Broccoli Salad

We’ve been over my aversion to vegetables many, many times. I don’t really like them all that much. I really try sometimes because I know they’re good for me, but I was the kid who only ate broccoli when there was Cheez Whiz slathered on top (no exaggeration, true story). Those types of icky feelings toward vegetables have stayed with me through adulthood. A bad habit, for sure, and one that I’m not necessarily proud of, but, it’s me. Aside from Cheez Whiz, there is one guaranteed way to get me to eat broccoli… This salad. It certainly doesn’t hurt that there is bacon and cheese involved (does it ever hurt?), and I could eat this all day. My grandma has been making this for family get togethers for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been addicted to it for just as long.

This is really very simple – broccoli, a little chopped onion, bacon, cubed cheddar cheese, and the best dressing ever. I mentioned when I made deviled eggs that any recipe with the combination of mayonnaise, white vinegar and sugar is bound to be good, and I had this specific salad in mind. It’s tangy, sweet and a little creamy. It’s delicious. And did I mention addicting?

I think this is best when you make it, cover it, and throw it in the fridge for a couple of hours. Leftovers the next day are even better!

Three years ago: Cheddar Corn Chowder

Broccoli Salad

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


2 heads broccoli
½ pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
8 ounces cubed cheddar cheese
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons white vinegar


1. Trim the florets off of the broccoli, cutting large pieces into bite-size pieces, and rinse in a colander.

2. Combine the broccoli, bacon, cheese and onion in a large mixing bowl.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar. Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and stir until everything is evenly coated.

4. The broccoli salad can be served immediately, but it tastes even better if you cover it and refrigerate it for an hour or two before serving. Leftovers the next day are even better! 🙂


51 Responses to “Broccoli Salad”

  1. Jaime on April 21, 2011 at 12:10 am

    YUM! Love the idea of the cubed cheddar!! My aunt has been making a version of this salad for YEARS and its always a hit! She adds RAISINS to hers…..sounds so gross, but trust me, it is AMAZING!


  2. Ruth on April 21, 2011 at 4:14 am

    This looks really good – the dressing sonds great!


  3. Gwenevere on April 21, 2011 at 5:06 am

    Although I do not have an aversion to vegetables I have no problem dressing them up with YUM either. That is what marriage is about right? Two helping each other out to be better? I’ll support this marriage.


  4. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on April 21, 2011 at 6:58 am

    This does look good! How could broccoli be bad with bacon and cheddar cheese?!


  5. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) on April 21, 2011 at 7:07 am

    My all time fave dressing that I make from scratch and re-link at least once a week is vegan slaw dressing, i.e. broccoli slaw dressing that I veganized and I eat it on all my salads, veggies, etc.

    I heart brock salad! Omg this is music to my ears this post. Love it 🙂


  6. debcurlydog on April 21, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I basically make the same salad except add raisins & sunflower seeds and omit the cheese. LOVE this salad and it’s my “go-to” salad for any occasion, everyone usually raves about it!


  7. Kristy on April 21, 2011 at 10:16 am

    MMmm I love broccoli. I will have to try this, the dressing sounds interesting!


  8. Papacheong on April 21, 2011 at 10:22 am
  9. CathyN on April 21, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Just found my dish to bring to Easter dinner!!


  10. Brittany on April 21, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I love broccoli salad! I usually end up buying it at the deli, and that’s fine enough, but I’d like to try a homemade version. I think I’ll start with yours!


  11. Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes on April 21, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Oh my does this look good – you literally included all of my faves… bacon, cheese, mayo, broccoli. Can I have a cookie after I eat every morsel of this salad to complete my circle of happiness?

    Your photography is gorgeous and congrats on the Top 9 today. Well deserved!!


  12. Erin @ Making Memories on April 21, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    This looks delicious! I make something similar but never thought to add cheese. You’re brilliant! That would be most excellent!


  13. Sandra on April 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    We will have this as part of our Easter dinner. Thank you for taking some of the “what side dish” guess work out of the equation. Have a great holiday.


