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Broccoli Salad

June 10, 2024

This cold, crunchy broccoli salad—studded with crisp bacon, diced red onion and chewy raisins, then tossed in a creamy homemade dressing—is what all of your summer party dreams are made of.


close up of homemade broccoli salad with creamy sweet dressing, crispy bacon, golden raisins and purple onions

Pairs Well With Barbecues, Pool Parties and Sparklers.

Need a great picnic food idea? Broccoli salad is pure retro, cold salad comfort food, just waiting for you to bring it to your next summer party! Sure, it’s coated in a (delicious) mayonnaise-based dressing—what summer salad isn’t? Looking at you, macaroni salad! —but it’s made with broccoli instead of macaroni or potatoes, so you can go ahead and pile those paper plates high with this bacon-y, onion-y easy broccoli salad.

ingredients laid out for broccoli salad; broccoli, bacon, mayonnaise, sugar, lemon juice, onions, golden raisins

What Is in Broccoli Salad?

Broccoli salad could also be called broccoli slaw, since it’s very similar to cole slaw in that it features a raw vegetable from the brassica family, tossed in a creamy, mayo-based dressing. Our easy broccoli salad recipe is classic, through and through! You’ll need:

  • Raw broccoli florets. Yep, no need to blanch broccoli for this salad. No-cook summer salads FTW!
  • Bacon. Cooked until crispy, then minced.
  • Raw red onion, also minced.
  • Sunflower seeds, for crunch. Look for the unsalted kind.
  • Raisins. Sounds weird, but their hint of sweetness and toothsome chewiness is a great foil for the super-crunch of the raw broccoli.
sweet creamy salad dressing in a bowl with a whisk
large bowl of raw broccoli, bacon, sunflower seeds, purple onions and golden raisins
creamy dressing being poured onto homemade broccoli salad
homemade broccoli salad with creamy sweet dressing, crispy bacon, golden raisins and purple onion

How To Make Broccoli Salad Dressing:

Traditional broccoli salad dressing is just creamy, mayonnaise-y perfection and we’re not about to stray from that sweet-tangy goodness. We start with store-bought mayo, and add both cider vinegar and fresh lemon juice for lots of tangy brightness. A bit of sugar and salt to balance it all out, and that’s all there is to homemade broccoli salad dressing.

How To Make Broccoli Salad:

This cold broccoli salad is the best thing ever—it knocks other cold summer salads out of the park, because there’s basically no cooking required. Here’s how to whip up the best broccoli salad ever:

  1. Chop chop chop! Chop the broccoli into small, bite-sized florets, mince the onion and cooked bacon.
  2. Mix up your homemade broccoli salad dressing in the bottom of a large bowl.
  3. Toss everything together until the salad is well dressed, and refrigerate for an hour. This last step is really important—if you’re super pressed for time, it is OK to skip it, but the salad really benefits from a little time in the fridge to let its sweet, savory, creamy flavors mingle and harmonize.
close up of homemade broccoli salad with creamy sweet dressing, crispy bacon, golden raisins and purple onion

What Pairs With Broccoli Salad?

From picnics in the park to backyard cookouts and everything in between, this broccoli salad recipe is one that we turn to anytime we’re invited to a summer party. It’s cold, crunchy, creamy and satisfying—plus, it’s a great way to sneak a green vegetable onto that chip-and-burger covered gingham table. Try pairing it with:

close up of homemade broccoli salad in a large bowl with salad tongs and a linen

Tools You’ll Need:

The Best Broccoli Salad Ever?

Did you love it? How’d it turn out?! We want to know! Snap a photo of your broccoli salad and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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Broccoli Salad

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  15 min
  • Calories: 693




  • 1½ cups mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Broccoli Salad

  • 8 cups broccoli florets (about 1¼ pounds), cut into bite size pieces
  • 12 ounces bacon, cooked, chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped red onions
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup raisins


  1. Make the dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar and salt, until smooth.

  2. Add the broccoli, bacon, onions, sunflower seeds and raisins to the same bowl. Toss until the broccoli is evenly coated with the dressing. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories693
  • Protein14 g
  • Carbohydrates35 g
  • Total Fat57 g
  • Dietary Fiber6 g
  • Cholesterol52 mg
  • sodium891 mg
  • Total Sugars24 g

Broccoli Salad

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Stephanie

    No need to steam the broccoli beforehand?

    Nope! This is a raw broccoli salad. Hope you enjoy!

  • althea

    need a recipe for 10 people. How do I increase this recipe?

    This serves 8. You could just do 1.5 times the recipe. Hope you enjoy!

  • Emily

    Is there another vinegar i can use to substitute apple cider vinegar if i dont have that?

    Rice Wine vinegar or champagne vinegar would probably be your best options.

  • Deb

    I made it exactly and loved it. I had some dressing left over as well as some broccoli and remade the salad with exception of the bacon. Instead I added a tart juicy apple diced and really liked it. I’ll serve it this way when my vegetarian family comes to town.

    I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes. I’m adding more broccoli to my diet because it’s supposed to be a food that adds oxygen to your blood!

    Thanks Deb, we are so happy you loved it! You should check out our broccolini recipe if you want to add more broccoli to your diet, super simple and super yummy!

  • Marie

    Can you use honey roasted sunflower seeds?

    We haven't tried it might be fine!

  • Valerie

    This recipe is SO good! My favorite broccoli salad! Adding this recipe to my recipe book!

    Thanks Valerie, we are so glad you loved it!

  • Patricia

    Love this recipe thank you. Made it exactly as written and wouldn’t change a thing. However Debs idea of diced apples sound good.

    Thanks, so glad you loved it!

  • tanya

    It is amazing - you can make 2/3 of the dressing and it has a lighter feel as well.

    Thanks Tanya, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Sally

    I make broccoli salad a lot and everyone loves it 😋. I use craisins instead of raisins and instead of cider vinegar, I use bread and butter sweet pickle juice in the dressing.

    Sounds like yummy substitutions Sally!

  • Bernie

    I made this salad last week and it was delicious! I substituted Greek yogurt for half of the mayo and it was still delicious. I will make it again and will add shredded cheese.

    Thanks Bernie, we are so happy you liked it!