Our Best Broccoli Salad
Broccoli salad is only a recent love of mine but it’s our best broccoli salad recipe as I was determined to make it awesome right from the start. When I was dating my husband he surprised me one night with an amazing home cooked meal. He picked me up after I had attended a bridal shower and took me back to his apartment so that we could work on our Anatomy and Physiology lab. When I walked in he had made steak, rolls, loaded baked potatoes, and Broccoli and Cheese Sauce. I thought, “Oh no!! he has no idea how much I hate broccoli.” I was so impressed with everything that I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, so…
I dug in. IT. WAS. DELICIOUS. Oh, I still can taste it. That was the first food he had ever cooked for me and he blew me away. Everything was fantastic, including the broccoli.
This man has changed my life in many ways, but definitely in the food department that night. I started trying all sorts of new things that Cade loved (never Sushi. I still don’t eat that even though he loves it and continually tries to convince me).
Do You Cook Broccoli for Broccoli Salad?
I love broccoli now, and this is the first quick and easy side using broccoli I’ve made. Our BEST broccoli salad I’ve ever made. The question does arise though, do you need to cook the broccoli for broccoli salad? The answer is yes or no. The truth is, it’s entirely up to you! In this recipe we like the crunch of the broccoli and the dressing does help to soften things up a bit, but if you want to give it a quick blanch, add a little water to a pot with broccoli and place the lid on. Steam for a couple of minutes, just until it turns bright green and then quickly drain and toss in a bowl of ice water. Just be sure you drain it well before tossing it in the bowl with the ingredients.
What to Add to Broccoli Salad
It’s our best broccoli salad recipe, but it’s originally from my friend Tiffany. That’s something I love about this broccoli salad side dish, it’s really easy to add whatever you like, peas, carrots, hard boiled eggs, olives, anything goes!
Storing Broccoli Salad
We like to chill ours for a bit and then toss in the bacon right before serving but sometimes life happens and we need to make it and serve it immediately so it all gets stirred together like the video. In a pinch you could actually use coleslaw dressing if you needed to as well.
Store any leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days, but make sure you cover it or it will dry out.
- Recipe adapted from The Shill's
- 4 Heads of Broccoli, chopped (8 cups chopped)
- ½ Cup Golden Raisins
- ½ Cup Craisins
- 1 Cup Roasted and Salted Sunflower Seeds
- 8 Sliced of Applewood Smoked Bacon, cooked and chopped
- ½ Cup Frozen Peas
- ½ Cup Diced Red Onion
- 1 Cup Mayo
- ¼ Cup Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Cup Shredded Colby Jack Cheese
- In a large salad bowl mix together the vegetables, raisins, and craisins. Leave the bacon and sunflower seeds for right before serving.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the dressing and pour over the vegetables. Toss well to evenly coat everything. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Right before serving add the crumbled bacon and sunflower seeds, and toss to evenly distribute. Serve and enjoy.
Looking for more BBQ ideas? We love The Best Low and Slow Oven Baked BBQ Ribs.