BEST BROCCOLI SALAD (Easy Make-Ahead Recipe)

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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.

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Best Broccoli Salad

I like to serve this salad with Potato Souffle and fluffy yeast rolls.

“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.

  1. Mayonnaise. I prefer Blue Plate or Duke’s but you can use any mayonnaise. You can also use olive oil mayo if you want.
  2. 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.
  3. Vinegar. I like apple cider vinegar. Also, you can use white wine vinegar.
  4. 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.
Best Broccoli Salad


  • 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.
Best Broccoli Salad

Additionally, you can add cheese if you like. Cheddar or really any shredded cheese will be good.

Did you try this recipe? Consider giving it a 5-star rating and leave a comment.

Best Broccoli Salad

Best Broccoli Salad Recipe (Easy, Make-ahead recipe)

This salad is crunchy and satisfying with a sweet and tangy dressing. Low-carb, delicious, refreshing cold salad recipe made with broccoli, bacon, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds.
Author: Paula
4.88 from 8 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 8 cups broccoli florets cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ cup bacon bits
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • cup red onion diced, raw or pickled
  • cup sunflower seeds or chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 and ½ tablespoons coconut sugar honey, or brown sugar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • teaspoon salt if desired
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper more or less if needed


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together cider vinegar, sugar, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper until smooth.
  • Thoroughly wash the broccoli. 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 to 4 hours before serving.


Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 562mg | Potassium: 378mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 570IU | Vitamin C: 82mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. 5 stars
    We were introduced to this Broccoli salad 20+ years ago at a church potluck. It has been a family favorite since then and we use it as our ‘staple’ salad from bar-b-ques to Thanksgiving. Delicious, quick and easy and NO LEFTOVERS (USUALLY). Even my veggie averse teen daughter loved it! We use raisins for summer/spring family affairs and switch to dried cranberries for holiday fare. I’ve used multiple types of vinegar, including an asian and no one complains!

  2. 5 stars
    I used vinegar with the “Mother”!
    Thought it was appropriate with Mother’s Day just around the corner!

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! Crunchy broccoli, sweet crainsins, bacon… yum! The dressing is amazing as well! Everyone loved it!

  4. 5 stars
    We (hubby and I) LOVE this broccoli salad!
    I made it as is, except I used a mixture of dried fruits like raisins, cranberries and cherries because I had a bag of the mix on hand.
    It’s really easy and quick to put together and is so delicious!!

  5. 5 stars
    One of my absolute favorites but I had never made it myself. This was perfect and I can’t wait to make it again and again!

4.88 from 8 votes

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Your email address will not be published. Have you tried this recipe? Consider giving it 5 stars!