This broccoli salad recipe will even have broccoli haters asking for more. Bacon, cranberries, cheese and a super simple dressing make this broccoli salad the perfect diner, BBQ, or potluck salad this summer. It’s a long time favorite in our family and we hope it will become yours as well.
I’m sure that the first time I ever had this kale and broccoli salad, Debbie made it. It was a long time ago and back then I wasn’t really much of a broccoli fan, and I probably didn’t even know what kale was, but I remember being shocked at how good it was. Since then, I have grown to love broccoli and kale and especially love it in this easy broccoli salad.
When I make this broccoli salad recipe, I make a big bowl so I can just munch on it for a few days.
What do you put in broccoli salad?
You can really put whatever you like in your broccoli salad. In this recipe, we use bacon, onions, kale, cranberries, cashews and cheese. But you could use any of the following:
- walnuts or pecans
- raisins or other dried fruit like chopped apricots or apples
- pumpkin seeds or other seeds or hemp hearts
- another kind of cheese! We used old cheddar, but you could use swiss or monterrey jack or a spicy cheese for some kick.
How to make the salad:
- chop and cook your bacon. Set them aside till you are ready to serve.
- make the dressing – add the mayo, vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper to a jar or container and mix well. Set aside in the fridge.
- wash and chop your broccoli, kale and onions. Add them to a bowl.
- add the shredded cheese, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, bacon and nuts to the bowl.
- pour on the dressing, mix well and serve.
Do you have to cook the broccoli first?
No! You just add the broccoli to this salad raw which is one thing that makes this salad so easy. The dressing slightly softens the broccoli as it sits so that it doesn’t taste completely raw.
If you can’t stand raw broccoli, you can blanch it quickly before putting the salad together. Add the broccoli to boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove and transfer to a bowl of ice water for a quick cold dip to stop the cooking process. Drain the broccoli really well and let it sit to dry a bit before making the salad.
Can you make it ahead of time?
You can make the broccoli salad and the dressing up to a day or two even ahead of time and store it covered in the fridge. But don’t put the dressing on the salad and toss it until an hour or so before serving.
If you like crunchy nuts and bacon, add those at the last min before serving.
How long is it good for in the fridge?
Store your broccoli salad in the fridge with a tight fitting cover on. We love these big glass containers with airtight lids for storing all kinds of things in the fridge, and they are great for this salad too!
You can keep this salad in the fridge for up to 3 or 4 days, but it’s best eaten within the first day or maybe two. Otherwise the nuts and bacon can get soggy. I don’t mind eating it a few days after it’s made…
What to serve with this broccoli salad:
This salad is so great for a potluck BBQ and we can guarantee that it will be a hit, but if you are making this at home for your family dinner or to share with friends, try serving it with these delicious recipes:
- easy roast chicken breast with lemon
- ultimate baby potato side dish with garlic and dill
- our classic meatloaf
- pan fried halibut with a panko crust
- sage and rosemary pork chops
If you’ve tried this broccoli salad recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let us know how it turned out in the comments below. We love hearing from you!
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Kale and Broccoli Salad Recipe with Bacon and Cranberries
FOR THE BROCCOLI SALAD
- 3 heads broccoli cut into bite sized florets
- 1 bunch kale chopped
- 1/2 cup old cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 6 – 8 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- Heat a skillet on medium high heat. Chop the bacon into small pieces and cook them in the skillet till they are crispy. Drain the bacon on some paper towel and set aside.
- In a small bowl mix the dressing ingredients. Season to your tastes with salt and pepper. You may need to add a little more vinegar to thin it out. It should be slightly runny so that it will be enough to coat all the veggies. Set aside or in the fridge till you are ready to use it.
- Wash the broccoli and kale well. Chop into bite size pieces. Add them to a large bowl. Add the shredded cheese, cranberries, sunflower seeds, cashews and bacon.
- When you are ready to serve the salad, pour the dressing on top and toss it well. Serve within an hour.