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Broccoli Crunch Salad

Indulge in a timeless barbecue and picnic favorite — a quick, vibrant broccoli crunch salad. Bursting with fresh goodness and drizzled with a homemade dressing, it’s a 15-minute culinary delight for all occasions.

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Fresh broccoli salad tossed together in bowl with fork

Discover the charm of this broccoli salad recipe. It’s the perfect healthy dish for any occasion. This simple yet satisfying dish boasts an array of fresh ingredients that come together effortlessly.

Crunchy broccoli salad brings the best of simplicity and taste to the table. The star of the show is raw broccoli, vibrant and full of health benefits, offering a satisfying crunch with every bite.

With a harmonious blend of chopped florets, sunflower seeds, crispy bacon bits, red onion, and cheese, this salad achieves a perfect balance of flavors and textures.

The creamy dressing combines the flavors of apple cider vinegar and honey, adding a tangy yet sweet dimension that makes the dish taste like it’s from a restaurant — without all the hassle.

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Whether you’re preparing it for a summer BBQ, a potluck, or a family gathering, this raw broccoli salad effortlessly elevates any event! 

prepared ingredients for broccoli salad

How to Make Broccoli Salad 

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Whisk until these ingredients are well mixed. Set the salad dressing aside for later. 

mix dressing ingredients together

STEP TWO: In a large bowl, toss the broccoli, bacon bits, cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds, and red onion together. After every bite looks perfectly balanced, pour the dressing over it and mix thoroughly.

mix salad ingredients together

STEP THREE: Refrigerate your crunchy broccoli salad until you’re ready to serve.

Tips for the Best Broccoli Crunch Salad

  • When chopping your broccoli for this broccoli salad recipe, make sure the pieces are not only bite-sized, but small enough to pair with the other delicious ingredients in the salad!
  • Allow the salad chill in the fridge; it’s meant to be served cold, giving it that refreshing appeal.
  • Slice the red onions thinly. Their flavor tastes delicious in this broccoli crunch salad recipe, but a huge piece of red onion can take away from the rest of the salad. 

What to Serve with Crunchy Broccoli Salad

bowl of broccoli salad with spoon

Variations to Making Raw Broccoli Salad

  • I typically use bacon bits when making this broccoli crunch salad, but you can also use crumbled bacon. Use my crispy bacon in the air fryer recipe!
  • If you’re vegetarian, simply remove the bacon from this recipe or replace it with fried tofu! If you’re vegan or dairy-free, you can omit the cheese or find a plant-based alternative. Daiya dairy-free cheese has great substitution options.
  • If you’re looking to add even more flavor, I would recommend incorporating raisins or cranberries into your crunchy broccoli salad. 
  • If you have extra time, you can use blanched broccoli instead. To do this, place the raw broccoli into boiling water for 30-60 seconds, then immediately soak it in an ice bath. 
  • I like to use fresh raw broccoli for this recipe because it’s easy to find and use. However, if you have frozen broccoli on hand, you can totally use that too! Just let it thaw according to the bag’s instructions and follow this recipe as usual. 
  • If you don’t have or prefer to not use apple cider vinegar, lemon juice is a great substitution. It mimics the acidic and tangy qualities of ACV.
  • If sunflower seeds aren’t your thing, I’ve also found that pumpkin seeds taste delicious in this dish. The seeds offer the “crunch” in broccoli crunch salad. 
close up photo of broccoli salad with fork

More Easy Lunch Recipes

How Long Does Broccoli Salad Last in the Fridge?

Let’s talk about broccoli survival in the fridge – when it’s in its natural, uncut state, you’re looking at a solid 3 to 5 days of freshness. But, and here’s the twist, the moment you start chopping it up, that freshness clock ticks way faster. 

When it comes to storing that amazing broccoli salad you just whipped up, here’s the drill: it’s best to transfer it into an airtight container and refrigerate it. In the fridge, the salad should remain in good condition for about 2 days.

Crunchy broccoli salad is at its peak when it’s super fresh. But this salad is still great for meal prep! If you’re all about that prep life, go ahead and make it the day before you plan on eating it. 

white bowl with broccoli salad

How Can I Make Broccoli Salad Even More Healthy?

An easy swap for a healthier take on raw broccoli salad is to use light or fat-free mayonnaise in your salad dressing.

It tastes super similar to regular mayo, so you won’t miss out on anything! You can also check out low-fat cheese and bacon, or replace them with lighter alternatives!

More Cold Salad Recipes

Fresh broccoli salad tossed together in bowl with fork

Broccoli Crunch Salad

Samantha Erb
This quick and simple broccoli salad recipe is filled with fresh ingredients with a homemade dressing, and only takes 15 minutes to prepare.
4.69 from 41 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 421 kcal


Dressing Ingredients

  • ¾ cup mayonnaise I used full fat
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt and pepper or more to taste

Salad Ingredients

  • 6 cups broccoli pieces chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • cup bacon bits or crumbled bacon
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup red onion finely chopped


  • In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper until well mixed and set aside.
  • In a large bowl add the broccoli florets, bacon bits, cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds, and red onion then pour dressing on top and mix well.
  • Keep in the fridge until serving.


Serving: 1gCalories: 421kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 14gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 1140mgFiber: 7gSugar: 6g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

8 thoughts on “Broccoli Crunch Salad”

  1. Just got finished making this. I used bacon bits (cause it was easier) and left the broccoli raw. It is delicious. And I’m sure it will be even more delicious after it sits for a day or so. Def making again.

    • You can, but I recommend fresh so the broccoli still has that nice bite to it. Frozen broccoli tends to get a little mushy.

4.69 from 41 votes (37 ratings without comment)

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