Classic Broccoli Salad

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This broccoli salad is loaded with raisins, sunflower seeds and bacon and is topped with a creamy Greek yogurt dressing. This post is sponsored by Kroger.

Bowl of classic broccoli salad.

In honor of Women’s History Month, I’m so excited to share a recipe inspired by one of the most important women in my life: my mom.

Some of my best memories with my mom revolve around the kitchen. She was always cooking up something and I was in the kitchen more often than not… likely stealing bites from whatever she was making, but I like to think I helped a little too!

She’s the person who taught me to cook and really ignited my passion for cooking and food. For that, I’ll be forever grateful. 

Bowl of creamy broccoli salad with a wood spoon.

We haven’t been able to see each other much this year and that has been really, really hard. I can’t wait until I can hug you again, Mom!

Remaking dishes from my childhood has always been one of my favorite things to do, but even more so now! It helps me relive those special memories and feel close to family, even during a time when we have to stay distanced. 

My mom made a broccoli salad for every gathering growing up and it was one of my absolute favorites! I’ve already shared a vegan broccoli salad with a creamy cashew dressing, but I was craving the classic version recently so I created this recipe. It’s just like the broccoli salad I grew up eating, but with a lightened-up twist!

When testing this recipe, I took one bite and was quickly taken back to a memory of being in the kitchen with my mom making this salad for a family cookout. It tastes so similar to her version!

Glass bowl with broccoli, raisins, sunflower seeds, bacon and red onion. A package of bacon is next to the bowl.

Healthy Broccoli Salad Ingredients

  • chopped broccoli florets – you can use pre-chopped florets or buy full heads. Either way you’ll want to chop the florets into tiny, bite-size pieces. This helps distribute the dressing and makes the salad easier to eat.
  • bacon – I used Simple Truth pork bacon, but turkey bacon would work great too if you want bacon with less calories and fat.
  • sunflower seeds – I prefer roasted and salted, but you can use dry roasted or raw. Roasted tends to have more flavor and crunch.
  • raisins – I love the Simple Truth brand.
  • red onion – the red onion adds a pop of color and oniony flavor.
  • Greek yogurt – instead of mayo, I used Greek yogurt to up the protein and reduce the fat.
  • apple cider vinegar – apple cider vinegar is my go-to vinegar for salad dressing because of it’s health benefits and I love the flavor it adds here.
  • honey or maple syrup – a hint of sweet to balance out the rest of the ingredients.
  • sea salt and black pepper – two essentials for a tasty salad dressing.

I grabbed all of the ingredients for this salad from Kroger. We’ve been doing their grocery pickup or delivery and it has been a lifesaver! 

Pro tip: As I mentioned, I love Kroger’s Simple Truth products. Simple Truth is their natural, organic line that is free from 101+ artificial preservatives and ingredients. Their packaging is super clean and clear so you know exactly what you’re buying!

Bowl of broccoli salad.

Substitutions & Notes

Raw broccoli – Make sure you’re using fresh, raw broccoli. Frozen or cooked broccoli won’t work for this recipe! If you’re looking for a salad with cooked broccoli try this: roasted broccoli quinoa salad

Vegetarian version – You can omit the bacon or try using tempeh bacon or coconut bacon.

Dairy-free version – Use a dairy-free Greek yogurt. I personally like using coconut milk yogurt when I need a dairy-free option. It’s thick like Greek yogurt and works great.

Add cheese – Some versions of classic broccoli salad include cheese, but my mom’s version doesn’t so I’m sticking with that! If you want to add cheese, feel free to add in shredded cheddar cheese.

Glass container with creamy dressing and a whisk.

How to Make Broccoli Salad

Cook bacon: I like cooking it in the oven (see notes in the recipe card), but you can also cook it in a skillet on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Combine ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, honey, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Add broccoli, sunflower seeds, raisins, red onion, and bacon to the bowl and stir until well combined.

Cover and chill: Cover container and chill in the fridge. Let sit for at least 3-4 hours before serving. Overnight works great too as this salad tastes better after it has had time to sit.

Creamy dressing being poured over a salad bowl of broccoli, onion, bacon, sunflower seeds and raisins.

