This Broccoli Salad recipe makes a quick and easy side dish. Made with fresh broccoli, bacon, cranberries, cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds, and a homemade dressing. Ready in minutes!

This delicious broccoli salad makes a delicious side dish perfect for serving as part of holiday meals such as Easter or Mother’s Day or taking to picnics and potlucks throughout the summer. It is always a crowd favorite and disappears quickly!

Photo of broccoli salad on a white platter.

This is a classic, easy broccoli salad recipe that my family has loved for years. I love that I can have it prepped and ready within 15 minutes and it gets better as it sits. I think those two things add up to the perfect side dish! Then add to that how much everyone loves it and you definitely have a winner! It is right up there with deviled eggs and pimento cheese as a classic favorite!

How to Make Classic Broccoli Salad

Photo of ingredients used to make broccoli salad.

Ingredients

Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.

  • Broccoli – You’ll use fresh broccoli florets that have been cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Bacon – I like to cook and crumble my own bacon for this recipe. See my tips on how to bake bacon in the oven.
  • Cranberries – Dried cranberries add a little tartness and sweetness to this salad.
  • Cheese – I use grated cheddar cheese in my broccoli salad. You can also cube the cheese if you prefer.
  • Sunflower Seeds – The sunflower seeds add a bit of crunch to the salad.
  • Onion diced red onion is optional in this salad. You can also substitute with sliced green onions if you prefer.

Broccoli Salad Dressing

  • Mayonnaise – I love to use my homemade mayonnaise or a favorite store-bought, such as Dukes. You can also substitute a portion or all of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt if you prefer.
  • Maple Syrup – the maple syrup adds a touch of sweetness to the delicious dressing with this salad. You can also substitute with honey, but we prefer the flavor of maple syrup in this recipe.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – the apple cider vinegar adds just the right amount of acidity needed in this dressing. You can also use white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar, but we love to use apple cider vinegar and it is always stocked in my pantry.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Broccoli salad recipe ingredients in a glass bowl ready for the dressing.

Add the broccoli, crumbled bacon, cranberries, cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds, and onion to a large mixing or salad bowl.

Photo of broccoli salad with homemade dressing added on top.

Whisk together the mayonnaise, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar for the homemade dressing. Pour over the broccoli salad and toss to coat.

Photo of broccoli salad recipe in a glass bowl.

Refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Broccoli salad on a white platter with serving utensils.

Make Ahead Instructions

To make ahead. Make the broccoli salad as directed. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Stir to combine for serving.

Broccoli Salad Recipe

5 from 4 votes
This Broccoli Salad recipe makes a quick and easy side dish.  Tossed in a homemade dressing, this easy broccoli salad is a crowd favorite!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups fresh broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked, cooled, and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese, or cubed
  • 1/2 cup salted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 medium red onion, optional

Broccoli Salad Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Instructions 

  • Make the salad. Add the broccoli, crumbled bacon, cranberries, cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds, and onion (if using) to a large mixing bowl.
  • Make the dressing. Whisk together the mayonnaise, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar. Pour over the salad and toss to coat.
  • Rest. Cover the salad and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

Notes

To make ahead. Make the broccoli salad as directed. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Stir to combine for serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 264mg | Potassium: 302mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 385IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 134mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

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