Broccoli Salad is a perfect cold summer salad when trying to beat the summer heat by chillin’ at a backyard barbecue, picnic, or potluck, or as a favorite holiday side dish at Thanksgiving dinner.
Broccoli Salad with dried cranberries, or Craisins, bacon, cheddar, and gouda tastes amazing! Add in red onions and walnuts and cover in a creamy poppyseed broccoli salad dressing, and it becomes one of my favorite Vegetable Side Dishes or Salads! It is perfect for a lot luck or Thanksgiving Side Dish! Like my Bacon Broccoli Tortellini Salad and Chicken Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Casserole, it uses fresh broccoli florets.
Like my Crack Slaw Recipe, this recipe is low carb and delicious.
I have made this recipe probably hundreds of times over the years, taking it to picnics, potlucks, and holiday dinners. It is definitely a tried and true recipe. We think this is the Best Broccoli Salad recipe!
My nephew calls it Broccoli Crunch Salad because of the crunchy texture with the broccoli, bacon and walnuts. While my friend swears this tastes like her Mom’s Amish Broccoli Salad. No matter what you call it, it is delicious! Every time I take it to a potluck there are no leftovers and people ask me for the recipe.
How To Make Broccoli Salad
Below I discuss the ingredients and possible substitutions in case you don’t have a specific ingredient on hand. However, if you are looking for the specific measurements of each ingredient, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this article, just above the comments, for the printable recipe card, which includes all the ingredients and the specific amounts of each one.
Broccoli Salad Ingredients
- Broccoli florets
- Crumbled Bacon
- Cheddar Cheese
- Gouda Cheese
- Dried cranberries
- Chopped Walnuts
- Red Onion
- Salt and Pepper
Broccoli Salad Dressing Ingredients
- Apple cider vinegar
- Poppy seeds
- In a large bowl, combine the Broccoli salad ingredients into a bowl, including the broccoli florets, cubed cheddar and gouda cheeses, chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, chopped bacon, sliced red onions, and salt and pepper.
- Make The Broccoli Salad Dressing by stirring together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and poppyseeds and pouring then over the broccoli salad. Stir until all ingredients are covered in the dressing.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour or up to overnight to allow the flavors to develop.
- Serve cold and enjoy!
Every bite of this salad is delicious with the crispy broccoli, bacon, walnuts, and dried cranberries.
- Use Cubed Cheese instead of shredded cheese. The cubed cheese stands up to the other ingredients and will keep its shape while refrigerated until ready to serve. If you use shredded, it can lose its shape and kind of melt into the dressing and not provide as nice an appearance or provide that extra level of texture. If you want to use shredded cheese, then I recommend waiting to add the cheese to the salad shortly before serving.
- Refrigerate Before Serving. To allow the flavors to fully develop, refrigerate the salad before serving for 3 to 4 hours before serving, or refrigerate overnight.
What To Serve With Broccoli Salad
Broccoli Salad goes with just about everything. It may depend on the occasion. If you are serving it for a summer picnic, then it will go well with barbecue chicken, baked beans, potato salad, or pasta salad, etc.
However, if you are serving it as a holiday side salad for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter, then you can serve it with the traditional holiday side dishes like Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad, Green Bean Casserole, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Cornbread Dressing, or Sweet Potato Casserole.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Can I lighten up the Salad?
- Yes. Instead of mayonnaise, you could use greek yogurt instead, or use half light mayonnaise and half greek yogurt.
- You could use low fat cheese.
- Can I Make This Salad Ahead Of Time?
- Yes! You can make it the night before you plan to serve it. However, I don’t recommend making it more than 24 hours ahead of time.
- How Do I Store Leftover Broccoli Salad?
- Cover the bowl of broccoli salad with an airtight lid or cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli
- Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Chicken And Rice Casserole
- Apple Walnut Cranberry Salad
- Cranberry Fluff Salad
- Leftover Ham and Broccoli Quiche
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- 8 slices bacon cooked, drained, and chopped
- 2 heads broccoli cut into small florets
- 1/2 red onion sliced
- 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese cubed
- 1/2 cup gouda
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1-1/4 cups mayonnaise (can use light mayonnaise or greek yogurt)
Broccoli Salad Dressing
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- In a large bowl, combine broccoli, bacon, cheese, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts, and sliced red onion.
- Make the Broccoli Salad Dressing by stirring together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and poppy seeds. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir until all ingredients are covered in the dressing.
- Cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
This recipe was originally published on July 6, 2014 and updated on November 9, 2020 with updated photos, text, and clarifications to the recipe. Below are the photos that were originally published with the recipe in 2014.