Broccoli Salad

Broccoli salad is a classic side dish that’s perfect for summer cookouts.  This salad is so easy to throw together that you will make it all summer. It’s not just for cookouts and potlucks.  

Broccoli salad in a white bowl.

I don’t know about you but, every week I purchase fresh broccoli so it’s always available in my house.  I was craving this salad and didn’t really think about sharing it with you guys until the last minute. That’s why there aren’t very many pictures. But I’m sure you guys can figure this very simple recipe out, right?

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • So easy to make and it’s a perfect side dish for any protein.
  • It’s best made ahead so it’s great for BBQs, parties, or any gathering.
  • Only three ingredients in the dressing!

Recipe Ingredients

  • Raw broccoli florets – That’s right, raw! No need to blanch the broccoli.
  • Bacon – Crispy-cooked bacon crumbled or chopped. I don’t recommend the bacon bits in a jar. they have an odd flavor to us.
  • Red onion – You can use yellow onion if you prefer.
  • Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) – For a nutty crunch.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese – Shredded.

Tips and Variations

  • I used pumpkin seeds but I’ve also used sunflower seeds and/or sliced almonds.  Your choice, make this broccoli salad to your taste.  
  • Add raisins or dried cranberries. We prefer the salad without them.
  • I have also made this low-carb by using monkfruit sweetener instead of granulated sugar. I have also just omitted the sugar completely.
  • If you have vegetables that need to be used up throw some of those in as well. Such as cauliflower, peppers, or celery.
  • Be sure to give this salad time to meld the flavors. It is always better after a few hours.

How to Make Broccoli Salad

Salad ingredients in a bowl.

Combine broccoli florets, red onion, cheese, bacon, and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl.

In our house, some don’t like raisins or dried cranberries in salads. So I omit the sweet things. Broccoli salad is healthy even if it has bacon and cheese, right?

Fresh Broccoli Salad in a bowl.

To make the broccoli salad dressing thoroughly combine mayonnaise, red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar), and sugar.

Pour the creamy dressing over the salad ingredients and mix until evenly coated.

Honestly, everyone absolutely loved this summer salad. It’s crunchy, fresh, and satisfying! It’s not just a side dish, I eat it as a meal too!

If you don’t buy fresh broccoli on a regular basis be sure to put it on your list this week.

A good cold broccoli salad during those hot summer days is sure to hit the spot without weighing you down.


Store this salad in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

More Salad Recipes

Broccoli salad in a white bowl.

Broccoli Salad Recipe

A classic side dish that is perfect for summer cookouts and picnics!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad, Side Dish, Vegetable
Cuisine: American
Keyword: broccoli, crisp, crunchy, easy, fresh, salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 524kcal
Author: Don’t Sweat The Recipe


  • 1 pound fresh broccoli cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup red onion chopped
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cooked bacon chopped
  • 1/2 cup pepitas pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup mayonnaise not salad dressing
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar


  • Combine broccoli, onion, cheese, bacon and pepitas in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl thoroughly combine mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar.
  • Pour dressing over salad and mix until evenly coated.
  • Cover and refrigerate at least an hour before serving.


Calories: 524kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 704mg | Potassium: 422mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 684IU | Vitamin C: 68mg | Calcium: 182mg | Iron: 1mg

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  1. Oh my mom and I make a salad just like this one and it is delicious! It is always one of the first to go at every summer gathering, We’ve never put pumpkin seeds in it though and what a novel idea, definitely going to have to try that! The other difference is that a few years ago I starting adding halved grapes for a burst of sweetness. Great recipe!5 stars

  2. I’m always trying to make a healthy version of this salad but I gotta say looking at these photos makes me want to say “The heck with the healthy version. I want this one!” It looks awesome!! Next time it’s the real thing for me. ? Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Thank you, MJ! Please let me know if you are able to make it just a wee bit healthier! I could use that in my life. đŸ˜‰

  3. You make it healthy doesn’t need to adjust any flavor. Great broccoli salad bursting with lot of flavor. I love this salad, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning and tweeting.

  4. I love broccoli salad! Yours is full of great stuff, mine is boring compared! We do like raisins in ours, but I’ve never added sunflower seeds or almonds, that looks so good. I love the crunch of the salad and the mix of flavors. I will be trying your variation soon, it’s so great for a summer side dish or snack!5 stars

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