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. Wow, I might actually like this. I also have issues with raisins and veggies. And the sweet dressings. I won’t eat coleslaw unless I make it because I hate the sweet dressing/cabbage combo. Going to give this a try!

    1. As long as you use a mild coarse mustard, it will just add another flavor dimension and it won’t be mustard-y at all. I use Creole mustard almost exclusively; surprisingly, Walmart has a very good coarse mustard. Those very strong, wine-y mustards are NOT a good option here.

  2. I love this salad! I have a recipe that is very similar but I added cauliflower to stretch it for a party and it was muy delicioso!

  3. This sounds delicious to me. I like broccoli just about any way I can get it. My daughter is looking over my shoulder saying she doesn’t like Craisins OR raisins in salads. Her dad doesn’t either. But I have her permission to make some for myself for lunch sometime. 🙂

  4. I agree–there is WAY too much sugar in the traditional broccoli salad. Also, there’s usually too much sugar in the spinach strawberry salads, too. Someone once brought one to a potluck, and it felt like I was eating spinach for dessert. Gag!!

  5. Delicious, so much fresher and yummier than the goopy original version and delightfully gluten free, for those of us who have the added nuisance of worrying about that kind of thing! Thanks!!

  6. This is pretty similar to our family’s favorite broccoli salad. I’m interested in trying this variation. I’ve never put cabbage, craisins, or mustard in it.

  7. I’ve been looking for a good broccoli salad, and I totally get you on the raisins and cheese, not yummy. This salad looks great! I also would love to have the recipe for the 80’s chic-layered salad…I ate it a shower once, um, probably in the 80’s, and I loved it!

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