The Best Broccoli Salad Ever is a vibrant and refreshing dish that’s perfect for picnics, potlucks, or as a flavorful side dish for your meals. Combining the c
rispness of fresh broccoli with the smoky richness of bacon, the sharpness of red onion, and the creaminess of cheddar cheese, this salad is a symphony of textures and flavors. Topped with a sweet and tangy dressing, it’s a salad that often becomes a favorite at any gathering. This recipe is not only delicious but also relatively easy to prepare, making it a great choice for both everyday meals and special occasions.
2 heads of fresh broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 pound Applewood smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
Step 1: Prepare the Broccoli
Start by washing the 2 heads of fresh broccoli thoroughly. Cut the broccoli into bite-sized florets, ensuring they are small enough to eat easily but large enough to maintain a good crunch. You can also include some of the stems, sliced thinly, for added texture.
Step 2: Cook the Bacon
Cook 1/2 pound of Applewood smoked bacon until it’s crispy. Once cooked, place the bacon on paper towels to drain excess grease. Once cooled, crumble the bacon into small pieces. The smoky flavor of the bacon adds a depth of flavor to the salad.
Step 3: Mix Salad Ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, combine the broccoli florets, 1/2 cup of chopped red onion, the crumbled bacon, and 1 1/2 cups of freshly grated cheddar cheese. Toss these ingredients together until well mixed.
Step 4: Prepare the Dressing
In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup of organic mayonnaise, 2 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar, and 1/3 cup of sugar. Whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved and the dressing is smooth. The dressing should have a balanced sweet and tangy flavor.
Step 5: Combine and Chill
Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and toss to coat all the ingredients evenly. Once the salad is well mixed, cover it and refrigerate for at least an hour. This chilling time allows the flavors to meld together and the broccoli to slightly soften in the dressing.
Step 6: Serve
Before serving, give the salad a good stir to redistribute the dressing. Serve the broccoli salad chilled.
It’s important not to overcook the bacon, as it should be crispy to add a nice contrast in texture to the salad.
This Best Broccoli Salad Ever is perfect as a side dish for barbecues, picnics, or alongside grilled meats and poultry. It’s also great as a standalone dish for a light and satisfying lunch.
Broccoli Preparation: Cutting the broccoli into uniform pieces ensures that each bite has a mix of florets and stems.
Dressing Consistency: Adjust the amount of mayonnaise and vinegar in the dressing to your taste preference. Some prefer a creamier dressing, while others like it more tangy.
Fresh Ingredients: Using freshly grated cheddar cheese and organic mayonnaise can significantly enhance the flavor of the salad.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Calories: Approximately 250-300 per serving (varies based on the serving size and specific ingredients used)
Protein: 10-15g per serving
Sodium: Varies based on the bacon and cheese used
The Best Broccoli Salad Ever is a delightful combination of crunchy, creamy, tangy, and savory flavors. It’s a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on numerous occasions and is often a hit even with those who are skeptical of broccoli. The key to this salad is the balance of flavors and textures, making it a refreshing and enjoyable dish for all to savor.