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Our BEST Broccoli Salad [+ Video]

20 Reviews
Made with raisins, sunflower seeds, and bacon, this really is the BEST broccoli salad recipe! It can be prepped in advance and is perfect for BBQs and potlucks! 
wooden bowl full of the best broccoli salad with bacon and cheese

Easy Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cheese

When I was dating my husband, he surprised me one night with an amazing home cooked meal. He picked me up after I had attended a bridal shower and took me back to his apartment so that we could work on our Anatomy and Physiology lab. When I walked in, he had made steak, rolls, loaded baked potatoes, and Broccoli and Cheese Sauce. I thought, “Oh no!! he has no idea how much I hate broccoli.”

I was so impressed with everything that I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, so I dug in. IT. WAS. DELICIOUS. Oh, I still can taste it. That was the first food he had ever cooked for me and he blew me away. Everything was fantastic, including the broccoli.

This man has changed my life in many ways, but definitely in the food department that night. From that night onwards, I started trying all sorts of new things that Cade loved (but never Sushi. I still don’t eat that even though he loves it and continually tries to convince me).

broccoli salad ingredients in large bowl with dressing

What’s Needed for Cold Broccoli Salad?

To make the broccoli bacon salad itself, you’ll need: 

  • Broccoli florets
  • Golden raisins
  • Craisins
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cooked bacon
  • Frozen peas
  • Red onion

And to make the simple broccoli salad dressing, you’ll need:

  • Mayonnaise 
  • Granulated sugar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Shredded Colby Jack cheese

cold broccoli salad with sunflower seeds, bacon, and peas

How to Make Broccoli Salad

This cold broccoli salad comes together quickly! Here are the basic steps to making this recipe: 

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the broccoli, onion, raisins, craisins, and frozen peas. 
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the broccoli salad dressing. 
  3. Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and toss well to coat. 
  4. Just before serving, add the crumbled bacon and sunflower seeds and toss to evenly distribute

Do You Cook Broccoli for Broccoli Salad?

The answer is yes or no. The truth is, it’s entirely up to you! In this broccoli salad recipe, we like the crunch of the raw broccoli and the dressing does help to soften things up a bit.

But if you want to give it a quick blanch, add a little water to a pot with broccoli and place the lid on. Steam for a couple of minutes, just until it turns bright green and then quickly drain and toss in a bowl of ice water. Just be sure you drain it well before tossing it in the bowl with the ingredients.

Can I Use Frozen Broccoli?

No, even if you only thawed the frozen broccoli but didn’t cook it, I’m afraid it’d be far too soft for this broccoli salad recipe. Fresh broccoli florets are the way to go here! 

How to Store Broccoli Salad

Store any leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days, but make sure you cover it or it will dry out.

homemade broccoli salad with bacon and cheese in large salad bowl

Tips for Making the Best Broccoli Salad

Something I love about this broccoli salad with bacon and cheese is that it’s really easy to add whatever extra additions you like: peas, carrots, hard-boiled eggs, olives, anything goes!

Also note that in a pinch you could actually use coleslaw dressing instead of our homemade broccoli salad dressing. 

Lastly, we like to chill our broccoli bacon salad for a bit and then toss in the bacon right before serving, but sometimes life happens and we need to make it and serve it immediately so it all gets stirred together. 


Our BEST Broccoli Salad

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Everyone's favorite quick and easy broccoli salad recipe that's perfect for potlucks and BBQs. Plus, it has bacon in it!! ohsweetbasil.com

Our BEST Broccoli Salad

4 from 20 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 10
Made with raisins, sunflower seeds, and bacon, this really is the BEST broccoli salad recipe! It can be prepped in advance and is perfect for BBQs and potlucks! 


For the Salad:

  • 4 Heads Broccoli , chopped (8 cups chopped)
  • 1/2 Cup Golden Raisins
  • 1/2 Cup Craisins
  • 1 Cup Roasted Salted Sunflower Seeds
  • 8 Slices Applewood Smoked Bacon , cooked and chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Peas
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Red Onion

For the Dressing:

  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Shredded Colby Jack Cheese


  • In a large salad bowl, mix together the vegetables, raisins, and craisins. Leave the bacon and sunflower seeds for right before serving.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the dressing and pour over the vegetables.
  • Toss well to evenly coat everything.
  • Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  • Right before serving, add the crumbled bacon and sunflower seeds. Toss to evenly distribute.


