Best Ever Broccoli Salad Recipe with Bacon + Video

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Broccoli Salad with Bacon features sweet raisins, plus plenty of crunch from onion and nuts. With a sweet and creamy dressing to tie it all together, this easy broccoli salad is the perfect summer side!

titled: Best Ever Broccoli Salad


 

I might be biased, but I think that this is the best broccoli salad recipe – ever. Not only is it the perfect side dish, but there’s no denying the flavor of the tangy dressing!

And yes, I’m on team “this broccoli mixture tastes better the next day” as well! Leftover broccoli salad for the win! 

Once you mix the broccoli salad ingredients, it’s all about letting the ingredients mesh together a bit for the best flavor.

I’ve made this for summer parties – and it’s always a crowd pleasure. People agree that it’s the perfect summer side dish, and I swear, it’s one of the easiest salad recipes to make. 

You can whip this up for a Labor Day BBQ, or use this as a delicious recipe for your family reunion this summer. 

But take a piece of advice from me – if you want to save some prep time, buy those pre-cut florets from the grocery store.

That way, you don’t have to spend a ton of time chopping this delicious broccoli salad – and can make and eat sooner! 

chopped broccoli on wood cutting board

Broccoli Salad with Bacon

The combination of fresh broccoli, bacon, plump raisins, red onion, and roasted pine nuts tossed with a sweet and creamy dressing creates the most amazing summer salad yet.  

Broccoli bacon salad adds a salty, savory twist to classic recipes. And it’s so good, you’ll be sneaking a bowl for lunch and dinner throughout the week!

I love grabbing heads of broccoli when they are on sale — there are so many easy and delicious recipes that make use of this green veggie. 

Recipe Video

Nothing beats a cozy bowl of broccoli cheddar soup, and you can easily toss florets into casseroles and pasta dishes to get those extra servings! 

whisking dressing for broccoli salad

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Broccoli – You really want to use fresh florets for this broccoli salad recipe with bacon. There needs to be a sturdy crunch, which you won’t get from frozen florets.
  • Raisins – I prefer to use golden raisins, as they are a bit sweeter and tend to be more plump. Feel free to use regular raisins, as long as they are still nice and soft.
  • Mayo and Sour Cream – This creamy and tangy combo forms the base of the broccoli raisin salad dressing. 

    Greek yogurt is a great substitute for the sour cream. And for a lighter dressing, try mayo made with olive oil!
  • Bacon Crumbles – Cook and crumble your own strips, or grab a bag of bits to save time!
  • Pine Nuts – Swap with chopped pecans or walnuts if you don’t like these (or if there’s an allergy).
raisins, chopped onions and broccoli in a serving bowl

Easy Broccoli Salad Recipe Tips

  • Blanche the florets. This step only takes a few minutes, but it makes a huge difference in the texture of broccoli salad with bacon! 

    Boil just for 30 seconds, then drain and plunge florets into an ice bath to stop them from cooking further.
  • Prefer a thicker dressing? Simply reduce or omit the lemon juice.
  • Chill it first. While you can serve this easy broccoli salad right away, I find that it’s better after a few hours in the refrigerator. 

    The dressing softens the florets a little bit more, and all of the flavors really meld together in the best way.
adding bacon to broccoli salad

Serving Suggestions

The sky is the limit! Broccoli bacon salad tastes great with so many dishes, which is why it’s perfect for picnics and potlucks.

Serve it alongside beef, chicken, and pork, including your favorite hamburgers and hot dogs!

If you don’t want a meat-heavy meal, you can also pair broccoli raisin salad with baked potatoes or contrast the crunch with creamy mac and cheese.

tossing best ever broccoli salad

Broccoli Bacon Salad FAQ

Can I use Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise? 

While several many of my family recipes do require Miracle Whip, I don’t recommend it for this broccoli salad recipe with bacon.

The added sweetener and spices will compete with the other flavors in the dish, and it won’t taste quite right.

How long does broccoli raisin salad last in the refrigerator? 

Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days. 

