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close up picture of spoonful of broccoli bacon salad with cranberry
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Broccoli Salad with Bacon

Everyone needs a recipe for the best Broccoli Salad! This one is stuffed with bacon, cranberry, cheese, sunflower seeds, and tangy homemade dressing. It is easy to make and is a huge crowd pleaser. The perfect side dish to bring to your summer barbecue, or even to serve at Thanksgiving! 
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 570kcal
Author Karen

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 10-11 strips bacon cooked
  • 2 heads broccoli about 1 and 1/2 pounds or 5-6 cups
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds roasted and salted
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion or more to taste

For the dressing

  • 1 & 1/4 cups Miracle Whip OR mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • Start by making the bacon. I highly recommend baking it in the oven! So mush easier, and no splatter. However you want to do it, cook 10-11 slices of bacon to your desired level of crispness, then set aside on paper towels to cool. Once cool, chop into bite size pieces.
  • While the bacon cooks, mix together the ingredients for the dressing. In a large bowl add 1 and 1/4 cups Miracle Whip OR Mayonnaise, the zest from 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 and 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. (the cayenne adds flavor but not heat. Don't be scared of it! Just careful :) Whisk all the dressing ingredients together.
  • Add the ingredients for the salad to the bowl with the dressing. Start by chopping your broccoli using a chef's knife. I like really small florets, so you don't get any bites that are just giant broccoli. See photos. I also like to save the stems, chop them up, and add them into the salad, but you can leave them out if you prefer.
  • Add all the broccoli to the large bowl. Add 1 cup dried cranberries, 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, 1 cup cheddar cheese, and 1/3 cup chopped red onion. Add in most of the bacon, reserving some to sprinkle on top for serving.* (Actually, any of the ingredients besides broccoli would look pretty sprinkled on top right before serving.)
  • Stir it all together. This salad can be served room temperature or chilled. If you chill it first, let it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes before serving.
  • Store leftovers covered in the fridge! This salad will keep for about 5 days.

Notes

*If you are not serving your salad for a while, you can leave the bacon out and stir it in last minute so that it doesn't get soggy. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 570kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 19g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 907mg | Potassium: 615mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 1139IU | Vitamin C: 138mg | Calcium: 187mg | Iron: 2mg