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This Broccoli Salad recipe is our favorite! It’s creamy, sweet, and salty, with the just the right amount of crunch. A great side dish for barbecues, potlucks, picnics or parties. Everyone loves this salad!
One of my all-time favorite summer side dishes is Broccoli Salad. The dressing and add-ins are the key and this recipe has the BEST combination of sweet, salty, and crunchy elements.
Obviously, if you’re making broccoli salad, you start with broccoli. Make sure to cut it up into manageable bite size pieces. Then there’s diced red onion, shredded cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and chopped bacon. The combination is heavenly! PRO TIP: Cook bacon in a cold pan. This prevents the bacon from curling, and cooks the fat evenly.
When it comes to the dressing, I stick with mayonnaise, sugar, red wine vinegar (for tang), and salt & pepper to taste. The ratios are important here too. I use half as much sugar as mayo. It seems like a lot, but with the salty bacon, cheese, and sunflower seeds, it all balances out perfectly.
And that’s how you make our favorite broccoli salad! If you let it marinate in the fridge for an hour or two, even better!
- 5 cups broccoli florets (1-2 heads/crowns)
- 1 cup diced red onion (1/2 large onion)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup salted sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped bacon (5-6 slices, cooked)
- 1 cup mayonnaise (can use light)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper, to taste (more pepper than salt
- Rinse broccoli thoroughly and cut into bite size pieces, discarding the stem(s). Dice the red onion. Cook bacon, cool on paper towels, then chop into small pieces. (PRO TIP: Cook bacon in a cold pan. This prevents the bacon from curling, and cooks the fat evenly.)
- Place the salad ingredients (broccoli florets, diced red onion, shredded cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and chopped bacon) in a large bowl.
- Mix dressing ingredients (mayonnaise, granulated sugar, and red wine vinegar) in a separate bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper. (Use less salt and more pepper because the bacon, cheese, and sunflower seeds all have salt in them.)
- Toss ingredients together. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Cover and refrigerate a minimum of 1 to 2 hours before serving for best flavor. Keep refrigerated.
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