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!
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!
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.
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?
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!
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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!
- Prep Time
- 25 minutes
- Total Time
- 25 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 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 lb bacon, cooked and then crumbled into small pieces
Sweet Mayonnaise Dressing
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4-1/3 cup white sugar
- 1-2 tbsp 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!
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.