Broccoli Salad

Broccoli salad, blanched fresh broccoli tossed with toasted almonds, bacon and peas, topped with a homemade honey vinegar dressing. A favorite picnic salad.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5-6 cups fresh broccoli florets (about 1 pound of florets)
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup of frozen peas, thawed (or fresh peas if you can get them)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey

Method

1 Bring a large pot of water, salted with a teaspoon of salt, to a boil. Add the broccoli florets. Cook 1-2 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want the broccoli. 1 minute will turn the broccoli bright green, and leave it still pretty crunchy. 2 minutes will cook the broccoli through, but still firm. Set your timer and do not cook for more than 2 minutes, or the broccoli will get mushy. Drain the broccoli and immediately put into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Let cool and drain.

2 Combine broccoli florets, almonds, crumbled bacon, chopped onion, and peas in a large serving bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, cider vinegar and honey. Add dressing to the salad and toss to mix well. Chill thoroughly before serving.

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Comments

  1. Jessica

    This salad sounds incredible. It made my mouth water just reading about it. Then I read about the mayonnaise and my heart dropped. Does anyone have any suggestions for what could be used instead of mayonnaise? I hate the taste of it and of its brother, salad dressing. Would the vinegar and honey be fine together on this dish without the mayonnaise?

    • angie

      Plain Greek yogurt is my mayo replacement, and makes broccoli salad wonderful!

  2. Karen

    Instead of peas, we use raisins. It adds a lovely sweet taste and even more fiber, iron and Vit B&A

  3. Gwen in Texas

    I use raisins, dried cherries, or mandarin oranges instead of peas (I don’t like peas). And sunflower kernels instead of almonds. Same salad, though. It’s a REALLY GOOD salad that keeps well – second day is almost as good as the first.

  4. Rita

    For the person who doesn’t like mayo, how about sour cream or plain or vanilla yogurt?

    This is a really good salad. I do think blanching would make it taste better. I’ve only had it with the raw broccoli and sometimes it doesn’t taste quite right. I will try blanching the next time I make it.

    Thanks,

    Rita Scott, Vancouver, WA

  5. Jason Truesdell

    Since I discovered blanched broccoli maybe 10 or 12 years ago I’ve never been satisfied with raw crudites of broccoli. I’m quite happy with 25-45 seconds of boiling time for such applications, followed by the usual dunk in ice water. It concentrates the good flavors of broccoli, tames the rawness, and maintains the desirable crunchiness. Usually I just use raw ginger and good soy sauce as a garnish, much like I frequently do with spinach, which likes mercilessly brief blanching (5-10 seconds).

  6. Mike

    Any ideas for a good bacon substitute?
    I can’t wait to try this salad out.

  7. Alyssa

    I make a broccoli salad that similar to this recipe. However, I do not cook or blanche the broccoli. I find that if you refrigerate the salad for 2 hours, the broccoli becomes more tender (chopping broccoli into small florets also helps). The only other differences are that I use crisp turkey bacon instead of regular, use sugar instead of honey, I add raisins and do not include almond or peas. It’s always a crowd pleaser.

  8. Meilin

    I made this this weekend with soy “bacon” bits and it came out great!

    I had two minor issues. This first one was probably a newbie mistake and was that you need to drain the broccoli well after blanching. My dressing mixed with the extra water and it pooled at the bottom instead of sticking nicely like in Elise’s photo. The second was that if you use fake bacon bits like I did, 1/2 cup is a bit on the heavy side. Maybe adding a weight limit on the bacon measurement would be good.

    Thanks for a tasty BBQ side dish Elise!

  9. Wendy

    I tried this recipe today and it was delicious! The sauce was a little too watery (maybe I put in too much vinegar?) but otherwise quite tasty. My first broccoli blanch = a success. Thanks.

  10. Jan Marie

    My sister-in-law made a similar salad this weekend. I think she combined several recipes and maybe threw in everything else she liked. She did not put peas, but she did put bacon, sharp cheddar, broken pecans, sunflower seeds, raisins, craisins, and (by-the-way the broccoli) with the dressing mixture. My brother HATES mayonaise (won’t come near it in anything!), but he laps this down like it is going out of style, as did the rest of my family. We made the dressing separately and poured it over the mixed salad, which had been in the refrigerator overnight and was still crunchy and good, at the last minute. We did not, however, use the entire dressing mixture on the salad. We used just enough to coat the salad lightly, so that may be better for mayo avoiders.

