Broccoli Salad

I’ve never really been a big fan of traditional broccoli salad. I have this weird thing where I don’t like cheddar cheese in pre-dressed salads, especially ones with mayonnaise-based dressings. I also am not super keen on the mayonnaise-and-sugar dressing; many recipes I’ve seen call for nearly equal parts mayo and sugar. And then I have this thing about raisins and how I feel like they never, ever belong with vegetables. Even ants on a log is a little iffy (cute and fun, but I’m cool with just the peanut butter and celery–the raisins are welcome to join up with some oatmeal in some cookies, but only then with fair warning that those are raisins and not chocolate chips.)

I realize this could be seen as heresy–people tend to take their traditional recipes very seriously. But I never grew up eating broccoli salad; I grew up with the ’80s-chic layered salad with iceberg lettuce, bacon, peas, Miracle Whip mixed with sugar (yeah, that was me gasping), and Swiss cheese. So I don’t have any particular loyalty to traditional broccoli salad recipes. If you have a recipe you love, that’s awesome. But if you’ve always been a little iffy on broccoli salad, today is your day.

Broccoli salad from Our Best Bites

For the salad, you’ll need 12 ounces of broccoli florets (fresh, just in case there was any question) and 12 ounces of broccoli slaw. You’ll also need a cup of salted sunflower seeds, a cup of Craisins, 6 ounces of cooked, bacon, and a small red onion.

broccoli salad ingredients

For the dressing, you’ll need mayonnaise, quite a bit less sugar than traditional recipes call for, red wine vinegar, mild coarse grain mustard (I used Creole mustard), salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a couple tablespoons of grated red onion (I just grated some of the red onion I chopped up for the salad.)

broccoli salad ingredients

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl…

combined broccoli salad dressing

and whisk until smooth. Set aside.

Break the broccoli florets into small pieces and toss with the broccoli slaw. Add the bacon, Craisins, chopped onion, and sunflower seeds

broccoli salad from our best bites

I love the sight of bacon mixed with my vegetables.

broccoli salad from our best bites

Toss until combined. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and combine thoroughly.

Broccoli Salad from Our best Bites

If possible, chill for at least an hour before serving.

broccoli salad from our best bites

Serves 10-12.

broccoli salad from our best bites

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broccoli salad from Our Best BItes

Broccoli Salad

  • Author: kate jones
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 side dish servings


This Broccoli Salad is an updated version of the summertime party potluck favorite!



12 ounces fresh broccoli florets or broccoli broken into small pieces
12 ounces broccoli slaw
1 cup Craisins (1 5-ounce bag)
1 cup toasted salted sunflower seeds
6 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 small red onion (grate a small portion of this onion for the dressing and then chop the rest of it for the salad)


1 cup mayonnaise (light is fine; no Miracle Whip)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Creole or other mild coarse-grain mustard
2 tablespoons grated red onion (just use the onion you’re using in the salad)
Heaping 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup white sugar


Toss together salad ingredients in a large bowl. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Drizzle over the salad. If possible, chill for at least an hour before serving. Serves 12-14.


If you want to serve this for a quick dinner in the summer, try adding sliced, grilled chicken breast on top of larger servings of this salad!




  1. That’s so funny that all of your issues with broccoli salad are my issues too, and we solved them about the same way! I like the idea of adding some broccoli slaw to it, I feel bad wasting the stems when I buy broccoli. But yeah, inifitely better with about HALF the amount of dressing normally on this type of salad, and that with about half the sugar, and I agree raisins don’t belong anywhere in a salad. Craisins are a perfect substitute. I use slivered almonds in place of sesame seeds, and they work well, too, though they’re better toasted and at least you don’t have to toast sunflower seeds.

    To the poster who asked about storing this – it’s good overnight, but any more than 1 day and it gets kinda soggy. Even overnight the dressing pools in the bottom of the bowl and needs a good mix, it gets a little watery. I keep the dressing and the ingredients in the fridge separately and then mix after I get where I’m going, or shortly before dinner.

  2. I love this and have always wanted to recipe. Now, thank you, I have it! Thanks for sharing. Adding to this week’s menu for sure!

  3. You have a lot of food issues! Broccoli salad is a favorite at our house. I’m pretty sure that if I made a different version, I would hear LOTS of protesting. It does look good though!

  4. Wow, Kate, again with the mind-reading?!? Impressive. First, the house ranch, and now this…chalk up another one for OBB!! THANKS a TON! I’m sick of paying 5.99 a pound at the deli for this stuff!!

  5. Very close to my version. I use pine nuts instead of sunflower seeds and Splenda instead of sugar. Every little calorie counts, no?

  6. I am not usually a fan of broccoli salads either because it has a ton of mayonaise and/or cups of sugar. I am excited to try this one. Thanks for the remake! 🙂

  7. I am SO with you on broccoli salads, especially because of the overdose of sugar (and while I’m on the subject, don’t even get me started on pasta or macaroni salads that have a dressing with sweetened condensed milk in it – GAG!). This one sounds good though. How far in advance could you make this salad? I’m all about things that can be done a day in advance – would it get soggy or does broccoli hold up well?

    1. You could always make the salad and the dressing in advance and then toss them together closer to serving time–it cuts way down on prep time (I say “way down” like this is an all-day recipe…it’s pretty easy, haha!), but then you avoid any potential sogginess.

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