Broccoli Salad

Favorite SummerGluten-FreeBroccoliPicnic Salad

This Broccoli Salad is made with blanched fresh broccoli tossed with toasted almonds, bacon and peas, topped with a homemade honey vinegar dressing. It's a go-to potluck salad for summer cookouts and picnics!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

The Best Way to Make Broccoli Salad

The problem with most broccoli salads is the broccoli — the raw broccoli. Some people like raw broccoli, and actually, I love raw broccoli stems. They taste a lot like cabbage or cauliflower. But the florets? If they’re raw, keep them away please.

So, how to make a broccoli salad if you don’t like raw broccoli?

The solution — blanch the broccoli for 1 minute, or no more than two minutes. The broccoli will still be firm enough for the salad, the color will be even prettier, because blanching brings out the green, and the taste will be less raw and more cooked.

Broccoli Salad with toasted almonds, red onions and bacon

Other Ingredients in this Broccoli Salad

In this recipe, the broccoli pairs wonderfully with the toasted almonds, bacon, peas, and onion. The honey and vinegar in the dressing adds some sweet and sour to the mix.

Normally I cringe at the thought of broccoli salad, but honestly, this is one of the tastiest salads I’ve ever made, broccoli or not.

Prep Salad Ingredients to Make Ahead

This salad needs at least an hour to chill in the fridge before serving, or up to six hours or so. The salad is best served the day it’s made.

If you’d like to prep further ahead, you can blanch the broccoli, fry the bacon, and make the dressing a a day or two ahead. Keep them refrigerated separately, and wait to assemble the final salad until the day you plan to serve them.

What Pairs Well with Broccoli Salad

This salad will happily grace any buffet spread, from a summer cookout to a holiday gathering. It pairs well with almost any main dish, but it goes particularly well with chicken, steak, or salmon.

More Easy Side Salads to Try!

Updated June 27, 2019 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle! No changes to the original recipe.

Broccoli Salad Recipe

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

The recipe makes a generous amount of dressing, so you may not need to use all of it.

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 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed (or fresh peas if you can get them)

For the dressing:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey

Method

1 Blanch the broccoli: 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.

One minute will turn the broccoli bright green and leave it still pretty crunchy. Two minutes will cook the broccoli through, but it will still be 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. After the broccoli cools, drain it well (pat dry on a clean tea towel or put in a salad spinner to remove excess moisture).

2 Make the dressing: Whisk together mayonnaise, cider vinegar and honey.

3 Toss salad ingredients with dressing: Combine broccoli florets, almonds, crumbled bacon, chopped onion, and peas in a large serving bowl. Add dressing to the salad and toss to mix well. (Note you may not need all of the dressing.)

4 Chill thoroughly before serving.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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57 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Mel

    Unrivalled this salad is a crowd pleaser even with fussy kids. Thank you! Yum!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Tina

    Yet another winning recipe from Elise! I made this Friday night to take on our boat Saturday…and I’m still eating it here on Tuesday (though this will probably be my last day). I’ve seen many broccoli salad recipes with cheese, and was CERTAIN I would miss the cheese, but I did not. This was perfect as it. I used all the dressing, and it did pool at the bottom of the serving bowl, but I just mix it all up right before dishing it onto my plate. I will probably use less dressing next time. But this is a keeper. And I love that it keeps several days in the fridge, and gets better with time.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. 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!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. 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

  5. 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!

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