How To Lighten Up Broccoli Salad
Broccoli salad certainly isnt health food, but there are a few modifications you can make to make it a bit less fattening. Ive found that when people see broccoli salad they think theyre getting something healthy, so if thats what youre looking for, there are a few modifications you can try.
- Instead of using regular mayo, use one made with olive oil. Im very picky about the type of mayo that I use and cant stand the taste of reduced fat . Ive found that using olive oil mayo in my broccoli salad recipe gives you all of the same creaminess and flavor while saving a few calories.
- You can replace some or all of the sour cream with plain Greek yogurt.
- Using pre-cooked bacon will save time and fat and calories. Make sure youre using real bacon pieces and not imitation flavored bits. These are usually found in the salad dressing aisle and should say that theyre real bacon on the packaging. Ive also found that this bacon holds up best to the moisture from the broccoli salad.
Keep in mind that ultimately broccoli salad is meant to be an indulgent side dish, and not health food!
OK, I hope I didnt lose you with all of the broccoli photos!
How Do I Store Leftovers From Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
This salad stores really well, intact the flavors are even more delicious the second day. You can place this salad in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Mix well before serving!
You will not be disappointed with this DELICIOUS salad. I hope you enjoy it as much as me and my family!
If you do get a chance to try it, I would love it if you let me know! You can leave me a comment below, or if you post a picture on Instagram, make sure to tag me so that I can see what you are cooking up! It makes my day to see others enjoying the recipes that I share!
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What Others Are Saying About This Broccoli Salad Recipe:
This is by far the best broccoli salad recipe Ive seen!! Yumm ~ Stacy
Made this last weekend and it was delicious! Loved the sunflower seeds ~ Bryn
I made this on Saturday night for our Easter dinner. I couldnt wait to eat it and it was worth the wait. It was delicious. I did add the raisins and some shredded carrot that I had after making your carrot cupcakes. This will be made again. ~ Teresa
My Mom would make this often. My three brothers Dad and I loved it. Made it for my Hubby, he loved it and said, you can make this again, anytime. I will. ~ Mare
This salad is a huge hit. I bring it to family parties and everyone loves it. ~ Dorene
Absolutely delicious. Has been requested from my family to be made again and again!! Thanks for sharing!! ~ Karen
Below is the printable recipe card! Have a great day and enjoy, friends!
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Wondering What To Serve With Our Old
Heres a few of our favorite mains that find a happy home next to this creamy potato salad recipe:
How To Make Broccoli Salad:
This cold broccoli salad is the best thing everit knocks other cold summer salads out of the park, because theres basically no cooking required. Heres how to whip up the best broccoli salad ever:
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Lets Break This Down A Little
For this recipe, I call for about 8 cups of raw broccoli florets. For me, that was about 3 medium-sized heads of broccoli, which equated to about 2 1/2 pounds.
Now some recipes call for you to blanch the broccoli first, but I think its just one extra step thats not necessary. That being said, if blanching is your thing, a quick 45 to 60 second dunk in salted boiling water should do the trick. Just be sure to immediately plunge the broccoli in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Then make sure the broccoli is super dry before adding it to the salad. Extra water on the broccoli can make for a runny dressing.
Yall know I like easy, so I opted to use a bag of chopped real bacon from the grocery store rather than cooking my own. Just be sure to get the real stuff, not imitation bacon bits. If youre feeling super ambitious and want to cook your own bacon, youll need to cook about 16 slices or 1 pound of bacon to crisp, then drain, and crumble to create 1 cup of crumbled bacon. Hey, yall know I love me some bacon.
When it comes to the cheese, I want to actually see it and taste it, so I avoid the finely shredded cheese and go with thick cut shredded sharp cheddar.
And while were talking about the dressing, I do like mine a touch sweet, but not too sweet. If you like it sweeter, its super easy to add a little more white sugar to suit your taste.
