Fresh Broccoli Salad

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Creamy, crunchy, and full of flavor, my Fresh Broccoli Salad is the perfect side dish for any occasion. This recipe is a real crowd-pleaser, and it’s ready in minutes.

Broccoli salad in white bowl next to fork. Text reads "Fresh Broccoli Salad".

Fresh Broccoli Salad

Are you searching for the perfect side dish that’s both delicious and healthy? Look no further than this incredible Broccoli Salad recipe. With a perfect balance of creamy dressing, crispy bacon, crunchy broccoli florets, and sweet dried cranberries, this classic salad is guaranteed to become a favorite at your next potluck, BBQ, or family gathering. Get ready to experience a burst of flavors and textures in every bite.

Plus, this recipe is incredibly easy to make. You just need to fry the bacon, and then you’re done cooking. It’s the perfect side dish for summer gatherings or busy weeknights when you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen.

Salad ingredients in glass bowl.

Ingredients for Broccoli Salad

The secret to the light, fresh taste of my Broccoli Salad is using fresh, high-quality ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 cups broccoli
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans

Dressing for Creamy Salad

The creamy, tangy dressing is what ties all the flavors and textures together in this yummy broccoli salad. Here’s what you’ll need to whisk together:

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

The combination of mayonnaise, sugar, and apple cider vinegar creates a perfect balance of creamy, sweet, and tangy flavors that complements the broccoli and other ingredients beautifully.

Dressing ingredients in glass bowls on black table.


While this classic recipe is delicious as is, feel free to customize it to your liking. You can swap out ingredients if you like an alternative better, and of course, you can add some fresh ingredients to give your salad even more depth of flavor.

  • Nuts. If pecans aren’t your thing, then try substituting them with almonds or sunflower seeds for a different crunch.
  • Sweetness. Swap out the cranberries for raisins or diced apples for a twist on the sweet component of the salad.
  • Get cheesy. Add some shredded sharp cheddar cheese or parmesan cheese for an extra layer of flavor and texture.
  • Go healthy. For an even lighter version, reduce the amount of bacon or leave it out entirely. You can also use a low-fat mayonnaise in the dressing, or add in some chopped carrots or diced cucumber.
Dressing in cup pouring into veggie mix in glass bowl.

Tips for Broccoli Salad

If you do nothing more than throw the ingredients for this recipe together, you’re going to have a delicious salad your guests will enjoy. If, however, you want your broccoli salad to be the stuff of legend, follow these easy tips:

  • Use fresh broccoli. When selecting your broccoli, look for bright green, tightly packed florets with firm stems. Avoid broccoli with yellowing or browning, as this indicates it’s past its prime.
  • Make ahead. While this salad is best served the day of, you can prep the ingredients and make the dressing a day in advance. Just wait to toss everything together until right before serving to prevent the salad from getting watery.
  • Whisk well. Be sure to whisk the dressing for a few minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve completely. This will prevent a grainy texture in your dressing.
  • Chill it. For the best flavor, allow the salad to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. This gives the flavors time to meld together and ensures a cold, refreshing side dish.
Salad being tossed in glass bowl.

How to Make Broccoli Salad

This Broccoli Salad comes together in just a few simple steps. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Fry bacon. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove from the pan, drain on paper towels, and crumble once cooled.
  2. Dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped broccoli, crumbled bacon, sliced red onion, dried cranberries, and toasted pecans and then toss lightly to combine.
  3. Mix dressing. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper until the sugar has completely dissolved. This will take a minute or two, but don’t skip this step, or your dressing will be grainy.
  4. Combine. Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and then toss well to coat all of the ingredients evenly.
  5. Chill. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the salad in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or until ready to serve.

More Sensational Salad Recipes

If you love this Broccoli Salad, then you’ll definitely want to try these other amazing salad recipes from Hey Grill Hey:

Fresh broccoli salad in white bowl.

Broccoli Salad Recipe

Follow the recipe card below for a delicious, creamy, and crunchy Fresh Broccoli Salad that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re grilling up some burgers, making a sandwich, or just looking for a tasty and healthy side dish, this salad is sure to satisfy. It’s packed with flavor, texture, and nutrients, so it’s a great choice if you’re looking to eat a little healthier without sacrificing taste.

If you loved making this recipe, then don’t forget to give it a 5-star rating. And for even more incredible recipes, be sure to check out the Hey Grill Hey app, and follow us on our socials below. We’re always sharing new recipes, tips, and tricks to help you become a backyard BBQ hero.

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Fresh Broccoli Salad

By: Susie Bulloch
0 from 0 votes
Creamy, crunchy, and full of flavor, my Broccoli Salad is the perfect side for any occasion. This no-cook crowd-pleaser is ready in minutes.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Servings8 people


  • 4 cups broccoli chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 pound bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans

Creamy Dressing

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cupe sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  • Fry bacon. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove from the pan, drain on paper towels, and crumble once cooled.
  • Dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and then toss lightly to combine.
  • Mix dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients 1-2 minutes, or until sugar dissolves completely.
  • Combine and cool. Pour the dressing over mixture and toss well to coat. Cover and cool in refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.


Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 612mg | Potassium: 236mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 301IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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