Best Broccoli Salad (Easy Make-Ahead Recipe) is crunchy and satisfying with a sweet and tangy dressing. This is a low-carb, delicious, refreshing cold salad recipe made with broccoli, bacon, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds then topped with a three-ingredient dressing of mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar. It’s a great make-ahead recipe for summer.
“This is the best way to serve broccoli” and “I ate all that broccoli stuff” are just two of the comments I heard recently after serving this at a party. These are sentiments I completely agree with!
This salad recipe is actually better made at least 2 to 3 hours beforehand or up to 24 hours in advance! Therefore, it’s great for summer potlucks, family reunions, or any cookout.
BEST BROCCOLI SALAD
The basic Broccoli Salad is made with broccoli, red onion, sunflower seeds, bacon, and dried cranberries. However, you can cauliflower, zucchini, peppers, or any raw vegetables that you like.
The dressing is mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar.
- Mayonnaise. I prefer Blue Plate or Duke’s but you can use any mayonnaise. You can also use olive oil mayo if you want.
- Sugar. You can use granulated sugar or coconut sugar. You can reduce the amount as well, but I don’t recommend leaving it out completely.
- Vinegar. I like apple cider vinegar. Also, you can use white wine vinegar.
- Salt & Pepper. Sometimes, I add just a pinch of salt and, I’ll be honest, sometimes I just forget. I can’t tell the difference in the flavor with or without salt. However, I do like to add freshly ground black pepper. If you want a little kick, add ground red or cayenne pepper.
- Allow the broccoli to dry completely before making the salad. Excess water will water down the dressing which is just not good.
- Ranch dressing is also good if you’re a ranch dressing lover.
- You can substitute pecans, walnuts, or almonds for the sunflower seeds.
- Additionally, you can add cheese if you like. Cheddar or really any shredded cheese will be good.
Additionally, you can add cheese if you like. Cheddar or really any shredded cheese will be good.
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Best Broccoli Salad
- 8 cups broccoli florets cut into bite-sized pieces
- ½ cup bacon bits
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup red onion diced
- ⅓ cup sunflower seeds or chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 and ½ tablespoons coconut sugar or granulated sugar
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ⅛ teaspoon salt if desired
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper more or less if needed
- In a medium bowl, whisk together cider vinegar, sugar, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper until smooth.
- Cut broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large bowl, combine broccoli, onion, cranberries, sunflower seeds, and bacon bits.
- Pour the dressing over and toss until the dressing covers all the ingredients.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours up to 24 hours.