The Best Broccoli Salad
The BEST Broccoli Salad Recipe! Loaded with crispy bacon, red onion and shredded cheddar cheese. Tossed in a creamy, tangy dressing. All you need to make this recipe is 9 ingredients and 15 minutes! This easy broccoli salad makes a great low carb side dish for Summer parties and barbecues!
Cold broccoli salad has been a staple in our house ever since I was a little girl. We often made this as a side dish for burgers or grilled chicken and it was always the dish we brought to potlucks! Needless to say we have had a lot of time in the past to PERFECT this easy broccoli salad.
This broccoli and bacon salad gets dressed with a sweet, tangy and creamy homemade dressing. Its the perfect ratio of dressing to salad. I hate when a broccoli salad recipe is too dry or too soggy with dressing. This is the perfect amount! I opted to omit the usual cranberries or raisins and added lots of bacon, cheese and red onion. This truly is the BEST Broccoli Salad.
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What Dressing Goes On A Broccoli Salad
The typical dressing for a broccoli salad is a creamy, mayonnaise-based dressing. I dont add any extra sugar to my dressing, but I do up the creaminess by adding a little homemade yogurt to the dressing. It adds just the right sweetness and tang. And of course, I use my homemade mayonnaise as the starting point.
Broccoli Salad Frequently Asked Questions
Can broccoli salad be made ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the broccoli salad ahead of time. Wait to add the bacon bits and sunflower seeds until serving time so that they stay crunchy.
How do you make broccoli salad taste better?
The dressing is the key to the best tasting broccoli salad. Allow the salad coated with the dressing to chill in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving. Another option is to briefly blanch and then immediately cool the broccoli in ice water to help reduce the bitterness.
What goes with broccoli salad?
Broccoli salad goes well with grilled meats such as burgers, chicken, steak, and hot dogs. It is also popular as a holiday side dish alongside turkey or ham. It can also be served as a side for sandwiches, sloppy joes, and subs.
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The Salad Ingredients You Need To Make This Broccoli Salad Recipe
- Raw Broccoli cut into florets . To save time, you can buy pre-cut broccoli instead of cutting your own.
- Red onions you can use regular onions as well.
- Grapes I like using seedless grapes. You can decide if you want to use green or red grapes.
- Bacon cooked and chopped. Heres how I How to Cook Bacon in the Oven.
- Sunflower seeds I love using sunflower seeds for an added crunch. Feel free to use a different nut or seed of your choice.
- Dressing ingredients: homemade mayo, yellow mustard, garlic, apple cider vinegar, salt, and black pepper.
What Ingredients Are In Macaroni Salad
Different macaroni salads contain different ingredients, but my staples include:
- Elbow macaroni
- Hard boiled eggs or shredded or diced cheddar cheese
- A homemade mayo-based macaroni salad dressing
You can obviously add your favorite additional add-ins or make substitutions , but this if my favorite combination and I really recommend you try it out exactly this way at least once for yourself.
The dressing I just mentioned is what really sets it apart from other potluck recipes you might have tried. It provides just the right amount of creaminess the noodles are coated in just enough sauce and are neither dry nor are they drenched in the dressing. Its also just slightly sweetened thanks to the addition of some sweet pickle juice and a pinch of sugar.
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Broccoli Salad With Lighter Creamy Dressing
I like my Broccoli Salad with slightly softened bite rather than a hard raw crunch, and plenty of dressing thats not excessively mayo-heavy. The dressing is still creamy, but its a lightened up mayo based dressing with fantastic flavourings and theres plenty of it!
For an even healthier option, try this Broccoli Salad with a mayo-free Creamy Lemon Dressing or Ranch Dressing, or this Broccoli Salad with Sour Cream dressing!
The mere mention of Broccoli Salad conjures up visions of giant bowls of broccoli swimming in oily mayo dressing thats often too sweet. Just the thought makes my thighs start expanding.
Yet I cannot deny that Im a sucker for a good Broccoli Salad with a creamy dressing. So today, Im sharing mine. Plenty of dressing. Lots of add ins to make the salad interesting. And marinated broccoli with a softened crisp bite, rather than hard raw crunch.
