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healthy broccoli salad in wooden bowl with napkin on side
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Easy Broccoli Salad Recipe

Here’s a easy broccoli salad recipe that is not just tastes delicious, but good for you! This is not your average boring and bland salad. It’s loaded with cheddar cheese, bacon, nuts and loads of other healthy and delicious stuffs!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Course: Side Dish, side salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 296kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs broccoli cut into small florets
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese cut into small cubes
  • ½ cup bacon crumbled
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • cup red onion diced small or sliced thin
  • ¼ cup toasted almonds or any other nuts

For Salad Dressing

  • ½ cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar or use apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

Prep Work:

  • Dice cheddar cheese block into small cubes. You can grate it as well.
  • Cut broccoli into bite sized pieces. Though many recipes suggest you to use raw broccoli, I always prefer to blanch it for 1 minute in heavily salted water before mixing it with my salad ingredients. Feel free to use raw broccoli if you like the taste of raw broccoli.
    Jo’s Tip: DO NOT OVER COOK broccoli florets. Cook briefly so it’s still crisp and green but not raw. Overcooking broccoli will turn it into mushy, soft florets that don’t work great for this salad.

How To Cook Broccoli?

  • Bring a pot of water to boil. Salt the water heavily like you would do while cooking pasta. Add broccoli florets into boiling water and cook it for 60 seconds. Immediately drain broccoli from boiling water and rinse it well under tap water or quickly transfer to ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Drain water completely and let it dry on kitchen towel to ensure it’s dried well.
  • Blanched and dried broccoli will have this beautiful crisp and crunchy to it and bright green in color.
  • Toast nuts for 5 minutes in oven at 350 Fahrenheit. Don’t brown it.
  • I toasted whole almonds and then once cooled, chopped them up.
  • You can add in seeds like sunflower seeds, melon seeds along with nuts of your choice.

To Make Salad Dressing:

  • In a bowl or jar add mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk it until well combined. Keep aside until use.
    Note: if broccoli salad dressing is too thick, thin it down with 1 or 2 teaspoon water. It should be in pouring consistency, but not too thin.

Toss The Salad:

  • Add very well dried broccoli florets (raw or blanched), cheddar cheese cubes, crumbled bacon bits, dried cranberries, diced red onions and toasted and chopped almonds.
  • Note: If you use raw red onions too harsh in taste, you can slice the onions, soak it in vinegar or ice bath for 10 minutes. Drain it and then use it. It’ll cut down the harshness.
  • Pour salad dressing on top.
  • Gently toss the salad using wooden spoons. Be gentle and don’t over mix or break the ingredients.
  • Serve: You can serve this salad as it is or chill it for few hours before serving. Chilled broccoli salad tastes great as the salad sits in the fridge it soaks up all the dressing, resulting in more flavorful salad.

Video

Notes

  1. Use fresh ingredients and premium quality ingredients for the salad.
  2. Briefly blanch broccoli florets for only 60 seconds in heavily salted boiling water. This will cut down the harshness of raw broccoli. If you love the taste of raw broccoli, skip blanching.
  3. Drain and dry broccoli very well after blanching so it does not thin down the dressing.
  4. You can add in seeds like sunflower seeds, melon seeds along with nuts of your choice.
  5. Toast nuts for 5 minutes in oven at 350 Fahrenheit before tossing it in the salad. Don’t brown the nuts.
  6. Feel free to add use other salad mix-in’s as well. Think of grapes, raisins, other nuts and seeds. You can even mix in extra veggies that you may have, like carrots, zucchini, blanched cauliflower, celery, peppers.
  7. If you use raw red onions too harsh in taste, you can slice the onions, soak it in vinegar or ice bath for 10 minutes. Drain it and then use it. It’ll cut down the harshness.
  8. Always chill the salad for few hours before serving. Chilled broccoli salad tastes great as the salad sits in the fridge it soaks up all the dressing, resulting in more flavorful salad.
Nutritional Info – Please keep in mind that nutritional information provided is only a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.

Nutrition

Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 407mg | Potassium: 581mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1049IU | Vitamin C: 136mg | Calcium: 157mg | Iron: 2mg