Broccoli Salad With Bacon

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Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
7 mins
Total Time
17 mins
Calories
137

Fresh broccoli florets mingle with crispy bacon bits, nutty pepitas, tangy dried cranberries and crunchy diced onions in this nourishing Broccoli Salad! Tossed with a lightened-up Greek yogurt dressing, it might just become your new go-to side dish.

Need more Summer BBQ side ideas? Here are some of our favorites – Mexican Street Corn Salad, Creamy Potato Salad with Bacon or the classic Creamy Cucumber Salad.

Easy Broccoli Salad With Greek Yogurt Dressing

My mom used to make broccoli salad all the time, and I was always eager to gobble it up. I’d load it onto my plate until I barely had room for the main course! The bright veggies, chewy pumpkin seeds and tart dried berries smothered in that creamy dressing—I could eat it every day.

My mother’s version of this beloved side dish featured a classic broccoli salad dressing made with mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar. Since that’s not exactly the healthiest condiment, I decided to recreate the texture and flavor of the dressing in a more nutritious way. The result? Tangy-sweet perfection!

To make this dish even more irresistible, I invited crispy bacon bits to the party. They add a salty, savory element that goes so well with the other ingredients. As much as I adored my mom’s broccoli salad throughout my youth, I have to admit that my version is superior.

A bowl of broccoli florets beside a bowl of diced onions along with the remaining salad ingredients on a marble surface

What You’ll Need

You don’t need any fancy ingredients to make this broccoli bacon salad – just the basic components below. Scroll down to the recipe card for the corresponding amounts.

  • Broccoli Florets: My mom used to make me cut up all the broccoli for her salads, and it was not a fun experience. But now that pre-cut florets are a thing, making this salad is an absolute breeze! Thank goodness for that.
  • Bacon: Diced into chunks of your desired size.
  • Diced Red Onion
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Pepitas: Also known as hull-free pumpkin seeds.
  • Greek Yogurt: Make sure the yogurt is plain. Any added flavoring will come through in the dressing.
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Honey: Raw, unfiltered honey is ideal.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
A big bowl of broccoli salad sitting on a marble kitchen countertop

Should I Blanch the Broccoli?

Whether or not you blanch the broccoli is entirely up to you. Blanching involves submerging fruit or vegetables into boiling water for a brief period, then shocking those fruits or veggies with ice-cold water to stop the cooking process. I like to leave my broccoli raw, but blanching it is a great option for those of you who prefer your florets a little more tender.

If you’d like to blanch your broccoli, you’ll have to prepare a pot of boiling water. Add in the florets and submerge them for 1-2 minutes, taking care not to exceed the 2-minute mark. Once they’ve brightened in color and/or reached your desired tenderness, remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a bowl of ice water.

Alternatively, you can move them to a strainer and run them under freezing-cold water. Once the broccoli florets have fully cooled, dry them off well and get started on your salad.

How to Make Broccoli Salad With Bacon

This light and creamy salad comes together in two shakes. You just have to cook the bacon, combine it with the other ingredients and toss in the dressing.

Heat Pan: Heat a skillet to medium-high heat.

Cook Bacon: Add the bacon to the pan and cook it for 5-7 minutes, or until it’s nice and crispy. Place the cooked bacon onto a plate lined with a paper towel to remove excess grease. You can remove more grease by pressing a second paper towel on top of the bacon if you’d like.

Make Dressing: Add the greek yogurt, dijon mustard, honey and apple cider vinegar to a small bowl. Whisk until everything is combined, then set the dressing aside.

Assemble Salad: Add the broccoli florets, bacon, red onion, cranberries, pepitas and dressing to a large bowl. Gently toss until the ingredients are mixed together and evenly coated in the dressing.

Tips for Success

Let’s make sure your broccoli salad is the most tempting dish at the table. These handy tips and tricks will light the path!

