Easy + Delicious Broccoli Salad in 15 Minutes

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Have you ever realized at the last second that you forgot to make a dish for a picnic, party or event? Or maybe you're just trying to come up with some new side dishes for your family BBQ. Whatever the case, this Broccoli Salad takes less than 15 minutes to make and will NOT disappoint! It's so good it might be gone before you even get there.

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Have you ever realized at the last second that you forgot to make a dish for a picnic, party or event? Or maybe you’re just trying to come up with some new side dishes for your family BBQ. Whatever the case, this Broccoli Salad takes less than 15 minutes to make and will NOT disappoint! It’s so good it might be gone before you even get there. 

BBQ Box

As a restaurant owner, people always expect you to cater your own events. For my daughter’s third birthday we had a small get together at ChuckECheese and I cannot tell you how many sideways looks we got about eating the food there. [although my three year old refused the pizza because it didn’t taste like what her dad makes.] We hosted large birthday parties at the restaurant for both of our daughters’ first birthdays and made all of the food, except for the desserts. There’s only so many hours in the day, ya know?

My favorite recipe that I’ve made for their parties, which I actually tried for the first time at my oldest daughters first birthday, is Broccoli Salad. It was the easiest out of all of the things I made for the party and it was the biggest hit. I enjoyed it so much that I now make it weekly to have as a side dish with my lunch. Today you’re going to learn how to make it, too. 

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 lb fresh, uncooked broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 red onion, diced*
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds*
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar

*I add these when cooking for a crowd, but I omit when I make it for myself simply because I’m not a huge fan of onions and I don’t keep sunflower seeds on hand.

The two things that are going to take up the most of your time will be cutting the broccoli and cooking the bacon. I always start my bacon and then cut the broccoli while its cooking. You can pan fry the bacon, but my preferred method is in the air fryer. You can check out my Air Fryer Bacon recipe here

Once you’ve got your bacon started, regardless of how you choose to cook it, start cutting your broccoli. First, wash your broccoli and dry it as much as possible. When you start cutting, you’ll want to remove as much of the stalk as possible so you’re  leaving the broccoli in small, bite size pieces. Once the broccoli is done, move it to the container that you’ll be storing in.

If you’re including onions, dice your onion and add it on top of the broccoli.

Once your bacon is cooked and drained of grease, transfer it to the cutting board and chop it up into small pieces. Add the bacon on top of the broccoli and onions. 

Add the cheddar cheese, raisins and sunflower seeds. 

In a separate bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar and mix until smooth. Once mixed, pour it over the broccoli mixture. Mix everything together until evenly combined. 

The broccoli salad tastes best when it’s cold. I refrigerate for at least six hours before serving, but overnight is typically best. Prior to serving you want to make sure you mix everything again because the dressing mixture will fall to the bottom of the container. 

And that’s it! Party ready side dish prepped in less than 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Broccoli Salad

Quick and easy broccoli salad. Perfect for lunch time snack or BBQ side dish.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Cooling Time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: BBQ side dish, party food, picnic food, side dish, snack
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 582kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh, uncooked broccoli cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup bacon cooked and chopped
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar

Instructions

  • Start cooking the bacon with your method of choice.
  • Wash and dry the broccoli. Trim the stalks as much as possible and cut the broccoli head into small, bite size pieces. Move to container.
  • Dice the red onion and add to the broccoli.
  • Once finished, chop the bacon and add to the broccoli and red onion.
  • Add the cheddar cheese, raisins and sunflower seeds.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sugar and white vinegar. Mix until well combined.
  • Combine the mayonnaise mixture with the broccoli mixture until completely combined.
  • Move salad to refrigerator to cool for at least six hours.

Notes

When preparing for parties and gatherings I include the onions and sunflower seeds, but when preparing for home I omit them. You can add or remove most of the ingredients (aside from the dressing ingredients) without disrupting the flavor. 
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