Also, remember not to leave broccoli salad with bacon out for longer than 2 hours or it will spoil.

close up of broccoli salad on fork

Enjoy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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pouring creamy dressing over broccoli bacon salad

Best Ever Broccoli Salad Recipe with Bacon + Video

Donna Elick
Broccoli Salad with Bacon transforms a simple recipe into the most amazing summer salad yet! Add raisins and nuts for sweetness and crunch!
5 stars from 2 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Method Stovetop
Servings 12

Ingredients
 

  • 3 pounds fresh broccoli florets, washed
  • 1 cup bacon crumbles
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup toasted pine nuts, or your favorite nut
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add broccoli and cook for 30 seconds. Drain water and rinse with ice cold water or place broccoli in an ice bath. Drain and set aside.
  • Reserve a small handful of bacon, raisins and pine nuts for garnish.
  • In a medium bowl combine mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Place broccoli, onion and remaining raisins in a large bowl. Pour dressing over top. Toss to coat. Chill.
  • When ready to serve add nuts and bacon and toss well. Garnish with reserved bacon, raisins and pine nuts. Serve and enjoy!

Video

Donna’s Notes

Broccoli is even better if you blanch it first (boil quickly and then chill), but you can make this recipe with fresh broccoli too.
If you prefer your salad crisper: add onions and raisins to dressing and chill until ready to serve. When serving assemble salad as instructed above.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 308cal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 509mg | Sugar: 14g | Fiber: 4g | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image collage for broccoli salad

Originally published June 2014, updated and republished July 2024

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22 Comments

  1. Hi Donna, this is such a great salad, I've made one pretty similar but this one really has all the bells and whistles. Love it!

  2. This sounds like such a satisfying salad. I can see why you ate six bowls! I shall have to make a batch of this for myself. Thank you for sharing this lovely dish.

    1. 5 stars
      I don’t like cooked broccoli and never eat raw broccoli… but I make a HUGE exception for this salad. I’m not even a huge fan of raisins, but again, LOVE this salad. My principal used to make it for our teacher brunch every year. Sometimes he traded out the raisins for dried cranberries, but still my favorite seasonal salad by far.

    1. Hi Beverly! I buy a bag of real bacon crumbles at Costco and keep it in the fridge for convenience. You can definitely substitute real bacon. I would cook it until crisp, drain cool and crumble. I would use 1 pound of bacon, more or less to taste. Enjoy and let us know how it goes.

  3. Donna — I'm glad you posted this. I have a recipe very similar to yours and it's been a long time since I made it. Good reminder. I love, love, love your your fb page and website. So many super good recipes and I love your narrative. It's like we're sitting at the kitchen table just talking about favorite recipes. Thanks again! — Kaye M., Memphis, TN

    1. Thank you so much Kaye. We love hearing from our readers and I am so happy to hear you love our stories. The kitchen table is where the heart of our home is. I would love to sit down and chat. xo

  4. I've been making this salad for over 20 years, It was in a cookbook compiled of recipes from teachers and parents when my daughter was in high school. The difference was it used sunflower seeds and the broccoli was raw. I absolutely love it!

  5. Can you tell me what the bacon can be substituted with? We eat meat just not bacon. I made your Greek Tortelini Salad and my gosh it was amazing. Can't wait to try this one too!

  6. I make the Lazymans version. All the same ingredients except, I use sunflower seeds and the dressing is Marie's Poppy Seed. Yummy and very quick when in a hurry.

  7. I have 2 recipes for this salad. Both are almost the same, but one uses walnuts and the other uses peanuts. However, one adds a cubed apple and boy does that make it good. I like yours with more things such as lemon juice and sour cream and WOW I love the pine nuts. I also think blanching the broccoli is safer as you don't know who touched that raw vegetable at the market.

  8. This may be my favorite broccoli salad. I did add about 3/4 C shredded sharp cheddar, used 6 green onions instead of red onions and made 1 1/2 times the dressing. I also used Trader Joe's roasted/salted sunflower seeds in place of pine nuts. Did not add more salt. The dressing was fantastic.

  9. I've made this salad a number of times and someone will ALWAYS ask for the recipe 🙂 It's also great the next day if there is any left. I found that making either double or triple the recipe keeps everybody happy. Also, I've been cooking my bacon in the oven – the salad can be prepared while the bacon sizzles away happily (it also makes cleanup quicker). Awesome salad!

  10. 5 stars
    My mom’s friend used to bring this for barbecues and I always figured it was very difficult to make, but this recipe was so easy to follow and it was AMAZING!

  11. I made this salad today and it was absolutely delicious! I did use Greek Joghurt instead of sour cream, pecans and cranberries. This is definitely a salad that I surely will make quite often!

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