  14. Cari on April 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Almost just like what I make only I add shredded carrots and cauliflower, raisins or halved grapes, too! So Yummy!


  15. Tabitha on April 21, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Try it with grapes! SOOOOO yummy!


  16. Leanna @ Raptor Toe on April 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    There’s a “Broccoli Slaw” I make with a similar recipe. Break the broccoli a little smaller, add bacon, toasted sun flower seeds, dried cranberries, some caramelized onions and use straight up kraft coleslaw dressing. SO good, but so simple.


  17. Katrina on April 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    I have this exact recipe, but minus bacon and added craisins. The dressing is super awesome (especially if you need to cover the veggie taste), lol.


  18. Erin M on April 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I love that dressing – my Grandma made a similar one – Mayo, sugar, half&half and pepper. Tossed it with sliced cucumber – amazing! We still call it “the cucumber stuff.”

    =) Great recipe!


  19. Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen on April 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    I love a good broccoli salad! I will probably sit and eat this all for dinner 🙂


  20. Lisa {smart food and fit} on April 21, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    This looks good. I make a broccoli coleslaw with dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and red onions in a coleslaw dressing. It’s a big hit in my family and the only way to get my picky 4 yr old to eat it. I like how you added some bacon and cheese, brilliant!


  21. TAMMY on April 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Ok, so I’ve been using the same recipe everyone else has all these years; raisins and sunflower seeds. I never thought of adding cheese! I will definitely be using this. My only problem is that my husband’s coworkers loved the old recipe so much they stole the bowl of leftovers at the last potluck. If I add cheese, they’ll be camping out on my doorstep! LOL


  22. Jessiker @ Jessiker Bakes on April 21, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Wow I hate broccoli and that looks delicious!


  23. Amy on April 21, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Gorgeous! WANT.


  24. Skyler on April 21, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    its really good with raisins & sunflower seeds!


  25. Maris (In Good Taste) on April 21, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    One of my very favorite vegetables! This salad is so simple yet so healthy and delicious


  26. Mia Dube' on April 21, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    made this tonight for dinner…..yum!


  27. Ky Foley on April 21, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    I have to go back to the grocery store and get the broccoli I walked right past earlier today now that I’ve seen your photos and recipe! Looks and sounds yummy! =]


  28. Terri on April 21, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    I make something similar – no cheese but cheese tortellini and sunflower seeds – yum!


  29. Paula on April 22, 2011 at 1:04 am

    This looks just like the broccoli salad I make all the time except I grate my cheese and toss it all in. I love this salad and usually it’s the one I make whenever we go to gatherings and I’m asked to bring a salad. It is very good isn’t it and that dressing is delicious…and so easy!


  30. Farida on April 22, 2011 at 4:37 am

    great recipe for broccoli salad and that look so fresh, yummy…..



  31. Monica on April 23, 2011 at 12:00 am

    I’m a HUGE fan of broccoli salad and so yours looked so good it went straight to the top of my list! I made it tonight and it was fabulous! Thank you =)


  32. Ideal Chef on April 23, 2011 at 2:36 am

    Yummy!Thank you so much for this great sounding recipe!!


  33. Dan on April 23, 2011 at 8:30 am

    A word of warning: this is *that dish* in our family. You know *that dish*, the one that people grumble loudly and occasionally shoot you a dirty look if you don’t bring it to a potluck. So you’ve been warned: if you bring this to a get-together, you’re going to be making it for every potluck moving forward.

    Like others here, my family adds raisins and red onions, omits the cheese. The sunflower seeds that someone mentioned sound good.


  34. Sunny on April 23, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    My mom makes this and adds sunflower seeds. Yum!


  35. Bonnie on April 24, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    This was SO delicious. I made it today for Easter dinner. I was a BIG hit. Perfect balance of flavor. I will definately be making this again….I probably wont share either….lol! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.


