This scrumptious and super easy broccoli salad is one of my go-to recipes for a side dish for camping, BBQs, and for summery meals. Kids and adults alike devour it. It’s not only a fantastic option for a potluck salad but it is possibly the best veggie cookout dish around!
The Best Easiest Broccoli Salad
This classic salad is chock full of fresh crisp broccoli, crunchy onion, cheddar, cheese, and bacon. The red onion adds the perfect contrast to the creamy dressing. It’s 100% a mouthful of delicious flavor!
Not only is this the perfect no-cook recipe for those warm summer nights when you don’t want to hang out in the kitchen, but it’s also so incredibly easy to make. In fact, it can be made in a flash right before you have a gathering without any stress.
Even dreamier is that your kids may choose to eat all their broccoli first and even ask for seconds! Truly, everyone raves over this recipe and will be asking you how to make it. It’s a crowd-pleaser for sure.
So let’s be honest, this broccoli salad with bacon certainly isn’t considered “health food” but do all salads have to be so perfect? It is, however, made with raw, crisp, fresh, and nutritious broccoli that is delicious anytime and certainly gets points for that.
How to Make Broccoli Salad
What You’ll Need:
- Fresh Broccoli
- Cooked Bacon
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- Chopped Red Onion
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Cut your broccoli small. Picture pieces a tad smaller than a typical salad floret. You want to make sure there is room on your fork for all the tasty bits, not just one chunk of broccoli!
Pre-cook your bacon in advance if you like, but if you are not crunched for time, it’s just as easy to bake it in the oven while cutting up ingredients. Add the bacon at the last minute for the ultimate crunch.
Use freshly shredded cheddar cheese. It’s just not the same at all if you use bagged pre-shredded cheese. The freshly shredded cheese sticks to things and blends in better than the latter. The pre-shredded cheese, though convenient, is drier and stays a bit separated from the other ingredients due to the anti-caking agent.
Chop the red onion into 1/4″ dice so it is not overwhelming in each bite. You can choose to add more or less onion depending on your personal preference.
Mix the dressing ingredients separately. Then toss everything together.
How To Make the Dressing
Simply mix the three dressing ingredients together in a bowl, adding salt and pepper to taste. It takes no time at all!
Can I use miracle whip instead of mayonnaise in the dressing?
I haven’t tried this but if you are a fan of Miracle Whip go ahead and try it. I can’t recommend something I don’t use personally. Consider omitting the sugar if you choose to make this salad with Miracle Whip.
Broccoli Salad Tips and Questions
You can also make this into a broccoli and cauliflower salad. Use a mix of half broccoli and half cauliflower. Play around with brightly-colored cauliflower options such as graffiti (magenta) or cheddar (yellow-orange) for a striking mix of contrasting colors!
To Blanch or Not to Blanch?
The broccoli in this broccoli salad is not blanched before serving because the crunch factor is perfect when raw. However, if you wish, you can blanch it for 60 seconds in boiling water. Rinse under cold running water immediately until broccoli has cooled and then dry well.
Blanching the broccoli will change the texture of the salad and it may need less dressing if you choose this route.
Can I make this dairy-free?
Yes! You can omit the cheese entirely from this broccoli salad or alternatively, you can use a vegan cheese option. In addition, you can play around with using other ingredients such as roasted sunflower seeds or shredded beets or carrots.
How do you store broccoli salad?
How long can you keep broccoli salad in the refrigerator?
Leftovers from this salad are best eaten within three days. You can make this night before serving and it will be delicious. For camp food purposes, be sure to make it as close to eating as possible and store it well-sealed in your cooler.
It lasts a few days in the refrigerator before the flavor and texture are not as fresh-tasting. A squeeze of lemon and a handful of chopped fresh herbs (parsley or basil) can help brighten the flavor after a couple of days in the fridge.
Is Broccoli Salad Keto?
Broccoli is a good keto-friendly vegetable because it’s high in fiber making its net carbs low. Broccoli has about 2 net carbs per 1/2 cup serving so it qualifies as a low carb broccoli salad.
One tablespoon of sugar, which is the amount in this salad that serves 8 people, has about 15 grams of carbohydrates, and 60 calories. Omit the sugar for a 100% keto broccoli salad option.
What to serve with broccoli salad?
This raw broccoli salad can almost stand on its own as a meal for a broccoli lover. Seriously, it’s that satisfying! However, some of the best main dishes to serve this with are grilled chicken, grilled steaks, or on the side next to a vegetarian dish such as a big delicious bean salad.
Wrap Up: The Best Broccoli Salad Ever
Every potluck needs a good Broccoli Salad. In addition, every camping trip needs a good side dish that can be mixed up on site. It’s truly the perfect way to add a bowl of green crunchy vegetables to your next meal on the go. Go ahead and give this classic one a try, you will really enjoy it!
For more ideas about food to bring on your next camping trip be sure to check out our other popular posts: The Most Perfect Garlic Roasted Potato Salad Recipe: BBQ and Camping Side Dish and The Ultimate Camping Food List For 2022: FREE Printables.
Broccoli Salad Recipe: Side Dish for Camping and BBQ
15 Minute Broccoli Salad for Camping
- 2 lbs chopped fresh broccoli florets (8 cups)
- 1 small red onion, chopped fine (1 cup)
- 1 1/2 cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbs sugar
- 12 slices cooked and chopped bacon (or 1 pound)
- 3 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- In a large bowl combine the broccoli, bacon, onion, and cheese.
- Using a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients for the dressing: mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper.
- Serve immediately or chill for 1 hour.