  11. Karen

    Thank you for such a wonderful site! While I have yet to try every recipe I drool over, I’m always happy with the results. And, thanks to this recipe, I succeeded in my first ever attempt at blanching. I first came across a broccoli salad while at a gathering of my boyfriend’s family. This recipe is an exact match to my memory of it. Thank you!

  12. Leah

    I made this salad yesterday and found it to have too much mayonaise. I followed all the measurements, but there was way too much dressing for the salad. If I make it again, I will certainly use less mayo.

  13. Gail

    I make a super easy version of this. I use bottled coleslaw dressing instead of the mayo, vinegar, and honey/sugar mixture. I use bacon bits (real not simulated). I don’t blanche the brocolli, but I make the salad ahead of time so it has plenty of time to marinate. I use raisins instead of peas and sunflower seeds instead of almonds.

  14. Wendy

    This recipe sounds yummy but gosh, all that mayo? What about a low fat yogurt version? Do you have a good recipe?

  15. Melissa

    This salad rocks! I HATE broccoli but I love this salad. I first tried this at a friend’s house when I took a a small helping just to be polite. It was SO delicious I had a second helping and asked for the recipe.

    I used only 1/2 a cup of light mayonnaise to cut back on the fat/calories. I blanched the veggies too, and used raisins instead of peas.

  16. Karen

    I had this at a friend’s house and it was really delicious. I got the recipe from her neighbor who made it, and I plan to make it soon. She did not blanche her broccoli first and used sugar instead of honey, and no nuts, peas, or salt.

  17. Jean from Texas

    This is a great salad, I use real mayonnaise 1 cup, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, any veggie that brings color like small tomatoes or red onions. Add dressing just before serving and top with bacon bits. Its always a hit and easy to fix. Jean from Texas

  18. Liza

    I made this salad the other day but used olive oil instead of mayo. I beat the olive oil and vinegar together to make a vinaigrette and then added honey. Left it to marinate overnight and the flavors were wonderful the next day. Can’t wait to make it again.

  19. pablopabla

    I usually also add 1 or 2 teaspoons of cooking oil (palm oil or blended cooking oil) into the boiling water prior to blanching the broccoli or any other leafy green. It makes the greens look really nice!

  20. caroline

    I just made this and used about two tablespoons of mayo and 1/4 cup vinegar…it was great. I also soaked the onion in the vinegar while I was making everything else, just to mellow it a little. As a bacon substitute, I would think a little hickory smoked salt might do the trick?

  21. Janet

    This recipe brings back MANY fond memories of my time in Japan, of all things! One of my friends used to bring this salad to every firefighter’s family get together (I was married to a firefighter), and I loved it! Thanks for posting this :-)

    I finished Harry Potter Sunday morning at 930, posted a picture of a bit of my favorite chapter this morning…not really a spoiler :-) What did you think?

  22. MaryW

    This recipe is so popular with all of my family and friends. Not a nay sayer in the group. I do not blanche the brocoli but am definitely going to try this. We also use raisins, crasins and sunflower seeds, also, cubed Muenster cheese. The cheese is awesome. Adds another wonderful texture, color and taste but not overpowering.

  23. Laura

    I LOVE your blog. I just found it today and have almost read the whole thing (so much for my job). This broccoli salad looks divine and I bought the ingredients during my excursion to the grocery store this afternoon. I can’t wait to try it and the poached salmon recipe. Yummie!

  24. Susan

    This recipe is the perfect combination of sweet, salty, cool & crunchy. I’ve made a variation of this for years but have never thought of blanching the broccoli – duh! Raw broccoli sure can be un-palatable but I’ve always made it the night before to soften it. I’m going to blanche next time. Another variation is cauliflour, broccoli, bacon & shredded cheddar with the same dressing.

  25. Dan

    I grabbed this recipe the last time it ran, and did it again this time. I’m a sucker for a good broccoli salad. You’re readers might enjoy this dressing as an alternative:

    Sweet Vidalia Onion Dressing

    1 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon dry mustard
    1 teaspoon celery seeds
    1 medium vidalia onions, grated (or other sweet onion)
    3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    2 tablespoons olive oil

    In a small saucepan, mix the first four ingredients. Add grated onion (small to medium, depending on your taste), add the olive oil and vinegar. Heat until sugar is melted. Cool and refrigerate.