  • Don’t Over-Blanch the Broccoli: If you choose to blanch your broccoli, remember not to let it boil for longer than 2 minutes. As soon as you see the florets turn a brighter shade of green, you can go ahead and shock them in the ice water.
  • Make the Onion Milder: Want to mellow out some of the sharpness from the diced red onion? Simply soak the onion pieces in very cold water for 10-20 minutes, then dry them off and proceed with the recipe. This will enhance their crunchiness as well!
  • Let the Bacon Cool: Hold off on assembling your salad until the bacon has fully cooled. You don’t want any heat to make its way into the dish.
  • Serve Immediately: This salad is best served fresh. If you’re not enjoying it right away, keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to dig in.
A close-up shot of broccoli salad with dried cranberries in a large serving bowl

Add-Ins & Variations

Customizing this salad couldn’t be simpler. Get creative and have fun with it!

  • Use Turkey Bacon
  • Substitute the Dried Cranberries for Raisins
  • Omit the Bacon & Use Maple Syrup Instead of Honey for Vegan Salad
  • Use Asian Dressing or Another Favorite
  • Swap Out the Pepitas for Different Seeds or Nuts

Serving Suggestions

This hearty broccoli bacon salad is a wonderful companion for all sorts of main courses, from Honey Garlic Shrimp Skewers to Mustard Crusted Pork Chops. If you’re serving it for a special occasion and seeking an additional side, whip up this lightened-up Potato Leek Soup. You’ll be glad you did!

Already had a pairing in mind? Just go for it – you honestly can’t go wrong here.

An overhead shot of a bowl of broccoli salad beside a striped dishtowel

How to Store Extras

Leftover salad keeps quite well in the fridge for up to 3 days. Be sure to store it in an airtight container.

Can I Freeze Broccoli Salad?

If you’d like to freeze your broccoli salad, plan to make and add the dressing after it thaws. I also recommend blanching the broccoli in this case as it will hold up better in the freezer.

Place your combined salad ingredients onto a baking sheet, cover them loosely with parchment paper and flash-freeze them for about an hour, or until they’re solid. Once frozen, transfer the salad to a freezer-safe container or storage bag and store it for up to 4 months. Thaw it out in the fridge overnight before you add the dressing and serve it.

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A close-up shot of broccoli salad with dried cranberries in a large serving bowl

Broccoli Salad With Bacon

  • Author: Krista
  • prep_time Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • cook_time Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • total_time Total Time: 17 minutes
  • yield Yield: 10 1x
  • category Category: Side Dish
  • method Method: Stove
  • cuisine Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Fresh broccoli florets mingle with crispy bacon bits, nutty pepitas, tangy dried cranberries and crunchy diced onions in this nourishing Broccoli Salad! Tossed with a lightened-up Greek yogurt dressing, it might just become your new go-to side dish.

Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 cups broccoli florets
  • 7 strips of bacon, diced
  • 3/4 cup diced red onion
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Heat a pan to medium-high heat.
  2. Add the bacon to the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until they are crispy. Place cooked bacon on a paper towel lined plate to dry and let some of the grease fall off.
  3. In a small bowl, add greek yogurt, stone ground mustard, honey, and apple cider vinegar. Whisk until combined. Set aside.
  4. To a large bowl add broccoli florets, bacon, red onion, cranberries, pepitas and dressing. Gently toss ingredients until they are mixed together and the broccoli is coated with dressing.
  5. Serve.

Notes

  • Makes 8-10 servings.
  • To Store: Keep leftover salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • To Freeze: Plan to make/add dressing after salad thaws. I also recommend blanching the broccoli in this case as it’ll hold up better in the freezer. Place combined salad ingredients onto a baking sheet, cover loosely with parchment paper and flash-freeze for about an hour, or until veggies are solid. Once frozen, transfer salad to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 4 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before adding dressing and serving.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup
  • Calories: 137
  • Sugar: 12 g
  • Sodium: 157 mg
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Cholesterol: 7 mg

Keywords: broccoli salad with cranberries, side salad, broccoli salad dressing

More Healthy Sides to Try

Want more wholesome side dishes like this one? Start with the following must-makes!

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Hey There

Krista
Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football!

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4 Responses
  1. Cassie

    I normally don’t eat tons of salads with mayo or super creamy dressings, but I definitely love that this is a lighter take on a salad with one of my favorite vegetables! It still looks amazing!

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