Broccoli Salad with bacon and cheddar cheese is wonderfully good. This luscious, perky gluten free side dish is full of nutritious crunchiness with a sweet-tangy dressing. This healthy salad recipe is devoured every time I make it. The Dried cranberries really spark it up!
It’s also a good potluck recipe. Broccoli Bacon salad with cheddar is my standby salad for Holiday parties, reunions and other special events. It goes fast!
Bacon and cheddar cheese add protein and wonderful flavor compliments to this popular side dish. The fresh broccoli is so crunchy, filling, and flavorful in this salad! Perfect for a grill night side, filling lunch or any ole time dinner mate. We love it!
Watch me Make this Broccoli Salad Recipe:
This salad is fabulous with Easy Baked Salmon with a Brown Sugar Marinade , Grilled Salmon Kabobs or Bacon Wrapped Brats.
I don’t remember who brought this broccoli cranberry salad into our family circle first. But once it got in the door we were hooked.
This Broccoli bacon salad uses up a load of fresh broccoli and lends itself well to various additions. Salad in our house is made with what’s in the kitchen usually.
Organic dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, nuts, and pumpkin seeds are really perfect in it. But I have used sesame seeds. I have replaced the cranberries with dried cherries too.
What are you putting in this salad? Let us know in the comment section how you make it. We love new ideas!
Tips to protect the character of this delightful crowd pleasing Broccoli Salad.
The flavors and Textures of this broccoli salad recipe are well combined to make a VERY pleasing combination.
- Square cheese cubes work better in this salad. The finer, store bought shredded cheese tends to clump up and get lost. Cube the cheese so it creates pops of yellow and a distinct flavor pop as well. MUCH better.
- Cook the bacon to done but watch it! It’s very easy to go from done to burnt bacon. You want the bacon grease mostly cooked out so the salad is not greasy. But keep it brown not charred for best results.
- Chop the broccoli into a variety of sizes. But keep them all small enough to easily sit a fork. The dressing will not penetrate very dense pieces of broccoli crown.
Healthy Salad Tweaks:
This is a beautiful, easy broccoli salad and it makes a lovely side dish. AND you can tweak this recipe to up the healthy factor.
- For a REALLY heart healthy salad dressing recipe use our Homemade Healthy Mayonnaise recipe for your broccoli salad dressing base. It’s delicious. and uses avocado oil which is a VERY healthy fat. Make a batch of our mayo in just a few minutes in your food processor.
- This recipe is already gluten free. so it’s even a BETTER option for a large crowd where you may run into special diets. That is certainly true in our family.
- Want it lower carb? Use an artificial sweetener and add more protein with extra cheese, nuts or pumpkin seeds.
- I call for sugar in this recipe. But you can replace it. In the video I use pure maple syrup.
- Maple syrup is not as bright a flavor as granulated sugar. It’s more caramel in nature but the dressing still went over well with my family.
- Honey or a Stevia type sweetener should work. Let me know how you make this recipe your own.
- Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (look for a label that says it includes the mother) adds good things for your health.
- Broccoli is so delicious, versatile and healthy for you. Click the link to find out more about this wonderful vegetable and how it benefits your health. Choose an Organic head of broccoli to avoid unhealthy pesticides.
- I highly recommend you look for a source of unprocessed bacon near you. We use the butcherBox subscription service for our uncured humanely raised meats. You may find locally available uncured Bacon in your grocery.
- Using uncured Bacon gives your family fewer chemicals in their diet. I think it’s worth it.
- Bacon adds such a huge boost of flavor and crunch to recipes like this. Put it in there. I have done without it but the salad character suffers.
This healthy, nutritious side dish appeals to a large audience. It’s ever popular in all age groups. Bacon broccoli salad recipe doubles well for a large crowd, travels well and you can make it ahead.
This beautiful, delicious and healthy potluck recipe will make you a foodie star in your family.
Your Printable Recipe Card:
Bacon Cheddar Broccoli Salad is gluten free and low carb. A healthy, nutritious side dish the whole family will love. Party food, grill side or a healthy salad for lunch. This salad is very easy to make. It's full of healthy ingredients. The whole family will love it. Try this popular potluck or party food!
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar ( or equivalent sweetener of your choice)
For the Broccoli Salad
- 4 Cups Broccoli cut into bite-sized pieces, stalk and all(except tough parts)
- 5 strips cooked bacon
- 1/2 cup onion, finely diced (I use white onion)
- 1 Cup dried Cranberries
- 1 cup cheddar cheese (cut into 1/4 inch cubes)
- 1/8 Cup sunflower seeds
- 1/8 Cup pumpkin seeds
For the Dressing:
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients and adjust them to your personal taste. Set aside until needed.
For the Broccoli Salad:
- Set a skillet to medium heat. Lay the bacon strips in and cook covered until browned. Turn the bacon over and cook covered a few more minutes until browned but NOT burned.
- Remove bacon to a cutting board and chop when cool to touch into 1/4 inch pieces. Set aside.
- Meanwhile chop and measure broccoli, onion and cheese and pour into a large bowl.
- Add the chopped bacon and remaining ingredients.
- Pour the dressing over the assembled salad ingredients and stir gently until all parts of the salad are evenly coated.
- Serve at room temperature or chilled. This salad can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. It holds up to a week in the fridge covered as leftovers.
Adjust the serving size according to your needs by doubling or halving this recipe. The dressing can be adjusted to your taste.
Use mayo with avocado oil and unprocessed bacon for best nutrition. For a lower Carb option use sugar free sweetener.
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Serving Size1 Cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 355Total Fat 25gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 28mgSodium 476mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 4gSugar 19gProtein 8g