Springtime means broccoli season! This Broccoli Salad recipe is the perfect way to enjoy this crunchy vegetable. The salad is served with a deliciously creamy and flavorful dressing that brings all of the flavors together.
Broccoli salad is a dish made of broccoli, usually raw, mixed with a creamy dressing. The broccoli can be chopped into small pieces or left in larger florets. Other ingredients that can be added vary but often include bacon, dried fruit, nuts, and other mix-ins.
Homemade broccoli salad is perfect for spring because it's light and fresh, but can also be enjoyed all year round. This recipe uses fresh broccoli florets along with carrots, pecans, apples, and bacon for a savory salad that also has a refreshing hint of sweetness and crunch.
How To Make Broccoli Salad From Scratch
- Combine the dressing ingredients: Add the mayonnaise, olive oil, maple syrup, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper to a jar and stir or shake until smooth and fully combined. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Assemble the salad ingredients: Chop the vegetables and fruit, then add the broccoli, bacon, carrots, pecans, cranberries, onion, and apples in a large serving bowl. Toss together to fully combine.
- Add the dressing: Add ¾ of the dressing to the bowl and toss to fully combine. Right before serving, add the additional dressing as necessary. Serve and enjoy!
- For best results, make the dressing at least 2 hours ahead of time. This will give the dressing time to develop its flavor.
- Additionally, once the salad is tossed in the dressing, the salad should be stored in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This will give the raw broccoli time to soak in the flavors of the dressing and help break it down.
- If you want a slightly sweeter salad, increase the amount of maple syrup by 1 tablespoon. You can also use honey instead.
- Additionally, if you like your broccoli salad with more of a crunch, double the number of chopped carrots, apples, and nuts.
- This broccoli salad recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to serve a larger crowd.
- To make this broccoli salad recipe vegan, substitute the mayonnaise with vegan mayo and omit the bacon.
- Add cooked protein such as ham, chicken breast, or shrimp to make it a more complete meal.
- If you don't have any pecans on hand, substitute with another chopped nut such as almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, or hazelnuts.
- Try this broccoli salad recipe with a variety of different fruits and vegetables. Some other great mix-ins include diced celery, green beans, cherry tomatoes, or cooked quinoa.
- Give the broccoli salad a salty bite by adding your favorite cheese such as feta, blue cheese, or cheddar.
Storing and Freezing
Storing: Broccoli salad can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container or sealed bag for up to 3 days. The dressing can be stored separately or up to one week in the fridge.
Freezing: Due to the high water content in the vegetables and the mayonnaise, the texture would change to an undesired taste when thawed. Therefore, freezing is not recommended.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 teaspoon(s) Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon(s) kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon(s) ground black pepper
- 5 cups broccoli florets, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1 cup carrots, grated
- ¾ cup pecans, chopped
- ½ cup cranberries, dried
- ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ red apple, diced into ½ inch pieces
- ½ green apple, diced into ½ inch pieces
For the Dressing:
- Add the mayonnaise, olive oil, maple syrup, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper to a jar and shake until smooth.½ cup mayonnaise½ cup olive oil2 tablespoons pure maple syrup1 tablespoon lemon juice2 cloves garlic2 teaspoon(s) Dijon mustard¼ teaspoon(s) kosher salt¼ teaspoon(s) ground black pepper
- Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
For the Salad:
- Toss the broccoli, bacon, carrots, pecans, cranberries, onion and apples together in a large serving bowl.5 cups broccoli florets1 cup bacon1 cup carrots¾ cup pecans½ cup cranberries½ cup red onion½ red apple½ green apple
- Add ¾ of the dressing to the bowl and toss to combine. Add more dressing as desired before serving.
- See post for storage options.