This Broccoli Salad is full of fresh, vibrant broccoli, raisins, sliced almonds, mushrooms and sweet mandarin oranges topped with a sweet, creamy dressing. A perfect summer salad that is both hearty and filling!
As a child I wouldn’t have touched this broccoli salad recipe with a ten foot pole. I was a veggie hating kid and I didn’t discriminate. I hated all vegetables equally.
Now that I’m an adult, my tastes have drastically changed. I can’t get enough of those fresh, vibrant, nutrient-packed veggies. The more a recipe has, the better! I’ve turned into a broccoli lover.
My mom’s easy broccoli salad is a recipe that I can easily have two full servings. It’s delicious and filling on it’s own. A family favorite that tastes even better the next day.
Why You’ll Love This Delicious Broccoli Salad
- The creamy homemade dressing takes this classic side dish to the next level of YUM
- A great recipe for summer gatherings for the whole family to enjoy
- Takes little time to make and is a super easy recipe
- Can easily customize ingredients based on personal preference
- Perfect side dish to pair with a variety of main dishes
The full printable recipe card with measurements and instructions is found at the bottom of the post.
- Broccoli florets
- Golden raisins
- Sliced almonds
- Mandarin oranges
- Red onion
Broccoli Salad Dressing Ingredients
- Dry mustard powder
- White wine vinegar
How to Make the Best Broccoli Salad
Broccoli Salad Dressing Directions
- Step One: In a medium saucepan, whisk eggs, sugar, cornstarch and mustard powder. Stir in vinegar and water.
- Step Two: Heat over medium heat, whisking frequently, until thickened (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in mayonnaise. Set aside to cool.
Broccoli Salad Directions
- Step One: Add broccoli florets to a large bowl. Pour in cooled dressing and stir to combine. Let sit for 2 hours in the fridge to marinate.
- Step Two: Stir in remaining ingredients and serve.
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What to Serve with Fresh Broccoli Salad
- Grilled chicken. Try this Maple Dijon Grilled Chicken or Honey Sriracha Chicken.
- Baked salmon. Try my Honey Garlic Baked Salmon.
- Pulled pork, beef or chicken. Try this Slow Cooker Pulled Pork or Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken.
- Grilled pork chops or steak. Try my Blackened Steak.
- Baked potatoes or sweet potatoes. Try these Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes or Twice Baked Potato Casserole.
- Burgers. Try my Stuffed Burgers or Taco Chicken Burgers.
Variations and Substitutions
- Substitute apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar for the white wine vinegar.
- Try sour cream or plain Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise in the dressing.
- Don’t feel like making dressing? Use bottled ranch dressing instead.
- Use bacon bits instead of bacon.
- Try sunflower kernels or pumpkin seeds instead of sliced almonds.
- Slivered almonds will also work in place of the sliced almonds.
- Add cubes of cheddar cheese (extra sharp cheddar is delicious!) or goat cheese.
- Add dried cranberries to your creamy broccoli salad.
Store leftover classic broccoli salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I find it tastes even better the longer it marinates!
Can I Freeze?
I wouldn’t recommend it. The mayonnaise-based dressing will separate and become watery and the broccoli can become mushy. Not a great experience so don’t do it!
What are Pre-made Dressings I Can Use?
- Ranch dressing
- Honey mustard dressing
- Balsamic vinaigrette
- Caesar dressing
- Poppy seed dressing
- Lemon garlic vinaigrette
How can I lighten it up?
Easy peasy! Just make a few small tweaks to make a healthy broccoli salad.
- Instead of a mayonnaise-based dressing, use a vinaigrette. I like mine made with a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper.
- Include more fresh veggies. Add some bell peppers, cucumbers or cherry tomatoes. Chop the bell peppers and cucumbers into bite-sized pieces.
- If you still want a creamy dressing, try Greek yogurt. It’s lower in fat and calories than mayonnaise and still flavorful. Mix it with herbs, spices and lemon juice to give it some taste.
- Omit or lessen the amount of bacon. I love real bacon, but if you are wanting a lighter salad, leave it out.
- Leave out the sugar or use a natural sweetener. I like honey or maple syrup.
Tips and Tricks
- Use fresh ingredients. Fresh veggies taste better than frozen or canned varieties.
- Blanch the broccoli. Boil it for a minute or two to slightly soften it. It will still be nice and crispy. If you have time try it, if not, no worries!
- Chill the salad. Don’t skip this step! It tastes better when cold and it also gives the chance for the ingredients to mingle.
- Experiment. Try different ingredients and flavors to make this salad your own.
You can blanch the broccoli first if you have a few extra minutes. However, the salad still is delicious even without doing this extra step. Blanching will soften the broccoli a little so its easier to eat. It will still have a crispy bite.
Boil the broccoli for 1 to 2 minutes. Then place the broccoli in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Let it sit for a minute or two and then drain with a colander.
Though using fresh broccoli is preferred, you can use frozen broccoli to make your broccoli salad. You must thaw it out first and then dry it off thoroughly with paper towels.
Yes! The most obvious one is cauliflower, a close cousin of broccoli. I would blanch it first so it’s a little softer. Other options are cabbage, Brussel sprouts, and blanched green beans.
- Chicken & Broccoli Salad
- Christmas Salad
- Beet Salad
- Waldorf Salad
- Macaroni Salad
- Cucumber Salad
- Chicken Salad with Grapes
- Hot Chicken Salad
- Cheeseburger Salad
- Fall Salad
Best Broccoli Salad
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp dry mustard powder
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 heads broccoli cut into florets
- ½ cup golden raisins
- 8 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 10 oz can mandarin oranges drained
- 1 small red onion chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- In a medium saucepan, whisk eggs, sugar, cornstarch and mustard powder. Stir in vinegar and water.
- Heat over medium heat, whisking frequently, until thickened (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in mayonnaise. Set aside to cool.
- Add broccoli florets to a large bowl. Pour in cooled dressing and stir to combine. Let sit for 2 hours in the fridge to marinate.
- Stir in remaining ingredients and serve.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.