This no fuss Broccoli with Bacon salad has the perfect crunch factor and is made using only a few simple ingredients. Raw broccoli, bacon, red onion, cheese, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds are tossed in a simple but delicious homemade dressing taking this dish to a whole other level.
Broccoli. Bacon. Salad. Said separately, these are easily three of my favourite things. But, put them together aka Broccoli with Bacon Salad and woah, now we’re talking. This salad is light, refreshing, crunchy, creamy and delicious. And it happens to be low carb/keto approved, too. It’s seriously ALL OF THE THINGS. And so right up my alley. I think it’ll be right up yours, too!
THIS BROCCOLI SALAD WITH BACON AND I…WE GO WAAAY BACK.
It was my Mama who started making this delicious concoction and one of her most favourite things to throw together. She’s been making it for years. It’s flavourful, it hardly takes any time to whip up and everyone always loves it. And, given the time of year where Spring is teasing and Summer is on the way, this salad, IMHO, is the perfect way to kick off the good weather. It’s no wonder it’s always made it on our plates as a side dish next to Mama’s Famous White Wine Chicken or her much loved ‘Polpette’ aka Mini Italian Meatballs.
SO, BROCCOLI IN A SALAD, HUH?
Well, first of all, it’s more like Broccoli as a Salad since Broccoli pretty much takes the role of typical ‘Lettuce’ which we don’t find in this salad at all. It’s the main ingredient and we wouldn’t have this dish without it. It might sound a little weird at first, since Broccoli isn’t the most popular salad topping in the world, let alone main salad ingredient, but trust me, it works. And works like a charm, it does.
No need to cook or blanche the Broccoli first. We use raw Broccoli which is just so delicious! Every time I eat it, I’m left wondering why I don’t eat it raw more often. This Broccoli Salad with Bacon Recipe is the perfect way to do exactly that. So, let’s get started.
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE THE BEST BROCCOLI WITH BACON SALAD
Simple yet flavourful ingredients come together to make this killer Broccoli Salad with Bacon. Let’s discuss them in a little bit more detail down below:
- Raw Broccoli Florets: Of course, our first star ingredient and the base of this salad. Keeping the Broccoli raw makes the salad crunchy and delicious.
- Cooked Crumbled Bacon: Our second star ingredient and as always, Bacon makes EVERYTHING better. If you’re on Keto, Bacon is probably already your best friend. You can cook the Bacon in advance to make this salad even easier to toss together.
- Red Onion: For flavour, colour and texture. You can use green or white onion instead, if you prefer.
- Dried Cranberries: To balance out the crunch factor! If on keto, be sure to use unsweetened.
- Sunflower Seeds: I love the way these go with all the other ingredients in this Broccoli with Bacon Salad but feel free to switch it up a bit and use a different kind of nut or seed. My mom likes using cashews or slivered almonds from time to time.
- Cheddar Cheese: Another ingredient that really just makes everything better and a blessing for Keto cooking. I like grating it for this particular salad but cutting it into small cubes would also work. Although the Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese combo continuously proves to be irresistibly delicious, feel free to experiment with different cheeses such as Mozzarella or Swiss.
- Mayonnaise: The main ingredient for the dressing to this Broccoli with Bacon Salad and what makes it creamy and delicious. I like using homemade mayonnaise but you can use store bought if you prefer. Buy simple ingredient, healthier versions if you do go the store bought route.
- Dijon Mustard: Adds flavour and a bit of a smokey bite to the dressing. Although I wouldn’t recommend plain yellow mustard in this recipe, honey mustard (if not Keto) or spicy mustard would be good alternatives if you don’t have dijon on hand.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Adds a bit of tang and acidity to the dressing to balance everything out. You can use red or white vinegar instead if you don’t have any apple cider vinegar on hand.
- Spices: We’re keeping things pretty simple here with just some salt, pepper and garlic powder. Balances out the dish and adds that final layer of flavour.
BROCCOLI WITH BACON SALAD RECIPE
This Broccoli with Bacon Salad couldn’t be more simpler or quicker to make. The hardest part is chopping all the ingredients and getting them ready for mixing. Or cooking the Bacon if you don’t get lucky and already have some cooked on hand. So, basically, not hard at all. Once you have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go, the only step left is mixing it all together. Et Voila! Creamy and Crunchy Broccoli with Bacon Salad that can be served as a low carb side dish to any meal. But hey, I ain’t against making this Salad an entree, too. Easy work lunch, anyone?
PRO TIP: When you’re making a recipe that calls for Bacon like this Pasta with Cauliflower and Bacon, make a little extra and reserve it for this recipe so you don’t have to cook fresh Bacon on the spot. Doesn’t get any easier than that!
PRO TIPS TO MAKING THIS THE BEST BROCCOLI WITH BACON SALAD EVVVVAH
- Cut the Broccoli Florets small and in uniform bite sized pieces. Generally speaking, you want small pieces that you can eat in one bite. Remember, there are a ton of other delicious ingredients you want to eat with every bite of Broccoli so keeping them small ensures you can fit more onto the fork/into your pie hole!
- Similarly, cut the other ingredients (bacon, cheddar cheese, red onion) rather small as well because IMHO, this is a salad that benefits when everything makes it into your pie hole at exactly the same time. It’s an experience your tastebuds will not forget!
- Completely dry the Broccoli Florets before adding any of the other ingredients. This will ensure the creamy homemade dressing nicely coats them and the rest of the ingredients.
- Drain the Bacon Grease from the Bacon (if cooking fresh) before adding it to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. This will ensure the salad doesn’t turn oily/greasy.
- If you have the time, Chill the Dressing for at least one hour before tossing it with the salad. This will allow the flavours to mingle and the dressing to set.
- Serve this Broccoli with Bacon Salad cold for best results!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
No! The Broccoli in this Broccoli with Bacon Salad is kept raw and is where most of the delicious crunch comes from. That’s why keeping the pieces small and bite-sized is crucial.
Yes! You can certainly chop up all the ingredients and prepare them for mixing in advance. You can also pre-cook and crumble the bacon so it’s ready to go when you’re ready to throw the salad together. Finally, you can make the dressing in advance as well and store it separately from the salad ingredients in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
This Broccoli with Bacon Salad is good in the fridge for up to 3 days. It might lose a bit of it’s crunch after the first 24-48 hours but don’t worry, it will still taste delicious.
This salad is delicious on it’s own or as a side dish to anything from these Spinach and Artichoke Millet Burgers to this Caramelized Onion, Cranberry and Goat Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin.
For the Salad
- 1 head Broccoli, cut into small bite-sized pieces
- 6 slices Cooked Bacon, sliced or crumbled*
- 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup Red Onion, diced
- 1/3 cup Dried Cranberries*
- 1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds
For the Dressing
- 1/2 cup Mayonnaise, homemade or store bought*
- 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
- Pinch of Salt, Pepper and garlic Powder
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard and spices until well combined. Put in the refrigerator to chill while preparing the other ingredients* (see notes)
- In a separate larger bowl, add the broccoli, bacon, cheddar cheese, red onion, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries.
- Drizzle with the dressing.
- Mix until well combined. Serve cold!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 518Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 1305mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 5gSugar: 13gProtein: 17g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
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