Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (2024)

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Everyone needs to know how to put together a classic bacon broccoli salad. It’s so easy to whip up and tends to be a hit with most people! This recipe can be made all year round and it’s the perfect option for potlucks!

Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (1)

Once upon a time I worked in downtown Calgary at an oil and gas company. There was a woman that I worked with named Mary that was famous for her broccoli salad that she would bring to staff potluck suppers. To sum Mary up, she was a wonderful woman from Newfoundland who could cook like a boss, was hilarious beyond measure and her favourite saying was “Lord Lamp-lighting Jesus” when she was worked up about something. And her broccoli salad was the BEST I have ever tasted. Plus, we all know that any recipe that kicks off with “bacon” is going to go down pretty well, just like my Classic Caesar Salad.

Also once upon a time, I could actually eat broccoli. Oh, to be in my early 20’s again when I had a cast iron stomach. Now I can’t eat broccoli, but I DO have Mary’s recipe and technique for making the best broccoli salad ever.

Cut everything as small as you can. Tiny tiny TINY little broccoli trees. Mary said she would take her cutting board to the living room on a TV tray and watch the tube as she chopped and chopped and chopped to make a massive salad to feed the whole office. While you don’t have to watch TV or make a quadruple batch, if you make sure that the ingredients in this are small, you’ll understand how the way they blend together makes this an amazing broccoli salad!

Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (2)

Ingredients in Broccoli Salad

  • Broccoli – florets, chopped very small
  • Red onion – finely diced
  • Raisins – I use dark Thompson raisins
  • Sunflower seeds– salted and hulled
  • Bacon – cooked and then crumbled into small pieces
  • Mayonnaise – you can use low fat but the texture of the dressing will change slightly
  • White sugar – use Splenda or your favorite no sugar sweetener to make it low carb
  • White vinegar – you can also try using cider vinegar for a unique taste

How to make Broccoli Salad

  • Place all of the salad ingredients into a medium-sized bowl.
  • Prepare the dressing by mixing the mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar together until smooth. Stir into the salad ingredients.
  • Cover the bowl and let the salad chill – Mary would let it chill overnight and then bring it to the potluck and it was spectacular!
  • Serve cold.

Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (3)

Try a different salad dressing

If you fancy spicing up your dressing, try it Jamie Oliver style! Start by peeling some ginger and grating it into a bowl, then stir in some sesame oil, along with olive oil, soy cause, and lime juice. Then add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar before whisking the dressing together. Easy!

How healthy is broccoli salad?

To make this healthy simply use LOW FAT mayo and watch the sugar! You can use as little as you want to make the dressing to your taste! Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring and this is the perfect example! The classic bacon broccoli salad is super healthy and completely customizable depending on your tastes. Why not add some grapes or cranberries too for an added boost of flavour?

Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (4)
What should you serve broccoli salad with?

This salad is perfect on its own for a light lunch but it can also be a great accompaniment to some simple Porterhouse Steak or roast chicken. Maybe you could even try ham hocks? There really is no limit to the combinations available here! Oh, how about egg drop soup for a soup and salad combo that is seriously awesome?

I’d love to hear what you like to serve alongside your broccoli salad, so don’t forget to share it in the comments to give us all some extra inspiration! I’m super excited to see what you come up with!

More salad recipes for you to try

  • Winter Citrus Avocado Salad: who doesn’t love avocado?! This salad is full of fruit and greens and all sorts of Vitamin C!
  • Avocado Egg Salad: more avocado! I think I have avocado on the brain today.
  • Fast and Easy Greek Pasta Salad: an awesome combo of veg and pasta in one super tasty recipe.

Hope you love it! I have such fond food memories of this salad, I’m so sad that I can’t eat broccoli anymore. The family taste tested this over Christmas and it was deemed fantastic, so let me know what you think!



Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (5)

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Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (6)

Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe

This bacon broccoli salad is a classic! The secret that makes this the best broccoli salad ever is to chop the ingredients very small, then let the salad sit overnight for max flavor!

5 from 138 votes

Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (7)



Prep Time
25 minutes
Total Time
25 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


Broccoli Salad

  • 8 cups broccoli florets, chopped very small
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup salted sunflower seeds, hulled
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked and then crumbled into small pieces

Sweet Mayonnaise Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4-1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons white vinegar


  • Place all of the salad ingredients into a medium sized bowl.

  • Prepare the dressing by mixing the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar together until smooth. Stir into the salad ingredients.

  • Cover the bowl and let the salad chill - Mary would let it chill overnight and then bring it to the potluck and it was spectacular!

  • Serve cold.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 783kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 68g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 50mg, Sodium: 713mg, Potassium: 595mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 21g, Vitamin A: 815IU, Vitamin C: 110.9mg, Calcium: 73mg, Iron: 1.5mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a co*cktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

Site Index Bacon Broccoli Salad Vintage recipe

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Carol Govier says


    This salad is awesome. Great for summer barbeques. Goes with hot dogs, burgers, heck it goes with everything.Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (12)

  2. Ruby says


    Love this recipe. My go to side dish. Thank you.Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (13)

  3. Sabrina says


    Made this with pecans (didn’t have sunflower seeds), honey instead of sugar (3-4 tbsp) and added some small-cubed cheddar cheese. It was soooo delicious.