  • Recipe adapted from The Shills
May be stored in the refrigerator for days.
Nutrition Facts
Our BEST Broccoli Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 359 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 9g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 15mg5%
Sodium 464mg20%
Potassium 963mg28%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 19g21%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 1594IU32%
Vitamin C 221mg268%
Calcium 137mg14%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
 Everyone's favorite quick and easy side for our BEST broccoli salad recipe that's perfect for potlucks and BBQs. Plus it has bacon in it! golden raisins, craisins, sunflower seeds, bacon, frozen peas, red onion

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Healthy Habits That Help Me!

About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • This recipe is AMAZING! I made it for the first time tonight, and I will definitely be making this again over and over! Thank you SO much!

    • Reply
    • Yay!! Thank you so much Angela!

      • Reply
  • Oh my God. So so good. I made this recipe last night (half) and brought some to work for lunch today. I used a 12 oz bag of (Trader Joe’s) broccoli florets which to me is about half the recipe so I halved all the other ingredients. Wow. This is so so delicious. I did not blanch the broccoli and nor did I defrost the frozen peas. I just used the peas as is since I knew the salad would sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. Also, I realized I did not have bacon so the portion I ate today was without it, yet it was yummy. But I have some leftover salad at home which I will make sure to use with bacon.

    • Reply
    • Yay! We are so glad you loved it! It really is so delicious! We get asked for this recipe anytime we take this salad anywhere!

      • Reply
  • How come 2 different nutritious charts 1 says 223 calories in 1 cup other says over 400 in 1/2 cup. Which one is the correct one?

    • Reply
    • I’m not sure where the other is coming from but the 223 is correct

      • Reply
  • You have frozen peas listed in the ingredients but neither the video nor the recipe instruction include this. Do the frozen peas go directly in this or do you need to defrost them?

    • Reply
    • Ahhh, I’m sorry about that. We occasionally throw them in, I’ll make note. You can put them in a bowl and run cool water over them, drain and add.

      • Reply
  • do you have the nutritional values for this salad?

    • Reply
    • Hi Alex,

      Sorry about that, it’s showing now. 🙂

      • Reply
  • hey girl- this salad looks so good!

    • Reply
  • I didn’t see cheese and purple onion on the recipe. How much of each?

    • Reply
    • Hi Elaine,
      Sorry about that, I accidentally deleted when I was editing the recipe I guess. It’s back in there!

      • Reply
  • the broccoli salad video has shredded cheese but this is not listed in recipe, how much cheese did you use?

    • Reply
  • Sounds Deliciouds

    • Reply
  • I like broccoli salad

    • Reply
  • sounds good have totry

    • Reply
  • In the dressing I use lemon juice instead of vinegar and a dash of celery seed

    • Reply
    • love that idea!

      • Reply
  • Hi , this sounds delicious . Could you possibly use frozen broccoli ? I was thinking if you steamed it & then cooled it .

    • Reply
  • I was dissapointed you didn’t add Cade’s cheesy broccoli recipes from the first dinner he prepared for you. Jo

    • Reply
    • oh! I should do that recipe!

      • Reply
  • I love broccoli salad. I do add chopped red onions, as well as finely chopped cauliflower and chopped toasted almonds. Never tried the frozen peas but, will do so next time I make this delicious salad. Also, I plump my raisins before adding to the salad.

    • Reply
    • I like that idea of plumping the raisins!!

      • Reply
  • I believe this is among the most vital info for me. And i am glad reading
    your article. But want to observation on few general things,
    The website taste is perfect, the articles is really great :
    D. Excellent activity, cheers

    • Reply
  • oh goodie! we can be friends. =)

    • Reply
    • Very nice salad, you can add some corn and other veggies chopped, it all tastes great.

      • Reply
  • I would have left out the onions also. I put peas in everything too. They give that little sweet crisp pop…mmmm frozen baby peas are so good. My daughter will eat them frozen.

    • Reply
  • =P Onions are the only thing you left out for him, and peas are great easy extra nutrients to add. =) It was the best broccoli salad I've every had! Thanks Sis!

    • Reply

Healthy Habits That Help Me!