Broccoli salad is both flavorful and filling. Chopped veggies are tossed with a homemade creamy dressing, grilled chicken, and bits of bacon…you’ll make this salad recipe again and again!
Cold Broccoli Salad
When I say I really, really love salad, I’m not kidding. When my daughter was in kindergarten, they made a cute Mother’s Day gift where the children answered questions about their moms. One of the questions there was “what’s your mom’s favorite food and drink?”. My daughter promptly answered “salad and water”. Hah!
As boring as it probably sounded to the teacher it really is true. I try to have a salad at least once a day, so having a variety of recipes helps me to keep it exciting and delicious while getting all those yummy veggies in. This cold broccoli salad, in particular, is a long-time favorite of mine.
I like this dish because I can easily prep for it at the beginning of the week by cutting up veggies. Add a little leftover chicken or even turkey and you’ve got an easy, no-cook cold broccoli salad!
Broccoli Bacon Salad
Of course, this dish has one major thing going for it that amps the flavor up…bacon! This broccoli bacon salad is more of a ‘meal’ kind of salad, where it’s not just a side dish, but something that will fill you up and keep you full for a while.
If you plan on making the broccoli bacon salad, one easy hack is to simply set aside a few slices of bacon if you make some for breakfast. Hide it in the back of the fridge where no one can find it until you’re ready to make your salad! 🙂
Bacon does give the salad a nice smoky flavor, but if you’re trying to eat clean & healthy, omit the bacon and go with cooked chicken breast alone.
Creamy Salad Dressing
The smokey bacon tastes even better because it contrasts so well with the homemade creamy salad dressing that goes with this recipe. I often find that people are intimidated by making dressing at home, but I assure you it’s so easy and tastes SO much better than anything you’d find in a bottle.
Making creamy salad dressing is simple. All you need to do is combine three ingredients together: mayo, vinegar, and sugar. You can make a batch of the creamy salad dressing ahead of time as part of your meal prep too. The dressing should keep for a few days if you store it in an airtight container within the fridge.
How to Make Broccoli Salad
For detailed recipe instructions see the recipe card bottom of the post.
- Bake (or fry) bacon until it is rendered & crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and pat the tops with a paper towel as well, to absorb extra fat. When cool enough to handle, chop to small pieces.
- Meanwhile, start the broccoli salad. Break the broccoli into small florets. Shred the stems on a large-holed box grater, or using the food processor fitted with the grater attachment.
- Slice the onion into thin slices.
- Make the dressing by combining the mayo, vinegar & sugar in a bowl. Whisk until smooth.
- Arrange all ingredients around the salad bowl, including the grilled chicken, in piles. Pour dressing over the broccoli salad & mix to coat the ingredients. Serve immediately.
Broccoli Salad with Chicken
This is the very best broccoli salad recipe! Veggies, grilled chicken, smoky bacon are all flavored by a creamy dressing.
- 3 cups broccoli florets & shredded stems
- 1 cup chicken breast skinless, boneless, cooked, shredded
- 6-8 strips bacon rendered & crispy, chopped
- 1/4 onion sliced thinly
- 1/3 cup craisins
Dressing (double the amount if you like a lot of dressing in your salad)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp vinegar
Lay slices of bacon onto a parchment or aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes, until rendered & crispy. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and pat the tops with paper towel as well, to absorb extra fat. When cool enough to handle, chop to small pieces.
- Break the broccoli into small florets. Shred the stems on a large holed box grater, or using the food processor fitted with the grater attachment.
- Slice the onion into thin slices.
Combine 1/4 cup mayo, 1 Tbsp vinegar & 1 Tbsp sugar in a bowl. Whisk until homogeneous & smooth.
- Arrange all ingredients around the salad bowl, in piles. Pour dressing over the salad & mix to coat the ingredients. Serve.