  4. Sandra Prsa says


    thanks for the great recipe. made it for our First BBQ of the summer and it was a big hit! Followed the directions as instructed.

  5. Cassi Petersen says


    Refreshing summer (or anytime;)
    side! I skipped the sugar in the dressing, doesn’t seem to be missed flavor wise, used dried cranberries instead of raisins…and used bacon bits as I was short on time. Yummy 😋Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (14)

  6. Bell says


    I wanted to make this salad while on the yatch. the only broccoli on board was frozen broccoli. there was some trail mix with cranberries and sunflower seeds. I had ranch dressing and string cheese and an onion. I diced up the string cheese, onion and broccoli and mixed it all together it was delicious!Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (15)

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Classic Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe (2024)


Why does my broccoli salad get watery? ›

Extra water on the broccoli can make for a runny mixture. The same goes for rinsing your broccoli! Make sure you give your broccoli adequate time to dry after rinsing. You get enough moisture from the dressing mixture that any extra water will make your salad too watery.

Why do you blanch broccoli for salad? ›

👉 PRO TIP: You'll find lots of broccoli salad recipes that use raw broccoli florets, but I think this recipe is much better if you take just a little time to blanch the florets. Blanching keeps the broccoli firm but the taste will be a little less “raw” and it also sets the pretty green color.

How to prepare broccoli for cooking? ›

Trim any woody stem ends or tough leaves with a knife. Divide into small, individual florets, each with a short stem, and diagonally slice the thicker stems. Rinse under cold water. Broccoli boils or steams in 3-6 mins, depending on the size of floret.

How do you make broccoli not watery? ›

To avoid soggy broccolis try steaming it for 2 minutes and check the texture, if required cook for a minute more but not more than that. After this, you put the boiled broccoli into ice water, the constant shock will make them crispy.

How do you make salad less watery? ›

  1. Wash salad greens in cold water -dry them in a spinner or colander w a dish towel over it - give it a shake to get most of the water out.
  2. put greens in a plastic bag loosely w a clean dish towel or a cpl of paper towels to absorb extra moisture - can be held for 3 days -
Mar 7, 2024

What happens if you don't blanch broccoli? ›

If you don't blanch your broccoli, it will turn color and acquire a bitter taste. You can either stick it in boiling water for three minutes to blanch, or steam it for five minutes, whichever you choose.

Can you eat broccoli raw in a salad? ›

The bottom line. Broccoli is a nutrient-packed vegetable that can be eaten safely either raw or cooked. Cooking may enhance the antioxidant activity of broccoli, but it may also reduce its content of certain heat-sensitive nutrients, such as vitamin C and sulforaphane.

Do you add salt to water when blanching broccoli? ›

Recipe Instructions

Photo #1: Bring 4 quarts of water and 2 teaspoons of salt to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water too and set to the side. Put the broccoli florets in the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes until you have tender florets.

What makes broccoli taste better? ›

Garlic and butter help make broccoli taste irresistible. Simply sautee the broccoli in a pan with just a little butter, some onions and grated garlic and voila! Add a drizzle of lemon if desired.

Why do you soak broccoli in salt water? ›

Removing Cabbage Worms with Salt Water

If you're making organic or home-grown broccoli, you may be concerned about worms in the florets. To be safe, soak the florets in a brine solution. Worms tend to live in the florets, where there are plenty of places to hide.

What is the healthiest way to eat broccoli? ›

Cooking (Or Not Cooking) Broccoli To Protect Its Nutritional Riches : The Salt Cooking broccoli too long destroys the beneficial enzyme that breaks down chemicals into cancer fighters. The best way to eat it is raw or steamed for just two to three minutes, a nutrition expert says.

How do you keep broccoli from getting soggy? ›

Make sure you don't use more water, otherwise the broccoli will boil rather than steam, making for soggy results. Add your broccoli to the skillet and cover it with a lid. Cook until the broccoli reaches your desired level of tenderness, about 3 to 5 minutes.

How to keep salad from getting wet? ›

Add a towel to absorb moisture.

Giving greens a cozy absorbent bed will help them stay fresh and crisp. You can roll them loosely in a paper towel, or even slip a sheet of toweling right into the bag with them.

How do you remove excess water from broccoli? ›

Use paper towels to remove excess water from the broccoli. This will bring up the temperature of the broccoli so the whole dish cooks evenly.

Why does my salad get wet in the fridge? ›

Keep Them Cool on the Way Home From the Grocery Store

Worobo, professor of food microbiology at Cornell University. Otherwise, the package of greens will be exposed to ambient temperature before it enters the fridge, thereby increasing the risk of condensation (moisture).

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