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Broccoli Bacon Salad

This Broccoli Salad will be your go-to salad for summer potlucks, picnics and cookouts and can be prepped in under 20 minutes! It’s easy, make ahead friendly, stays super fresh, doesn’t wilt, is utterly addicting and always disappears in a flash. This Broccoli Salad recipe is packed with vibrant, fresh broccoli, salty, crispy bacon, creamy Gouda cheese, crunchy Fuji apples, sweet craisins, tangy red onions, crunchy almonds, and roasted sunflower seeds all doused in the BEST light, creamy, herb laced dressing.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings



  • 6 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • 4 ounces (about 1 cup) Gouda, cubed small (may sub sharp cheddar)
  • 1 sweet apple (like Fuji) chopped
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 8 ounces thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled


  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, nonfat works great
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill or 1 tsp dried
  • 1/2 tsp EACH garlic powder, salt, pepper


  • Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together in a medium bowl; set side.
  • Add all of the Salad Ingredients to a large bowl except bacon and sunflower seeds.
  • Pour dressing over the salad and toss until all of the ingredients are evenly coated in the dressing.
  • The salad can be served immediately, but for best flavor, refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. Add the sunflower seeds and bacon and toss again before serving. Keep refrigerated if not consuming right away.



  • Thoroughly dry broccoli after washing, otherwise it will make your dressing, and consequently your salad watery.   
  • Customize the dressing how YOU like it.  Greek yogurt varies wildly in tanginess. In addition, some people prefer tangier dressing, some people prefer sweeter dressing, so I recommend starting with the recipe as written and adjusting to taste, adding additional sugar for sweeter or vinegar for tangier one teaspoon at a time. 
  • Can I add different ingredients?  The salad ingredients and measurements are simply suggestions.  You can add/swap any ingredients for your favorite veggies and fruits as long as you maintain a balance of sweet, tangy, and crunchy; if you swap out an ingredient, replace it with something with a similar flavor profile and texture.   See the post for all sorts of recipe variation ideas.
  • Storage:  Broccoli Salad can be stored for 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Even on day 3, the salad will still taste fresh, crunchy and fabulous. The bacon will soften but still taste salty, savory and meaty.  The apples won’t brown due to the yogurt and vinegar in the dressing.  Leftover broccoli salad is delicious for lunch, snacks and anytime the cravings strike.
  • Make Ahead:  Broccoli Salad can be prepared up to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  If chilling to make ahead, reserve the bacon and sunflower seeds and add just before serving.  If you don’t have time to make the whole salad in advance, then you can still make the dressing. Store the dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in advance.