You’re going to love this HEALTHY broccoli salad recipe served with a yogurt dressing that’s sweetened with honey. Red onions and dried cranberries add a sweet and savory touch to an old fashioned salad you’ll be making all year long.
Whether you’re hosting a dinner for friends or need something to take to a potluck or holiday meal, it’s nice to have a salad that’s easy to make, and will stay fresh without getting mushy. Of course it also needs to be wonderful. Broccoli salad is a great choice along with roasted potato salad or corn and cucumber salad, all will stay fresh for several hours. However, if you want something green, this is my favorite.
When cooking for friends, I want to enjoy their company but also have amazing food to serve. I try to plan a menu so that I can do almost everything in advance. I recently had a large group over at the last minute and didn’t want to spend any time in the kitchen cooking, so along with Carnitas that I made in the slow cooker, I served this simple but brilliant salad.
I prepared it in the morning and just added the dressing before we were ready to eat. The broccoli was crisp and I loved the sweetness from the dried cranberries and the savory from the red onions. You also get a little smoky salty flavor thrown in the mix with bacon and roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
My favorite part of the broccoli bacon salad is the dressing. I used Siggi’s brand yogurt which I think has the best flavor without being too tangy. Along with mayonnaise you’ll add some honey. Most classic broccoli salad recipes have sugar in the dressing but the honey adds so much more flavor.
What you’ll need
- Fresh broccoli – you can’t use frozen for this salad. It’s easily adaptable but for this recipe I use two medium heads of broccoli
- Bacon – try applewood smoked or a pepper bacon
- Cheese – I prefer a sharp cheddar cut into small chunks
- Red onion – these are a little sweeter and more mild than a yellow onion and taste great raw
- Dried cranberries – these add a slightly sweet and tart taste which is great with broccoli
- Roasted and salted sunflower/pumpkin seeds – the salty crunch is a nice addition to the other flavors
- Dressing – mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar, honey and mustard
How to make broccoli salad
Step 1: Par boil the broccoli for 1 minute for the perfect texture then drain and let let it air dry or dry with paper towels.
Step 2: Add the fixings and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Step 3: Whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss right before serving.
If you like a creamier salad, just double the dressing.
FAQ’s and tips
You don’t have to cook the broccoli, but doing so makes it a little more tender.
Make sure the broccoli has drained and is dry before starting the salad.
The flavors get better if it sits for an hour or two in the refrigerator. If are making it a day ahead, wait to add the dressing and bacon until you are ready to serve to keep it from getting soggy.
Roasted pumpkin seeds add a nice salty crunch.
What else could you take to a Potluck
You’ll love having a dish like this to take when the host asks you to bring a salad. I hate taking a lettuce based salad, it’s so boring. This will be a crowd pleaser.
More SALAD ideas
- Strawberry spinach
- Oranges and burrata
- Honey fruit salad
- Coleslaw with peaches
- Tomato and zucchini
- Shrimp salad
- 2 heads Broccoli
- ½ cup red onion
- 2-3 slices bacon cooked and chopped
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese cubed
- ⅓ cup sunflower/pumpkin seeds salted and roasted
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt Siggis
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- black pepper
- Separate broccoli into bite size florets. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Have a large bowl filled with ice water ready. Add broccoli to boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Take out and immediately place in ice bath for 5 minutes. Drain and place in bowl.
- Add onion, bacon, cranberries, cheese and sunflower seeds to the broccoli and combine.
- For the dressing, whisk together all ingredients and toss with the broccoli.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Try applewood or pepper bacon for even more flavor.
- The flavors are better if it can refrigerate for an hour or two.
- If making this a day in advance, wait to add the dressing until ready to serve.
- Make sure you dry the broccoli before adding so it doesn’t get watery.