it. I skipped the craisins but I’ll add them next time along with less dressing and I think it will improve.

  14. 5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe. Reminds me of Sweet Tomatoes restaurant. I used low-fat mayo, a little extra sugar, cashews, and raisins with a few Craisins thrown in. It’s addictive! My broccoli heads must have been smaller as I only needed to use half the dressing. Next time I’ll use more broccoli.

  15. 5 stars
    SO tasty! I’ve made this twice in the past week, and everyone gives rave reviews. I didn’t have any bacon, so I skipped it, and it’s still delish.

  16. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this. It has always been my favorite dish at every family gathering. My great aunt is the one who always makes it. Unfortunately, my great uncle is in his last days & they aren’t able to join us this Thanksgiving. I wanted to make it to commemorate them & also because I just love it so much. Your way is just how she makes it. I just couldn’t remember all the ingredients. So thanks again ? Happy holidays, from my family to yours❤️?

    1. What a sweet gesture! I’m so happy you found me and I hope everyone enjoys the broccoli salad <3 Happy Thanksgiving

  17. 5 stars
    I don’t blanch the broccoli. My family likes the salad crunchy. I also add 1/2 to 1 cup jacama (diced in small cubes) it adds a sweet crunch to the salad and I use dry roasted peanuts instead of almonds or sunflower seeds.

  18. 5 stars
    Delicious broccoli salad! I’ve never made one before, but decided to give it a go as a way to use up broccoli instead of always steaming it.
    I did not blanch the broccoli… too lazy. The dressing seemed to soften the broccoli as it marinated in the fridge over the course of the afternoon. I also used half mayo and half sour cream…wanted to try the Greek yogurt, but was all out. Also, I had a package of combo dried cranberries, pepitas, sunflower seeds & flax seeds and used that along w/almonds.
    So I’m officially one of those people who don’t follow the recipe exactly. My deepest apologies, but I don’t think I’ve strayed too far off the original—and it was DELICIOUS.
    Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  19. I use some of my bacon grease in my dressing, and cut the sugar…yum, also do my pre blanch the broccoli..it’s better crisp and fresh the cider vinegar cooks the broccoli..

  20. 5 stars
    Outstanding salad! I added 1/2 cup of carrots in with florets while blanching and used Greek yogurt. Also soaked my red onions in pickled juice 5 -8 minutes. This salad recipe is definitely a keeper. Would not have tried a broccoli salad, but your recipe encouraged me. Thank you.

    Fearless Mo

  21. 5 stars
    The dressing is perfect! I used golden raisins, sunflower kernels and diced sweet onion along with the bacon and it is delicious! My favorite side dish. Thank you for sharing.

  22. 5 stars
    I made this over the weekend and it was delicious! I used half greek yogurt and half mayo, as you suggest. I used pine nuts because it’s what I had on hand. This recipe is a keeper! Thanks.

  23. Hi Lauren,
    Does this dressing resembles the coleslaw dressing, can I use it on the coleslaw without the bacon?
    thanks!