Totally rock their taste buds and rule vegetable salad recipes like a 5-star chef with this incredible broccoli salad! This isn’t one of those boring old broccoli salad recipes.
This little gem is bright and colorful and insanely delicious – not to mention there’s a truckload of nutrition in every bite. Once you try it, I just know it’s gonna’ be one of your favorite salad recipes of all time!
Take a look.
I have to admit, this recipe took me totally by surprise. Not only is the main ingredient fresh broccoli, but it also raw. To my abject shock, I fell head over heels in love with this salad!
- Simple and nutritious
- Bright and zesty
- Makes a wonderful side dish all year round
- Not only is this salad refreshing and delicious, but it’s also really versatile.
How To Make Broccoli Salad Recipe
Tossing together this recipe is so easy. Simply whisk up the dressing and pour it over the other ingredients. Then toss everything in the fridge to mingle. That’s all there is to it!
For best results, make your salad a few hours ahead of time omitting the bacon and pecans. The little broccoli florets and other ingredients will soar to new heights as they absorb the flavor of the bright zesty dressing.
Toss in the bacon and pecans just before serving so they stay crunchy adding even more texture to your veggie salad.
Broccoli –For me, one, of the most important factor in making this salad so delicious, is that the broccoli is cut in slender, small pieces. I generally leave a bit of the stem on, probably about 1/2 an inch. This is totally optional and the stems can be removed.
Fresh Fruits – This recipe is equally delicious with either sliced seedless grapes or chopped apples. I actually think the salad is prettier made with the red grapes. The color pops nicely against all the green broccoli and I have to say I prefer the taste of my broccoli salad with grapes a bit more than with apples.
Dried Fruit – I’m on a crazy kick for dates right now. I can’t seem to get enough of these little gems! Super sweet and chewy with a unique flavor all their own. I often use dried cranberries in this salad. They add a nice sweet-tart little bite. Raisins are also nice.
Nuts – I generally add pecans to this salad. I like the rich buttery taste and the kinda soft crunch. Any type of nut would be delish in this salad. I also like sliced almonds, walnuts or pine nuts. Sunflower seed is a nice alternative as well.
Bacon and Cheese – What can I say……. broccoli salad with bacon is totally natural. This is really all kinds of flavor yum. I used fresh mozzarella in this salad, but regular mozzarella, cheddar, feta or even bleu would be nice choices. Each of those cheese would add a little different personality and flavor to this salad, so switch it up however you like.
Orange Zest – When zesting the orange for your broccoli salad dressing, go gentle. A heavy hand will remove the bitter pith and you don’t want that in your dressing. A microplaner works best for this recipe.
Don’t skip the Dijon either. It’s a great emulsifier to hold your bright spring vinaigrette together. It also helps to cook the bacon a little crispy.
Healthy option – To increase the healthy aspects of this salad you can switch out the regular bacon for turkey bacon and use low-fat mayo instead of the full-fat version.Another change I will occasionally make is to switch out the pecans for either pine nuts or almonds, to increase the protein content of the salad.
Keep your salad in a covered container in the fridge. As per FDA recommendations, it should be kept at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and you’ll want to reserve the 2-hour serving rule.
Can You Freeze This?
Unfortunately, this salad doesn’t freeze well but it comes together so quickly there’s almost no need.
Make Ahead Tips
Your fresh and tangy salad will taste best when made 2-4 hours ahead of serving time. I like to add half the orange vinaigrette before the salad goes into the fridge and reserve the other half for just before serving time.
You may have some left after freshening your salad and I use it for those who like a little extra.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
Your beautiful salad should stay fresh and yummy for up to 4 days in the fridge when stored properly. Of course, it tends to disappear way before then.
- 4 cups broccoli florets cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups red seedless grapes cut in half
- 3/4 cup pecans roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion chopped
- 12 ounces bacon cooked and chopped
- 1/2 cup cheddar or Mozzarella cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries or dates
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/4 Cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/4--1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, orange juice, sugar, apple cider vinegar, orange zest, Dijon, salt, and pepper until smooth and creamy.
- In a large salad bowl, toss together the broccoli, grapes, pecans, red onions, bacon, cheese, and dates. Toss the salad with half the dressing. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. Adjust seasoning, adding more salt and pepper and dressing as needed. Serve
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There’s lots of different things you can do with broccoli salad so here’s some other delicious recipes you may love.
- Broccoli Cauliflower Salad – Million-dollar flavor and truckloads of nutrition.
- Broccoli Raisin Salad – Sweet and savory with lots of texture.
- Amish Broccoli Salad – Creamy, dreamy, tangy and tasty.
- Broccoli Slaw Salad – All that flavor and antioxidants too!
- Cold Broccoli Salad – Deliciously suitable for any meal.
- Broccoli Salad with Bacon – Savory nutrition at its finest.
This fresh and tangy broccoli salad is one of my favorite flavors of summertime. It’s a picnic and potluck ready rendition of a delicious veggie salad that can be tweaked to suit almost any personal taste.
Plus, it’s totally gorgeous, completely scrumptious and incredibly simple to throw together. Believe me – They’re gonna want seconds!