Broccoli salad is so easy to make and perfect for cookouts, potlucks, picnics, or just meals at home. The way the flavors all come together, and the sweet & salty are balanced, makes this salad disappear quickly. My family actually eats fresh vegetables with this salad… willingly and happily!
For me, broccoli salad evokes memories of summer picnics and dinner by the pool with the grill fired up. We would have broccoli salad, macaroni salad, fresh fruit salad, fresh baguettes, and different cheeses. Broccoli salad was always the first thing I put on my plate.
It’s fabulous and popular – It also gets better after a day, so I double the recipe and have it for lunch with grilled chicken. Everyone in my family loves it so the extra goes quickly.
5-6 cups broccoli florets
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese – the thicker shred, not finely shredded
⅔ cup dried cranberries
½ cup crumbled crispy bacon
½ cup salted sunflower seeds
⅓ cup red onion diced into small pieces
¾ cup mayo – I like to use olive oil mayo.
¼ cup sour cream
1 ½ Tbsp. white wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
Combine broccoli florets, cheddar cheese, dried cranberries, bacon, sunflower seeds, and onion in a large bowl.
In a separate, small bowl, whisk together mayo, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper until smooth and well-combined.
Pour dressing over broccoli combination and toss or stir well. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
You can serve Broccoli Salad immediately, but for the best flavor refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
Make sure to toss broccoli salad thoroughly again before serving.
Refrigerate the salad if not serving immediately.
• I always use the fresh broccoli and I do not blanch it first. If you prefer it blanched, place broccoli in salted boiling water for 60 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water until broccoli has cooled, and then dry it well before using.
• I prefer cooking the bacon myself, but you can use pre-cooked or crumbled bacon; make sure you buy the kind made with real bacon – it should say it on the label – and not “bacon flavored bits” with imitation flavor.
• You can substitute plain Greek yogurt for the sour cream.
• The olive oil mayo is nice because it has the creaminess of regular mayo, but it is lighter. However, please use whichever mayo is your favorite!
• If you don’t have white wine vinegar, it’s okay. Champagne vinegar, red wine vinegar, and apple cider vinegar all work just as well.
• Storing Broccoli Salad: Store Broccoli Salad in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. If you are making the salad several days in advance, I recommend storing the salad and the dressing separately, then tossing everything together at least an hour before serving.