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Classic Broccoli Bacon Salad

A classic broccoli bacon salad that you can make all year round. It is great for potlucks, as it travels well. It is also a favorite for the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter.

Classic Broccoli Bacon Salad - Pinterest picture

Classic Broccoli Bacon Salad

I am sure many of you already know at least one version of this recipe of broccoli salad with bacon is so popular in the United States. For the rest of you out there who would like to try something new, this is a great recipe that can be made all year round.

This recipe, in particular, traveled with me overseas. My family actually adopted the recipe as soon as they learned about it.

I remember we had a huge gathering in the family a few years ago. I was asked for help to develop 2-3 salads that can be made for the guests. One of the recipes was this broccoli salad.

They had never made a broccoli salad before, but when they tried it, it was a hit! Since then, they have used this recipe for many parties and potlucks.

It feels nice to know that they enjoy it that much! In Minnesota, we make this salad a lot during the cold season, especially around holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas. However, you can make this salad for lunch. It travels well if you take it to a potluck. 

Doing some research about this salad, I see that people make it also in the summer, for barbecue events. I think it is a very cool one to make with grilled meats.

classic broccoli bacon salad on a platter

The main ingredients are broccoli, red bell pepper, red onion, bacon, nuts, and dried fruits, like cranberries, raisins, or tart cherries.

The salad is tossed in a lovely dressing made out of mayo, white vinegar, and a little bit of sugar that balances really well the acidity of the vinegar.

Maybe you noticed that I am not adding cheese to it. I never had it with cheese, but many recipes use this ingredient.

It is up to you if you want to throw a handful of cheese over the salad, but I would say try it first without. I am sure you are not going to miss it.

close up broccoli salad

I don’t have cranberries. Can I use some other dried fruits?

I always encourage you to be creative and make the salad with the ingredients you have available in the kitchen. If you don’t have dried cranberries, use raisins or tart cherries.

I don’t have sunflower seeds. What other seeds or nuts go well with this salad?

If you do not have sunflower seeds, use pecans or walnuts.

I don’t have red onions, can I use another type of onions?

If you don’t have red onion, use green onion or regular.  The flavors are obviously not identical, but the idea is the same. If you have some onions haters around, you can also skip the onions altogether.

brocoli salad on a serving platter sitting on a table with glasses in the background

This salad’s textures are excellent with crunchy vegetables combined with the smoked bits of bacon, the nuts, and the delicate, sweet dried fruit!

The ingredients complement each other and create a beautiful salad that everyone will enjoy.

It is also very easy and fast to make, so there is no excuse to skip it! Enjoy!

More recipes to love:

Green Bean and Potato salad- a delicious salad that can be served as a side dish next to your favorite cut of meat or by itself for a light lunch or dinner.

Classic Pineapple Chicken Salad- is easy to make, healthy, and delicious. The dressing is made with creamy Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise.

Cranberry Pecans Chicken Salad- Delicious and easy recipe for a great lunch, dinner, or party.

Romanian Beef Salad- The main ingredients for the dish are root vegetables, cooked beef or chicken mixed with pickled vegetables, and mayo.

Yield: 6 servings

Classic Broccoli Bacon Salad

Classic Broccoli Bacon Salad

A classic broccoli bacon salad that you can make all year round. It is great for potlucks, as it travels really well—also a favorite for the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, Christmas, or even Easter.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 2 medium broccoli heads cleaned and chopped bite size
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped bite size
  • 1/2 pound bacon cooked and chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds , pecans or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries , raisins or tart dried cherries
  • 1 medium red onion cut julienne (or 2-3 medium green onions)
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and pepper to your taste


  1. Chop the broccoli, red bell pepper, and bacon. Toss them in a salad bowl.
  2. Slice the onion julienne and add it to the bowl.
  3. Add sunflower seeds or nuts and the dried fruit.
  4. Make a dressing out of mayo, salt, pepper, sugar, and white wine vinegar.
  5. Pour the dressing over the other ingredients and toss to coat.
  6. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 349Total Fat: 25.4gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 1494mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 5gSugar: 27gProtein: 18g

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