4.67 from 3 votes

Broccoli Salad

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!

Broccoli salad in a bowl.


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

Ingredients

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    The full printable recipe card with measurements and instructions is found at the bottom of the post.

    Salad Ingredients

    • Broccoli florets
    • Golden raisins
    • Bacon
    • Sliced almonds
    • Mandarin oranges
    • Red onion
    • Mushrooms

    Broccoli Salad Dressing Ingredients

    • Eggs
    • Sugar
    • Cornstarch
    • Dry mustard powder
    • White wine vinegar
    • Water
    • Mayonnaise
    Broccoli salad ingredients.

    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.
    Steps to make broccoli salad.
    • Step Two: Heat over medium heat, whisking frequently, until thickened (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in mayonnaise. Set aside to cool.
    Steps to make broccoli salad.

    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.
    Steps to make broccoli salad.

    Equipment Needed

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    What to Serve with Fresh Broccoli Salad

    Broccoli salad in a white bowl.

    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.

    Storage Instructions

    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!

    Broccoli Salad on a fork.

    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.
    Broccoli salad on a serving spoon.

    FAQ

    Should I blanch the broccoli first?

    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.

    Can I use frozen broccoli?

    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.

    Can I substitute other veggies?

    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.

    Salad Recipes

    You’ll also enjoy Broccoli Frittata, Broccoli Cheddar Soup, and Broccoli Swamp.

    Follow me on Instagram @simplystacieblog, Facebook at Simply Stacie, TikTok @simplystacierecipes or Pinterest at @simplystacie and let me know how you liked this recipe and my other recipes.

    4.67 from 3 votes

    Best Broccoli Salad

    Created by Stacie Vaughan
    Servings 6
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 5 minutes
    Chill Time 2 hours
    Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
    Full of fresh, vibrant broccoli, raisins, sliced almonds, mushrooms and sweet mandarin oranges topped with a sweet, creamy dressing. This broccoli salad recipe is both hearty and filling!

    Ingredients
      

    Dressing

    • 2 eggs
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 1 tsp cornstarch
    • 1 tsp dry mustard powder
    • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
    • ¼ cup water
    • ½ cup mayonnaise

    Salad

    • 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

    Instructions

    Dressing

    • 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.

    Salad

    • 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.

    Video

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1g | Calories: 416kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 409mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 30g

    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.

    Course Salads
    Cuisine American
    Keyword Best Broccoli Salad

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    4.67 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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    61 Comments

    1. You mention mushrooms in your lead text for the recipe, and mushrooms seem to be visible in the photographs of the salad, but are not listed in the actual ingredients or directions. Are they optional, or was their omission just an oversight? I’m assuming you used slices of fresh mushroom. Can you suggest the quantity you used, and at what point you added them? Thanks.

      1. You are right! It was my mistake – eek! I just updated the recipe to 1 cup mushrooms.

    2. Sharon Wooding says:

      Do you have to use mushrooms? If you do, what kind?

      Thanks!

      1. I used mushrooms – just the regular button mushrooms you find at the grocery store.

    3. CAROL-ANN REDMON says:

      WHAT A MARVELOUS RECIPE!! CAN’T WAIT TO TRY IT!!

    4. Tonni Ogle Adamson says:

      Help. How much brocoli? It says 2 brocoli. I’m using frozen so what does that mean please,? LOL

      1. Sorry it wasn’t more clear! I buy two bunches of broccoli from the grocery store. One bunch usually yields about 4 cups of florets. I would use 8 cups for the recipe.

    5. Sorry it wasn’t more clear! I buy two bunches of broccoli from the grocery store. One bunch usually yields about 4 cups of florets. I would use 8 cups for the recipe.

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