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easy broccoli salad
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5 from 6 votes

Fresh Broccoli Salad

Fresh Broccoli Salad has so much flavor because of it's tangy creamy dressing, crisp bacon, chewy raisins, crunch almonds, and flavorful onions. YUM!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 minute
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 people



  • 1/2 pound bacon chopped into very small pieces (about 3/4 cup cooked)
  • 2 heads fresh broccoli cut into bite sized pieces with stems discarded (I had about 10 cups)
  • 1/2 red onion sliced thin
  • 3/4 cup raisins I used half raisins, half dried cherries
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds I used half almonds, half pistachios



  • Place bacon pieces in a heavy bottom skillet or dutch oven and cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Once the bacon starts to brown and the oil starts to bubble, reduce heat to medium. Continue to lower heat and stir bacon until all of the fat has rendered and it is fully cooked. Drain and set aside.
    This wonderfully delicious package of apple wood smoked bacon ends and pieces is exactly the same product as sliced bacon, but it is much cheaper and can be used in a wide variety of recipes.
  • Cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Boil a large pot of water and cook the broccoli for about 30 seconds and immediately transfer to the ice water. Drain and set aside.
  • Cut the onion into very thin slices. This step is optional but encouraged: soak onion in a bowl of cold water for about 30 minutes. This will make it less intense but still give you that great onion flavor.
    red onions soaking in bowl of water
  • To prepare salad, combine blanced broccoli with cooked bacon, raisins, almonds, and onions.
    broccoli crunch salad ingredients in bowl
  • Prepare the dressing by mixing the mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar and vinegar together until smooth.
  • Add the dressing to the salad. Toss to combine.



  • Broccoli: Using frozen broccoli is not recommended with this salad. The quickest and easiest method is to buy a bag of pre-cut pre-washed broccoli crowns. If using a head of broccoli, cut the crowns off in bite sided pieces.
  • Make ahead directions: This broccoli bacon salad recipe can be made ahead by preparing the salad and the dressing separately and then waiting to combine until you're ready to serve.
  • Storage: This salad is best if consumed immediately. Leftovers can be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator, however the broccoli will likely get soft once combined with the dressing.
  • Substitutions:
    • Nuts: Slivered blanched almonds recommended, but I found that shelled raw pistachios added amazing flavor and crunch. You could also use walnuts, pecans, or cashews. I would recommend raw nuts over roasted.
    • Fruit: When making broccoli salad, raisins are most often used, however you can use other kinds of dried fruit such as cranberries (Craisins). You could also use fresh fruit such as apple or pear.
    • Red onion: I think thinly sliced red onion provides the best flavor, especially after it has been tamed by soaking in cold water, but you could substitute with shallots, scallions, or sweet Vidalia onion.


Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 254mg | Potassium: 509mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 675IU | Vitamin C: 91.2mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 1.4mg