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Variations On This Broccoli Salad Recipe:
- Make use of pre-cut broccoli. To make this broccoli salad a super-easy endeavour use pre-cut, bagged broccoli florets. I always like to give the broccoli a good wash, even if the bag says its been pre-washed.
- Add some other crunchy vegetables to the mix. Sliced radishes, cauliflower, and celery all add plenty of crunch and will hold up in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Substitute pancetta or thick-cut bacon for the regular bacon. Pancetta has a slightly gamey taste, so keep that in mind if you decide to make the substitution.
- Use any mild, shredded cheese in place of the cheddar. Shredded Monterey Jack, havarti, and gouda would all work well in this salad.
- Experiment with dried fruit. Out of dried cranberries or raisins? Golden sultanas and thinly sliced dried apricots are also tasty additions to this broccoli salad.
- Play around with different nuts and seeds. Sunflower seeds are my go-to crunchy ingredient whenever I make this salad, but Ive also tried slivered almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds.
- Add a touch of heat. Depending on your familys tolerance for spicy food, you can add a small amount of sriracha to the dressing for a hint of heat.
- Customize the dressing to your taste. If you like a tangier dressing add more acid this recipe calls for cider vinegar but you can also use red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar for a more noticeable taste. If you prefer your broccoli salad dressing on the sweeter side you can add more sugar
Tips For Making The Best Broccoli Salad
This blanch and shock method always makes vegetables more tender and palatable while still retaining nutrients and color.
Cover your broccoli salad bowl with plastic wrap, and let it sit in the fridge for one to a few hours before serving.
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A Favorite Salad Recipe
My friends and family absolutely love this fresh broccoli salad recipe.
- Its so incredibly easy to make
- The dressing is quick, creamy, and flavorful.
- Since its best made ahead of time, its perfect for potlucks and barbecues
- It is always a hit and I never end up with leftovers!
If you have extra veggies you need to use up, you can easily add them to this dish. Zucchini, cauliflower, celery, or peppers can make great additions!
For Better Broccoli Salad Cook The Florets
I just finished a conversation with my colleagues about our editorial banned word list. I love adding irritating words and phrases to it, but Miranda, our copy chief, is more measured. She prefers to discourage the use of certain forms of language without banning them outright. I respect that, but, you know, it just feels so good to swing the ban hammer. And so, despite the fact that there probably exists some edge case that contradicts me, I’m still going to take a hard stance on a different subject: Raw broccoli florets in a broccoli salad are an absolute abomination.* I hereby ban them!
Frankly, they’re pretty awful in most contexts, but since this is about salad, that’s what I’m focusing on.
Think about it: When is the last time you looked at raw broccoli florets on a crudités platter and got excited? I’d be willing to bet you reached for the carrot, the celery, and the cucumber stick long before you relented and reluctantly dunked a piece of broccoli in the onion dip.
The problem with raw broccoli florets is their texture. Unlike their wonderful stems, the florets lack a clean, crisp bite. All their tiny little flower buds create a crumbly, dry sensation in your mouth when you chew, as they break apart into thousands of little grassy beads.
I cut the florets into small pieces and blanch them for a minute, immediately transferring them to an ice bath to chill, which helps preserve a lingering trace of rawness and that great bright green color.
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Healthy Broccoli Salad With Kale
Why add kale to broccoli salad, one might ask?
I find that finely chopped kale blends perfectly into the broccoli creating little pockets to hold the dressing and other tasty tidbits.
It offers more nutritional value to the salad, than just broccoli alone. Yet friends and family members resistant to kale, wont even know its there!
Im tricky like that.
Is Broccoli Salad Good For You
Yes! I consider humble old broccoli to be a total super food, and this salad is loaded with broccoli. Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, which offer potent anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer health benefits. Other members include cauliflower, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts.
Broccoli is also high in fiber and folate. Learn more about broccolis health benefits here.
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