  36. Rob G on April 25, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I made this for Easter, it was wonderful!!!


  37. shaffy on April 27, 2011 at 4:13 am

    you are exactly like my 11yo daughter. totally allergic to greens, and will only eat brox (that’s what she calls broccoli) if its drowning in mayo+vinegar+cheddar dressing or heavily smothered in a milk+cheese+tofu quiche. i get a good chuckle everytime you mention your aversion to greens. i always tell her, “one step at a time, you’ll soon love all greens”, and she’ll give me a “mom-are-you-nuts” look. do you too?


  38. Papacheong on April 27, 2011 at 6:27 am

    nice picture you have been putting up but my outcome is never as nice as yours.



  39. Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) on April 30, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    This looks great. I have some broccoli sitting in the fridge that just may become this salad. Thanks for sharing!


  40. Brittany on May 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    This sounds awesome. I have an aversion to veggies too. Especially cooked ones…it’s the texture. I just put up a post on my little blog today on my favorite broccoli salad. It’s vegan (a diet I gave up months ago) so it doesn’t have bacon or cheese (Which make everything better) but I use it all the time as a side dish. I am excited to try yours this summer. Thank you for sharing!


  41. Erika on June 1, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Sounds good! However, I don’t like mayo. I know I’ll never taste it when mixed in, but I’ll know it’s there. Childish I know. You think maybe I could substitute plain yogurt?


    • Michelle on June 2nd, 2011 at 3:03 pm

      Hi Erika, This dressing actually doesn’t taste much like mayo because of the sugar and vinegar, but if you’re completely averse, you could give the yogurt a try. I’ve never used it, so I can’t vouch for it, but it tends to be a common substitute for mayonnaise. It will likely be a little tangier. If you try it let me know what you think!


  42. Barefoot Pregnant And In The Kitchen on August 1, 2011 at 8:41 am

    I love broccoli! And I have it coming out of my ears in the garden right now. This will be a nice new recipe to try out on the family this week!


  43. Robin on November 5, 2012 at 3:23 am

    Someone else commented that this is ‘that dish’ that if you don’t make for every single family occasion you will have people complaining. It’s true. I have been making this dish – without the cheese and with the raisins – for twenty years. My son spent four months in Japan last summer and this was what he begged for as his first dish ‘at home’. I am not entirely convinced that the cheese will make it better, but honestly, the raisins are amazing in it.


  44. Kate D. on April 22, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    I’ve been making this salad for years. Sometimes I substitute bacon bits for the bacon, and use shredded swiss or shredded cheddar cheese for the cubed cheese. When sweet vidalia onions are in season, I like to use them – red onions can also add a different taste.

    That’s what is so great about this recipe – you can play around with some of the ingredients, depending on what you have on hand – though I never change the dressing!


  45. Bonnie on December 26, 2013 at 6:04 am

    I know I posted a couple of years ago but I wanted to let you know that this salad has become a staple for my family. I recently made this for my in laws who live in Oslo and now, the recipe and demand for this salad is spreading through Norway. Thanks again for such an awesome recipe!


  46. Adele on February 16, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Made this today for my mother! Absolutely loved it! She saved half of it for lunch the next day since it says its better served cold! 🙂


  47. Noelle on March 13, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I make this broccoli salad and ONLY this broccoli salad now. First recipe I tried, and it’s a keeper! My picky boyfriend absolutely loves it, and so do I! Thank you for sharing! 🙂


  48. Cynthia T on April 8, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Made this tonight for potluck tomorrow. Substituted 8oz shredded cheddar and 3 Tbls wine vinegar. Came out fab!


  49. Leslie on March 28, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    I’ve made this salad many times now, and it’s very popular with everyone. You are right.It is even better the next day. It’s very quick to make. The dressing is amazing. It would be good for cole slaw or tossed salad as well.


  50. Jen on June 11, 2015 at 7:59 am

    I’ve been making this as a low-carb salad for years and everyone RAVES about it. (I use Splenda or Truvia for the sugar.)

    I do have a few small variations:
    1. I use shredded cheese instead of cubes (so it’s easier to get in one forkful with the other ingredients).
    2. I use red onions (so they aren’t quite as potent)!
    3. I add garlic salt.


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