How to Store Broccoli Salad

This broccoli salad will last up to five days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You may notice that the raisins absorb some of the liquid or the sunflower seeds soften but that’s okay! It will still be delicious.

Bowl of broccoli salad with a wood spoon. A bowl of sunflower seeds is beside the bowl.

More Classic Salad Recipes to Try

Popular Broccoli Recipes

Be sure to check out all my broccoli recipes as well as my full collection of salad recipes.

4.55 from 51 votes

Classic Broccoli Salad

This broccoli salad is loaded with raisins, sunflower seeds and bacon and topped with a creamy Greek yogurt dressing.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 5 cups

Ingredients  

  • 5 cups chopped broccoli florets, about 2 large heads
  • 3 slices of cooked bacon, pork or turkey bacon work
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup raisins
  • cup diced red onion
  • ¾ cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon black pepper
  • sprinkle of garlic powder

Instructions 

  • If you haven't done so already, cook the bacon according to the package instructions. I like cooking it in the oven, but you can also cook it in a skillet on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  • In a small bowl whisk together yogurt, apple cider vinegar, honey, water, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  • Add broccoli, sunflower seeds, raisins, red onion and bacon to the bowl and toss. Drizzle on dressing and toss until everything is coated.
  • Cover container and chill in the fridge. Let sit for at least 3-4 hours before serving. Overnight works great too as this salad tastes better after it has had time to sit.

Video

Notes

  • Cook bacon in the oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then place the bacon on the baking sheet. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until bacon is cooked through and crisp. Remove bacon from the baking sheet using a fork or tongs and place on a plate lined with multiple paper towels to soak up the bacon grease. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 118mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: broccoli salad
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating




55 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Really enjoyed this recipe – I’ve made it twice in the past month! I used Skyr instead of Greek yogurt because that’s what I had but don’t think I missed much – may have added a little more bacon 😋 Great meal prep side to have in the fridge since it keeps so well!

    1. AH! I am so happy that you enjoyed this recipe, Chelsea. You definitely can’t go wrong with adding more bacon! Thank you for your review + star rating, I really appreciate you being here.

  2. 5 stars
    This salad was so delicious! It was the perfect side salad for my summer dinner party- especially for all of those crunch lovers like me!

    1. I am so happy that this salad was a hit at your dinner party, Isabella! Thank you for coming back and leaving your review, I really appreciate it.

  3. I made this salad last weekend when we had family down to the lake house! It was perfect to make ahead, low prep and a great summer meal. Best part is that the leftovers make for a great lunch throughout the week! I’m actually making it again to bring to a birthday party this weekend 😅

    1. Ah yay! I am so happy that this salad was a hit, Sarah. I completely agree, it is perfect as leftovers too! Thank you for coming back and leaving your review, I really appreciate it.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this recipe as a side dish when we had family down to our lake house this past weekend. It was perfect to make ahead of time, low prep, and delicious! Best part is having the leftovers throughout the week for lunch! I am actually making it again this weekend for a birthday party!

  5. 5 stars
    Just made this as a side for dinner and it is seriously amazing!! I used honey flavored almonds instead of sunflower seeds & I did cook the broccoli because I didn’t realize it needed to sit in the fridge and I needed it done quick! So yummy this will probably be a new staple side dish!

    1. I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe and that it worked out for you! Thank you for coming back and leaving your review + star rating, I really appreciate it.

  6. 5 stars
    We LOVE a good broccoli salad in this house and it’s always so fun to find new twists and recommendations for old traditions. This one is really good (and so much healthier haha)! We still added our beloved cheese and cauliflower, but will def be making this again!

    1. Ah yay! I am so happy this recipe was a hit, Brittany. Thank you for your review + star rating, I so appreciate it!

  7. 5 stars
    I’ve been looking for some light dinner alternatives because nobody wants to cook when it’s triple digits outside! This was super easy to make and it’s great that it can be made ahead. Made substitutions with bacon bits and left out the onions but neither took away any flavor. Will make again!

    1. Yess!! I am so happy that you enjoyed this recipe, Colleen. Your substitutions sound great! Thank you for your review & star rating, I really appreciate it.

  8. I made this yesterday as a side salad. Once again, another one of your recipes was delicious and easy to make. I can’t wait to try more.

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