Bacon Broccoli Salad is full of fresh ingredients like broccoli florets and crunchy apple and packed with crispy bacon and sunflower seeds. A light and tangy dressing pulls it all together.
Looking for the best BBQ side dishes to take your cookout to the next level? From Italian pasta salad to pineapple coleslaw to root beer beans, there are so many great possibilities.
Bacon Broccoli Salad Recipe
When it comes to barbecue side dishes, there are so many great possibilities and this bacon broccoli salad is one of them.
From the classic potato and macaroni salads to an assortment of dips and breads, if you build it, they will eat.
There are certain side dishes that are practically mandatory at a barbecue and this particular salad is definitely one of them.
Ingredients for Bacon Broccoli Salad
Full recipe and instructions can be found at the bottom of the page.
- raw sunflower seeds – unsalted sunflower seeds were used in this salad, but if you want to use salted that would be fine; do not use shelled sunflower seeds
- apple cider vinegar – this vinegar blends perfectly with the ingredients in the salad so I do not recommend substituting it
- avocado oil – extra-virgin olive oil or another neutral tasting oil will also work
- granulated sugar – you can leave this out if you are avoiding processed sugar
- dry mustard
- finely ground sea salt – if you use table salt reduce the amount listed by half
- ground black pepper
- broccoli – Use a fresh head of broccoli and cut it into florets. You can also use pre-cut broccoli florets to make this recipe even easier. I do not recommend using frozen broccoli since it releases a lot of moisture as it thaws and can make the salad runny and soggy.
- red onion
- apple –
- Pink Lady apple was used in this salad, but almost any kind of apple is fine. I would avoid overly sweet or sour apples such as Honeycrisp and Granny Smith so they aren’t overpowering in the salad.
- bacon – use your favorite kind of bacon, you can also leave it out if you choose
- sharp cheddar cheese – mild cheddar is also fine or you can use dairy-free cheese or leave it out for dairy-free version
- mayonnaise – homemade or store-bought both work. Keep in mind that not all mayonnaise is equal so your salad may end up creamier or more runny depending on the type/brand of mayonnaise you use.
How To Make Bacon Broccoli Salad
Step one: Add the chopped broccoli, diced red onion, diced apple, bacon crumbles, shredded cheddar cheese, and sunflower seeds to a large bowl and toss to combine.
Step two: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, avocado oil, sugar, ground mustard, sea salt, and black pepper until well-combined.
Step three: Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and stir well to coat.
Step four: Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Step five: Gently stir the salad before serving.
Store this salad in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Can I Freeze This Salad?
No, this salad does not freeze well.
Should I Serve This Dish Warm or Cold?
This dish is meant to be eaten cold.
What Variations/Substitutions Can I Make?
This salad is very versatile and can be easily adapted to suit your personal taste or diet. Additions or substitutions that would work really well are…
- diced cucumber
- diced bell peppers (any color)
- grapes – red or green
Other Salad Side Dishes You Might Enjoy
- Chicken Macaroni Salad
- Grilled Broccoli Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
- BLT Layered Pasta Salad
- Cafe Rio Salad
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Bacon Broccoli Salad
- 1 large head broccoli (8 ounces/226 g), cut into florets and roughly chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely diced (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 apple, cored and diced
- 8 oz (226 g) bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 4 oz (113 g) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/3 cup (50 g) raw sunflower seeds
- 1 cup (250 ml) mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsps (30 ml) avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp finely ground sea salt or 1/4 tsp table salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Add the chopped broccoli, diced red onion, diced apple, bacon crumbles, shredded cheddar cheese, and sunflower seeds to a large bowl and toss to combine.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, avocado oil, sugar, ground mustard, sea salt, and black pepper until well-combined.
- Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and stir well to coat.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Gently stir the salad before serving.
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