Easy Broccoli Salad

We love this easy broccoli salad recipe with crisp broccoli, smoky bacon, and a tangy, creamy dressing. It’s quick to make, simple, and outrageously delicious!

Watch the Video

Broccoli Salad with Bacon Recipe Video

This broccoli salad recipe started with a faint memory of something my Mom would make when I was a child: raw broccoli, a mayo-based dressing, and bacon.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of vegetables back then, but I remember loving her broccoli salad. For a slaw-style salad, try our easy broccoli slaw.

Easy Broccoli Salad with Bacon and a Creamy Dressing

Key Ingredients

  • Broccoli: You’ll use fresh raw broccoli for this salad (although, you can always swap that for roasted broccoli if you want to). I use broccoli florets and the stems! Don’t toss your broccoli stems. They are delicious.
  • Bacon: My Mom always put bacon in her broccoli salad, so that’s what I’ve done here. I bake my bacon. If you want this salad to be meatless, leave it out (salty roasted nuts like almonds are a great substitute).
  • Red onion: While any onion will work in this salad, I love the color of red onion against the bright green of the broccoli. If your onion is especially pungent, chop and add it to cold water for 10 minutes before rinsing it to tone things down a little.
  • Dried Cranberries: Add a little sweetness to this salad. You can substitute them with any dried fruit.
  • Creamy salad dressing: My homemade broccoli salad dressing requires 3 ingredients (mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and apple cider vinegar). It’s creamy, a little tangy, and delicious.

How to Make Broccoli Salad

I love making this easy broccoli salad. It’s so quick to put together and lasts a while in the fridge. You’ll start by cooking your bacon. I bake my bacon, which is mostly hands-off and takes around 15 minutes.

While the bacon cooks, I prepare my broccoli. I use the florets and stems for this salad. When I first started cooking for myself, I’d slam my knife down just below the crown and throw away the stem when chopping broccoli. Thankfully, someone somewhere down the line set me straight. Broccoli stems are excellent, especially in this salad.

How to cut broccoli for broccoli salad

The outer skin of broccoli stems can be a bit tough, so use your vegetable peeler to remove it, slice the stems, and add them to your salad.

For the broccoli salad dressing, I stir mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and tangy apple cider vinegar. My Mom used to add a little sugar to her dressing, but I leave that out (if you like your dressing on the sweeter side, add a little sugar or maple syrup).

The last step is to toss everything together. This salad gets better as it sits. The broccoli softens slightly and absorbs the flavors of the dressing.

Adding bacon to the broccoli salad

Storing Broccoli Salad

Homemade broccoli salad lasts in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. As it sits, you might notice the broccoli releases some extra moisture (I toss well before serving). I do not recommend freezing broccoli salad.

You can make the broccoli salad dressing ahead of time. Place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days (probably longer).

More Broccoli Recipes

Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Cranberries

Easy Broccoli Salad

  • PREP
  • COOK

In this easy broccoli salad recipe, we toss broccoli with bacon, dried cranberries, red onion, and a tangy dressing made with mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and apple cider vinegar. We do not add sugar to the dressing, but if you prefer sweeter salad dressings, add a pinch of sugar, honey, or maple syrup.

Makes 6 servings

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

1 pound broccoli, 1 medium bunch

4 slices thick-cut bacon

1/4 of a medium onion, finely chopped, about 1/3 cup

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup mayonnaise, try homemade mayonnaise

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Salt and fresh ground black pepper


    1Cook the bacon until crisp (see note below). Chop into small pieces.

    2Add the chopped onion to a small bowl and cover with cold water. Leave for 10 minutes, then drain. This will tone down the raw onion flavor a bit.

    3Meanwhile, separate the broccoli crowns from their thick stem and chop them into small florets.

    4To chop the stems, remove the woodiest part and discard it (usually 1/2 inch from the bottom). Then, use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer layer of each stem and chop it into bite-size pieces.

    5Rinse the broccoli, and then pat or spin dry.

    6Drain the red onion and toss the broccoli, bacon, and cranberries in a large bowl.

    7In a separate bowl, stir the mayonnaise, cider vinegar, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Taste for seasoning, then adjust.

    8Pour two-thirds of the dressing over the broccoli and onion and mix well. If the salad seems dry, add a little more of the dressing. Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving or refrigerate.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Cooking bacon: For this salad (and almost all other dishes that need a few slices), we like to use our oven to cook the bacon. Baking bacon is hands-off and results in crisp bacon slices, perfect for this salad. Bake bacon slices in a 400°F oven until crisp, 12 to 18 minutes.
  • Vegan broccoli salad: Transform this into a vegan-friendly salad by substituting the bacon with 1/2 to 3/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds or salted almonds and using vegan mayonnaise. Here’s our recipe for vegan mayo.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1/6 of the recipe / Calories 225 / Protein 5 g / Carbohydrate 15 g / Dietary Fiber 3 g / Total Sugars 8 g / Total Fat 17 g / Saturated Fat 3 g / Cholesterol 14 mg
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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18 comments… Leave a Review
  • Melissa Laniel January 6, 2024, 10:02 pm

    Delicious! I took it to a potluck and there was absolutely none left to take home. I was disappointed! Hi! Hi!

  • Jenny Vaughan October 7, 2022, 11:58 pm

    If you use your homemade mayonnaise, do you still add mustard etc as that is already in the recipe. Thanks

    • Joanne February 27, 2023, 6:05 pm

      Hi Jenny, We do still add the mustard.


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