Broccoli Salad

Favorite SummerGluten-FreeBroccoliPicnic Salad

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

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

How to Make Broccoli Salad if you Don’t Like Raw Broccoli

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.

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.

Broccoli Salad with toasted almonds, red onions and bacon

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 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 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.

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. After the broccoli cools, drain it well before adding the dressing.

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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60 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Mel

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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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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