    Reheat and use to wilt lettuce or serve cold on salad. Keeps in refrigerator indefinitely.

  26. Marcia

    This was very well recieved by all but the broccoli-hater. Would have never made it were it not for the reviewers’ praise. It sounded peculiar to me, but all the ingredients come together deliciously.

  27. Kim

    Because several posters mentioned their dressing was watery, I decided to give my blanched florets a whirl in the salad spinner. I was shocked at how much water came out of them!

  28. Shannon Mueller

    This has been a long standing regular at our family parties. My mom makes it, leaving the broccoli fairly large. Another family member choppes it up very finely. The finely chopped version seems to go over a bit better with those eaters who are not fans of raw veggies. Not sure why. I will have to try it with peas sometime since our version has red grapes in it instead.

  29. Tartelette

    I am so glad to see that I am not the only one eating raw brocoli stems but blaching florets for salad. I learned a similar recipe from my mother in law and when I told her I was blanching the florets she acted as if I was commiting a sacrilege! Turns out she does it too now.

  30. Nancy Friedman

    Fabulous recipe, and so easy. I’ve made it twice since reading the post. I skipped the bacon (and faux bacon) and cut the mayo approximately in half. I’ve substituted green garbanzo beans for peas, when I had them (until recently, Trader Joe’s carried frozen green garbanzo beans–join me in lobbying for their return!), and followed one commenter’s suggestion and added dried Montmorency cherries. Wonderful.

  31. melissa

    This salad is also really good if you add in cheese tortellini. Very yummy!

  32. KellyC

    This was spectacular. I made it a few weeks ago and everyone loved it. I came to look the recipe up again so I can serve it with your grilled flank steak recipe. I’m head over heels for flank steak right now, not to mention grilling. This is so yummy and won’t heat up my house too much!

  33. Tiffani Ruder

    How to increase the recipe for broccoli salad for 85 servings?

    Your guess is as good as mine. I’ve never made it for a large group. ~Elise

  34. Libby

    Thanks for the great recipe, Elise. I’ll be serving this at our Election Night party, though we’ll be calling it “Barackly” Salad!

  35. SuRay

    I had eaten several versions of this salad and was happy to find one with all the great suggestions for improvements – I love improvising and always substitute half homemade yogurt for mayo in recipes. To make, use a starter from healthfood store, or couple tablespoons of good yogurt, add to any quantity of milk (fat content of choice) that has been boiled to 160plus then cooled to 115 degrees, leave in thermos a few hours or overnight. THEN take back small amount and freeze, to have for starter next time. I’m never without fresh yogurt and freezing the starter each time was a breakthrough idea!

  36. Jody

    I’ve always made the “raw” version of this salad, but today I’m going to make it with frozen broccoli. I figure it’s been blanched already, right?

    Hi Jody, I think so, I haven’t cooked with frozen broccoli. Most frozen vegetables are blanched before they are frozen, aren’t they? ~Elise

  37. Allison

    Just made this for a party last weekend and it was a hit! I will cut back the honey next time (i have a very distinct VA clover honey on hand), and maybe add a dash of Tabasco. It was wonderful! Great texture. Love the peas for a touch of sweetness.

    Once I drained the broccoli, I spread it out on some tea towels to drain. I recommend this to avoid watery broccoli.

  38. judy

    I loved this recipe. We modified it a little with less mayo, more vinegar, less honey. my toddler loved it. Thank you. The recipes on your website are my favorites.

  39. Mary Murray

    Eight of us were at friends barbie on Saturday night, we all devoured the brocolli salad which was new to all of us except our host. We all demanded the recipe but it is too slow coming through so have found it here on your site. Thanks heaps. Mary

  40. DewinCO

    In a word, delicious. An easy side for Easter dinner that was devoured, thank you!

  41. Wee Willie C

    Thank you thank you thank you for this wonderful recipe. I made this last night and it was delicious – I was polishing off the leftovers at midnight after everybody else went to bed. I don’t think there’s ever been a broccoli dish I could say that about until this one! I didn’t have a couple of the main ingredients on hand (bacon, red onion) but the recipe is completely flexible – I substituted dried cherries and a mix of green and white onions. Why does it seem like every recipe from this site turns out well?

