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This Broccoli Salad Recipe Will Change Your Life

Are you looking for an easy broccoli salad recipe that EVERYONE will love? This broccoli raisin salad is going to be your new go to!

cold broccoli salad

I’m going to be honest – for years I didn’t like broccoli salad. I thought it was just a weird side dish for summer soirées, something that had been around for years without any real flavor or purpose.

I was so wrong!

Broccoli salad is creamy, tasty, perfect for warmer weather (without being too heavy), and easy to make. That’s one of the most appealing things about it – you can make a lot in just a short amount of time.

What I also love about this broccoli salad recipe is that you can make large batches. There’s nothing special you have to do to scale this recipe. You can make it for two people (with extras!) or you can make it for an entire family reunion. It’s up to you!

broccoli salad recipe

How to Make Broccoli Salad

I’m going to show you how to make broccoli salad with my favorite ingredients. There are two parts to any great broccoli salad recipe: the base and the dressing.

You’re going to cut up all the dry ingredients and mix them together. You’ll then stir together the wet ingredients separately. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix. THAT’S ALL THERE IS TO IT!

If you’re ready to jump in, you’re going to tackle the broccoli first. Please make sure the broccoli is fresh and crisp. No one likes slightly soggy fresh vegetables. Cut off any parts that look gross.

You may want the broccoli to be slightly less crunchy, in which case you have the option to blanche the broccoli.

Fresh broccoli sitting in a clear glass bowl with shredded carrot and chopped onion in the background

How to Blanche Broccoli

Some people like the broccoli a bit crisper in their summer salads, in which case you can leave it raw (wash it, though). Others like their salad to be less crunchy, in which case it can be a good idea to blanche the fresh broccoli.

To blanche broccoli, prepare it first by washing and cutting off the florets. If you want to use the stalks, peel the skins off and cut them into small pieces. Add the broccoli pieces to salted boiling water for about four minutes, until crisp-tender (al dente). Drain well and serve.

ingredients for a broccoli salad - shredded carrot, broccoli, red onion, bacon, etc

What to Add

This delicious summer salad includes fresh broccoli, red onions, raisins, carrots, and walnuts. But here’s the deal – you don’t have to use exactly the same ingredients I used.

I know that other recipes include apples, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and more. All of those are perfectly acceptable – I’ll leave that up to you. You really can’t lose no matter what you throw in there, in my humble opinion.

The only thing you’ll need to do is recalculate the nutritional value if you make any changes to ingredients. The nutritional information that I list below is for the exact ingredients that I used.

easy broccoli salad

Healthy Options

The base recipe – without the broccoli salad dressing or bacon – is only 107 calories per serving. There are 4.9 grams of fat and 14.5 grams carbs (as well as 3.1g fiber, 7.6g sugar, 4.3g protein).

My point is, the base recipe is relatively low calorie/fat until you add the dressing. So the dressing you choose really determines how “healthy” this broccoli salad recipe is.

If you’d like to make a healthy broccoli salad, I recommend using light mayo in place of the regular mayo, as well as monkfruit sweetener in place of sugar. I’d also remove the bacon.

Lakanto monkfruit sweetener sugar substitute

I purchased the Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener after they sucked me in at Costco (dang you, samples!). I have to say, it’s amazing as a sugar substitute. My husband didn’t think he was going to love it, but he uses it on everything.

If you use the light mayonnaise and monkfruit sweetener, and then you remove the bacon, you’ll only be looking at 231 calories per serving – with 14.7g fat and 3.2g fiber. This version has less saturated fat, etc.

I’ve placed the full nutritional information for subbing those ingredients in the Notes section of the recipe card.

Broccoli Slaw

I’ve had a few people ask me if they could turn this broccoli raisin salad into broccoli slaw. The answer is yes! You’re going to want the stems of the broccoli, not the florets. Save the broccoli florets for another use.

Use stems from approximately three pounds of broccoli for slaw. I find the best way to turn broccoli stems into slaw is with a spiralizer or food processor. There are various attachments,

Broccoli salad dressing made with mayonnaise

Broccoli Salad Dressing

The dressing for this salad is mostly mayonnaise, but I’d like to give you some other options in case you don’t like mayonnaise. Some people choose to go half mayonnaise and half Greek yogurt or half sour cream. Others like to do full Greek yogurt.

If you choose to use anything more “sour” like Greek yogurt or sour cream, it tastes better (to me) if you squeeze a little lemon in it. Just a half is fine, or even less depending on how much you like lemon. It’s really up to you!

Are you ready to dive into the recipe? Let’s do it!

broccoli raisin salad

Easy Broccoli Salad

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 6 cups of raw broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of bacon or bacon bits
  • 1/2 cup of red onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts

For the Dressing:

  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 T of white vinegar (you can also use apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and mix together. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients. Top with the dressing and mix together until well blended. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

That’s all there is to it – your broccoli raisin salad is done and ready for serving! Print the recipe card below:

Yield: 8 cups

Broccoli Salad Recipe

broccoli salad recipe

Are you looking for an easy broccoli salad recipe that EVERYONE will love? This broccoli raisin salad is going to be your new go to!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 6 cups of broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bacon
  • 1/2 cup of red onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts

For the Dressing

  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 T white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, add in the dressing ingredients and mix together. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add in the salad ingredients. Top with the dressing and mix together until well blended. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Notes

If you choose to substitute the mayo with light mayo and the sugar with a sugar substitute like monkfruit, and remove the bacon, I estimate the following nutritional information per serving:

  • Calories - 231
  • Total Fat - 14.7g
  • Saturated Fat - 1.7g
  • Cholesterol - 8mg
  • Sodium - 243mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 23.2g
  • Dietary Fiber - 3.2g
  • Total Sugars - 11g
  • Protein - 4.6g

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 1/4 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 361Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 355mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 5gSugar: 15gProtein: 6g

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