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Broccoli Salad

This fresh Broccoli Salad recipe is a super simple side dish you can make year-round. In it, crisp fresh broccoli florets are combined with onion, crumbled bacon, toasted pecans and shredded cheddar cheese then dressed with a creamy homemade dressing. It’s so popular, that here in my neck of the woods that it’s available prepared in every grocery store deli case. Add this recipe to your side dish menu ASAP, you’ll be so glad you did.

Broccoli Salad

Easy Broccoli Salad Recipe

Refrigerator salads have always been a favorite of mine. I love that they can be prepared in advance and kept chilled for a quick side dish to go with an entrée. I’ve taken a bit of liberty with this salad, as classic broccoli salad would usually include raisins and some sort of nuts or toasted sesame seeds. Since I cook according to my family’s taste, it gives me full creative control to adjust to our taste. Variety is the spice of life, right?

Broccoli Salad

How to Make the Best Broccoli Salad Recipe

Broccoli salad is one of those deli salads that are commonly found all throughout the South. As with any recipe, cook’s often remake salad recipes to include the little ingredient twists that they know their family will enjoy. That’s precisely reflected in this recipe with just a couple of ingredients switches. This is one of those easy salad recipes that comes together in a snap and the sweet and tangy dressing adds just the right touch.

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make this easy recipe for Broccoli Salad: Fresh broccoli florets, cooked bacon, onion, dried cranberries or raisins, toasted pecans and shredded cheddar cheese.
  • To make the dressing for broccoli salad this is what you do: In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, diced pimentos, sugar, apple cider vinegar, Mrs Dash seasoning (if using) salt, onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper.
  • Is it necessary to blanch the broccoli for this salad? A through cleaning is all you need to do to make this broccoli salad. I’ve never found it necessary to blanch it prior to assembling with the remaining ingredients.
  • You may enjoy adding sliced cherry tomatoes which is a fantastic Summer version when fresh produce is in abundance.
  • My version of broccoli salad includes toasted pecans and dried cranberries, although each can be switched out with alternatives, if you prefer. Some broccoli salads call for sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds and raisins or golden raisins in place of dried cranberries. Make it your own.
  • You could also switch out the pecans for sliced almonds or chopped walnuts. Regardless, take the time to toast the nuts or seeds for added flavor.
  • You can also use a different flavor of shredded cheese such as a mild or medium cheddar or colby jack cheese in the same amount called for in the recipe.
  • Store broccoli salad in an airtight container chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Broccoli Salad

More Southern Salad Recipes to Make

I’d be hard pressed to think of a meal that wouldn’t suit a salad of some kind on the menu as a side dish. More easy salad recipes you may like to try:

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fresh Broccoli Salad
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5 from 1 vote

Broccoli Salad

Prep Time20 minutes
Chill time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 20 minutes
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: broccoli-salad
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 436kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 4 cup fresh broccoli florets stems trimmed and florets separated
  • 6 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 1 small red onion finely diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries or golden raisins [optional]
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecan or walnut pieces [or 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds]
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Dressing:
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 oz pimentos drained
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Original Mrs Dash (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper


  • Clean the broccoli and separate the florets, removing most of the stem.
  • Whisk together the dressing ingredients then gently toss with the broccoli, bacon, diced red onion, cranberries, pecan pieces and shredded cheese.
  • Reserve a few bacon crumbles and toasted nuts for garnishing.
  • Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.


To toast the nuts: Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in a preheated 350°F oven for 6-8 minutes or just until lightly golden and fragrant. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 436kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 683mg | Potassium: 269mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 640IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!




  1. 5 stars
    Recipe looks scrumptious. Any chance of posting some low sodium or salt free recipes. I usually omit the salt & use either fresh ingredients or no salt added ingredients. I also use spices & herbs. A posting on how to decrease sodium in recipes or a sodium free spice/herb mix recipe would really be helpful. Any heart healthy recipes would be great. I love your recipes. I live in NC too & as a retired nurse know about the incidence of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, & Type 2 diabetes. Thanks Melissa!!!

    1. Hi Mary Kay! What you’re doing is essentially the best way. Adjust the sodium in any recipe you use to suit your personal needs. Thanks so much for visiting!

  2. Boy oh boy Melissa. I have been looking through these salad recipes and I am practically drooling on myself. They all look so good, that I can’t decide where to start. Thank you very much. Take care.

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