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.
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 maple syrup, adding a tangy yet sweet dimension that makes the dish taste like it’s from a restaurant — without all the hassle.
Whether you’re preparing it for a summer BBQ, a potluck, or a family gathering, this raw broccoli salad effortlessly elevates any event!
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.
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.
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
- Air Fryer Hamburgers
- Air Fryer Hot Dogs
- Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Air Fryer Fried Chicken
- Instant Pot Potato Salad
- BBQ Hot Dogs
- Easy Deviled Eggs Without Mustard
- Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
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.
More Easy Lunch Recipes
- 85 Healthy Lunch Ideas
- Air Fryer Tuna Melt
- 35 Cold Lunch Ideas
- Buffalo Chicken Slider
- Air Fryer Grilled Cheese
- Chicken Bacon Wrap
- Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl
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.
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
- BBQ Chicken Salad
- Quinoa Chickpea Salad
- Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Easy Cold Pasta Salad
- Simple Italian Pasta Salad With No Meat
- Barbecue Chicken Salad
- Taco Salad With Catalina Dressing
- ¾ cup mayonnaise (I used full fat)
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon salt and pepper, or more to taste
- 6 cups broccoli pieces, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- ⅔ cup bacon bits or crumbled bacon
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- ⅓ 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.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 421Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 1140mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 7gSugar: 6gProtein: 14g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.