This tasty and easy-to-make broccoli salad is dressed with a creamy mayonnaise-based dressing.
Bacon bits and sharp cheddar greatly enhance its flavor. Prep time is just 15 minutes, and then it needs an hour in the fridge to allow the flavors to meld.
I'm not a big fan of raw broccoli. I prefer it roasted, lightly steamed, or microwaved. I do enjoy, on occasion, raw broccoli florets dipped in homemade ranch or in Greek yogurt dip. But for the most part, I like it cooked. 🥦
Having said that, this broccoli salad is really good. The dressing is super simple - it's mostly mayonnaise and vinegar. The secret is the addition of not just bacon bits, which are a fairly standard addition, but of shredded sharp cheddar. The combination of the creamy dressing, the salty bacon, and the savory cheese is wonderful.
These are the ingredients you'll need to make this tasty salad. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below:
Mayonnaise. I prefer mayonnaise made with avocado oil. Sir Kensington's is a good brand.
White wine vinegar. You can also use champagne vinegar. However, I don't recommend using distilled white vinegar in this recipe. It's too acidic.
Kosher salt and black pepper. If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the salad could end up too salty.
Fresh broccoli florets. It's easiest to buy bagged pre-washed broccoli - simply chop them into smaller florets since they do tend to be quite large.
Bacon bits. I use store-bought bacon bits, but if you prefer, you can certainly cook some bacon (microwave bacon is fast and easy), chop it, and use that.
Shredded cheese. I like to use sharp cheddar, and I try to use yellow cheddar simply for aesthetic reasons.
Making this broccoli salad is easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Your first step is to mix the dressing. So you whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and pepper. You can add a bit of garlic or garlic powder too.
Next, place the broccoli florets in a bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat.
Now add the bacon bits and the cheese and gently mix to combine.
Refrigerate the salad for 1-2 hours. This will allow the broccoli to slightly soften and the flavors to meld. Toss again and serve.
Don't try to serve this salad right after making it. It does need an hour or two in the fridge. The time it spends in the fridge allows the flavors to develop and meld. It also slightly softens the broccoli.
Frequently asked questions
It can be as long as you don't add fruit. So recipes that include dried cranberries, raisins, or grapes are not a good choice, but if you omit them, then you can go ahead and enjoy this salad on a low-carb diet.
There's no need to cook it. Even if you're not a fan of raw broccoli, the vinegar in the dressing ever so lightly softens the florets, so that they're not as crunchy.
That's one of the reasons why it's important to let the salad rest before serving it.
Of course. You can simply omit the bacon, or you can omit it and add chopped nuts instead.
Yes. Try using ⅓ cup olive oil instead of mayonnaise. It's a completely different flavor profile, but it's also very good.
Here are a few ways you can vary the ingredients you use:
1. Add garlic. Sometimes I add a bit of minced garlic or garlic powder to the dressing. I wouldn't add more than ½ teaspoon of garlic (perhaps ¼ teaspoon of the powder), so as not to make it overwhelming.
2. Change up the vinegar. As mentioned above, you can use different types of vinegar, as long as you refrain from using distilled white vinegar which can be quite acidic.
3. Try chopped nuts. Instead of bacon, or maybe even in addition to it, you can add finely chopped pecans.
4. You can vary the cheese you use. I'm a big fan of sharp cheddar, and would not use a very mild cheese such as mozzarella. But other bold-flavored cheeses such as gruyere or parmesan should work.
This tasty salad is truly versatile. You can literally serve it with any main dish you like! I often serve it with any of the following:
- Shrimp and sausage
- Pan-fried salmon
- Gluten-free chicken tenders
- Bison burgers
- Pan-seared pork medallions
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to two days. Give them a gentle stir before serving them.
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Keto Broccoli Salad with Bacon
- ½ cup avocado oil mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups fresh broccoli florets (10 oz)
- ¼ cup bacon bits
- ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, kosher salt, and black pepper.
- Place the broccoli florets in a salad bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat.
- Mix in the bacon bits and the cheddar.
- Cover and refrigerate the salad for 1-2 hours.
- Remove the salad from the fridge 15 minutes before serving. Toss again, then serve.