  42. Jess

    My uncle brought over some broccoli from his garden so I was looking for a recipe that was tasty but didn’t over flavor the showcase ingredient. This was it! Made it for a big family dinner and everyone raved over it. Also made the tomato pie (mini ones) to take cause they’re a favorite of mine.

    One of my favorite things about this site is that I can generally read the recipe and make it same day without having to do a test run. Your recipes are always great and reliable, Elise. Thanks!

  43. Amanda

    I have a similar recipe for broccoli salad, except I also add seedless green grapes, cut in half, lengthwise, and sunflower seeds. I also don’t put in the peas, or the almonds. And the dressing I make is mayonnaise, lemon juice, and sugar.

  44. mondofresh

    Go light on the mayo, add some dijon mustard, skip the bacon, add some slices of fried kielbasa for the win!

  45. Vera Kuswanto

    This is delicious. I like that the broccoli is blanched first. I also added a small handful of raisins to the dish.

  46. Ute

    I love Broccoli salad, especially with this kind of sweet-sour dressing (also worth trying: combine broccoli with spring onions, a cup of raisins and peanuts each and the same dressing – yum!). Instead of blanching the florets in a separate pot of water, I place them into a strainer and blanch them by pouring one kettlefull of boiling water over them (out of the electric kettle). The broccoli florets are bright green, not raw and still crunchy and you don’t have to wash the pot.
    Thank you for this blog! I am a regular reader from Germany and really enjoy your recipes!

  47. Ashley Brent

    I’m thrilled to try this recipe this weekend for a family BBQ!! Is it best to prepare the salad ahead of time or chill the veggies and dressing separately and toss last minute adding the bacons bits and slivered almonds? Thanks!!

  48. Linda

    I have made this salad a couple of times and it is SO yummy. I substituted the peas with shelled edamame. The edamame added a little more crunch. So good! It’s a keeper!

  49. Sunday Ballard

    I love the broccoli salad recipe. It is full of texture and I prefer cooked broccoli to raw broccoli. Yum! I served it with steak strips. Thanks for sharing. Sunday

  50. Jessie

    This salad is so delicious! My husband and I love the tanginess. I add cheddar cheese :)

  51. Monica

    I made this salad this weekend and it was seriously amazing! I didn’t have any peas at hand, so I used some dried cranberries, someone here suggested it and I really didn’t miss the peas! I’m making this again tonight to serve with dinner :) Love it!

  52. Joelyn Nwagbara

    Just used this recipe today for a church meeting and it was a hit.. I didnt even get to save any for me… except the bits on the bottom… i used salad toppers instead of bacon and used sunflower seeds and crushed pecans and dried cranberries to garnish.

  53. Scrumplicious Food!

    I really liked the recipe, but did not feel like adding the peas and bacon. So, I did what I do best. I used the recipe as a base and went along and created my own. I substituted slivered almonds with sunflower seeds and mayonnaise with olive oil. Thanks for the idea. You are great!

  54. meikit

    I made brocolli salad before, but different from yours. I put in ‘tuna in oil’ and toss the boiled brocolli together with mayonnaise. Mine is a very simple version though. But it tastes nice because the tuna smells nice. And my friend who doesn’t eat brocolli eats it because of the tuna! Haha.

  55. BuddingCook

    I just made this. I will be eating it for lunch tomorrow. I had a little taste and it’s yummy. Can’t wait.

  56. chandani

    I wasn’t a huge fan of broccoli or salads, until I found this recipe. The salt in broccoli works so well with the vinegar and honey. And love that creamy but light texture of mayo. Thanks for the tasty salad.

  57. Michigoose

    Love it! To make it vegetarian, we left out the bacon. To give it more chewiness, we added a can of garbanzo beans (rinsed). This could be made vegan by using Nayonnaise, and substituting sugar for the honey.

  58. Robert

    I use low fat mayo with a Coleslaw Dressing from Kraft with some apple cider vinegar and some Greek yogurt. I also put sunflower seeds, raisins, bacon bits plus dried cranberries

  59. Cathy Wertin

    I use a vidalia onion vinagrette dressing and this salad turns out awesome every time. I also add craisins & cheddar cheese to the mix. They are requesting me to bring this to our cookout gatherings now!
    LOVE, love, love this recipe!