The best recipe for easy broccoli salad made with golden raisins, red onion, fresh broccoli florets, light mayonnaise, nuts, and sharp cheddar cheese. The perfect summer side dish!
This broccoli salad is not only super easy to throw together, but it's a cinch to make! You can save time by buying the precut broccoli florets in the bag. You will need two 12 ounce bags for this recipe. I recommend chopping the florets a bit smaller than they using come precut, just so you don't end up with huge chunks of broccoli to bite into. You want a little bit of each ingredient in every bite. 😉
This recipe is my absolute favorite broccoli salad and comes together in minutes. Make sure that you whip this up in advance of serving and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow all of the flavors to mingle. It's even better the second day!
Tips For Making Homemade Broccoli Salad
You can keep the bacon room temperature if you are serving that same day and add it right before serving so that it keeps its crispy texture. I love the flavor combo of the sharp cheese, golden raisins, crunchy bacon and nuts, and fresh broccoli. You get that great sweet/savory blend and a lot of different textures going on in this dish. It's also a great way to get kids to eat their veggies.
I could seriously eat this broccoli salad for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It's one of my all-time favorite side dish recipes. Not to mention, I love pretty much anything made with bacon. Everything is better with bacon. Who's with me?!
If you have issues with lactose, go with a brand of cheese that's lactose-free. Cabot cheese is a personal favorite and a lot of their cheeses are naturally lactose-free. It's one of the few kinds of cheese that I tolerate well and it's absolutely delicious.
You can easily prep ahead and cook the bacon, make the dressing and chop the broccoli. Then all you have to do is throw all the ingredients in a bowl.
Season with salt and pepper, add the cheese and toss with the dressing.
Add crumbled bacon (you can also wait and add the bacon right before serving), cover, and chill.
Lots of yummy goodness in every bite...
*This recipe was updated on May 15, 2020 from the original post published on November 14, 2010.
- 3 heads broccoli cut into florets (Can also use 2- 12 oz bags of fresh broccoli florets)
- ⅓ cup cane sugar
- ½ cup light mayonnaise I like to use an olive oil blend mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup raisins
- ½ cup sunflower seeds can also use slivered almonds
- ½ red onion finely chopped
- 8 oz block sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 slices bacon chopped
- Cook bacon in a skillet or the oven until crisp.
- Drain, crumble and set aside.
- Chop the broccoli into small florets and place into a large bowl
- In a separate bowl mix together mayo, sugar and vinegar to make the dressing.
- Add onion, raisins, and sunflower seeds to the broccoli and season with salt and pepper.
- Add cheese, toss with dressing and chill for an hour or more.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.