Classic Broccoli Salad is a quick and easy dish made with fresh broccoli, cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds, red onions, and a tangy dressing. This is tossed together in a large bowl and served cold as a side dish or appetizer at your next gathering.
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This homemade dish is perfect for casual dinners or an easy lunch. It’s also a great recipe for potlucks and backyard cookouts that everyone will love. The contrast in flavors from the red onions, the crisp broccoli, and the sweet raisins provides a fantastically fresh new taste.
Ingredients To Make Classic Broccoli Salad
- broccoli florets
- red onion
- cheddar cheese
- sunflower seeds
- apple cider vinegar
How to Make Classic Broccoli Salad
In a small bowl mix together the mayo, sugar and apple cider vinegar. Set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch broccoli for about a minute.
Drain broccoli and place in a medium sized bowl. Add red onion, cheddar cheese, raisins, walnuts, sunflower seeds and bacon.
Add dressing and toss. Refrigerate until chilled then serve.
Tips & Notes
Substitutions for Broccoli Salad
This salad recipe is easy to adjust to make it your own. Change out the ingredients with what you have in your pantry to fix your tastes and preferences. Here are some options to get you started.
- Broccoli: Replace the broccoli with cauliflower or broccoli rabe.
- Mix-ins: Add dried cranberries, chopped celery, parsley, sliced almonds, chopped pecans, sesame seeds, or bell peppers for a diverse dish.
- Mayo: To make this salad dressing healthier, you can use sour cream or plain Greek yogurt instead of the mayonnaise. The flavor will be slightly different and you may need to adjust the sugar or apple cider vinegar.
- Vinegar: You can also swap out the apple cider vinegar for another acid like lemon juice, red wine vinegar, or white wine vinegar.
How to Serve
Broccoli salad is delicious as a side dish or appetizer for your meal. You can take it to backyard barbeques or potluck dinner parties and nestle it in with the pasta salad and potato salad.
This salad is best served cold, so be sure to refrigerate it before serving for the best texture and flavor. This also allows the dressing to soak into the broccoli, making it even more flavorful.
How to Store Broccoli Salad
Refrigerate: Keep any leftover broccoli salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Eat it cold from the fridge and add a little extra mayo if the salad is too thick.
Freeze: Freezing salad with broccoli, cheese, and mayo dressing isn’t the best idea. It’s much better to make it fresh each time you want to make it. It’s simple to make, so this will be easy!
You can easily substitute broccolini for regular broccoli in this salad. The flavor is slightly different but it works well with the other ingredients.
You can make broccoli salad with frozen broccoli, however, if you have access to fresh broccoli it’s best to use that. The texture is better this way and your taste buds will thank you!
You can make this salad the day before you need it, however, it won’t be as fresh as the day you made it. You will also only be able to keep it in the fridge for three days total.
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Classic Broccoli SaladCourse: Side Dishes
Crisp and tangy Classic Broccoli Salad with flavors of bacon, cheddar cheese, red onion, raisins, walnuts and sunflower seeds.
2 bunches broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
½ cup red onion, finely diced
1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup raisins
½ cup walnuts, chopped
½ cup sunflower seeds
10-12 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
¾ cup mayo
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- In a small bowl mix together the mayo, sugar and apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch broccoli for about a minute.
- Drain broccoli and place in a medium sized bowl. Add red onion, cheddar cheese, raisins, walnuts, sunflower seeds and bacon.
- Add dressing and toss. Refrigerate until chilled then serve.
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