Cranberry Bacon Broccoli Salad featuring fresh broccoli, bacon, and cranberries is the perfect year-round salad for any family gathering!
Looking for an easy Summer salad to bring to a family get together, picnic, or BBQ? This easy broccoli cranberry salad is quick and delicious. Plus, it’s a family favorite.
Cranberry Broccoli Bacon Salad
As the weather is getting warmer and we start getting busy enjoying the season, I get excited to start cooking with summer flavors and in season fresh foods.
BBQs, the 4th of July, and summer time picnics are around the corner. Break free of those stagnant side dishes (like macaroni salad) and bring the season’s newest crowd pleaser!
Eating the same old (and expected) side dish gets boring. Shake things up with this bacon broccoli salad! It’s quick and easy to make.
Bonus: It’s perfect to make a head of time and just pull out for dinner or to bring to a gathering!
What is broccoli salad?
- This broccoli salad is a mixture of fresh broccoli, red onions, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and bacon all tied together with a creamy dressing.
- This broccoli salad offers a balance of textures and flavors, with the crunchiness of the broccoli contrasting the creaminess of the dressing and the sweetness of the dried cranberries. It’s a popular side dish often served at picnics, barbecues, and potlucks.
Cranberry Broccoli Salad Ingredients
Broccoli: for this salad you will need raw broccoli florets (cut into small pieces). Try to keep them as even as possible for consistently sized bites.
Bacon: the salty bacon gives this salad a nice crunch. I recommend finely dicing thick cut bacon for meatier pieces in each bite.
Onion: I used red onions. They add beautiful color and flavor to the dish.
Dried fruit: tart cranberries add such incredible flavor to this dish! Looking for other dried fruit options? Consider swapping out cranberries for dried cherries.
Nuts: It is time for the perfect (almost final) topping. Top your salad off with sunflower seeds or pine nuts!
Dressing for broccoli salad
- Mayonnaise: serves as the creamy base for the dressing, providing a rich and velvety texture that coats the broccoli and other ingredients, creating a luscious and indulgent element.
- Apple cider vinegar: adds a tangy and bright note to the dressing, balancing the richness of the mayonnaise and enhancing the overall flavor profile with its refreshing acidity.
- White sugar: brings a touch of sweetness to the dressing, counteracting the acidity of the vinegar.
- Salt and pepper: creates a well-seasoned dressing that amplifies the taste of the broccoli and other salad ingredients.
How to make Broccoli Salad with Cranberries
1. Prepare the salad ingredients. In a large bowl, combine broccoli florets, red onions, cranberries, sunflower seeds, and bacon and toss until evenly distributed.
2. Make the salad dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over broccoli mixture.
3. Toss the salad. Toss lightly until the broccoli is evenly coated.
4. Serve. Serve at room temperature, garnished with extra onions, sunflower seeds, cranberries and bacon bits if desired.
How to serve Cranberry Broccoli Salad
- Serve your broccoli salad cold or at room temperature in a large serving bowl.
- I like to serve it with sandwiches at a picnic or BBQ, chicken thighs, or lemon pepper salmon.
Broccoli Salad with Cranberries storage
How long is broccoli salad good for?
- Broccoli salad can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. I recommend storing it in an airtight container in the coldest part of the fridge.
What to serve with this Broccoli Salad Recipe with Bacon
Looking for main dish inspirations? This broccoli bacon salad is one of my favorite side dishes to my favorite summer time recipes:
- Wild Mushroom Beyond Meat Burgers
- Jalapeño Lime Pan Seared Chicken
- Air Fryer Filet Mignon
- Tomato Feta Baked Spaghetti Squash
Need more inspiration for the 4th of July? Check out my favorite 4th Of July Recipes!
Broccoli Cranberry Salad variations and substitutions
I love customizing salads; there is nothing better than keeping them delicious, yet different. This fresh Broccoli Salad is no exception. Check out some of my favorite variations to this salad.
Vegan Broccoli Salad: Make it vegan! You can substitute the mayo for vegan mayonnaise and substitute your bacon for a vegan meat substitute/alternative. I love these vegan bacon bits.
Add cheese: I love when I get to put cheese on a dish; especially when it can become a dish with bacon and cheese! Consider adding a handful of shredded cheddar cheese.
Dried fruit: Looking for other dried fruit options? Consider adding raisins or dried cherries. Sometimes I even like adding crisp apple slices in.
Nuts: instead of pine nuts, you could also use pistachios, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds.
More Salad Recipes
- Crispy Buffalo Chicken Salad
- Asian Cucumber Salad
- Tangy Citrus Avocado Salad
- Fall Harvest Salad With Champagne Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- Tex-Mex Flank Steak Salad With Avocado Lime Dressing
More Side Dish Recipes
- Jalapeño Popper Dip
- Red Wine Mushrooms
- Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Spinach and Artichoke Dip Wonton Cups
- Mexican Street Corn Dip
- Roasted Yellow Squash
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Broccoli Cranberry Salad
- 8 cups raw broccoli florets, cut into small and even pieces
- 1/2 cup diced red onions
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, dried cherries are great too!
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, or pine nuts
- 1/2 cup finely diced bacon, cooked
- In a large bowl, combine the broccoli florets, red onions, cranberries, sunflower seeds, and bacon and toss until evenly distributed.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over broccoli mixture.
- Toss lightly until the broccoli is evenly coated.
- Serve immediately, garnished with extra onions, sunflower seeds, cranberries and bacon bits if desired.
FAQs on recipe for Broccoli Salad with Bacon
Broccoli salad can be served immediately but tastes best when it’s chilled in the fridge for at least 2 hours to enhance all the flavors and textures.
If you’re wanting to make it ahead of time for a party, I suggest preparing it a day ahead of time.
You should rinse your broccoli before cutting to remove any dirt or potential contaminants from the broccoli and keep it from getting on your cutting surface and knife.
Start by cutting off the tough stem at the bottom of the broccoli head. Then, using a sharp knife, carefully separate the broccoli into individual florets. If the florets are large, you can further divide them into smaller, bite-sized pieces.