Easy Broccoli Salad with Bacon
A summer must have, this Easy Broccoli Salad with Bacon is one of the easiest salads to make. Crisp, fresh broccoli, tender raisins, cheese and crumbled bacon are tossed in a sweet and savory dressing that whips up in minutes.
I remember going to a ton of picnics and potlucks growing up where everyone brought sides…..and salads…..and more sides……but not so much protein. It was usually the hosts responsibility to provide the grilled meats like chicken or steak or burgers or hot dogs. But, honestly, I never really liked the meats.
I was always about the sides. I could totally just make a meal out of the salads that everyone brought to the gathering. I love the pasta salads and potato salads so much but what I loved the most was a classic Broccoli Salad that was loaded with bacon! Broccoli Salad had my heart for years and it still does to this day.
There’s something wonderful about Broccoli Salad, even if you’re not a broccoli fan, because it’s just packed with amazing flavor. The broccoli salad dressing is sweet and savory…..but not too sweet….and it gets all into the deep crevices of the broccoli florets hanging onto that flavor for the perfect bite every time.
Every single bite is a mouthful of crunchy perfection and that’s probably why this easy salad recipe is also known as Broccoli Crunch Salad. The pecans, crispy bacon and broccoli are definitely going to get on the nerves of that guy that hates the sound of chewing because seriously….there’s no way around making a ruckus when your chowing down on this deliciousness.
What ingredients are in Broccoli Salad with Bacon?
Well, the options are limitless when you make your own Broccoli Salad recipe but this easy recipe has all my favorite things and was adapted from my mom’s Broccoli Raisin Salad. I switched things up and replaced the raisins with dried cherries just for a bit of tartness.
Here’s what I throw in there:
- Fresh Broccoli….obvs
- Red Onion
- Cheddar Cheese
- Crumbled Bacon
- Dried Cherries
- Chopped Pecans
For the Broccoli Salad Dressing, you’ll need:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
I love that the dressing whips up in minutes and you can totally make this Broccoli Salad recipe in advance because it just gets better the longer it sits. Some salad recipes call for sunflower seeds, and that’s fine if you want to sub them in this recipe, but I LOVE the extra crunch and butteriness of the pecans so much. Plus, it’s a southern dish which calls for southern ingredients and pecans are just that.
How to Make Broccoli Salad
Broccoli Salad with bacon couldn’t be easier to make. Simply toss all the salad ingredients in a bowl to combine.
Whisk together the mayonnaise, honey, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate for one hour before serving to give the flavors a chance to mingle.
Tips for the BEST Broccoli Salad
- Use FRESH Broccoli cut into small bite sized pieces. Do not use frozen.
- Also, do not cook the broccoli, we like it raw as it soaks up the dressing and doesn’t water down the salad.
- Use REAL bacon, cooked and crumbled. It’s way better than using store bought bacon bits.
- Make the salad at least an hour in advance.
- Leftovers are fabulous tossed with leftover chicken for a quick and easy work lunch.
Why is This the BEST Broccoli Salad
Well, isn’t everything made with bacon better? Right? Plus, the dressing is perfect….not too sweet, not too tart. It’s just right and the salty cheddar with the bacon, crunchy pecans and tart cherries just set this Broccoli Salad apart in a league of it’s own.
What to Serve with Broccoli Salad with Bacon
These reader favorites go perfectly with your salad:
- The VERY BEST Oven Baked Chicken Breast….it’s the very best. 🙂
- Easy Oven Baked Chicken Tenders….kids dig ’em.
- Grilled Honey Chipotle BBQ Chicken
- Maple Bourbon Burgers….yeah, that’s right.
- Grilled Steak Kabobs with Blue Cheese Sauce
And sometimes I like to mix things up….you know, like the aforementioned potluck buffet consisting of only side dishes and salad.
MORE SUMMER SALAD AND SIDE DISH RECIPES
- Chopped Broccoli Salad with FETA.…you NEED this one, too!
- Creamy Cucumber Salad
- BEST Chopped Greek Pasta Salad
- Easy Classic Coleslaw
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Mexican Street Corn Salad (Elote Salad!)
For more easy recipe inspiration, be sure to follow us over on Instagram! We’ve got big plans this summer and I’ll be sharing it all over there in my stories!
Easy Broccoli Salad with Bacon Recipe
- 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 3/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon
For the dressing
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, add the broccoli, onion, cherries, cheddar cheese, pecans and broccoli. Toss to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar and honey, Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
- Toss before serving.